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2017 Porsche Macan

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2017 Porsche Macan Expert Review

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The 2017 Porsche Macan is a small SUV blessed with the German luxury automaker's invigorating driving dynamics. Better viewed as a tall, all-wheel-drive (AWD) hatch than rugged off-roader, the Macan is aimed at those seeking SUV functionality and sports-car performance. While there is a slew of rivals in the burgeoning compact-luxury SUV segment, the Macan is among the few that can back up its performance claims. With a new, sub-$50,000 4-cylinder base version, Porsche will surely attract even more buyers facing temptation from the likes of the all-new Jaguar F-Pace and the Maserati Levante. But with prices that can zoom past $80,000 for a Turbo model, the Macan remains a pricey proposition.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a small luxury SUV with the Porsche's renowned performance, the Macan is the little brother to the Cayenne that you've been awaiting. As the least expensive Porsche, the Macan is also one sweet ticket into the prestigious brand.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Though a sub-$50,000 starting price is a deal for a Porsche, it's still a stretch for an entry-level SUV. If you want a bargain-performance SUV, look to the oft-overlooked Infiniti QX50. If you can compromise on the performance aspect, the Mercedes-Benz GLC and the Macan's Audi Q5 cousin are great alternatives.

How It Ranks

#8

out of 24

Fuel Economy

#21

out of 24

Horsepower
View all rankings
2017 Porsche Macan Low/wide front photo What's New for 2017

The 2017 Macan lineup doubles with the performance-oriented GTS that slots between the Macan S and Macan Turbo, while a new base model arrives with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. New standard features include lane-departure warning and front/rear parking assist with rearview camera. Apple CarPlay compatibility also becomes available.

Driving the Macan
2017 Porsche Macan Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

Like its bigger brother the Cayenne, the 2017 Macan is among the sportiest SUVs. It is a Porsche, after all, even if it's in the form of a...

... sport-utility vehicle. Even the "slowest" model is fast, with the new 4-cylinder Macan able to rush to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds. The Macan S and GTS shave another second off that time, while the range-topping Macan Turbo goes 0-60 mph in as little as 4.4 seconds. Not all that long ago, that was 911 territory. Like any other Porsche, velocity is only part of the formula. Road-hugging grip, a brilliant 7-speed PDK automatic transmission and the sensory growl of the exhaust make the Macan a Porsche through and through. The always-on AWD system optimizes traction in both wet and dry conditions, while an off-road button optimizes the Macan for lighter off-highway adventures 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 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 ready to instantaneously engage the next.

2017 Porsche Macan Details
2017 Porsche Macan Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The Macan has a 2-row, 5-passenger configuration. Porsches have long offered a variety of color combinations, and this one's standard upholstery is leather or suede-like Alcantara. The front seats engulf you and range from standard 8-way power-adjust comfort versions to 18-way sport variants. The array of buttons surrounding the gear shifter could rival those in an airplane cockpit. The view out is IMAX wide. Second-row legroom is stingy, however. In back, the 17.7-cubic-foot cargo floor expands to 53 cubic feet by dropping the 40/20/40-split/folding 2nd-row seatbacks. That compares poorly to SUV competitors like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.

Exterior
2017 Porsche Macan photo

Profiled to look a bit like a 3/4-scale Cayenne, the 2017 Macan's tidier proportions are more akin to a tall hatchback than a compact SUV. It's not snap-recognizable as a Porsche, either. All trims of the Macan boast bi-xenon headlights and fog lights, while the GTS and Turbo models have unique, more aggressive front fascias. GTS models have a matte-black finish on the side blades and a more dynamic color scheme. They also sit 10mm lower than Turbo models. The Macan Turbo, meanwhile, can be identified via its front spoiler lip and squared-off quad exhaust outlets.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The new 2017 Macan base model cost thousands less than the Macan S (the former starter) but still comes nicely equipped. On hand are tri-zone climate control, lane-departure warning system, rearview camera with front and rear parking assist, power-folding side mirrors, power-operated liftgate, and 18-inch wheels. A fresh infotainment system is highlighted by a 7-inch multi-touch screen with AM/FM/HD/satellite radio with CD/DVD player, USB/aux inputs and Bluetooth connectivity. In addition to a more powerful V6 engine, Macan S model also have rain-sensing windshield wipers and tinted and thermally insulated glass.

Optional Equipment

More powerful still, GTS models have 20-inch wheels, suspension setting and other performance upgrades, while the top-line Macan Turbo boasts navigation, Bose audio, Alcantara roof lining, adaptive seats and active suspension. Option packages range from a sweet Burmester audiophile system to a panoramic roof, and Porsche Connect Plus module with wireless Internet access, Google Earth integration and Apple CarPlay, plus a rear-entertainment system and heated/ventilated front seats. Customization options abound, as do performance upgrades that include Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus, $8,150 carbon-ceramic brakes and the recommendable Sport Chrono Package with Sport Plus mode, launch control and dash-mounted analog/digital stopwatch.

Under the Hood
2017 Porsche Macan Engine photo

The new base model is the first Macan to use a 4-cylinder, a turbocharged 2.0-liter that makes 252 horsepower, enough to zip this performance SUV from 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds (or 6.1 with the Sport Chrono package). At just over 3,900 pounds, this is also the lightest Macan. All others use a twin-turbo V6 engine -- a 3.0-liter in S and GTS models and a larger 3.6-liter in the Turbo. All Macans use a 7-speed PDK automatic transmission and are all-wheel drive. For better fuel efficiency, they have an auto start/stop system that switches off the engine at traffic stops. Start-ups can be abrupt, and thankfully the system is defeatable. A V6 Macan can tow up to 4,409 pounds.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Macan)
252 horsepower @ 5,000-6,800 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/25 mpg

3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (Macan S)
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

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

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

With the new 4-cylinder Macan, price of entry into the lineup -- and the Porsche brand -- has dropped to $48,550, Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). That's nearly $5,000 less than last year's Macan S, which now starts at $55,450. The 2017 Macan GTS opens over $68,000, and the Macan Turbo jumps to over $77,000. At these prices, the Macan is among the priciest of the compact-luxury vehicles. The Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X3 start several thousand below a base Macan, as does the new Jaguar F-Pace, which aims to give the Macan its most serious competition yet. Another new kid on the block, the Maserati Levante, starts over $70,000. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The Macan's resale value is expected to be great. In fact, last year's model won the Best Resale Value Award in its class.

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