2017 Porsche Macan GTS: More oomph, for more money
By David Miller
Sep. 2, 2016
With only two-plus years under its belt, the compact Macan crossover has become Porsche’s top-selling vehicle in Canada and the United States. It’s not hit the top spot by a large margin, but it shows that the decision to offer a smaller crossover was the correct one.
With the Macan, Porsche may have drifted more into the mainstream, but being sound and realistic in business is something to tip your hat to. At least now Porsche products will end up in more driveways, and who’s going to complain about that?
The Macan isn’t the typical Porsche vehicle we’ve all grown up accustomed to, but that’s a sign of the times. Some may suspect because it’s an entry-level vehicle it doesn’t come with Porsche DNA, but those people would be wrong. It possesses exceptional performance and handling for a crossover, especially in GTS trim – the sporty and newest trim level – that ups its horsepower game by 20.
We took out a 2017 Macan GTS, which features a 3.0-litre V6 with 360 hp and 369 lb.-ft. of mouthwatering torque. So let’s break it down.
Pros & Cons
- + Sharp handling
- + Acceleration
- + Styling
- - Price
- - Interior design
- - Navigation system
The Macan is sexy. It has the design angles, curves and bulk where needed and its smaller shape comes off even nicer than its larger Cayenne sibling.
Up front, the Macan grabs your attention with a powerful-looking sloped hood that sports the Porsche prancing horse front-and-centre with nicely-shaped bi-xenon headlights, along with striking air intakes. The only thing that would make this thing pop even more is a flashier grille to replace the current one’s generic black slats. But perhaps Porsche’s idea is to let the rest of the Macan’s pieces do the talking.
In profile, the Macan appears powerful and bulky on 20-inch RS Spyder wheels in black satin and a black stripe along the bottom that spells out GTS.
Its back side rounds out Macan’s sporty frame with burnt-red horizontal LED taillights and dual blacked-out exhausts on each side.
The inside of a Porsche can be a mystery for those desired conquest customers. If you’ve never been in one, the sheer number of buttons, switches and knobs is reminiscent of an airplane cockpit and can be overwhelming. Why do they do it? The simple answer is: Because they can.
I give Porsche some credit for not taking cues from competitors. The German brand forges its own path with a left-side ignition switch that stays in its holster, eliminating the fuss of having to take out your key.
Aside from Porsche’s slightly unnecessary signature markings, the Macan is a comfortable crossover to be in. The front occupants are treated to power-adjustable leather bucket seats that hold you in place with plenty of room up top and below. The dash continues this leather theme that hits its crescendo on a broad sports steering wheel complemented by a brushed aluminum interior trim.
In the rear, you’ll find the Macan to be roomier than it appears, and even larger than the Audi Q5 that it shares its platform with. I was able to fit three adults in the back and while comfort was not ideal, this is manageable.
If you need to expand its cargo capacity, fold down the back seats to increase space from 500 litres (17.7 cu.-ft.) to a more-generous 1,500 (53 cu.-ft.).
There’s plenty of tech that goes into the Macan, starting with the aforementioned buttons littering the centre console. Here’s where you can fiddle with not only the radio and navigation, but also drive modes and exhaust notes. It’s a customization lover’s fantasy, but also a child’s dream. You’ve been warned!
Your main source of technology is a seven-inch touchscreen and a 4.8-inch high-resolution TFT screen on the control panel. Both of these systems are easy to read and use, but I found the navigation unit to be in need of an upgrade.
This test vehicle had the optional Premium Package Plus, which comes with an upgraded 14-speaker Bose sound system, heated seats, automatic dimming mirrors and a panoramic sunroof for an additional $3,870. A nice touch, but one that adds cost to this already pricey people mover.
For luxury vehicles, status is a big part of the reason for purchase. When you go up the ladder to Porsche, however, performance typically plays a factor and the Macan GTS doesn’t disappoint.
The Macan brings you power, with those 360 horses under the hood, and handling precision in an all-wheel drive vehicle. Quick acceleration is made more exciting by the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission’s smooth shifting.
Around tight corners, the Macan’s balancing act may be its most impressive expression of performance. It displays tremendous grip and minimal body roll when you challenge the chassis on curvy roads. Steering and throttle inputs are both responsive in sport mode, while normal mode delivers a quiet and relaxed drive. Keep in mind the GTS’ large brakes are strong and can be touchy, making it easy to jerk your passengers around.
The Macan GTS has more than enough power for any driving situation, but keep in mind you’re not making this purchase for big fuel savings. It may be able to do a 0-100 km/h sprint in 5.2 seconds, but it will set you back in fuel costs with official ratings of 13.7 L/100 km in the city and 10.4 L/100 km on the highway. For my week long test, I averaged 14.8 L/100 km in a 75/25 city/highway driving split.
It’s safe to say that the Macan is not purchased for value. The starting price $52,700, a healthy $8,000 more than the Mercedes-Benz GLC, and by the time you work your way up to the GTS the price will have climbed to $73,100. My tester was optioned out to $86,495, including delivery fees.
If you’ve decided on this Porsche as your next vehicle, the next decision you have to make is which trim level. The Macan S’ 340-hp V6 has enough power to cruise around with, but you have to wonder whether the GTS is worth the $13,900 price bump. Yes, you get a bit of added flair that includes nicer wheels, badges and a re-tuned chassis, but it only adds 20 hp and 30 lb.-ft. of torque.
If you’re in the market for a luxury SUV, the 2017 Porsche Macan GTS would be a good fit for a family that desires some performance excitement. It has all the attributes that on a luxury car owner’s checklist: leather-wrapped everything, heated and cooled seats, a sunroof and an extensive list of gadgets. Adding to its resume is a combination of brisk acceleration, superior handling and that Porsche badge, which automatically places you in a more exclusive group. If that’s what you’re looking for, this may be that perfect slipper.