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Is the Porsche Macan S a perfect all-rounder?

Is the Porsche Macan S a perfect all-rounder?

Is the Porsche Macan S a perfect all-rounder?
August 25
14:17 2014

Sharing a platform with the Audi Q5 is usually a good thing, but when we are talking about a Porsche, things get a bit more difficult. The Macan stands on the same platform as the Q5, but it is seen as the baby Cayenne and no car can be both. So which one is the Macan?
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The Porsche, definitely. Rather than being between the Q5 and the Cayenne, it is between the 911 and the Cayenne. Get it on the track and you will see that it has more to do with the 911 and the label ‘baby Cayenne’ becomes a very good description. Nothing much to do with the Q5 at all.

There are four engine variants, three petrols – ranging from the timid 2l, 4-cylinder with 237 hp, through the 3l, 6-cylinder S model with 340 hp and the top of the line 3.6l, 400 hp turbo – and one 3l, 6-cylinder diesel with 258 hp. All of them are paired up with the 7-speed PDK transmission.

Now, while the 2l is by no means a slouch and the 3.6l is obviously the most powerful one and thus maybe slightly unfair against the Q5, we felt that the 3l petrol would be the best choice for the test. Ok, we chose it because we didn’t have the 3.6.

But, it was no disappointment. Far from that. The factory figures say that it reaches 62 mph in just 5.5 seconds (the 3.6 is almost a second faster) and has the top speed of 158 mph (165 mph for the 3.6). So, no, it is not restricted to the customary 155 mph. It is a Porsche, damn it. The torque figure is 339 lb-ft found in the range between 1450-5000 RPMs, which is a fairly low and confident start for a petrol engine. The fuel consumption is said to be at 26.1 mpg combined, while on the motorway it can go up to 31 mpg. And all this from an SUV weighing more than 4,100 lbs. So, what does this mean?

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The Macan S might easily be the most versatile car for the money on the market today. It gives sufficient space all over (more on that a bit later), it has sufficient clearance between ground and water-sensitive parts (up to 300 mm with steel suspension and 285 mm with air suspension), it is small enough to drive in the city and you can reach 62 mph in a bit over 5 seconds. Any better options?

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On the inside the Porsche Macan S resembles the other cars from the same manufacturer. The instrument cluster is very similar to the one in the 911 as is the steering wheel and the top dashboard panel. Sitting in the Macan makes you feel like you’re in a coupe since the sitting position is very low. The Macan is remarkably comfortable and the seat, pedals and steering wheel are in perfectly balanced positions in relation to each other. A thing that might make familiarization with the interior a bit difficult is the plethora of buttons on the central column around the transmission stick. Even though they make the car look very serious and hi-tech, in the beginning it feels more like flying a plane than popping down to the shops. At the back, there is enough room for three passengers, although two will have far more comfort. The boot volume is 17.7 cuFT.

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When it comes to the Sport + mode, the engineers found the perfect balance between comfort and performance. The Macan tilts to the side a bit, which is good for comfort, but you still feel pretty confident during sharp turns and no other car of this height will give you this kind of a feeling. Driving fast, you will literally forget the size of the Macan and lack of understeer combined with the precise and surprisingly sporty steering feel will give you loads of fun.

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An additional perk is the 4×4 system. Now, even though the Macan shares the platform with the Q5 and Audi is renowned when it comes to 4×4 technology, the engineers from Porsche opted for their own system for the Macan. Here, during everyday ride and in normal driving conditions the Macan is a RWD car. Only when necessary, the car’s front wheels get pushed via an electronic clutch, making it capable during off-road adventures. However, the RWD setup reveals that the Macan is a proper sports car with additional abilities. An optional torque vectoring system makes sliding through curves even better.

Basically, with the Macan you get a 911-like(ish) performance, but in a car that provides safety and space of an SUV and you can even take it off-road confidently. Commute daily, drive your kids to their soccer trainings, climb the curbs in the city with ease, travel to the seaside comfortably and easily outrun a guy in the SCION FR-S (ok, it has a 2l engine, so it’s not really fair). Not many cars in this price range can do all those things.

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Branislav Sjeran

Branislav Sjeran

My main interests include cars, music and social and political commentary, but I have written for several magazines, blogs and websites about a variety of topics that include probate law, cars, health, exercise, food and drinks, travel, sports, fulfillment services, gadgets, architecture and interior and product design.

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