BEHIND THE WHEEL: Porsche Macan
TUESDAY APRIL 28, 2015
For a start, I lost interest in the Porsche Macan almost immediately when the estimated price was released. Its commanding premium of over a hundred thousand over an Audi Q5 is just absurd so I couldn’t care less for its launch day. Curiosity began to stir when I come across a Macan for every 10 meters as I walk the outsides of Publika thus I had to find out. Sure the Macan S is the obvious pick that strikes a balance in price and performance but for the price of one, you could also pick yourself up a used 991. Used by nevertheless, a Carrera.
Superb chassis, transmission and suspension control
Good looks, especially from the back
Ecstasy of customisation
Upright rear seats
True potentials are far beyond reach
I specifically requested for a base Macan and one showed up on a Sunday morning. To my surprise I was presented with a blue car optioned with distastefully large 21-inch rims painted in gloss black.
0-100 km/h: 6.9s
Top speed: 223km/h
From RM 425,000
" Is this the most expensive 2-litre car in history? "
Things got a little better when I climbed aboard greeted by familiar Porsche instruments with brown partial leather combination. That particular Macan was preconfigured to save 12 or so thousand on full leather upholstery which is ridiculous for a car that’s half a million ringgit. Having saved on leather, the intelligent person who did the configuration splurged even more on 18-way adjustment seats. It also has air suspension, a stopwatch, PCM, Bose audio (just get a Burmester unit), sunroof, a reverse camera (good for counting pixels) and that’s as many toys you get for 70 thousand.
The person who decided on this configuration clearly suffers from inferiority complex disorder having most of the money on huge wheels along with giant sunroof when our country has summer all year.
I was rather eager to get into it to take shelter before neighbours start spitting with little help from its ostentatious exterior. Distastefulness aside, an Audi engine that lives under its hood has huge shoes to fill since a Porsche badge has been stuck onto it. First and foremost, lag is minimal but lateral acceleration is very much like a Q5’s so as the noises it makes. Just like a Q5, the Macan went lethargic pass 120 km/h and will take forever to go near its top speed. Exhaust noise? A little on upshifts very much like in a VW Golf. At this point, I can’t help but to think the Macan is glorified Q5 with Porsche garnish.
Thankfully when it was shown some corners, I could really see Porsche magic as their engineers have gotten the Macan’s steering, suspension and transmission spot on! Surprisingly, the Macan is able to provide a supple ride while running on disgustingly huge 21-inch rims. It really does look like a quality product and its indented rear lights look distinctively different from the Cayenne. It’s a shame you need another 130 thousand for the S, which is the one you actually want. That aside, I can tolerate its slightly compromised interior quality being compared to a Cayenne but the Macan’s upright rear seats that cannot be reclined is something that would make me think twice.
" The Macan is every bit more talented than a Q5
that's begging for more power "
To sum things up, the Macan S and Turbo remains as the people’ alternative to the Cayenne they already have in the garages leaving those who are desperate for a Porsche with the base model. If you were to get the base Macan, avoid unnecessary garnish, stick to steel suspensions mated to standard wheels. There is no downside to being rich but be very careful on how you mix and match your next spare car should you not wish to find it covered in phlegm.