The Porsche Macan was launched in 2014 and recorded its best sales year ever in 2017. With more than 97,000 of these five- door Porsche entry- levels sold worldwide in these 12 months alone, a record for any Porsche model.
The Macan ‘s demand shows little sign of slowing down. By the end of this year, Porsche expects to have found nearly 400,000 homes in the last five years.
Since the Macan was still such an unqualified hit among compact SUV buyers, we should not be surprised to learn that this midlife facelift is not much more than a tweaked front end with LED lights, plus a re- styled rear with a full- width light bar. A nod to the wholesale Panamera and Cayenne replaced in the past 18 months or so. The cabin now features a 10.9 in touchscreen and the latest Porsche Communications Management software that keeps the Macan in line with Porsche’s more expensive family models. Even though its centre console is still the festival of buttons that Porsche has moved away from with the Panamera and Cayenne.
There are no specific claims for revised spring rates here or tweaked damper curves there, except for the usual fine tuning that takes place during the entire life cycle of a car. However, the V6 engine in this Macan S mid- range is new, taken from the higher Porsche model range with its turbocharger located within the valley formed by the two banks of cylinders for sharper throttle response. The 3.0-litre unit develops 349bhp and 354lb ft of torque.
Even before Porsche updated the Macan, it was comfortably the class leader in terms of handling agility. That’s thanks in part to the clever four-wheel-drive system, which powers the rear axle until the traction limit nears and the front axle is quickly called into action, plus staggered tyres that put more rubber on the road at the rear end, plus staggered tyres that put more rubber on the road at the rear end.
After the lift, the Macan S is as good as ever to drive along a winding road. The steering is unusually precise for a high- riding car, while the front end response is close enough immediately. For many SUVs, you can feel a delay as the rear half of the car pulls lazily into the corner, just not in this one.
The most impressive thing about the Macan S is that you simply do not have to make allowances for its high gravity centre. You just drive it the way you would a supercar, for example, when you really pile into a bend you take note of the few degrees of extra roll.
The sitting position is also unusually sporty for this type of car, where the pedals are far enough ahead of you to stretch your legs while the steering wheel meets you. Specify the smaller GT sports steering wheel and you might even be convinced that you drive something from the two – seater Porsche range.
Being so much smaller than a Cayenne, the Macan is easier to slip around town in and much more wieldy on narrow roads, although within the cabin it’s no more spacious than a full-size hatchback. It runs well on the optional air suspension and rounds off the sharp edges that the standard steel springs can not smother. You will however quickly reverse this advantage by specifying 21inch wheels.
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