The best SUV you'll drive ... but it's not perfect
Since the sports utility vehicle revolution took hold over the past decade, there have been countless claims of car-like performance.
Porsche is one of few manufacturers who can lay claim to have delivered the promise.
There is good reason the Macan is Porsche's biggest seller in Australia. Quite simply, it's outstanding.
It sprints, turns and brakes with brilliance.
The Macan can generate love from even the most staunch pedallers who yearn for rural roads and pure performance.
But it's not perfect ... and there are some areas which sour the love affair.
The base model powered by a 185kW/370Nm turbocharged four-cylinder starts from $81,800 plus on-roads. We also drove the Macan S with the turbo V6, which pumps out a more potent 260kW/480Nm - but you pay $16,400 more.
Complimentary inclusions are leather trim in black or grey, 19-inch alloys, three-zone aircon, 14-way electric front seats, 4.8-inch colour driver display, four USB points, 10-speaker stereo system partnered to a 10.9-inch colour touchscreen, satnav, Apple CarPlay and power tailgate.
Far from bare bones, but a few extras see the bottom line climb quicker than a Ninja Warrior.
On the basic Macan it had $6120 21-inch alloys, panoramic sunroof for $3790, heated front seats that cost $990 and a Bose surround sound stereo which is $2650. Those items and a few others took the price above $100k, while the S finished at $112,490 courtesy of a few ticked optional boxes.
Only two colours come standard, black or white. Metallics like silver, green and blue are an extra $2000. The "special” hues are $4970, while buyers wanting something completely different can customise.
There's no capped price servicing, with intervals at 15,000km or annual.
Fair to say that if you're buying a Porsche, you like to drive. It's probably also a safe assumption that if you're getting into this SUV you don't mind the badge kudos either.
When tested in Europe back in 2014 the Macan achieved five stars, yet life-saving gear including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise and blind spot monitoring are still on the options list.
Given mainstream brands like Kia, Mazda and Toyota are fitting this equipment to far less expensive vehicles, it would be fair to expect the same from Porsche - no matter how well the car performs you can't control other drivers.
Families will appreciate the cabin space and generous 500 litres in the boot. The rear seat folds for and extra 1000 litres - good enough for a mountain bike during our test.
Functionality is first-class, with the tri-zone aircon simple to operate. Those up front have their own toggles and controls on the console near the gear shifter.
All the primary infotainment functions are found in the crystal-clear touchscreen (that's among the new inclusions for the 2019 models) and everything is intuitive and easy to find.
Smartphone integration is fast and easy, while the pair of USBs in both the front and back have become a modern necessity.
Here's a bombshell - the entry-level four-potter is refined and beautifully mannered.
Depending on your driving style, the less powerful Macan may suit more buyers with its linear power delivery. It effortlessly shifts cogs with the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
The base model has a top speed of 227km/h and rips from zero to 100kmh in 6.7 seconds (0.2 seconds quicker with the Chrono pack).
Opt for the Macan S with a twin-turbo V6 and it achieves the same sprint in 5.1 seconds when armed with the Chrono go-fast kit.
Both models have a sport mode which tightens all responses and turns the mundane into magnificent. Strong, agile and accurate, they're everything you'd expect from a Porsche. Sure, it's not a ballistic 911, but world renowned spors car can't haul the family in this kind of comfort either.
The V6 is downright brilliant. It's the choice for those chasing a genuine sporty drive.
Fuel consumption was 10.6 litres/100km for the V6 and 9.7L/100km for the turbo four.
The lust for a 911 remains strong, but there's the kids to think about. That Stuttgart crest alone quickens the pulse.
I'm not dead yet and I want an SUV which can handle a bend and make driving fun again.
ALFA ROMEO STELVIO TI FROM $78,900
Runs a 206kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo/eight-speed automatic. The 0-100km/h sprint takes 5.7 seconds. The Macan is more polished and potent but the Stelvio offers impressive driving dynamics.
JAGUAR F-PACE 35T S FROM $107,823
Under the bonnet is a beastly 280kW/450Nm supercharged 3.0-litre V6. The sprint is 0-100km/h in 5.5 seconds. Eight-speed automatic. Loaded with gear, yet it too has a massive options list.
One drive and those who love to steer will be convinced. It's the benchmark of SUV performance. Expensive options and safety kit which costs extra are the primary negatives.
AT A GLANCE
PORSCHE MACAN AND MACAN S
PRICE $81,800, S $97,500 (expensive)
WARRANTY/SERVICING 3 years/unlimited km, about $2100 for 3 years (average)
ENGINES 2.0-litre 185kW/370Nm 4-cyl; 3.0-litre V6 260kW/480Nm
SAFETY Not yet rated, six airbags, lane departure warning, parking sensors, surround view camera (best gear optional)
THIRST 8.9L/100km, 9.6L (bit thirsty)
SPARE Space-saver (expected)
BOOT 500L, rear seats fold (good)