Unless you drive a Porsche Macan S you may never understand what all the buzz is about. Here is an SUV that handles, accelerates and stops as well as a sports car. But it can carry five adults, tow a trailer and be equipped with a top rack. To say this vehicle is a wonder is an understatement. Consumer Reports and US News and World Report both selected it as the best vehicle in its category. So what is it that makes this vehicle so desirable that it is sold out in some countries for nearly a year and there is probably a waiting list at your local dealer for one built to your liking? Well, it registers on the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. It is playful, practical, fast, and, yes, expensive. The Macan starts at around $52,000, but don’t expect to leave the dealership without another ten thousand dollars in options.
Mom’s view: This is the best vehicle we have ever tested regardless of price. It’s easy to park, zips through traffic and its performance during freeway driving can only be described as amazing. From a practical standpoint it is difficult to justify such an expensive daily driver. That is until you drive one. At that point it is challenging not to rationalize why you don’t need one. Ladies, this is an agile, engaging SUV with a surprising cushy ride, and the interior is stunning. With optional heated and cooled seats, quality interior materials, and ample storage, this is definitely going to be your home away from home. Standard safety features and options include an all-wheel drive system, airbags everywhere, tire pressure monitor, remote key, ABS, stability and traction control, blind spot monitor, and lane departure warning among others. Fit and finish are splendid. There is a small indentation on the exterior door handle that, when pushed, locks the doors and swivels the side mirrors inward if you desire. I could go on forever, but this is the SUV I would choose for a trip, to shop, or drop the brood off at school. If I get lost the GPS map can show on the central monitor and the instrument panel. Ladies, you can have it all.
Dad’s view: First, it is a hoot to drive. Quiet, unassuming, and comforting, the Macan is just your mild mannered Clark Kent. That is until you press the “sport” button. The result is supercar. This 4,300 pound SUV changes its character. The exhaust sound is deepened and the acceleration sharpened as the 340 horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 engine makes it fly. Porsche’s PDK 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission shifts immediately, and the all-wheel drive system sends power to where it is needed. It takes a super human effort not to have the sports mode on all the time. Nevertheless, there are some drawbacks. Tall people will find a lack of rear headroom, and the electronics aren’t as world class as one would expect. Readers with a passion for driving, who love the outdoors, ski, or want to experience what a Porsche is about, this is your feisty, family-friendly SUV.
Young unemployed male’s view: Being unemployed puts this car into the realm of unattainable. So much for that expensive degree and Microsoft training certification. Back to business. The 2016 Macan comes with an 11-speaker stereo with a 7-inch touch-screen display, Bluetooth, a USB port, and fairly good quality sound. You can opt for a 14-speaker Bose sound, a 16-speaker Burmester system, a PCM infotainment system, and Porsche Car Connect. The latter is interesting and enables you to find your Macan using your smartphone. I can’t comment on the upgraded $1,400 Bose or the $5,700 Burmester with its 1,000 watt units, but I found the base unit adequate. The Macan’s stunning sport steering wheel is from the 918 Spyder. Interestingly, the tachometer is positioned in the center of the dash where one would expect to see the speedometer. Alongside that unit is a 4.8-inch color screen that displays messages from the on-board computer and, if needed, a GPS map. The main monitor is a 7-inch touchscreen. Now if I can just find work.
Young woman’s view: The tailgate is devoid of a handle. The opener is located under the wiper stalk. One press and it opens to any height you desire. Low garage, just a quick click on the lowering button and it is set. So very nice. In fact, if you enjoy driving or just want to see what a Porsche is all about, this is, believe it or not, one of the least expensive ways to find out. The doors have large storage bins that can even accommodate large bottles. The luggage compartment offers 17.7 cu. ft. of space and the rear bench seat when folded down increases capacity to 53 cu. ft. This is small for its class, but it could carry my bike without any problem. It is totally female-friendly with easy-to-reach controls and exceptional interior lighting. In fact, the guttural sound of the exhaust, the brisk acceleration and subdued ride are addicting. There is a lot to love here. The hold feature keeps the Macan in place when stopped on grades, the firm brakes provide confidence and the high quality ratings add luster. Gas mileage was about 20 mpg. This Porsche bedevils one’s brokerage accounts.
Family conference: Robert Browning said it best, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” We believe he foresaw the Macan.
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