2015 Porsche Macan S

 

2015 Porsche Macan S

2015 Porsche Macan S

With winter rapidly approaching we welcomed the 2015 Porsche Macan S with open arms.

Graced with a 340-horsepower twin-turbo V6 and fulltime all-wheel-drive, think about the Macan as a Cayenne, shrunk down one size.  The Macan is Porsche’s new entry into the premium compact SUV segment, one of the fastest growing categories in North America.  The Macan S competes against its German luxury counterparts, the Audi Q3, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK.  And let’s throw in some worthy non-European nameplates, such as the new Lexus NX and Lincoln MKC.

Our test unit

Our test unit was a heavily optioned 2015 Macan S.  With the Macan, Porsche has departed from it’s nomenclature system it’s used for years.  In past, Porsche has reserved the “S” moniker to denote an upgraded, ‘sport’ version of the model.  For the Macan, the “S” is the base version.

Porsche typically makes a long, long list of options available, and this Macan S came with $12,920 dollars’ worth of extras:  Mahogany Metallic paint ($790); Panoramic Roof ($1910); 19-in. wheels ($1890); 14-way Power Seats w Memory ($1530); Infotainment Package ($3420); Premium Package ($3430.)  Add in the destination fee ($1115) and our Macan S ‘stickers’ at $68,335.

Interior

The Macan's cabin is typical Porsche; the design and layout mimics other models across the Porsche range

The Macan’s cabin is typical Porsche; the design and layout mimics other models across the Porsche range

The Macan's instrument cluster is similar to those Porsche uses across its range

The Macan’s instrument cluster is similar to those Porsche uses across its range.  A large tachometer is front and centre, flanked by a smaller tach (left) and various information displays (right)

There’s nothing new in the cabin of the Macan S.  A large analog tachometer is up front and centre, with a smaller speedometer to the left and a driver information display to the right.  A clear, crisp hi-res 4.8-in. colour screen shows onboard computer information and navigation.

I’ve never loved Porsche interiors; I find them ‘busy’ with a myriad of buttons and controls covering the steering wheel, located on steering stalks, on the large touch screen, and spread along both sides of the centre console.  I prefer the simple elegance of the Audi Q3, for example.

Having said that, I’m getting used to Porsche’s logic, and their interiors are growing on me.  The line of controls along the console on the driver’s side mostly regulate the driver’s climate controls/seat heater, and those along the far side regulate those of the passenger.  And the all-important “Sport” mode button is on the driver’s side, allowing increased throttle response and altering the 7-speed automatic’s programming so it shifts at higher revs and holds the transmission in gear longer when the throttle is lifted.

The front seats are typical of German cars, and that’s to say they’re firm.  Ingrid remarked on how comfortable the seat was, and appropriate for daily driving duty that CUVs are used for, the front buckets are not deeply bolstered.  That means it’s relatively easy entering and exiting the front seats.

Cargo hold makes the Macan a practical daily driver

Cargo hold makes the Macan a practical daily driver

On the road

On the road, the Macan S impressed me more than it’s top-of-the-range, big brother Cayenne Turbo S last winter.  (The Cayenne Turbo S felt big and heavy compared to the pleasingly light and agile BMW X5 we tested concurrently.)

Porsche’s dual-clutch PDK 7-speed automatic is a perfect match for the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine.  Power is seamless and the 340-horsepower engine packs a punch.  A test ride with a horsepower-hungry family member (who drives modified 540-horsepower supercharged V8 CTS-V Cadillac) elicited this surprising comment.  “I can’t see anybody wanting more power than what this ‘base’ Macan S has.  This power is impressive.”  Floor the Macan S at anything up to legal highway speed and the Macan S pushes you solidly into the seatback.

And at all speeds including highway driving, the Macan S is remarkably quiet.  Wind noise is very well controlled and the chassis is very well insulated from road noise, even though our test unit was fitted with winter tires, which on most vehicles, increases road noise significantly compared to smoother tread summer tires.

Despite carrying the legendary Porsche badge, the Macan S’s suspension is very comfortable, soaking up potholes and rough pavement with grace.  (The Macan’s excellent ride is more impressive given our test unit had the optional, larger 19-in. wheels.)  Just because this sporty CUV is comfortable doesn’t mean it gives up anything in the handling department.  Turn in is sharp, and while few SUVs/CUVs can boast true sportscar-like road dynamics (the Porsche Cayenne GTS may be the exception), Porsche’s newest vehicle can be driven very aggressively with confidence.  The chassis is stable, predictable and feels solidly planted to the pavement in fast corners, even with the handling disadvantage of winter rubber.

Overall

Overall, the 2015 Porsche Macan S is an easy car to love and recommend.  Porsche has always been a premium (read ‘pricey’), ‘aspirational’ brand.  That’s true for me.  If I were to win Lotto 649 next weekend, the 2015 Macan S would be high on my list.

The new Macan S may be the new kid on the block, but if you’re shopping for a premium level CUV with top-notch sporting credentials, the 2015 Porsche Macan S has to be at the top of your short list.  I like this one.  Highly recommended.

Tags: ,

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment