Porsche revamped the Macan to uphold its appeal until the electric-car revolution of the next decade arrives — and they nailed it
Porsche recently announced that the next generation of Macan, the compact SUV that became the German icon’s bestseller since its launch in 2014, will be the range’s third fully electrical model. With this move, the manufacturer underlines its wish to be at the forefront of the revolution, which will inevitably change the reality of the car industry in the next decade.
However, the German spearheads also made the wise decision of continuing to commercialise the current generation, whose restyling Porsche just launched alongside the next version, to offer the brand’s clients a wide array of options for every taste, from the more traditionalists to those looking to be on the frontline and drive the latest technological fashion.
So what to make of the Macan that Porsche introduced to the press on the magnificent roads of Serra da Arrábida? It’s simple: this is the best and most exciting compact SUV on the market, the ultimate proof that the car concept developed 120 years ago reached such levels of perfection that it is only logical to start over — an assessment that fully justifies Porsche’s strategy.
The Macan has had resounding success in Portugal, according to the official figures: 257 units sold in 2018, more than the 911, Boxster and Cayman combined; and 2.5 times over the Caynne’s sales. Worldwide, the 86,000 units delivered to clients also highlight the organic changes the market is going through, wherein SUVs are increasingly dominant.
Porsche’s decision to completely abandon diesel engines — since these represent only 13% of sales worldwide — clearly affected the Macan range, which now features exclusively petrol engines. The turbocharged four-cylinder, two-litre model has 245 horsepower, while the Macan S is the most appealing if you like to go fast. With a 3,000-cc, V6 engine and 354 horsepower, Porsche’s sports leanings come out more naturally. Both options are only avail- able with the magnificent PDK seven-gear transmission.
Essential Algarve tested both engines, and the biggest surprise was unquestionably the small two-litre. While the V6 is everything you expect, the four-cylinder’s 245 horsepower are extremely capable, with more than enough performance to let Porsche’s DNA shine, while only consuming around eight to nine litres — an extraordinary number for what the Macan offers in return.
Dynamically, this SUV from Porsche remains unrivalled. It is comfortable devouring kilometres both on the freeway and on the sinuous trails of any alternative road. Off the road, the Macan can also surprise for its ability to beat any and all obstacles.
The cabin is more technologically evolved and even more appealing. The infotainment Porsche Communication Management system has a new, 10.9-inch touch screen with navigation system, media, smartphone interface and many other functions. Porsche Connect Plus offers WLAN connection and a series of services that enhance on-board experience. The body has seen few changes: redesigned bumpers; a new solution for the taillights’ cluster, making the Macan more modern; a new grill and new colours; and a new design for the rims.
The most compact SUV from Stuttgart is still an irresistible offer, brilliantly combining Porsche’s sports genes with the daily needs of a cosmopolitan family. Until the arrival of the 100% electric Macan, and all the changes it will bring, the new Macan is what it has always been: the best SUV of its segment for those who love driving.