DRIVEN: Porsche Macan Turbo Review
Following a short track test with the Porsche Macan Turbo here are my first thoughts on this exciting new mid-sized SUV.
What is the Porsche Macan Turbo all about?
The Porsche Macan was released in 2014, entering a new market for the luxury brand; the Macan fits into the mid-sized SUV market. The Macan Turbo is the hottest version of this car available.
Porsche say to think of the Macan as a large 911 rather than a small Cayenne. So let’s see how this works out in real life.
The Macan Turbo is powered by a 3.6-litre bi-turbo V6 engine that creates 400bhp and 550Nm of torque. The car uses a 7-speed PDK gearbox that powers the four wheels. This means that the Porsche Macan Turbo can get from 0 to 60mph in 4.8 seconds and do a top speed off 165mph.
How does it drive?
Getting into the Porsche Macan Turbo you’re instantly aware that you are in a slightly higher seating position than your standard road car, but still you don’t feel too far from the road. This does mean that it doesn’t give you the commander driving feel you get from some larger SUVs, but you still get an extra sense of security.
Driving off in the Porsche Macan Turbo you instantly feel as if you are driving a car rather than an SUV. Even with the weight coming out at around 2000kg, there is very little body roll and the car feels very nimble. The weight seems to be disguised well by the powerful 400bhp engine.
Once you start pushing the car and asking the car for more performance, this is when you start to see the Porsche characteristics really come into play. I took the car onto the handling circuit and whilst in Sport mode the car doesn’t feel too dissimilar from the 911 driving experience. The turn-in ability of the car is great and the steering setup overall feels well balanced, and with the constant feedback you get from the steering I had a lot of confidence in the car’s abilities.
The Macan’s four wheel drive system, as default, puts 90% of the power to the rear wheels, and when additional traction is required at most the front will only ever receive 40% of the power. This setup is one of the biggest factors that helps give the Macan a sports car feel right from the off.
The Macan Turbo has 163bhp over the standard model and the power is mighty impressive. With the car in Sport mode the throttle mapping is changed and every time you touch the accelerator the car flies. The first time I felt the car at full throttle I was shocked that a mid-sized SUV could go this fast, it felt more like a slimline missile.
Whilst testing the Macan Turbo I got to try it out on Porsche’s kick plate. The kick plate is around the size of a garage door. The idea is that you drive over it at around 20mph, then the plate will move either left of right and kick the car into a spin. The kick plate throws you on to a water sprinkled plastic resin surface to simulate minimal grip circumstances. It was interesting to test out the Macan on this test track, and on the driver’s instruments there was a read out showing how the power was being distributed to each wheel whilst the Porsche was being thrown out of control. Luckily for me I caught the spin on all occasions, and had lots of fun in the process.
What is it like inside?
Inside the Macan you are fully aware that you are in a Porsche, you are surrounded by very soft leather, complemented by lots of nice stitching, and all the other Porsche luxuries, designs, and features. This alone makes the Macan one of the most desirable models in its sector.
Similar to the Panamera and the Cayenne, the Macan Turbo has a lot of buttons in the centre console to control all the highly advanced features on the car, this can look a little difficult to understand at first but everything is pretty easy to use once you get used to them.
Being 6’4 I sometimes struggle with space in cars, but there was plenty of room in the driver’s seat with lots of headroom as well, there was also plenty of room in the back for two adults, with the central seat comfortably fitting a child in too.
The Porsche Macan Turbo experience left me feeling shocked that it was possible to make a mid-sized SUV feel like a sports car and appear to have no compromises at all. You get all the benefits of having a mid-size SUV, and all the benefits of having a credible sports car but all rolled in to one car. It’s great! When driving the car you feel energised and enthusiastic about the handling performance, not to mention the immense power delivery of this car. There is, without a doubt, lots of fun to be had in the Macan Turbo.
The Porsche Macan Turbo is the top model from the Macan Range. In my opinion it is the best mid-sized SUV in the sector because of its most sporty and desirable characteristics, and it is really very different from the base model because of the additional power. If you are looking for that true balance between practicality and sports car capability the Porsche Macan Turbo is the one to choose.
Porsche Macan Turbo
- Price: £59,648
- Engine: 3.6-Litre Bi-Turbo V6
- Power: 400bhp
- Torque: 550Nm
- Transmission: 7-Speed PDK Manual
- 0-62mph: 4.8 Seconds
- Top speed: 165mph
- Weight: 2,000kg
- Economy combined: 27mpg
- CO2: 216g/km
Author: Paul Hadley