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2016 Porsche Macan

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2016 Porsche Macan Review

By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor

KBB Expert Rating: 8.6

More agile sports car than terrain-tackling SUV, the 2016 Macan SUV from Porsche is everything you’d expect from the storied car manufacturer, and a few things you might not expect. Derived from the Audi Q5 platform, Porsche’s take on the SUV concept starts with a distinctive exterior, standard all-wheel drive (AWD) and a trio of ridiculously powerful twin-turbocharged V6 engine choices, including a 400-horsepower beast in the Turbo trim. A PDK 7-speed automatic transmission is the only transmission choice. Combining luxury, power and performance, the Macan is more a hyper-sports wagon than an off-road-ready SUV, making its primary competition the Audi SQ5, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and BMW X3, all of which cost considerably less than the pricey Macan.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a sporty SUV that’s not as common as a BMW X3 or Audi Q5, more manageable than a Land Rover Range Rover Sport and not as boy-racer as the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, the 2016 Porsche Macan SUV is the perfect solution.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those seeking performance and some semblance of off-road ability will be happier in a larger Land Rover Range Rover Sport or Jeep Grand Cherokee. An Infiniti QX70 offers similar power and luxury for less money.

What's New for 2016

Tri-zone automatic climate control is made standard. The attention-grabbing 360-horsepower GTS model can be found on showroom floors this year, although technically it’s a 2017 model.

Driving the Macan
Driving Impressions

The 2016 Porsche Macan’s seductive styling is matched to one of three turbocharged V6 engines: a 340-horsepower 3.0-liter (S), 360-horsepower 3.0-liter (2017 GTS) and 400-horsepower 3.6-liter (Turbo). Porsche’s brilliant 7-speed...

... PDK automatic gets gear-changing duty, an assignment it handles with ease. The PDK’s Sport button ups the fun, adding quicker shift points, more growl at the exhaust tips and a higher redline. Power is distributed to all four wheels, a good thing considering the Macan’s 4,000-plus-pound weight. On the track, the available Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) tightens an already great suspension and electric power-steering settings to create an SUV that can sweep through high-speed corners like no other, even shaming some sports cars. In everyday driving, the athletic Macan takes on a more demure side, with a quiet cabin and civilized ride. An Off-Road button on the center console optimizes traction by varying torque distribution and throttle response.

80-PERCENT 911, 20-PERCENT CAYENNE, 100-PERCENT PORSCHE
Porsche’s Style VP Michael Mauer bristles at the suggestion that the 2016 Macan is a baby Cayenne. He sees it more as “a big brother to the Porsche 911.” One lap around an enclosed track proves Mr. Mauer is not prone to hyperbole.

7-SPEED PDK AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
While many tout their car’s horsepower and torque, performance potential is a moot point if the transmission can’t effectively manage the output. Porsche’s 7-speed dual-clutch automatic has no such issue, using the first clutch to hold the selected gear while the second clutch stands at the ready to instantaneously engage the next in line.

2016 Porsche Macan Details
2016 Porsche Macan photo Interior

From the base S's piano-black trim and suede-like Alcantara seat inserts to the Turbo's leather-and-brushed-aluminum, every Macan interior pampers. The front seats engulf you. Big gauges tell the scores. The multifunction steering wheel – a nod to Porsche's 918 Spyder supercar – feels sports-car ready. The view out is IMAX wide, and it's easy to see rearward traffic as well. Second-row legroom is stingy, however. Beneath the wide-mouthed rear hatch, the flat, 17.7-cubic-foot cargo floor expands to 53 cubic feet by dropping the 40/20/40-split/folding 2nd-row seatbacks. That cargo space compares poorly to SUV competitors like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.

Exterior
2016 Porsche Macan photo

Profiled down to look a bit like a 3/4-scale Cayenne, Porsche’s 2016 Macan SUV's smaller proportions take on a more hatchback character than a compact SUV. It's not snap-recognizable as a Porsche, either. Macan spotters will note that the round fog lights and a single row of character lights below the daylight-bright bi-xenon headlights signal the approach of a Macan S and GTS, while the Macan Turbo sports integrated fog lights and two strong horizontal blades integrated into the air intakes below the headlights. GTS models have matte-black finish on the side blades and a more dynamic color scheme.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Every 2016 Porsche Macan SUV comes out of the box looking for trouble with a twin-turbo V6, 7-speed PDK automatic transmission, 19-inch aluminum wheels, and dual twin tailpipes. Bi-xenon headlights give daylight-quality illumination, and a multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles ensures hands-on-the-wheel control. Also standard: tri-zone climate control and an automatic rear hatch. The Macan S features 8-way power-adjustable seats with Alcantara seat centers and piano-black interior trim, while the Macan Turbo includes 18-way-adjustable leather sport seats, 14-speaker Bose audio, an Alcantara roof liner, brushed-aluminum interior trim, and the added handling precision of Porsche Active Suspension Management.

Optional Equipment

Many of the more desirable Macan Turbo features are available as options. The absolute best of these includes a 16-speaker Burmester High-End Surround Sound audio system, a panoramic roof, adaptive cruise control, the 360-degree Surround View camera system – shows your Macan's position in space (or in a parking spot) from a bird's-eye view – and a full set of safety-tech options (blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, etc.). For the hot-shoe Macan owner, Porsche offers cross-drilled ceramic-composite brakes, 21-inch wheels, the electronic cornering optimization of Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus, and the integrated stopwatch and g-force display of the Sport Chrono Package.

Under the Hood

Macan S models employ a 340-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 rolling out 339 lb-ft of torque, while the 2017 GTS trim uses the same engine only with 360 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The real performance, however, comes from the Macan Turbo's 400-horsepower 3.6-liter: 406 lb-ft of low-end thrust starting at 1,350 rpm and furious acceleration right up to redline. Porsche's 7-speed PDK double-clutch automatic transmission delivers near-instant, seamless shifts. The transmission has to work a little to keep the 3.0-liter Macan S in full fly, but wastes no time getting the 3.6-liter Macan Turbo from zero to 60 mph in under five seconds. The PDK's Sport button ups the Macan's redline and shift points, adds more snap to the shifts, and puts more growl into the exhaust note.

Macan S
3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6
340 horsepower @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
339 lb-ft of torque @ 1,450-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg

Macan GTS
3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6
360 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
369 lb-ft of torque @ 1,450-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg

Macan Turbo
3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6
400 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
406 lb-ft of torque @ 1,350-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg

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