There’s not much I like about SUVs. They’re big, bulky, boring looking and equally as boring to drive. Unless you’re talking about the Jeep Cherokee SRT8 in which case, the SRT8 is awesome.
And now, I’ve found another one that I like in addition to the SRT8-the 2016 Porsche Macan S. I mean, look at it. It’s just gorgeous.
With signature Porsche headlights and the hood emblem, you won’t mistake this vehicle for anything other than a Porsche. The front end is bold and aggressive and the rear end has my favorite quad exhaust look, complete with wide rear tires. I never “ooh” or “aah” over SUVs, but with this one I do.
And it’s just the right size too. Not too big, not too small. Whereas the Cayenne is a bit too hefty for my taste, the Macan is perfectly proportioned.
The Macan undoubtedly has impressive looks but what took me by surprise was the excellent driving experience. I would never have expected to step into this oversized hatchback and actually have fun driving it.
Behind The Wheel
You know how sometimes you just know things? Like when you find the right pair of shoes, the right job, or how you just know that the new guy at work is a jerk from hell? You can feel it in your gut. With the Macan, before you even start driving, you know that it will be good.
As soon as you get into the driver’s seat, you quickly realize that the Macan was built for the auto enthusiast. Ergonomics are great. The seating position is great. The steering wheel feels great. Everything is great.
And sure enough, as soon as I started driving it, the Macan immediately rewarded me by being way more agile and nimble than I would’ve thought. I had no qualms about throwing this relatively large vehicle around and experienced minimal body roll, given its size and elevation off the ground. The Macan never once lost its balance or gave me any indication that I was going to flip over and die by taking a hard turn.
And I took many U-turns in the Macan in order to get some good camera shots; it was extremely surefooted every single time. Don’t let all my U-turns go to waste-watch the video.
I could’ve used more power in the Macan S, but I would probably say that with just about any car. Always need more power. 340 hp/lb-ft torque isn’t bad but 400 hp is better suited for the Macan, which you can get in the Turbo model. But even with 340 hp, I enjoyed myself in the Macan S. The delivery of the power was smooth with good acceleration and the fast-shifting PDK transmission helped maximize every bit of horsepower that the Macan was capable of generating.
The interior of the Macan was nicely done. The ride was comfortable and it was super quiet inside the cabin. There were the usual goodies and gizmos along with a bunch of fake buttons. I imagine enabling any of those buttons would cost you tens of thousands of dollars meaning that instead of paying $60K for the Macan, you could walk out with a Macan costing you more than a hundred grand.
Anytime I go from a non-German vehicle to a German one, everything feels solid and heavy–in a good way. The doors on the Macan may seem small but they are actually quite heavy and require some muscle to operate.
The seats are heavy too. As I pulled the levers to put the rear seats down, trying to explore how much room there was in the back, the seats just plummeted downwards. My puny muscles were unable to slow down the fall.
The Annoying Thing
There was one thing that I found annoying in the otherwise fabulous Macan. The headrest. The Macan front seat headrests will always be grazing your head in some fashion. Just like the mosquito that never leaves you alone, the headrest will continue to remind you of its existence.
It’s like that annoying pimple or the voice in your head that won’t go away. No matter what you try to do with your head, the headrest will get in there and cop a feel whenever possible.
What About Practicality?
The Macan might look relatively big and spacious from the outside, but once you get in, there isn’t a whole lot of room. Especially in the back, where it’s quite cramped.
Even though you could potentially fit three people in the back, the person sitting in the middle would be way more aggravated than being in the middle seat in an airplane being squeezed in by a couple of 400 lb giants who have completely taken over both armrests. A federal law should be enacted that allows an airplane middle seat passenger to have access to at least one armrest at all times.
Folding down the rears seats could give you a bit more space to fit in a year’s worth of peanuts from Costco, however you will be disappointed that you don’t have enough room to fit the screaming deal you just found at Best Buy–a $200 55-inch TV. But don’t worry–purchasing a Macan might just mean that you don’t have money to buy anything else anyway.
Who Would Buy This?
I thought about this for a moment and realized that there is an ideal person for whom the Macan is the right vehicle. That person would be someone a) who can afford it, b) prioritizes his or her need to have an enjoyable driving experience ahead of caving in to the family demands of getting something more practical, like an SUV.
The spouse of the Macan buyer would, of course, balk at the need to own a true sports car or drive something that’s actually fun. “No, you can’t get your 911 – it has no backseat, you idiot!”
The Macan is the perfect car to appease such irritating family members. Porsche has ingeniously designed a vehicle which appears to be practical, but it’s not really since it can barely fit your gym bag. It is a true driver’s car and ready to make anyone who is lucky enough to find themselves in the driver’s seat a happy person.
If you’re in a situation where you have no choice but to buy a “family car” to get your loved one to stop nagging for one second, then the Macan might solve your problems. It is expensive though, especially the Turbo model, but it is totally worth the extra dough. But that’s not a problem. Start saving today–just $5 a day. That way in 50 years you can buy it in cash.
Torque Affair is about exploring my fascination with cars. I’m always on the lookout for things that interest me in the car world.
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