TEST DRIVE: Porsche Macan – sports car or SUV?

I was fortunate to drive the new Macan at a Porsche event close to Barcelona a couple of weeks ago.

For the purpose of this review, I will mainly compare the Macan with my BMW X3 xDrive35d (MY 2012).

The most important bit first; the Macan feels more agile than my X3, or rather, more agile than any SUV I have driven. Don’t be fooled, the Macan is no sports car, it’s no 911 with four doors, but it is as sporty as a SUV gets.

Before driving the car I had a passanger ride in the back seat of a Macan S Diesel. It felt properly quick, not the least since the driver was driving the car like a complete lunatic… In spite of his efforts, the Macan Turbo in front of us pulled away from us on the straights. The diesel engine had a pretty OK soundtrack, considering it is basically a reworked Audi diesel…

After the scary back seat ride, I drove the Macan Turbo on some mountain roads. Boy is it fast! The engine produces 400 hp with a somewhat muted soundtrack, but it makes nice exhaust noises on upshifts…

The steering is light, which is something I like. On my X3 it feels more weighty, specially in Sport mode, but in a bad, artificial way.

Now to the practical stuff. The interior feels very “premium”; much more luxurious than my X3. The Macans on show had full leather interiors, which added to the premium feeling.

Interior space in the back seat is limited and luggage space is markedly smaller than in the X3. Headroom in the back seat is not plentiful; tall people will hit the roof.

Finally, the most important question: do I want one? The answer is yes, but I wouldn’t sell a kidney to buy it… Let me clarify: if I didn’t own a family car and needed a small, sporty SUV, I would definitely buy a Macan. But is it worth upgrading from my BMW X3 xDrive35d? That’s a tough question. The Macan looks a little better, it feels a little more expensive inside, it is much more agile, but quite less practical than the X3.

If I had a sports car along the X3, as I used to have, I would keep the X3 as a family car. But without a sports car on the side, the family car needs to be sportier. In that context, the Macan would be an excellent all-rounder; it would make everyday driving a little bit more exciting. On the other hand, I am really fond of the new Maserati Ghibli (test drive report coming soon…). Decisions, decisions, decisions…

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