Porsche’s 4×4 family is growing.
The trailblazing Cayenne might have been born with a face only a mother could love, but it has proven the Porsche purists wrong by elbowing out its sporty rivals to become the brand’s biggest-selling car.
It has recently been joined by a little brother – the Macan – which was launched last year. It shares its most basic underpinnings with the Audi Q5, but that’s where the similarities end.
What does it look like?
Doesn’t the Cayenne look so much better after a gastric band?
That is effectively what has happened here to morph it into the Macan and I defy anyone to put forward a better-looking 4×4.
Nineteen-inch wheels are standard, but the bigger 20-inchers look the business and are wrapped in suitably slick Michelin rubber.
How fast does it go?
It is not quite the full sports car Porsche suggests it might be, but it is as close as a small SUV has ever got.
Curiously, it feels very much like a petrol but with a splodge of extra torque and the associated running costs of a diesel.
Naturally, the oil burner is nailed-on to be the biggest seller on these fair shores.
Six-cylinder power provides 258 horses and a getaway speed of 6.3 seconds. But it is how it handles that speed which is really impressive.
You can fling 2t of the finest metal money can buy around any corner without a flinch in reply.
The four-wheel-drive system helps here – for the most part it all goes to the back end, but it can send all the power to the front wheels if necessary.
Porsche Macan S Diesel
- Engine – V6 turbodiesel 3-litre
- Power – 258hp
- Transmission – 7-speed auto
- Top speed – 142mph
- 0-62mph – 6.3secs
- Consumption – 41mpg
- Weight – 1,880kg
- Price – £43,300 (as tested £57,088)
There are also various sporty settings that deal out a big dollop of enthusiasm and see the central rev dial flick up a notch or two and the V6 begin to bark.
It is also worth noting that there are a couple of other engine options – the Macan S (335hp V6) and the fiery but thirsty Macan Turbo (394hp V6).
Can I have a manual?
Afraid not. Porsche’s seven-speeder is strictly automatic, but don’t let that put you off. Shifts are always prompt and snappy, and if you want to take gear selection in-house then get on the flappy paddles, which offer a satisfying clunk as they are flicked.
What is it like on fuel?
It will comfortably deliver about 40mpg, or a little higher during a gentle motorway slog. It is not as good as some of its rivals but there should not be any need to auction an organ to pay for the fuel.
Is it comfortable?
As good as it gets. Noise is all but non-existent except for the relentless ticking of the dashboard clock and that V6 murmur.
The driving position is two-seater-esque. The steering wheel is borrowed from Porsche cars much faster than the Macan, while the rev counter sits centrally in the dash.
The barrels either side show speed and various other modes including the sat nav.
For the uninitiated, the central console is a daunting jumble of chrome-trimmed buttons.
Each of the front-rowers gets their own climate controls and you will also find all the engine and off-road settings.
Those that fail to bagsy the front seats can be excused for feeling a little underwhelmed in the back.
Space is comparable with a Golf, though the sloping tail-end limits boot space so you will have to leave the Great Dane at home.
Beware of the options list too, or it will milk your wallet dry.
Navigation adds the fat end of £2,000, you will have to dig out another £350 for cruise control and even Bluetooth phone connection and heated seats are not part of a paltry standard package.
Porsche has waved its sporty wand to create a hencher version of its time-proven two-seaters.
Supposedly rivalled by the likes of the Range Rover Evoque and Audi Q5, with which it shares a pretty loose connection, similarities with the Macan are few and far between.