Porsche Macan

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.

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Editors' First Take

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Porsche would have to be crazy to shake up a product as successful as the Macan. Not only is it one of the best-driving SUVs available at any price point, it's the brand's best-selling model by a long shot. Year to date, the Macan is outselling the Boxster, Cayenne, Cayman and Panamera families -- combined.

The Macan receives a number of updates for 2019, including better onboard tech and a new turbocharged engine in S guise. But despite these changes, the best thing I can say about the refreshed Macan is that it feels exactly the same as before.

So, what's new?

The Macan looks a little different now, most notably from the rear. Sure, if you squint you might notice the slightly reshaped headlamps, or the standard LED illumination found within, but it's the posterior visage that truly separates the 2019 Macan from its forebear. A full-width taillamp treatment spans the hatchback, with more LED lights and optional clear lenses. And if you really need your Macan to scream its newness to the world, consider ordering it in one of 2019's interesting new hues, including Chalk, Miami Blue or the Mamba Green pictured here.

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