What does the Macan line-up look like at launch?
For now, the Macan range is made up of an upper-level Macan S derivative powered by a new 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 with 349bhp, and good for 62mph from rest in 5.1sec; and an entry-level Macan driven by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that develops 242bhp, making for a 6.7sec 0-62mph sprint. The latter gets an updated version of the four-cylinder engine available in the pre-facelifted car by special order, and is expected to be the engine that most Macan Diesel exiles will choose.
The former, meanwhile, might be considered powerful enough to play the top-of-the-range performance starlet by most makers in the premium SUV niche – but it won’t for Porsche. That role will be played by the updated 400-and-something-horsepower Macan Turbo, which is set to join the range slightly later on, and will likely leave room for an upper-mid-range, extra-driver-focussed Macan GTS model to come later still.
Each of the Macan’s engines mount longways and low under the bonnet, and drive the rear axle primarily through a seven-speed twin-clutch ‘PDK’ gearbox – with a clutch-based ‘hang-on’ four-wheel system vectoring torque to the front wheels when the rear ones begin to slip.
For suspension, the car has fully independent axles and, in most cases, steel coil springs as standard, with Porsche having replaced the steel front struts of the pre-facelift car with aluminium ones and, it claims, consequently improved steering feedback and ride comfort. The car’s anti-roll bar rates have been reappraised, too, for even more balanced, neutral handling, while its front discs and brake pedal assembly has been redesigned for better stopping power and pedal feel.
As an alternative to fixed-height coil suspension, meanwhile, Macan owners can have height-adjustable air suspension, just as they could before – only now with new spring characteristics as a result of new rolling pistons and shock absorbers being fitted.
The interior of the Macan is little changed. By comparison with Porsche’s newer, bigger models, it’s a cabin that’s beginning to look a touch antiquated, the transmission tunnel particularly being so busy with switchgear that a motoring journalist partial to the odd benign cliche might reasonably describe it as 'festooned' with buttons.
The car’s reshaped air vents, and the upgrade of its ‘PCM’ infotainment system, at least mean there are places where the cockpit looks more up to date, however, and it’s entirely well-built and comfortable. Although there are richer-feeling luxury SUVs you might spend Macan money on, there’s almost nowhere that the car’s cabin looks or feels anything but solid and expensively hewn. The driving position is great – much more recumbent and sporty-feeling than the SUV norm – and the placement of the major controls and instruments are spot-on. Second-row occupant comfort is decent, with taller adults more likely to notice a shortage of under-thigh support than of headroom: a result of the Macan’s fairly low hip point.
The ‘EA888’ 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine sounds slightly thin and reedy in the entry-level car, even when you use the car’s Sport and Sport Plus driving modes; it has enough torque to move the Macan along very smartly, but doesn’t rev out over the last 2000rpm of the tacho range quite as freely as in a VW Golf R or Cupra Ateca. Porsche’s paddleshift PDK gearbox is just about the best companion any performance engine could wish for, though, and works smartly and in slick style in ‘D’, and also shifts quickly in manual mode.