Porsche Macan: In a league of its Own

Matt Arruda | May 15, 2014

When Porsche introduced the Macan S and Macan Turbo at the LA Auto Show last fall, it unveiled the end result of a nearly 500 million euro investment to produce the vehicle out of their Leipzig plant that started almost seven years ago. After seeing, and more importantly, driving the Macan at the Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, it is with resounding confidence that I can say Porsche’s dedication and specific vision of producing a luxury CUV that can feel just as responsive as our sports cars, is an incredible success.

We arrived at the track and were immediately greeted by 16 Macan S and Macan Turbos ready to be tested on the track and an additional 14 models waiting to be driven on the back roads of Alabama. While there were a handful of the usual competitors thrown into the group to keep our observations grounded, it was not long before it was clear to see, hear and feel that the Macan really does stand on its own in an otherwise growing, and relatively congested, market of CUV’s.

Thoughts of the Macan being the Baby Cayenne are reasonable until you actually drive the car. The power plants are offered in two variations for the North American market. They are both twin-turbo charged V6 engines with the Macan S offering a 3.0L at 340hp and the 3.6L Turbo model at 400hp. It reaches 100km/h from a stand still at 5.0s and 4.4s respectively when Sport Plus is engaged. By comparison, the Carrera 4S reaches the same speeds at 4.5 seconds. It accelerates without hesitation, either from a dead stop or out of a corner and navigated through the winding roads of both rural Birmingham and our test track smoothly and confidently. It is as capable as any SUV I’ve ever driven and was hard to find someone who would disagree. The exhaust tone is typically Porsche and reminiscent of the deeper tones you’d expect from our sports cars. In fact, identical to the same PDK dual-clutch transmission in our coupes, the Macan races through the gears smoothly, producing virtually zero turbo-lag. All of this while maintaining a full time All-Wheel Drive System, 40/20/40 split fold rear seats and  a total of 53 cubic feet of cargo area available.

And while all of the latter may help bring the Macan back into a traditional position of convenience and practicality reserved and expected in the CUV/SUV world, make no mistake that the newest introduction by Porsche is much closer to kicking it’s perception of being the Baby Cayenne,  instead taking on its rightful spot as simply a bigger 911.

Pfaff Porsche is currently taking orders for both the Macan S and Macan Turbo and offering exclusive test drive events and model launches throughout the month of May. As great as the car is and as difficult as it is to find a negative review, it really is something you need to experience to understand first-hand how the Porsche Macan stands on its own.