Porsche Macan
Car News 15 Mar 2019

Porsche perfection is within reach

Oracle Finance is the UK’s No.1 funder of prestige, sports and classic vehicles and the official vehicle finance partner of Porsche Club GB. Together, we give our  appraisal of the new facelift Porsche Macan.

A compact SUV from Porsche was always going to challenge the norm when it was first launched back in 2014. But the Macan certainly lived up to billing and Oracle has had nothing but glowing feedback from our customers, who are now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the second generation Macan.

The staggering success of the Macan sets the bar very high for a midlife refresh. At its peak in 2018, Porsche sold just over 97,000 Macans globally, a figure that only dropped to 86,000 last year despite the deletion of diesel from the line-up and the knowledge that a replacement was imminent. For Porsche itself, the Macan is exceptionally good business and for many of Oracle’s  customers, it was an inspiring entry to the historic marque.

Understandably, Porsche has approached the five-year facelift with restraint. First generation Macans still look very fresh and a casual observer would be hard pushed to differentiate old from new. But put side-by-side, you see a subtle but distinctive change. The alterations to the Macan’s front end give it the appearance of a wider, more aggressive stance. The rear, meanwhile, gets the now mandatory full width light beam which looks superb, day and night, and makes the Gen 2 car unmistakably Porsche.

In a landscape increasingly overwhelmed by SUVs of every size and variety, the Macan neither looks nor feels excessively large. Its 4.6 metre length and 2.0 metre width fit perfectly where,  increasingly, the full-size SUV does not. True to its heritage, Porsche have without doubt put the sport into sports utility vehicle.

A real talking point for the new Macan is Porsche’s understandable decision to distance itself from the diesel global emissions scandal. Porsche have announced that there will no longer be a diesel variant offered in any of its cars. It’s a logical move, but it did put the engineers up against it when tasked with offering the ideal powertrain for an inherently heavy, torque-dependent product. Strangely, however, the absence of diesel-derived torque or the in-gear grunt of a V6 doesn’t limit the 2.0-litre , 4-cylinder Macan. In fact, it adds to its strengths. For the sheer lightness of the front end, combined with the rear bias of the all-wheel-drive system, makes this an improbably agile car.

Porsche Macan 2

The new Macan really does belie its size. There is a preternaturally car-like quality to the chassis, to its ability to remain poised and neutral in fast corners, and in the eagerness  of the engine to pick up through the gears that encourages you to explore the upper end of the rev range, to brake later than seems right in an SUV, to turn in more sharply and to use all of the available grip.

There are little compromises that you would expect from an all-round performer. The steering lacks the immediacy of Porsche’s out-and-out sports cars, and the brake pedal lacks a bit of the bite you might want from a heavy car that you are, occasionally, really leaning on. But the Macan’s qualities as an all-rounder remain unprecedented. 500 litres of boot space, comfortable and convincingly luxurious seating for four, and an ability to traverse road surfaces good and bad with incredible ease, and all combined with the best handling of any SUV on sale.

But it’s the headline ‘class-leading new Porsche from £46,344’ that’s possibly the biggest draw to the new Macan. Unsurprisingly, and maybe even reassuringly, it’s a starting price a little higher than its ‘so called’ competition, but with Porsche’s reliably robust residual values, the Macan is a definite ‘you get what you paid for’ investment, whether your preferred funding method is in cash or credit.