Porsche has a surefire winner on its hands with the 2015 Macan. The small SUV is deeply rooted in the company's sporting heritage, as is evident with even a passing glance. The Macan's steel and aluminum body has no ill proportions and, as Porsche says, it "embodies sportiness, dynamism, and precision, together with an elegance and lightweight constructions." With cues from the Cayenne, 911 and even the 918 Spyder, the new Macan is unmistakably Porsche.
The Macan is available in either S or Turbo trim. Both feature active all-wheel drive and the latest development of Porsche Traction Management. The rear axle is always powered, while the front receives its cues from the available traction. In particularly unstable driving situations, such as icy roads, fully 100 percent of the Macan's power can be shifted to the front wheels through a multi-place clutch.
The Macan also benefits from an aluminum 5-arm wishbone suspension up front, with a self-tracking trapezoidal link suspension in the back. Paired with big 6-piston brakes, 19-inch alloy wheels and fat tires, the Macan is as sure-footed as they come. The Turbo also includes Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), an electronic damping control system featuring Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus driving modes for increased stability, safety and comfort.
Two all-aluminum engines are offered in the Macan. The S is powered by a new twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6, which produces 340 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and and 339 ft-lb of torque from just 1,450 rpm. That's enough to propel the Macan S to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, with a top speed of 156 mph. The Macan Turbo, meanwhile, moves thanks to a 3.6L twin-turbo V6. The unit makes an even 400 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 406 ft-lb at 1,350 rpm. That's good for a supercar-like 0?60 mph time of just 4.6 seconds and a top end of 164 mph. Both engines are mated to Porsche's PDK dual-clutch 7-speed automatic transmission, which makes for extremely fast gear changes. Paddle shifters make changing gears a snap and a standard Sport button allows for more responsive engine and transmission management. This equates to faster shift times, a higher redline and a sweeter sound from the exhaust.
Standard amenities in the Macan include bi-xenon headlights with dynamic headlight leveling and cleaning, along with LED running lights and fog lights. Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with hard-drive navigation is also standard, as is a 14-speaker Bose audio system, Bluetooth connectivity and a power tailgate.
Macan interiors are as luxurious and ergonomically efficient as anything Porsche has assembled in the rest of its range. Leather abounds. The large tachometer sits front and center before the driver, with the ignition on the left -- a Porsche haulmark. The Macan S features 8-way power adjustable seats with memory, while the Macan Turbo offers 18-way power seats. Both models feature a 3-way rear bench that, when folded, allows for 50.3 cubic-feet of cargo space.
Some exceptional options and packages are offered for the Macan. Wheel choices go all the way to 21 inches in several designs. The Sport Chrono Package is a button-operated change in the way the Macan responds to driver input, thanks to an even more aggressive mapping of the engine, transmission, and chassis, along with "launch control" for the fastest starts possible. When equipped, 0?60 mph sprints in either model are reduced by .2 seconds. Also available is an air suspension, exclusive in this market segment, which replaces the stock setup. It includes a leveling system, ride height adjustment, and PASM. The Premium Package Plus includes front and rear park assist, with a reversing camera, ventilated front seats, auto-dimming mirrors, a 2-piece panoramic sunroof, lane keep assist, and lane change assist, which helps check for any hazards around the Macan when a driver begins a lane maneuver. Finally, European delivery from Porsche factories at either Leipzig or Zuffenhausen is a no-cost option.
At this point, GTS in Porsche parlance should just stand for Get This Spec. The company's GTS-badged cars strike the best balance between outright performance and daily drivability, and that's as true in this 2020 Macan as it is in any , , or . and , but the GTS is the Macan I'd park in my garage.
The GTS uses a detuned version of the 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Macan Turbo. Here, the engine produces 375 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque -- noticeable reductions compared to the Turbo's 434 hp and 405 lb-ft. But on the road, you'd have a hard time noticing the difference. This engine lacks visceral drama, though I think that's less egregious when the associated output numbers are lower. The GTS at least makes up for this somewhat with a standard sport exhaust, which adds some sonority to the powertrain's buttoned-up demeanor.
Porsche says the GTS can accelerate to 60 mph in as little as 4.5 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package, which is 0.4 seconds slower than the Macan Turbo. I genuinely don't believe that less-than-half-a-second discrepancy is something anyone can feel during daily driving on public roads. And since the engine's torque is fully available from just 1,750 rpm, there's never a lack of urgency to the GTS' acceleration, whether pulling away from a stoplight or just trying to shoot the gap between slower cars on the highway.
The Good ~ Outstanding chassis balance ~ Sports car-like steering ~ Sonorous sport exhaust ~ Robust infotainment tech
The Bad ~ Twin-turbo V6 lacks character ~ Gets expensive in a hurry
The Bottom Line The 2020 Porsche Macan is the driver's choice among small SUVs, and it's at its best in GTS guise.
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