2019 Porsche Macan
Porsche fans said the Cayenne was the beginning of the end for Porsche as a sportscar maker. But as the money rolled in for the Cayenne, it enabled Porsche to indulge in more and even better cars and also extend their SUV success story. Being smaller and lighter, the Macan could be made into more of a drivers’ car, appealing to the Porsche enthusiast who needs everyday transport for the family. With a wide range of engines from a 248-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to the 440-hp 3.6-liter turbocharged V6, there is a Macan variant to suit all people’s needs. This formula proved to be spot on, because by July 2018 Porsche had delivered over 350,000 units of the Macan worldwide.
On the outside, not much has changed in respects to the aesthetics of the new 2019 Macan other than a mild facelift. The revised car is now distinguished by its new nose treatment featuring a new bumper section with redesigned air intakes, and standard fit LED headlamps. At the rear, a new full-width three-dimensional LED light panel gives the car an even broader look and echoes the look of the new 911... and Panamera... and Cayenne... and Taycon... yep, the Germans know a motoring fashion trend when they see one.
Inside, the 10.9-inch touchscreen for the latest generation Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system is the most outstanding element in the revised interior, and the real estate it occupies necessitated moving the central air vents to their new location above the center console. This PCM system allows you to access new digital functions such as intelligent voice control and the standard fit online navigation system. Comfort features added to the long options list include Traffic Jam Assist, an air ioniser, and a heated front windscreen. As before, build quality inside and out is exemplary, and all the cabin fittings look and feel premium. One on-going criticism we have concerns the long row of buttons on the center console. While they look neat at a glance, they are not conducive to finding a particular button in a hurry while on the move.
Being small, light and low proved to be a distinct advantage on the narrow and sinuous country roads of Germany where we got to try out the new Macan. The air suspended Macan dips and dives as you’d expect when you demand a rapid change of direction. The 14.3:1 ratio of the medium weighted electro-mechanical power steering is spot on for the chassis turn-in rate and feels natural to the point where we did not notice it in any kind of driving. A trait of the optional air suspension that stands out is its almost surrealistic mastery of the compromise between ride comfort and handling. While this was the case with the original Macan with air suspension, the latest tweaks to the valves and control software have further extended its abilities, improving both comfort and sporty behavior at both ends of the performance envelope. The Macan’s absorbent secondary ride is all the more impressive when you consider the optional 20-inch wheels fitted to our test cars. As you pick up speed, this fine chassis control exhibits a composure that makes short work of long sweeping bends. And so long as the driver is smooth with steering inputs, passengers can be happily chatting away, mostly unaware of the actual road speed.
So with all that said, what do we think of the all-new Macan? In terms of driving dynamics, the original Macan was still very competitive four years on and had only fallen behind in areas like onboard telematics and connectivity, while arguably needing a visual freshening up too. The facelifted Macan fixes all that and more. It wears its new front and rear like a sharply tailored sports jacket, while the big PCM screen is clear and intuitive to operate. Meanwhile, the minor tweaks to the air suspension support the Macan’s bid to what could be the best drivers’ car in the compact SUV segment. Driving the 2019 Macan was a reminder of how important this little SUV is, and for keeping the things we love about Porsche alive, it deserves our respect.