Just when you thought the 2022 Porsche Macan was a next-generation version landing on our shores, you find out it’s only another update before the model morphs into a full-blown electric vehicle by 2024.
The 2024 Macan will move to Porsche’s new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture, as only the second all-electric model after the Taycan.
However, for those not yet fully sold on all-out electrification from this iconic performance brand, the Macan EV will also be sold alongside this latest petrol-powered range, at least for a few years yet. Phew, I can hear the sigh of relief as I punch out these very words on the keyboard, especially from fans of the more characterful V6 Turbo versions.
Macan, like its big brother the Cayenne, is a key model for Porsche given its ability to attract new customers to the brand. Up to 80 per cent of all Macan buyers are first-time Porsche owners.
For the moment, the new Macan line-up dispenses with the traditional top-of-the-range Turbo version, and instead headlines with the GTS as range-topper, followed by the Macan S and entry-level Macan.
Along with a gentle nip and tuck for the exterior, under the skin, powertrains have also been reworked across the board for more power and a wider torque curve, while key chassis tweaks point towards improved ride/handling balance and sharper steering feedback.
Mind, you’ll be hard-pressed distinguishing the 2022 Macan from the already-facelifted 2019 iteration, at least at first glance. Either way, changes to the new Macan are subtle at best, with only minor styling tweaks on the outside and a new-look centre console in the cabin, along with a few other bits and bobs to help keep it fresh.
The biggest changes outside are at the pointy end of the Macan, with a new-look grille boasting slightly larger air intakes and a more conspicuous splitter. It also looks like it sits a tad lower than the previous model thanks to a new 3D textured surface that enhances the front end, rear and side blades.
And, while it’s hard to see any noticeable difference to the headlight covers themselves, all Macan models get LED headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System for the first time, while SportDesign door mirrors now feature as standard across the range.
Around back, there’s an updated diffuser, and somehow, Porsche’s smallest SUV looks a tad more resolved, but like I said earlier, it’s subtle in the traditional Porsche manner. Clearly, the investment hasn’t been extensive here, given the next generation is well overdue and not that far off in the scheme of things.
And for those of us sick and tired of 50 shades of grey, the Macan gets a few new colours including Papaya Metallic and Gentian Blue Metallic, while Python Green is available on the GTS – but only if you add the GTS Sport package.
Inside, the facelift is more obvious with a completely new centre console design devoid of the myriad buttons that previously occupied the space. Mind, there’s still plenty of buttons, but they’re the touch-sensitive type, so it’s a cleaner look all-round.
Porsche has effectively cleaned up the Macan in specific areas for the better as far as the cabin goes, but frankly, I’ve always thought the cockpit was one of its strong points, notwithstanding timely tech upgrades.
The 2022 entry-level, four-cylinder Porsche Macan is simply known as that, and kicks off from $84,800 before on-road costs, while the V6-powered Macan S starts from $105,800 plus on-roads.
If you want your Macan with extra poke and all the bells and whistles, the Macan GTS (with a more powerful V6), is going to set you back $129,800 before on-roads.
2022 Porsche Macan pricing:
- 2022 Porsche Macan: $84,800 (+$500)
- 2022 Porsche Macan S: $105,800 (+$5000)
- 2022 Porsche Macan GTS: $129,000 (+17,500)
All prices exclude on-road costs
The Macan GTS clearly cops the biggest price rise, but also adds more kit to offset the hefty increase.
However, rival makes and models include the Audi SQ5 (diesel only) from $104,900, while the SQ5 Sportback is priced from $110,900. BMW has the X3 M40i from $115,900, and Mercedes-AMG goes into the ring with the GLC43 for $120,600, though, both are noticeably slower to 100km/h than the mid-range Macan S.
Porsche Macan highlights:
- 19-inch Macan Design wheels with 235/55 (front) and 255/50 (rear) tyres
- 18-inch collapsible spare wheel
- 10.9-inch infotainment touchscreen with Voice command
- Satellite navigation
- Wi-Fi hotspot and Porsche Connect Services
- 150-Watt, 10-speaker audio system
- GT Sport multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters
- Interior Package in Piano Black
- Auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors
- 75-litre fuel tank
- Park assist with front and rear parking sensors
- Reversing camera with surround view
- 14-way comfort seats with memory package
- Apple CarPlay (wireless)
- Porsche Entry & Drive
- Privacy glass
- 350mm front brakes with four-piston calipers in Black, 330mm rear
Macan S adds:
- 20-inch Macan wheels in polished Dark Titanium with 265/45 (front) and 295/40 (rear) tyres
- Metallic paint
- 650-Watt Bose surround sound system with 14 speakers including subwoofer
- Front apron/Sport Design side skirts/side blades and rear apron painted in exterior colour
- GT Sport steering wheel with rotary drive-mode selector
- Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) re-adapted for new Macan
- 360mm front brakes with six-piston calipers in Red, 330mm rear
Macan GTS adds:
- 21-inch RS Spyder Design wheels in matte black with 256/40 (front) and 295/35 (rear) tyres
- 19-inch collapsible spare wheel
- Sport Chrono Package including redesigned mode switch
- Nose panel finished in black, lower and rear aprons finished in exterior colour
- Headlights with black finish, as do the quad tailpipes and the double-wing design roof spoiler
- Side blades in matte black with GTS logo
- New round instruments including black rev counter GTS lettering
- GTS leather package including front and rear seat centres and door armrests in Race-Tex
- Eight-way sports seats with GTS logo
- Driver memory package
- Adjustable air suspension
- Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) – 390mm front discs with six-piston calipers in Red, 356mm rear discs
GTS buyers can also option the GTS Sports package, which comprises:
- 21-inch Design wheels in satin black
- Performance tyres
- 10 per cent stiffer springs (front), 15 per cent (rear)
- 10 per cent lower ride height
- Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus
- Side skirts, rear apron and SportDesign sill plates in satin black
- Side blades in high-gloss black with GTS logo in Python Green
- SportDesign side mirrors in high-gloss black
- 18-way adaptive sports seats with comfort memory package with GTS logo on headrests
- Leather interior: GTS Python Green interior package with Race-Tex accents
- Carbon interior package including dashboard and front and rear doors
- Door sill plates in Carbon, illuminated, including loading edge protection
- Heated GT Sports steering wheel with steering wheel rim in Race-Tex
- Race-Tex headliner
Porsche also offers a hefty options catalogue with all Macan variants including the Macan S we sampled at the national launch event, including:
- Leather package (Black) with contrast stitching in Gentian Blue: $6210
- 21-inch 911 Turbo Design Wheels: $4860
- Sports exhaust system: $4540
- Panoramic roof system: $3110
- Sport Chrono Package (including mode switch): $1880
- Adaptive cruise control: $1620
- Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus: $860
- Seat heating (front): $790
- Self-steering park assist: $660
- Adaptive sports seats (front) 18-way electric: $680
- Porsche logo LED courtesy door lights: $640
- Power steering plus: $490
Personally, I’d choose Sport Chrono, Sports exhaust and adaptive cruise and call it a day, but clearly there’s plenty to choose from if you want to customise your Macan.
The Porsche Macan doesn’t have a rating from ANCAP, though it received a five-star rating from Euro NCAP in 2014, which is now officially out of date.
All Macan models come with the following safety features:
- Porsche Traction Management (PTM) active all-wheel drive with Automatic Brake Differential
- Tyre pressure monitoring
- Porsche Stability Management (PSM)
- Trailer Stability Management
- Lane departure warning
- Lane change assist
- Front, front-side and curtain airbags
Hop into a Porsche Macan for the first time and you’re not going to be disappointed – this is a very polished cockpit, designed to give the driver the ultimate sports car feel in a mid-sized SUV.
Whereas the previous model might have been described by some as ‘busy’ with a centre console resembling the flight deck on an aircraft, the new Macan presents a much cleaner approach to the driver-centric cabin.
There are still plenty of buttons on the centre console, only now they’re touch-sensitive and unobtrusive. It’s more contemporary, less cluttered and closer to the look and feel of the Porsche 911, and for many that’s important.
And, don’t think for one moment the entry-level Macan is any less desirable inside, because you won’t pick it but for the small details.
There’s also a range of multifunction steering wheels borrowed from the 911, complete with rotary drive mode controller on all but the entry Macan. There isn’t a better tiller in the business. Fact.
Not sure I’m a fan of the new stubby PDK shifter, however, which looks and feels a little less purposeful than the old, more robust version that was carried over from the 991-generation 911. Ergonomically though, it’s better because it doesn’t impede access the air vents.
The thick leather seats are properly cushioned and well bolstered all-round, just not quite as aggressively as the S and GTS models. Step into the higher-end variants, though, and it starts to feel like you’re sitting in a 911, save for the extra ride height.
That is to say the driving position is as good as it gets in an SUV in this segment, with loads more bolster but not at the expense of seat comfort.
The GTS raises the bar with Race-Tex seat inserts for maximum body hugging in the twisties, but I’d argue the mid-spec Macan S hits the sweet spot on so many levels, including the soft leather upholstery with contrast blue stitching.
The trademark triple-binnacle driver’s instrument display is neat and tidy and pleasantly old-school, while the infotainment screen is nicely integrated with top-shelf colour, clarity and touch response.
Don’t bother looking for hard scratchy touchpoints in a Porsche Macan, because 90 per cent of those are soft-touch materials that look and feel utterly premium. Even the hard plastics are mostly smooth surfaced and don’t look out of place in what is a thoroughly business class-like environment.
It’s an incredibly comfortable place to be, sumptuous even, especially up front, though rear-seat passengers of extra-tall stature will likely suffer for lack of legroom, as headroom is fine for those up to 6’4” in height –– even in the GTS with panoramic roof (as tested).
Boot space, too, has never been a strong point with Macan, which offers just 453L in the S and GTS variants, expanding to 1468L with the rear seats folded.
Oddly enough, there’s more space back there in the base Macan (488L/1503L), likely the result of the adaptive suspension hardware on the V6 models.
Either way, it’s noticeably less than the Porsche’s main rivals, with the Audi SQ5 offering 520L, BMW X3 M40i and Mercedes-AMG GLC43 boasting 550 litres.
While the figures don’t lie, I’d argue there’s still plenty of room for transporting the likes of surfboards, bikes (with rear seats down) and reasonably-sized boxes – as tested.
The base Macan gets a heavily reworked 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with a single turbocharger, (larger than the previous version), which helps it develop 195kW of power at 5000rpm to 6500rpm, while torque gets a 30Nm bump to 400Nm between 1800 and 4500rpm.
The powerplant has also been optimised for reduced friction, better sound and more refinement, as well increased fuel pressure to 350 bar, which sees the Macan go from standstill to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package, and a top speed of 232km/h.
Stepping up to the mid-spec Macan S swaps the previous 3.0-litre single twin-scroll turbocharged engine for the more powerful EA329-designated 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 from the Cayenne S, lifting power by 20kW to 280kW from 5200rpm to 6700rpm, while torque swells by 40Nm to 520Nm between 1850rpm and 5000rpm.
It can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package, bettering the previous version by 0.5sec, while top speed is 259km/h.
The range-topping Macan GTS gets a more powerful version of the same twin-turbo V6 with 2.3 bar of boost pressure and developing 324kW of power between 5700rpm and 6600rpm, and 550Nm of torque from 1900rpm to 5600rpm – more than 44kW and 30Nm more than the previous model. The GTS can scoot from 0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds, while top speed is 272km/h.
All Macan engines are paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch (PDK) transmission and the Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive system.
Claimed fuel consumption for Macan, Macan S and Macan GTS on a combined cycle using 98 RON is 8.8L/100km and 9.9L/100km and 9.9L/100km, respectively.
We kicked off on wet roads around Cattai, north-west of Sydney in the mid-spec Macan S in Gentian Blue with matching seat belts. It looks and feels the business before you even fire up the new twin-turbo V6.
There’s something very familiar with all Porsche-badged vehicles, whether you’re driving a 911 GT3 or this latest Macan S, and that’s the solid feel you get with all the controls; throttle, brakes and steering weight. It’s robust and asks a little more of the driver than any other make/model.
Within a few minutes, I’ve dialled up Sport on the drive mode switch, which takes things up a notch or two. The wet roads don’t seem to faze it, you can press on with a great deal of enthusiasm across these very twisty roads with more confidence than you get from many high-performance cars.
In fact, it feels quicker than my Mustang Bullitt, which claims the same 0-100km/h sprint time. Throttle response is always urgent, thanks to the low-down lag being all but eradicated from the Macan. Not only that, you can adjust the pace in very small increments, even mid-corner, without penalty.
Give it a good prod and you’re immediately thinking, ‘jeez, this thing is properly quick’, and feeling like the Macan S must surely be the sweet spot in the range.
The shifts are smoother and more refined than in the previous model, and while the real metal paddleshifters are a sheer delight, the PDK transmission is so quick on the upshift and downshifts, that it becomes pointless after a while. The downshifts with blips are especially satisfying if you’ve optioned the Sports exhaust.
The driving experience is near perfect. So much so, it’s easy to forget you’re driving a two-tonne SUV because it handles like a hot hatch, but with all the comfort of a luxury car. There is extraordinary engineering at play here.
The steering not only has that characteristically heavy weighting, but it’s noticeably sharper with the updated chassis enhancements, which you’re completely aware of through the steering wheel with all sorts of feedback on offer.
The ride/handling balance is simply peerless in the luxury SUV segment, as it doesn’t seem to matter what the road conditions are like, or how hard you might be pushing the Macan, it’s still just as composed and just as forgiving as ever.
We’re on some of the worst roads you could have chosen – a combination of course-chip, broken parts and disintegrating edges and yet this thing doesn’t flinch. Not one bit. Every bump and pothole is absorbed by the revamped active dampers, allowing you to lean on it mid-corner – and that’s riding on optional 21-inch wheels.
The bigger brakes not only provide awesome stopping power, but also a wonderfully progressive pedal, too. It’s massively reassuring on wet roads like those we were on.
Next up was the top-spec GTS, and you’re immediately aware of its more sporty intentions with its lower stance and slightly firmer ride (though still 100 per cent comfortable) from its standard-fit air suspension. It still absorbs the bumps and crushes those broken edges, but there’s less travel in the dampers compared with the Macan S.
While there’s only a few tenths in outright acceleration, the GTS feels properly quick when you get on it, especially hammering out of the corners. However, it’s more susceptible to mid-corner bumps and requires more constant steering corrections. Personally, I don’t mind that, because the steering itself is just so accurate and responsive.
Last, but certainly not least, was the entry-level four-pot Macan, and if I’m honest, I really wasn’t expecting mush at all – Porsche badged, or not. Four-cylinder Caymans never felt right to me, so an SUV of this size and weight could only be less satisfying, if not downright dismal, right?
Not quite. It doesn’t really start to sing unless you hit the Sport button, as there’s no mode switch on the steering wheel in this version. While it doesn’t really make any kind on scintillating noise, it’s hardly slow.
It’s a more than 100kg lighter than the Macan S, so it turns in confidently, although the smaller wheels and narrower tyres mean less grip and slightly less composure when carrying pace through the bends.
Engine response is good, and again, lag is minimal throughout the rev range. It feels like a genuine hot hatch with agility to match. It even sounds decent higher up the rev range, and again the PDK works wonders quick shifts up and down the gear ratios.
Ride comfort is exceptional given its fixed-rate suspension set up and 18-inch wheels with higher-profile tyres. Not floaty, just a tad more forgiving.
That said, it doesn’t offer quite the same driver engagement or feedback as the V6 Macans, but it doesn’t cost nearly as much, either.
Like all Porsche models, the Macan is backed by a three-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.
Service intervals are 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first, while service pricing varies from State to State, depending on labour rates.
While it’s clearly a facelift, the latest Macan is still an exceptionally strong performer across all metrics in the luxury SUV segment in which is competes.
In fact, I’d struggle to come up with a better all-round package, unless of course maximum load space was a key priority.
The sweet spot is surely the Macan S, with its competitive price point, strong performance in all conditions, along with sublime ride and handling.
There’s another thing – it’s a Porsche, and they hold their value.
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