Last week, D’Marge was invited to spend a couple of days with the team at Porsche Australia and drive the all-new Porsche Macan.
The Macan is the baby brother of the incredibly successful Porsche Cayenne model and is tipped to expand Porsche’s appeal further into the everyday life of cool suburban types. The two day adventure took myself and my co-pilot (Executive Style’s Steve Colquhoun) up the Great Ocean Road to put the car’s handling to work on some of Victoria’s most picturesque and stomach-churning roads.
On the exterior, the Macan is not too dissimilar to its older brother and continues this generation of the Porsche curved shape and badging. Design details such as a clamshell bonnet that keeps the car’s design lines unbroken to the headlights and sleek moulded tail lights add to the dynamic look of the car’s behind. Optional carbon fibre detailing on the doors (pictured above) adds some unique flair.
The base Porsche Macan comes with 19 inch wheels standard, however we would recommend the 20 or even 21 inch options. Twenties fill the wheel arches nicely and give the car a slightly tougher bullfrog look. From our experience, the larger rims did not make the ride any rougher.
The car’s handling is by far the standout of this new Porsche package. A sportscar feel with the space of a 4 wheel drive – who wouldn’t want that? The bumps of country roads were easily absorbed and added to the comfort of the car’s overall performance. The slightly stiff steering may give some city drivers the shits but it does help give the car more responsive feeling and does away with the common ‘boat’ SUV driving experience.
Gear change both in automatic and using the paddles is smooth and incredibly responsive at the hands of the seven-speed dual clutch PDK gearbox. It’s free of garish pops or grunts, which will disappoint performance nuts but please the everyday city driver. All-wheel drive is standard across the board too.
Under the lid, Porsche are offering three variations of the Macan – a Diesel (190 kW), S (250 kW) and Turbo (294 kW) – ranging from $84,900 up to $122,900 in price. We tested all three models, each of which offers something unique for the driver. The base model turbo diesel is incredibly quiet, with the minimal engine noise that’s synonymous with diesel trucks. It shows how far engine development has come over the past 5 years.
The petrol and turbo variations obviously had more get up and go, but personally I didn’t feel like I needed much else when driving the Porsche Macan diesel. Performance-wise, you’re looking at 6 seconds to 100 kmh for the diesel. Drop another $40,000 and that shaves it down to a mere 4.3 seconds in the Porsche Macan Turbo model.
The interior is as you would expect from Porsche: soft leather and a Bose sound system which is hard to beat. If anything, the hundreds of buttons on the centre console could overwhelm some. Having to ask my co-driver to push the sport button was not ideal as it’s placed on the far side of the driver and gear selector. We didn’t get to try all the buttons, but we assumed one of them makes a great soy decaf latte.
Other niceties included an automatic boot lid with a hidden button (very cool), all-wheel drive display, a nice large boot for dogs or least favourite children, and an iPhone holder which fits the device perfectly. Porsche have also done away with the 4WD-inspired Jesus bars that once adorned the centre console. It’s a great change, as the Porsche Macan feels more street sport then highland warrior.
Putting the car through its paces showed that Porsche have developed a well priced all round performer which will sell like hotcakes in Australia. At the time of writing this, Porsche tell us 600 orders have been placed for the new Macan of a total 800 which are being made for the year.
If you want one, they’re saying you’ll be waiting until Christmas to get your hands on it. The turbo diesel version is a lot of car for the money and worth booking a test drive.
For more information on the Macan, visit Porsche Australia.
Photography Copyright: Ferne Millen Photography