Brent Co / Jet Rabe | September 27, 2017 14:15
A Porsche for the daily grind
The Porsche name has long been synonymous to sports cars and racing. Mention the word Porsche and it would immediately evoke the iconic and sexy shape of a sports car.
The idea of a crossover or an SUV by the Stuttgart-based automaker was perhaps equal to blasphemy until about a decade and a half ago; this was when they decided to offer their first SUV - the Cayenne in 2002. While purists may have gone up in arms over a four-door Porsche SUV model, it proved to be highly profitable for the brand.
Two successful premium performance SUV generations after, Porsche decided to up the game with a more compact model initially named 'Cajun'; a blendword of Cayenne and Junior. However, it was official christened as the Macan - Javanese for tiger. Perhaps a fitting name to a tough and agile vehicle.
Based off the Audi Q5, the Macan takes in a different Porsche DNA which results in its shapely exterior styling to give it the signature look. Porsche calls this 'sportscar genes in an SUV'.
Early 2016, Porsche decided to add an 'base' model to woo over customers from BMW and Mercedes-Benz; this slotted below the previously entry-level Macan S which came with a twin-turbo V6.
Having driven an earlier version last year, we get our hands on a slightly updated version which comes with some tweaks and tech upgrades.
Step inside and set yourself on the driver's seat and you'll find yourself with the familiarly modern Porsche layout. The seats are well bolstered for more exciting drives, however maintain comfort in daily commuting duties. Materials are top-notch; combining aluminum, leather and premium plastic.
The infotainment system has now been upgraded to a more interactive system which comes with Apple CarPlay connectivity, navigation, USB, Bluetooth and AUX-in options as well. Sound quality is quite good considering that this is just the standard version. Something to keep you busy with while stuck in traffic.
Under the hood is a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo, it is mated to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic which Porsche prefers to call Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (quite the tounge-twister), or just PDK for short. Performance on tap comes at a maximum 252 PS @ 5000-6800 rpm and 370 Nm of torque from 1600-4500 rpm. Top speed is rated at 223 km/h and it can dart from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds, according to Porsche's figures.
It may sound small and odd of an engine for a Porsche, considering our recent experience with the Macan Turbo with Performance Package comes with a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6. The 'standard' Macan is by no means a slouch either despite being powered by a 'lesser' engine. It is similarly found in the VW Group family powering equally exciting models such as the Audi TT and VW Golf GTI but in the Macan's case, there's slightly more power from the 2.0-liter mill.
While frugal and efficient isn't exactly something you'd think about in a Porsche, the Macan is surprisingly so. Our weekend drive resulted in 8.3 kms/liter in the city with light to moderate traffic. Highway numbers came out to about 12.9 kms/liter with the occasional sprints to overtake slower vehicles.
On corners, the standard Macan is quite agile and able; don't expect 718 or 911 handling levels though. This is still an crossover after all, but as far as SUVs are concerned, it proves to be a dynamic drive. Fitted with 18-inch wheels wrapped with rather 'thick' tires, the smallish looking wheel/tire combo gives the best balance between performance and comfort in our rather 'uncivilized' metropolitan roads.
The option wheels does however make a striking difference in appeal and performance at the expense of comfort. The choice is yours to make, of course.
With its all-wheel drive system, you can go on the occasional drives off the beaten path. It's also quite confident in rainy conditions as we got to experience a heavy monsoon during our short drive.
The Macan is a sensible premium SUV which can go fast if you want, but is thrifty when you need it be. Size-wise, it feels just right for our tight roads, bumps and rather tricky parking spaces; making it a perfect daily drive around town.
To sum up, the Macan makes for an all-round, all-weather crossover, even in entry-level guise. On top of that, you get some of that Porsche DNA, injecting a bit of a sporty drive while doing the daily grind. While a practical, everyday Porsche still sounds like an oxymoron for some, the Macan 2.0 is a textbook defenition of the term.