Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Only three engines to choose from
  • GTS offers serious performance
  • 2.0-litre usefully cheaper but not special enough

Picking an engine is simple enough. There are only three, all of which are petrol automatics.

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

A selection of drive modes are 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.

Each engine is coupled with the excellent Porsche PDK twin-clutch automatic gearbox. There’s also a coasting function which, decouples the transmission and puts it in neutral to boost economy and efficiency.

2.0-litre ‘Macan’

The base model Macan has a 2.0-litre engine. Power peaks at 265hp and it’ll record a 6.4second 0-62mph dash en route to a 144mph top speed.

Compared with the rest of the range this engine is unremarkable. On paper it’s only 1.6seconds slower to 62mph than the S but it feels like a bigger difference in real life. It’s also not that much more economical than the S either and without the optional sports exhaust it sounds very un-Porsche like.

2.9-litre ‘S’

If you’re not after gut-wrenching performance, the Macan S may appeal. This version uses the same 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine as the GTS, but it’s been de-tuned to give less performance for a cheaper price.

It does feel brisk on the road, and it’s a good halfway house between the regular car and the GTS when the price is taken into consideration.

2.9-litre ‘GTS’

The fastest Macan is the GTS. The 0-62mph sprint is dealt with in just 4.3 seconds if you’ve added the Sport Chrono Package, which includes a launch control system.

The GTS is devastatingly rapid. There’s virtually no lag between putting your foot down and the revs rising, and the seven-speed automatic gearbox responds quickly with or without manual assistance from the paddles.

Aurally the V6 isn’t the best. With the sports exhaust turned on there are some theatrical farts, but it doesn’t bellow like other larger engined SUVs.

What’s it like to drive?

  • Sportscar-esque
  • Super sharp
  • Air suspension helps cushion

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 steering is masterful. It’s sharp without ever being too sharp.

There’s plenty of stopping power from the six-piston callipers at the front, but it takes a good stamp on the pedal to get the full stopping power.

Once you get used to how hard you need to press the brake pedal, the Macan is a confidence-inspiring car that feels safe and crucially planted at all times.

It’s OK 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.

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 go down 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.