2019 Porsche Macan S Review
Car Tested: 2019 Porsche Macan S; Road Test No. 1134; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1,06,95,589/-
Porsche's baby SUV combines the dynamics of a mid-engine sports car along with the comfort of a luxury SUV
Porsche is popular world over for creating quality cars that excel on the driving front. Their sports cars are legendary and their practical counterparts like the Panamera and the Cayenne don't compromise much on the sporting pretensions. In India, the car brand needs more convincing. Porsche appeals to a select few for their cars are expensive with respect to the competition and often the rivals come across as more practical offerings. Porsche wants to change that a bit with the new Macan. The facelifted model sees cosmetic changes, a new engine and a drop in price. Porsche also says that they are attracting a more youthful audience with the new Macan. Will the brand be successful in their mission? We find out.
Motor Quest: Porsche is one of the most iconic names in the car business thanks to its legacy of creating some of the best sports cars in the world. In 2002, Porsche made the world sit back and take notice when they launched the Cayenne SUV. The SUV body style and controversial design raised many eyebrows. But the Cayenne quickly became the best selling car ever from Porsche and it showed there was a market for sporty high riders. Porsche's second attempt came in 2013 with the Macan. A smaller and less powerful alternative to the Cayenne, the Macan saw great success globally and won numerous acclaims. It came to India in 2014 but did not see a very large audience because of its high price and relatively small size.
Exteriors - This is a typical mid-cycle facelift in the sense that the changes are minor and barely noticeable. The design has a sporting flair with an expansive lower-placed grille and headlights housed on the bonnet. The contoured bonnet and Porsche's signature four-dot for the DRLs add appeal. It does look a bit similar to the bigger Cayenne but with the lower ride height, you can make out it is a Macan without much difficulty.
The Macan gets all the new signature Porsche design elements in its styling
The side profile is smaller than what one is accustomed to seeing in this segment of SUVs. The Macan is considerably shorter and much more compact than cars like the BMW X5 or the Range Rover Sport. It misses that imposing presence SUVs ought to deliver but the athletic design will find many appreciators. The proportions are tight, the wheels sit well with the body and there aren't too many lines or creases hinting at the focussed approach of the design. The rear sees more noticeable changes like the new continuous band for the tail lights which also makes a place for the 'Porsche' inscription. Of course, the tail lights have the '3D' effect with the headlight-like four-dot setup within them.
Interiors - The Macan's interior shouts luxury in bold letters. Like many high-end German cars, the Macan has a fantastic finish and feels very upmarket. The low ride height makes entry and exits easy and the driving position is something not many can go wrong with. We like the chunky, high-quality steering wheel and nifty controls. The one to adjust the driving modes is particularly appealing. The seats are supremely comfortable and offer a variety of adjustments. Porsche has refrained from using an all-digital instrument cluster and that may be a great thing for many. Even we prefer clear and fuss-free analogue instruments. True to any Porsche, the rev counter takes the centre positions flanked by the speedometer and multi-information display on either side.
As expected, quality of materials used and attention to detail is surreal
The dash is all-new and looks more contemporary than before. The layout is similar to other Porsches with a large 10.9-inch infotainment system. The info is crisp and supports the latest connectivity features. Porsche has not carried forward the touch-sensitive control panels on the dashboard like in the Panamera and the Cayenne. The heightened centre tunnel is quite button-heavy and will take time to get used to. However, they are very satisfying to operate. We are sure that there will be many who would prefer physical control over a touch screen or a touch panel with haptic feedback.
Space is decent at the front but the same cannot be said about the rear. The rear bench feels tight and it is only suitable for two rather than three. Headroom is limited for tall passengers and legroom may leave you wanting for more. It does not feel cramped per se but there is no denying that the small dimensions clearly reflect in the backseat space.
While the front seats are roomy and comfortable, the rear seats can only accommodate two passengers
We cannot complain about the features on offer. There is everything you can ask for like dual-zone climate control, heated and cooled front seats, panoramic sunroof, rear AC vents, hi-fi sound system amongst others. Should you opt for the Sport Chrono Package, you'll also get a stopwatch housed on the dash. Like that, there are many options and numerous ways to customise your cabin. But all comes at a hefty price tag.
Performance - The Porsche Macan S is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 turbo engine that also does duty in the Cayenne. Producing 354 HP of power and 480 Nm of torque, the Macan S also gets an Overboost function which when activated (with a press of a button on the steering wheel), works for 20 seconds to give you more punch from the motor. Performance, as you would expect from a Porsche, is mind-blowing, as the sports SUV squats down at the rear and lunges forward, taking just 5.1 seconds to do the 0-100 km/hr sprint with the Sports Chrono Package (sans which it takes an additional 0.2 seconds).
The refined 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 motor provides punchy performance along with a sporty exhaust note
Outright performance is naturally a given with the launch control working brilliantly well to get you from standstill to as far as you would like to go or 254 km/hr which happens to be the top speed. The engine is terrifically refined, can be barely heard at low engine speeds but emits a sporty snarl as you whizz past the mid-range, redlining close to 6500 RPM. There are 4 drive modes - Normal, Individual, Sport and Sport+, the latter most ensures the engine remains on the boil and the 7-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox snaps through gears even before you can blink.
You have the option of manually shifting gears too using the tiptronic function or the steering mounted paddles but you don't need to exercise this option at all, the transmission on its own is super quick. The fuel economy is between 6-9 km/hr, depending largely on your driving style and there is a stop-start system too.
Driving Dynamics - The Porsche Macan is based on the first generation Q5 platform and thus can neither be electrified nor will there be a hybrid model for this generation, rear-wheel steering is also out of the equation. Still, it's quite shocking how dynamic the Macan is, dare I say it, it's the best handling SUV. The driving modes alter the engine, gearbox, steering and suspension of the Macan as it rides on air springs which alter the ride height and spring rate.
The Macan is the best handling SUV in its segment along with insane body control
In Comfort mode, it feels soft and cushiony while in Sport+, it doesn't feel as harsh as you would expect, yes, it's firm but not in an uncomfortable way, largely because of the rather high profile tyres having enough sidewall to tackle our bad roads. But it's really the way the Macan changes the direction that will put you in disbelief about it being an SUV, it just holds a line like a rail and the steering offers supreme communication too, this is a car which really means the Sports in SUV. Braking performance and grip from the all-wheel-drive system (it can channel 100% torque to either axle if need be) is great too while high-speed stability is nothing short of astonishing.
Safety and After Sales Service - The Macan comes equipped with all the safety tech you'd expect like 6 airbags and traction control. The Macan has scored top marks at Euro NCAP which means you have the peace of mind expected from a car of this class. The exceptional dynamics give you an amazing confidence at high speeds and cornering. Factor in near faultless build quality, you have a very safe car. Porsche's dealer network is not as strong as some other luxury brands but Porsche has introduced clever service and maintenance plans to make ownership more hassle-free.
Verdict - The Porsche Macan S is the car to buy if you are looking for sports car-like handling and SUV practicality. The new V6 engine adds oodles of appeal to an already capable chassis. We love how entertaining the Macan S is to drive and it might be one of the best handling SUVs in the world. It also has other attributes like the posh cabin and comfortable ride. The Achilles heel here is the Macan's poor price to size ratio. At a starting price of Rs. 69.3 lakhs for the base variant going all the way to Rs. 85.6 lakhs, there are many SUVs out there which are far more spacious and practical. However, few four-door cars, let alone SUVs, come close to the Macan S when it comes to putting a big smile across your face every time you get behind the wheel. It is also significantly cheaper than the outgoing car and Porsche has introduced financial schemes to sweeten the ownership experience. Sure, it still remains a niche choice but for an everyday Porsche on Indian roads, the Macan S is it.
* Dignified and polished design
* Luxurious interior with crazy attention to detail
* Exceptional acceleration and dynamics
* Comes with the latest safety features
What's Not So Cool
* Rear seats lack space
* Limited service network
Alternatives: - Jaguar F-Pace, Range Rover Velar, Range Rover Sport, Mercedes-AMG GLC 43, BMW X4
2019 Porsche Macan S Specifications
* Engine: 2995cc, Twin-Turbo, V6, Petrol
* Power: 354 HP @ 5400-6400 RPM
* Torque: 480 Nm @ 1360-4800 RPM
* Transmission: 7-Speed AT
* 0-100 km/hr: 5.1 seconds
* Top Speed: 254 km/hr
* Fuel Consumption: 6-9 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Tyre Size: 235/55/19 (Front), 255/50/19 (Rear)
* Suspension: Double Wishbone (Front), Trapezoidal Link (Rear)
* Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front & Rear)
* Safety: 6 Airbags, ABS with EBD, ESP, TCS, LSD
2019 Porsche Macan S Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 4696 mm X 1923 mm X 1624 mm
* Wheelbase: 2807 mm
* Ground Clearance: 182 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 65-litres
* Kerb Weight: 1948 kgs
2019 Porsche Macan S
2019 Porsche Macan S Review
The Porsche Macan S is a proper driver’s SUV offering a very engaging drive. It might have a few sore points like limited space at the rear, but the SUV more than makes up for that by offering a very pure driving feel. The 3.0-litre engine is punchy and has more than enough power on tap while the brilliant chassis never disappoints when you’re in the mood to have some fun on the corners.