On the road: The new Porsche Macan
On the road: The new Porsche Macan

Ian Lamming tests a pack of Porsche Macans and discovers an SUV for every occasion

SOMETHING is niggling me as I drive the latest Macan range and a tap on the glass makes it all clear.

Pulling up at road works traffic lights a Lyra-clad cyclist draws alongside the passenger door and asks me to drop the window.

Have I inadvertently cut him up? Must I steel myself for a barrage of abuse? No. “Love the gold wheels mate,” he says nodding with approval. “Thank you very much,” I say, relieved that I live to drive another day.

And that is when the penny drops. This is the cheapest of the three Macan IIIs in the latest Porsche SUV range but it is in no way the poor relation. Porsche do not do an ‘entry level’ model, there’s no ‘base’ in the line-up, they simply cost a variety of prices depending on your needs.

So parked on the gravel drive is the Macan, the Macan S and the Macan GTS and at a glance there is little to tell you which will be the cheapest.

Also, for me, my age and my love of comfort, if I didn’t know better, I would have put them in reverse order.

The ‘basic’ Macan, which is so far from basic that I should not even use the word, is absolutely magnificent and more than enough for me. Previous ‘starter’ Macans felt a little bit under-powered but not anymore.

Its 2.0 four cylinder motor is turbocharged and whops out a lusty 265hp and 400Nm of torque. That’s more than enough to propel this SUV to 62mph in 6.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 144mph – that’ll do.

It does this via an amazingly quick changing seven-speed automatic gearbox which you can leave alone to get on with the job or play with using the paddles, while the ride offers a wonderful blend of compliance and control. It is supremely comfortable yet there’s no hint of over-softness, no rolling through the bends and incredible, confidence-inspiring levels of grip.

Equally surprising and to be welcomed is the price tag – a full-blown Porsche for under 50K? Madness. The basic on the road price is £47,780.00. Test car then comes with 10K of extras but, to be honest, I could sacrifice most of them, though would be tempted to splash out on the 20in Neodyme (gold) alloys at £2,436.00, if only to keep my new-found cycling chum happy and for the contrasting effect with the classy and understated gentian blue livery. Lovely.

Lovely also describes the interior which is a glorious mix of high-end technology and incredibly plush craftsmanship. I’m a happy man. I’ve never wanted a Macan so badly.

From Macan to Macan S, you pays your money and takes your choice. The basic price jumps to £53,300.00 for which you get a stonking 2.9 litre twin turbo V6. That will be enough for most people as the power rises to 380hp, the 0-62mph time plummets to just 4.8 seconds, while the top speed rises to an autobahn-only 161mph. So S is a sports car in disguise, a driver’s machine for the family man, a compromise without comprises, with a firmer ride and exhilarating performance.

At GT to the moniker and the ‘top of the range’ comes in the form of a 440hp monster truck, which feels it is a super car, with its stiffer ride and blistering 4.5 second sprint time and 169mph top end – for another 11K. For those in the know, the GTS lettering alone will make this upgrade an absolute must and there is no doubting the spine-tingling wail that engine and exhaust emit on full chat.

What is assured is that Macan III is positively magnificent in every guise. There is no entry model just one designed to suit the driver’s bespoke wants, needs and purse strings. I’d be happy with any of them.

Fact File

Porsche Macan

Engine: 2.0 litre

Power: 265PS

0-62mph: 6.4 secs

Top speed: 144mph

Transmission: seven-speed automatic

Price: £47,780.00

Fact File

Porsche Macan S

Engine: 2.9 litre twin turbo V6

Power: 380PS

0-62mph: 4.8 secs

Top speed: 161mph

Transmission: seven-speed automatic

Price: £53,300.00

Fact File

Porsche Macan GTS

Engine: 2.9 litre twin turbo V6

Power: 440PS

0-62mph: 4.5 secs

Top speed: 169mph

Transmission: seven-speed automatic

Price: £71,445.00