All You Need to Know About the Porsche Macan Turbo
By Jon Derrickson on January 17, 2018
With a history spanning nearly 90 years, it’s fair to say that Porsche has earned the respect of the automobile industry. With famous models including the Boxster, Cayenne, 911, and Cayman, their profits enter the billions on a yearly basis with 2015 reportedly boasting sales of 225,000 units. Despite having their headquarters in Stuttgart and a long history in Germany, only 13% of their sales were made at home in 2015 with the rest, around 190,000 units, coming from buyers all around the world.
With this in mind, any new arrival from the German company gets people excited (including ourselves). Today, we want to explore one of the latest additions and it comes in the shape of the 2018 Macan Turbo. In this review, you’re going to learn everything there is to know about the model and we’re also going to give some of our own opinions. Before any of this though, let’s look at some basic details!
With a biturbocharged 3.6-liter V6 engine, we can expect around 442 lb-ft of torque and 440 horsepower which is an impressive starting point. Once you add a seven-speed DCT transmission, Porsche believes the model will reach 60mph in a little over four seconds. In terms of top speed, it will be limited to (only!) 169mph with all four wheels contributing to the experience thanks to the ‘all-wheel drive’.
In total, the model weighs 4,250 pounds and this increases by around 150 pounds for towing. With space for five people inside, the model is clearly beautiful and it offers more room for cargo than one might expect from a Porsche car. In terms of pricing, we’re looking at a base rate of $77,200 but this will quickly increase once you start adding different features and bonuses. For the vehicle we’re discussing today, it comes in at a little under $115,000.
In a moment, we’re going to dig deeper into the different areas of the car to assess its performance and appearance. First, however, we wanted to touch upon the reception the model has received so far from Porsche fans and industry experts. Firstly, and somewhat surprisingly after seeing the final result, there is a small percentage of people who say this isn't a ‘real’ Porsche. For us, we don’t see how a vehicle could be anything more ‘Porsche’. After about twenty minutes behind the wheel, this becomes more obvious than ever so we think this opinion will quickly disappear (or get drowned out!).
With the Macan Turbo, power is in abundance thanks to the biturbo V6 and the stunning chassis contributes to an enjoyable ride time after time. All things considered, experts are seeing this as being up there with the greatest SUVs in the market for driving experience alone. Once you add in the Performance Pack, this intensifies somewhat and becomes a monster on the road.
As we’re going to see in this review, the vehicle certainly isn't perfect. Above all else, the pricing is high and this is going to cause issues for many (despite the luxury and supreme performance). In addition to this, buyers also need to consider the low fuel economy and this is likely to lead some away from the Macan Turbo. If these two factors changed, we may have seen a wealth of ten-star reviews but, sadly, this isn't the case.
Firstly, we want to look at the exterior and many people instantly made the comparison between the Macan Turbo and the Cayenne. In fact, Porsche has taken some criticism but we would like to question whether this is actually such a bad thing? With a chiseled front end, a sloping roofline, and even the option to remove the badge on the clean rear, it looks stunning from all angles. If you’re interested in spending a little more for a Turbo Exterior Package, $8,000 will add a body-colored roof spoiler, LED headlights, 21-inch wheels, black air intakes, black sport exhaust tips, black side blades, and several other additions. Is the extra investment worth it? Well, the features you get in return will certainly be noticeable but the Macan Turbo also looks great without so we think it’s going to be a preference call more than anything. If we were to compare the exterior with an Audi Q5 or perhaps even a Mercedes GLC, it would be hard to look away from the Macan Turbo because it really is a stunning beast.
When you first take a seat inside the Macan Turbo, you’re likely to be overwhelmed by all the buttons just staring you in the face from the center stack. However, we’re sure this isn't going to be a problem after a good week in the car. Just like anything else, you’ll get used to what each button does and where it’s located in relation to others. When we tested the vehicle, we actually started to like the fact there’s a button for nearly everything. Rather than having menus hidden within menus, everything is clearly labelled and we see this as a huge advantage. In terms of layout, everything seems easy to navigate and the infotainment screen sits front and center; buttons in the steering wheel are fairly limited.
As a whole, we enjoyed sitting in the cabin and think you will too. For the front seats, they can be adjusted in all directions using an electric control and this is going to allow for full comfort regardless of your size. Considering the seats are also incredibly comfortable, while offering the right amount of support, we believe long journeys will be a dream in the Macan Turbo.
For the rear bench, head and legroom is limited somewhat and, despite offering 53 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats folded down, this is low compared to other options on the market. When it comes to premium CUV models, there are definitely roomier models but not many will match the comfort of the Macan.
The performance is outstanding, but did you really expect anything different considering the model has both ‘Turbo’ and ‘Porsche’ in its name? Once you add the Performance Pack to the model, it suddenly jumps 40 horsepower as well as 36 lb-ft of torque which is an impressive boost. Considering the standard Macan Turbo already offers 400 horsepower, the Performance Pack adds another 10% on top.
Furthermore, a little over four seconds will see the vehicle go from sitting still to 60mph…but the numbers don’t mean everything. Instead, we want to talk about the fantastic composure and balance the Macan provides even when twisting and turning on the road. When steering, the user gets lots of feedback and body roll is nearly non-existent when going around a corner. Even with the 21-inch wheels, the handling is above and beyond expectations which allows it to stand out among the crowd.
These days, technology is more important than ever with automobiles and the Macan Turbo excels with the infotainment system. Not only is it nicely laid out, the high-resolution graphics look stunning and the buttons are responsive to the touch; the proximity sensor even makes the button bigger as your finger approaches the screen. For an extra $1,300, the car becomes a WiFi hotspot which can be useful for both yourself and all guests. Additionally, Apple CarPlay comes as standard (unlike Android Auto).
If we were to pick holes in the technology, the screen is a little small. Although the secondary display makes things a little easier, the 7-inch screen pales in comparison to the many 12-inch screens we’re seeing these days. If screen size is important to your driving experience, this may put you off the Macan Turbo.
Maintenance and Running Costs
When it comes to the city, highway, and combined, EPA ratings have the Macan Turbo at 17, 23, and 19 miles per gallon respectively. These days, this is very low; especially if you like testing the throttle to make the most of your investment. In terms of real-world driving, we should expect high-teens for fuel economy and this slight problem is made worse by the fact the Macan only takes premium fuel. Every time you fuel up, you’re paying this penalty and it soon adds up. Does the beautiful drive make up for the increased running costs? This is for you to decide after a test drive.
Before we talk a little more about the pricing, we come to the safety features on the Macan and you can enjoy lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and several other features that make the driving experience that little bit easier. Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t delve into the more advanced systems such as semi-autonomous driving or collision prevention technology.
With the 2019 Cayenne and 2018 Panamera, the new InnoDrive assistance technology is expected to launch but it isn't yet available in the Macan series and this might be a problem. So far, we’ve spoken to several people who are willing to wait for future crossovers in the next generation just to take advantage of this technology.
To finish, we come to perhaps the biggest stumbling block of all; the price. Considering it’s Porsche we’re discussing, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by the hefty pricing structure. For the standard Macan models, they can be bought for under $48,000 which is competitive for its market. Somehow, the Turbo makes the jump to at least $77,000 ($87,700 with the Performance Package).
Suddenly, you’re nearly at $90,000 before you even look at the options sheet which includes $1,500 for the Torque Vectoring Plus system, $8,100 for carbon ceramic brakes, and $3,100 for the Carmine Red paint. If you include $1,000 for destination and handling, in addition to every other small addition, the ‘as-tested’ price comes to around $115,000.
As you’ll see from the pictures, there’s no doubting the beauty of the Macan Turbo. From front to back, it looks majestic as it glides across the tarmac. As we move inside, the interior is clean, highly-adjustable for your own comfort, and high-quality. Furthermore, the V6 engine holds great amounts of power and this is seen with the speed test.
Will it be successful? Ultimately, we can’t answer this question because it depends on a few factors. Can buyers overlook the price? Are people waiting for future crossover models with more advanced technology? Is the screen too small for those who have grown accustomed to larger screens? In the coming months, we’re about to have all these questions answered and we can’t wait to find out how it’s received!