Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Wide range of engine options available
  • Serious performance at the top of the range
  • Diesel for all-round talent, V6 petrols for fun

Porsche Macan: which engines can I choose?

As you’d expect from a firm known for building sports cars, the Macan’s performance is impressive no matter which of the engines you choose from.

The headline figure is a possible sprint from 0-62mph in just 4.4 seconds if you’ve gone straight to the top of the range, but you won’t feel short-changed by most models.

Each comes coupled with the excellent Porsche PDK twin-clutch automatic gearbox, which can also be operated manually using the paddles mounted behind the steering wheel. There’s also a coasting function which, like in a manual car, decouples the transmission and puts it in neutral to boost economy and efficiency.

Porsche Macan GTS driving shot

A selection of drive modes is available to tweak the driving experience and, depending on the options fitted, allows the driver to alter suspension, engine responsiveness and steering feel, as well as how loud you want the exhaust to be.

Porsche Macan Turbo

Starting at the top of the performance tree we find the Macan Turbo, which makes use of a 3.6-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine to develop 400hp. This means the car can cover 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and will hit a top speed of 165mph.

On the road or the racetrack this is the one to have if you like going fast. It’s simply relentless in the delivery of its performance, firing you towards the horizon gut-wrenchingly quickly.

There’s a slight delay when you bury your right foot as the pair of turbochargers get up to speed, but once they do all hell breaks loose. Thanks to the clever PDK gearbox there’s almost seamless shifts from gear to gear, which means the performance just keeps on coming.

If this isn’t quite enough, there’s the Macan Turbo with Performance Package. Power is boosted to 440hp, there’s 600Nm of torque and the 0-62mph time drops to 4.4 seconds.

Other upgrades include standard-fit Sport Chrono Package which offers a Sport Plus setting. This makes the whole car more responsive, with faster gearshifts, quicker responses from the engine and launch control.

The car also drops an extra 15mm compared with the Macan Turbo, the brakes are upgraded and adaptive damping (Porsche calls is PASM) is standard, too.

Porsche Macan S

If you’re not after such gut-wrenching performance, the slightly softer Macan S may appeal. This version uses a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, again with a pair of turbochargers installed, generating 340hp. It’ll do 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds and boasts a top speed of 157mph.

Porsche Macan badge

While it does feel fairly brisk on the road, we’re not sure there’s much of an argument for this engine in the UK. The diesel is a far better bet from an ownership point of view, and in our mind drives just as well.

Porsche Macan GTS

If the Macan S’s performance does appeal, but you want a little more, the Macan GTS fills the gap between it and the Turbo rather nicely.

Powered by the same twin-turbo V6, the GTS offers 360hp and 500Nm of torque, with a 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds and a 159mph top speed.

To add to the excitement, the PASM is standard to adjust the damping of the 15mm-lowered suspension, and a sports exhaust system comes included.

Everywhere else, the GTS is more about the sportier look, with upgraded Porsche SportDesign bodywork and larger alloy wheels.

Porsche Macan GTS static shot

It’s quite an enticing option if you want the excitement of owning a Porsche (and aren’t worried about the costs) but need something practical.

The performance isn’t intimidating and it’s very usable day-to-day, but the standard-fit sports exhaust system adds an extra layer of drama to an already-impressive package. The howl from under the bonnet and out the back of the car highlight how good this engine is, too. It pulls strongly at what feels like all revs, but it’s also very manageable.

Standard Macan

The entry-level Macan is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 252hp and 370Nm of torque. If that doesn’t sound like much (at least compared with the rest of the range), it’s still capable of completing the 0-62mph sprint in 6.7 seconds, but won’t excite like the other models. Top speed is 142mph.

Porsche Macan S Diesel

Dropped from the line-up in early 2018, the long-distance cruiser of the range is the Macan S Diesel, which uses a 258hp 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbocharged engine. In this guise thanks to 580Nm of torque available between 1,750 and 2,500rpm, 0-62mph is covered in 6.3 seconds. Top speed for this model is quoted at 142mph.

It has a smooth yet punchy power delivery, which means there’s always enough in reserve to overtake when required. Thanks to that healthy torque figure it feels genuinely fast, even if the figures aren’t as gratifying as the petrol models’ statistics.

  • Agile handling and an involving drive
  • Remains comfortable at the same time
  • Doesn’t feel as big as it really is

Porsche Macan: how does it drive?

Every Macan comes fitted with four-wheel drive as standard along with an electro-mechanical power steering system, which is frankly excellent. It’s responsive and well-weighted, even if there’s a slightly dull patch around the straight-ahead.

That numbness is slightly less obvious on the diesel-engined car, which features ever-so-slightly heavier steering, which we suspect is the result of a heavier engine up front.

Now, let’s get one thing straight: the Porsche Macan handles absolutely beautifully, and we don’t mean that simply in the context of an off-roader. It would embarrass many sports-oriented cars.

Lots of advanced Porsche technology

Thanks to the blend of a clever computer-controlled four-wheel drive system and Porsche’s car-loving engineers, there’s a level of grip and balance on offer here you simply have to sample to believe.

It manages to inspire confidence both on the road in wet and dry conditions, on a racetrack and on challenging off-road terrain.

Porsche Macan Turbo driving shot

In terms of sheer cornering prowess, there isn’t another car of this type in the same ballpark. Bodyroll is nicely hemmed-in and thanks to the four-wheel drive system you have to try unbelievably hard to make it lose traction.

The true witchcraft comes when you do, though – it’s possible to push the Macan into slides that a rally driver would be proud of.

On the road this translates to a confidence-inspiring car that feels safe and crucially planted at all times.

Surprisingly capable off-road

It’s good off-road, too. With a wading depth of 30cm and the ability to attack serious hills, the basics are there for a very impressive vehicle when the going gets tough.

Porsche Macan off-road

This is further improved by the addition of an Off-Road Mode, which tunes the gearbox for optimum traction, and a variable hill-descent system which allows you to adjust the speed at which the car will automatically traverse steep hills using the brakes to keep you in check. As long as you keep the wheels pointing in the right direction, you’ll reach the bottom of the slope.

Extras that improve the handling further

Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) – also known as adaptive damping – comes as standard on all but standard- and S-grade Macans. When the Sport button is pressed the handling is sharpened up significantly.

Choosing the Sport Chrono Package offers drivers a Sport Plus button, which tightens up the chassis along with the engine and gearbox.

For the ultimate in chassis control you’ll need to tick the box marked air suspension on the extras list.

Porsche Macan alloy wheel

This allows the driver to adjust the ride height of the Macan as well as the performance of the suspension depending on what is required. Pressing the Sport Plus button means the car is lowered a further 10mm, enhancing handling through a lower centre of gravity.

You can also drop the rear of the car by 50mm to facilitate easy loading into the boot, via a button located in the luggage compartment.