Muddy drives: The Porsche Macan
You have too many children to justify a sports car. You're too cool to slum it in a traditional SUV. What's a girl to do? Oh hello Porsche Macan, park right here.
Let’s just start by saying – it’s a flippin PORSCHE! I refuse to be remotely nonchalant about it. When I told my kids that the Porsche Centre Silverstone garage were lending me the Macan for the weekend for testing, they mainly wanted to know if I would drive it past their friends and pretend it was mine. Answer: er, totally! Because for a weekend it was mine, and I could forget the more mundane reality of my car history two Saabs, two Volvo XE90s (yes, yes, you have permission to. yawn) and a nippy but pretty low spec Mini Cooper.
Let’s be honest here, we’ve all had our moments lusting after the 911 and Cayenne over the years, but I have to admit that the launch of the Macan SUV in 2014 kind of passed me by. Designed as a slighter, more ‘entry level’ version of the Cayenne and as close to a sports car as an SUV can safely get, it’s feels to me like its bookishly sexy younger sister – elegantly dependable, but not averse to flashing a bit of leg and leave onlookers gaping when she feels like it.
The Macan is on its third iteration, the most recent being in 2021 with a more sporty facade with a newly designed front spoiler, new shape and colour to the sideblades and a raised rear end (sorry I can’t think of a better way to say it!) to make it feel a bit more racey. You can expect your drive to be smooth and sporty – no mean feat for an SUV.
The GTS version of the Macan (which replaced the Turbo) manages 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds so you’ll be queen of the road, baby. Even the ‘every day’ Macan manages 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds. As an automatic car, the drives couldn’t be easier frankly, and every car is fitted with an electronically opening tailgate plus front and rear parking sensors.
One thing to point out is that like all Porsches the seat is comparatively low to the wheel and the dashboard. If you’re a shorty like me, that means hiking up the seat to the max and also moving it forward, so I did have to duck my head slightly to get into the car (once in, all fine) and I found that the coffee holders were therefore further back than ideal for this flat white addict. Other than that, the drive was dreamy.
The Macan retains muscle memory of the Porsche’s trademark sporty ‘cockpit’ feel, but its size means it also feels safe for a family. There are plenty of ways to pimp up the interiors further if your pockets run deep and you can’t stop fantasising about the Porsche insignia on your headrest, decorative- stitch seats or wheels painted to match the exterior. The roof retracts all the way to the back seats so it feels light and airy, and the dashboard has a huge 10.9-inch display, with a sat nav that even I couldn’t cock up.
Yes of course, there are roomier SUVs, but who wants to drive a tank anyway? There’s plenty of room for adults in the back and a boot large enough to store a husband if he tips you over the edge with his incessant bleating about your terrible driving. Seriously – there’s 488 litres of luggage space, increasing to 1,503 litres if you fold the seats down. Bung him in and hit the accelerator.
THE TECHY BITS
All Macans are automatic, so no crunching through gears for you, missy. It’s standard four-wheel drive on all cars, LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, DAB radio, triple-zone climate control, part-leather seats, 19-inch alloy wheels, electrically adjustable seats, automatic boot and power-folding mirrors. There’s also a lane departure warning and cruise control functions.
As with all Porsches, the Macan comes as standard with a three-year 60,000-mile warranty.
Want to hear about horsepower? No, I didn’t think so. But let me tell you this – you’ll absolutely LOVE the ‘Sport’ button. Basically when you want a burst of power, you press the button on the wheel, the car drops by 10mm and suddenly you’re supersonic for about 20 seconds. Great for burning off school-run mums at the lights (JOKING! Sort of). There’s also an off-road mode that I didn’t try as I’d never waste a drive in a Macan somewhere no-one can see me, but apparently that then raises the car a helpful 40mm, so if you’re truly rural it’s no doubt a big help. There’s a separate button for hill descent control, too, which will take charge of the brakes for you on a slippery descent, keeping the speed between 3mph and 18mph.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
GOOD FOR: Parents desperate to drive a sportscar but still in school drop off hell. The entry level for a Macan is around £47k which will feel like a steal compared to the Cayenne or 911.
NOT FOR: I liked the manageable size of the Macan, but for some it may run the danger of feeling just too middle of the road for the premium price tag.
Porsche Centre Silverstone, Old Tiffield Road, Towcester, Northamptonshire, NN12 6PF. Tel: 01327 438 035.