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Improvements to its performance, design and cabin help the Porsche Macan S maintain its position as the leader of the pack and a clear driver's choice.

29 Mar 2019

If there's anything more competitive and faster evolving than Formula One, it's likely to be today's go-fast, luxury crossover market.

Just at the top of my head, there are already the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, the Audi SQ5, the BMW X3 M40i, the Jaguar F-PACE V6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC 43 AMG - and they each stand out in their own way.

Some are beautiful, some are great to drive and some are luxurious. But there is one model that combines all those qualities, amplifies them, and has become the best-selling model of its brand. In 2018, it was the most successful Porsche model by volume with 86,031 vehicles, just ahead of the Cayenne with 71,458 deliveries.

The Macan may be Porsche's entry-level model but it's the brand's best-selling one

That is the Porsche Macan.

Okay, maybe it wasn't all that beautiful before, but the Macan has since received a rather extensive facelift for the 2019 model year that will no doubt help it continue that success.

It all begins on the outside

The old Macan isn't something we would call a work of art, and it's still something we probably wouldn't, but it's better. Its visual changes are largely evolutionary but bearing its popularity in mind, it's understandable why Porsche didn't change its styling much.

The new full-width tail lamps dominate the rear of the Macan

The most obvious difference with our test car, a Macan S, is the new full-width tail lamps that bring its design closer to the rest of the current Porsche lineup, while a slightly restyled front fascia comprising redesigned LED head lights and intake apertures round things off at the front.

There are also new colour - such as Miami Blue, Mamba Green Metallic, Dolomite Silver Metallic and Crayon - and wheel design options to choose from.

On the inside, the noticeable changes are front and centre, with a new 10.9-inch infotainment touchscreen replacing its predecessor's 7.2-inch screen, and redesigned air-con vents that are now positioned below the infotainment screen.

The Macan's dash gets a new look, courtesy of a new infotainment display and redesigned air-con vents

Our Macan S also came equipped with an optional alcantara-wrapped steering wheel lifted from the 911, fitted with the sport response dial that is part of the Sport Chrono Package - a first for the Macan range.

There's heightened performance, too

Flip that dial into Sport Plus mode and the engine becomes more responsive, the shift times of the PDK transmission, fitted as standard, become even shorter and gear changes even sportier.

The Macan S is also quicker than before, thanks to its new turbocharged 3.0-litre V6, which it shares with the Panamera and Cayenne. With it, there's now 349bhp and 480Nm of torque on tap - an increase of 14bhp and 20Nm from before.

Correlatively, the model's 0-100km/h time has been reduced by 0.1 seconds to 5.1 seconds. The engine is sharp and responsive, and strong enough that it makes you wonder if the GTS and Turbo models are really necessary down the road.

With its new 3.0-litre V6, the Macan is now armed with 349bhp and 480Nm of torque

But what really impresses is how it handles. Its steering is remarkably precise for a crossover, plus it actually provides some real feel, and the agility of its front end is unrivalled. The seating position is also unusually sporty for this sort of car.

In its stiffer modes, the Macan S' adaptive dampers do well to help eliminate a big amount of body roll, which is often a crossover's foible.

And so, it can pretty much be driven the same manner you would a hot hatch, delivering an experience that shames even some sports cars in the market.

It may drive like a sports car but there's much comfort to be had from the Macan's rear quarters

Yet, despite the fact that the Macan S tilts towards performance, it has a surprisingly soft side. With the adaptive suspension in comfort setting, there are no sacrifices to ride quality and refinement, which is a characteristic that's required of any luxury crossover.

The Macan S manages comfort and athleticism in equal measure, which is something we can rarely ever say about any car.

Continued success

So while I've never actually been a fan of sporty crossovers, because I've never felt the combination ever worked well, it's easy to understand the appeal of the Macan. It doesn't just work well as a Porsche, but also as a comfortable, well-appointed and practical family proposition.

The Macan isn't just comfortable, its 500-litre boot space makes it a practical car too

And I do not doubt that it is still the best in the business, and will continue to lead Porsche's sales charts.
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Car Information

Porsche Macan S PDK 3.0 (A)
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: $288,788

Engine Type


V6 Turbocharged

Engine Cap





264kW (354 bhp) / 6400 rpm



480 Nm / 4800 rpm



7-speed (A) PDK

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption


10.4 km/L

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