What is it?
The seven-year-old Macan is one of the most successful Porsches in history, which is quite a claim for a model that's made by a world-famous sports car company but isn’t even a sports car.
Porsche is extremely adroit at projecting its sporting image onto models of non-sporting layouts (its Porsche Taycan, for instance, is billed as “the sports car of luxury limousines”) and this is more of the same. The Porsche Macan, however, is especially valuable for the way it brings new buyers into the fold.
Statistics stress its value. Porsche has sold over 600,000 Macans in the past eight years, a better performance than even the most optimistic early expectations. Around 80% of those cars have been sold to owners new to Porsche. Better yet, 60% of the buyers are women: Porsche looks, image and quality are regularly cited as the decisive factors for female owners.
Given the success, it’s small wonder that Porsche has made sure its latest round of Macan changes are worthwhile but unthreatening – a shuffling of the pack rather than a change of deck. There are neat but fairly subtle body changes to the nose and tail, especially the underbody diffuser. The interior gets improvements, too, mainly to the centre console and its switchgear. The gearlever is shorter, and there’s now an analogue clock on top of the fascia. The suspension gets tweaks, notably to damper rates, that improve its agility and steering response, but Porsche continues to claim “a wide suspension bandwidth” for the Macan that allies comfort with sporty handling.
There are three models: the four-cylinder entry-level Macan, plus the S and GTS, which both use enhanced (and differently powered) versions of a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 engine. All have four-wheel drive and seven-speed paddle-shift gearboxes. Our test car, an S with a starting price of £53,500, looks the sensible choice, saving £5540 over the GTS – it’s a Porsche so you’ll want to spend that on options – while still offering near-supercar performance (a 161mph top speed and a 4.6sec 0-62mph sprint). The GTS is only 0.3sec quicker.