2019 Porsche Macan – Hawaii Cars

2019 Porsche Macan

Sports-car DNA makes this utility vehicle a thrilling ride

By MALCOLM GUNN

The Porsche crest attached to the nose of any vehicle essentially guarantees you exceptional performance across all operational facets.

This certainly applies to the five-passenger Porsche Macan S utility vehicle that combines luxury and sporting behavior into a well-rounded package.

The arrival of the updated 2019 Macan S follows that of the base model. They account for roughly 40 percent of Porsche’s total North American sales and receive their first updates since arriving for the 2015 model year.

The exterior refit includes a new front-end design with reshaped side- and lower-air intakes, and new LED headlights. A light-bar strip extends across the liftgate to connect the taillights.

The Macan uses the same platform as before, but front-suspension components are now made from aluminum instead of steel and the front and rear sway bars have been revised for claimed handling improvements. There are also new shock absorbers for the optional Porsche Active Suspension Management. The system comes with a height-adjustable air suspension that, in off-road mode, provides 1.6 additional inches of ground clearance. There are larger-diameter front disc brakes and rear tires that are a size wider than the fronts. Inside, a new 10.9-inch touchscreen includes an easy-to-use voice-activated navigation system.
Easily the most significant change is a single-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that replaces the original twin-turbocharged 3.0.

Output is now 348 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, an increase of eight horsepower and 13 pound-feet. The base Macan’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 248 horses and 273 pound-feet.

A seven-speed automated manual transmission with paddle shifters is standard for all models.

According to Porsche’s stopwatch, the Macan S sprints to 60 mph from rest in 5.1 seconds, which is slightly better than the 2018 model.
Fuel economy is rated at 18 mpg city, 23 highway and 20 combined.

As before, the standard all-wheel-drive setup can ship up to 100 percent of engine power to the front axle, if needed.

Behind the wheel, the Macan S’s sports-car-like reflexes are readily apparent. The turbo V-6 accelerates without any perceived delay. Porsche says the engine’s turbo — positioned between the cylinder banks — gets the credit. As well, the seven-speed transmission always seems to have the correct gear at the ready, whether a gentle touch on the throttle or a more forceful stab is required.

The Macan S soaks up the bumps without unduly jostling or jarring occupants. But when taking winding roads at higher speeds, the revised suspension helps keep the vehicle glued to the pavement.

Of course all this fun and games comes at a price, which for the Macan S starts at $59,850 including destination charges. That’s $8,700 more than the base Macan. You get a reasonable amount of content, but Porsche tries its level best to temp you with a plethora of options.

For example, the Premium Plus package contains a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated 14-way power front seats with memory, and a Bose sound system.

Other option groupings are geared to performance. The $1,360 Sport Chrono package gets you Sport and Sport+ settings for the engine, transmission and chassis.

However, spending nearly $1,000 extra for chrome-plated stainless-steel tailpipes, or $540 for a painted vehicle key with leather pouch, seems over the top. Likewise, an $8,600 outlay for the carbon-ceramic brakes option would be useful if you planned on attacking your local racecourse, but is well beyond the needs of an urban commuter.

These and other extras too numerous to outline could send the final purchase price into the stratosphere, but this is typical of how Porsche markets its vehicles.

Whatever the configuration, the Macan S is a practical wagon with a penchant for pampering and performance. Frankly, it makes much more sense as an all-around vehicle than any of the company’s two-door sports cars. It’s a way to get the Porsche pedigree in a primary mode of transportation.

What you should know: 2019 Porsche Macan S

Type: Four-door, all-wheel-drive five-passenger utility vehicle

Engine (h.p.): 3.0-liter DOHC V-6, turbocharged (348)

Transmission: Seven-speed automated manual

Market position: The Macan and larger Cayenne make up a large percentage of Porsche’s total sales, and have been touted as the vehicles that kept the company profitable for the past decade.

Points:
• Attractively conservative styling receives a bit of fiddling, but nothing major.
• Turbocharged V-6 is a lively performer and works well with the seven-speed transmission.
• Base price seems reasonable, but adding just a few options will send it sharply higher.
• Available dynamic-safety technologies should be standard, as they are with competing models.

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (n.a.); active cruise control (opt.); emergency braking (opt.); drowsy-driver alert (n.a.)

MPG (city/hwy) 18/23; Base price (incl. destination) $59,850

B Y C O M P A R I S O N

Alfa Romeo Stelvio AWD
Base price: $43,600
Attractively base price, but the 505-h.p. Quadrifoglio costs considerably more.

Cadillac XT5 AWD
Base price: $45,700
Quiet and comfortable are pluses. Standard 310-h.p. V-6 needs more grunt.
BMW X3 M40i

Base price: $55,650
Up-level AWD model comes with a turbocharged 355-h.p. six-cylinder engine. V-6 plus loads of cabin space.