Is a Macan GTS the best Porsche you can buy?
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This could be straight-up heresy but I’ll just come out and say it: the Macan is the perfect Porsche for the 2020 world.
I expect some to scoff at that suggestion, our Driven Porsche-phile David possibly one of them. Particularly given the 911 has traditionally been the iconic, archetypal Porsche. The Boxster and the Cayman are each a mid-engined masterpiece; the Panamera is a great grand tourer and the looming Taycan is, excuse the pun, just electric.
They’re all great at their specific roles but they’re not the best all-round Porsche, offering a large dollop of everything: performance, comfort, handling, looks — and a decent price.
It’s an SUV, some will groan and, while that’s not the tradition of Porsche, it is a vital part, given the Cayenne has long been considered a saviour and hero of the brand, selling in the kind of numbers that boosted the company’s brand and bottom line. And the more SUVs Porsche sells, the more it can invest in its purist sports cars.
The Cayenne junior, the Macan, launched locally in 2014, marking itself as the least expensive — never say cheapest — way into a brand new Porsche. It starts at $105,990 for the Macan and ends at $165,900 for the range-topping Macan Turbo, sans options, of course.
No, the Macan doesn’t score top marks across all criteria, but it does put in very solid scores across every area — and it seems to be a good recipe, with the Macan proving the most popular Porsche worldwide, and its first 100,000-selling year in 2019.
The Macan has proven a sales winner locally as well. The latest update is this GTS, which sits between the Macan S and Turbo in price and performance. It’s a stunner in its monochromatic black on white, with the optional 21” Sports Classic Wheels offsetting the contrasting Carrara White paint . . . and also offsetting the bottom line by $3150.
Other options include the Sport Chrono Package with switch, and Sport Chrono dial, which visibly adds the round clock face atop the dash and invisibly lowers the 0-100km/h time from 4.9 to 4.7 seconds via an overboost.
Auckland | Auckland City
$792.88 p/w $3,171.54 p/m
It sure feels that fast and through all-wheel-drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch paddle-shift gearbox, it feels 25 per cent lighter than its actual portly 1910kg. Anything that manages 0-100km/h in four-point-something is rapidly fast, regardless. Though it does fall short of the Turbo’s ultimate numbers, it doesn’t matter 99 per cent of the time, with the Macan’s interior offering an ideal mix of comfort, luxury, prestige and practicality.
In this age of $50K Korean SUVs offering everything at the touch of a screen, the Macan’s cabin is a button-lover’s delight, with a simple go-to button for everything from the exhaust sound to the stopwatch. Though there is Apple CarPlay, wireless too, it does drop out occasionally and while cruise control is offered, it’s non-radar, which is decidedly non-2020 — especially when a sub-$40K RAV4 has it as standard. One for the next model, no doubt.
Being an SUV, the rear seats and boot are also up for discussion, and though the rear seats are tight if the front occupants are on the taller side, the boot offers up to 1500L of space with the rear seats folded.
At just under 4.7m, the Macan slots in between said RAV4 and a Santa Fe for length, and is a palm-width wider than them both, adding an element of spaciousness and shoulder room to the cabin.
Enjoy the turbocharged V6 petrol engine while it lasts, with Porsche announcing the next generation Macan will be all-electric, using the same 800v architecture as the Taycan, which can fast charge 100km of added range in just four minutes.
For now, the GTS — and the entire Macan range — make up one of the most well-rounded, accomplished and credible small SUVs on sale, as the price would somewhat suggest. And when someone asks why you bought a Porsche and didn’t buy a 911, you can simply say you bought the “best” Porsche