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Porsche Macan GTS 2016 review

It takes skill and judgment to squeeze an SUV into a tight spot and Porsche aims to park the newest version of its medium-size Macan in an amazingly narrow gap.

The GTS must slip into the skimpy space between the existing Turbo and S models.

Porsche’s bestseller, the Macan accounts for about half of the brand’s Australian sales so far this year.

When it goes on sale in April, the GTS will add a dash of sporty spice to the line-up.

Porsche carefully calculated this increase in spiciness.

The GTS has a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6, just like the S. Porsche’s engineers have turned up the dial to make it more powerful but not as powerful as that in the Macan Turbo, a larger twin-turbo V6.

At $109,500, the GTS adds a $20,200 premium to the S but it is $16,300 less than the Turbo.

Porsche claims that the GTS will scoot from 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds, a little quicker than the S, but also a fraction slower than the Turbo.

The GTS seems designed for the kind of well-off ditherers who simply can’t decide whether the S or the Turbo is the right Macan for them.

But there is a little more to this speedy five-seat SUV than simply filling a narrow niche.

Porsche fits the GTS with suspension 15mm lower than the S, adaptive shock absorbers specially tuned for faster cornering and big 20-inch wheels wearing wide rubber.

It’s the sportiest Macan of all, Porsche plausibly claims.

The steering is quick and the brakes — always a Porsche strength — are excellent

Black trimmings on the outside and deep-sided, Alcantara-trimmed front seats inside give the GTS a more purposeful look and feel, without reducing its wagon-like versatility.

On a smooth and winding road, the Macan GTS is a stunningly quick SUV.

The engine delivers solid punch through the standard seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Its all-wheel drive channels power mainly to the rear wheels, aiding traction and making the handling more car-like than lesser SUVs. There’s great grip from the broad tyres, the steering is quick and the brakes — always a Porsche strength — are excellent.

But on roads that aren’t perfect, the GTS can be tiresome to drive. Its standard adaptive shock absorbers — Porsche’s name for this technology is PASM, for Porsche Active Suspension Management — are frustrating.

The driver can choose from Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus modes, none of which can happily combine sporty handling and smooth ride.

At a glance

Price: $109,500
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km 
Safety: 5 stars
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo, 265kW/500Nm
Transmission: 7-speed DSG; AWD
Thirst: 9.2L/100km
Dimensions: 4692mm (L), 1926mm (W), 1609mm (H), 2807mm (WB)
Weight: 1895kg
Spare: None; inflation kit
0-100km/h: 5.2 secs