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Porsche Macan GTS 2016 review

EXPERT RATING
8
Craig Duff road tests and reviews the Porsche Macan GTS with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

If the Macan is the meanest compact SUV around then the new GTS variant is the point man. Depending on the mood and driving mode, this car can camouflage itself among the SUV shopping crowd or blast its way to the front of the pack.

It is — excuse the oxymoron — a driver-focused SUV. That's precisely what should happen when a sports car company builds a compact crossover, even if the result is slightly compromised in both roles.

The Macan's rear space isn't nearly as generous as on the similarly sized Audi Q5. As a sports car, it lacks the low centre of gravity that makes other Porsches so much fun to fling around corners.

Still the GTS does a more than credible job, to the point where it will shame many sedans through the twisties. Porsche has trimmed 15mm off the ride height and fitted adaptive dampers to help keep the nearly two-tonne mass flat and fluid through the turns.

Helping tame momentum are brakes borrowed from the Macan Turbo. The interior is typical Porsche with a plethora of buttons and dials, many duplicated on the touchscreen.

The driving position is close to ideal: a small steering wheel, grippy and well-bolstered seats and pedals that need little provocation to elicit a response.

The GTS's heart is a twin-turbo V6 (265kW/500Nm). Fed through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive, that equates to a 5.2-second sprint to triple figures. Most of the propulsion is funnelled to the 20-inch rear wheels shod with Pirelli rubber.

You don't buy a Macan as a sports car: that's the bonus.

At $109,500 plus on-roads the GTS isn't cheap … but it is a bargain in performance terms and nothing else in its class or price range matches it for size and sheer cornering speed.

Drop an extra $2690 on the Chrono Pack and you'll get a performance boost — the Sports Plus vehicle setting that sets the drivetrain and chassis to race-like responsiveness. You may never use it but you will point out the extra switch out to friends and family, guaranteed.

On the road

Comfort is the default setting for the GTS suspension and it softens the dampers to the point where the Macan only mildly jostles the occupants over pockmarked country tarmac.

Step it up into Sport — the natural environment of any Porsche — and the suspension faithfully follows every undulation and scabbed-over pothole. Those in the back feel it most, apparently.

You don't buy a Macan as a sports car: that's the bonus. As a city runabout the Macan is realistically a four-seater.

Boot space at 500L is practical for weekend getaways or carrying kids' paraphernalia.

So you can doddle around the 'burbs all week and then exploit the Macan's mean streak with an interesting route to the golf club on the weekend.

It takes a while to acquaint yourself with the array of buttons that festoon the centre dash and console. Those that adjust the performance of the vehicle are found alongside the transmission lever but the switchgear extends to the roof.

The tri-zone aircon takes little time to do its thing, the new multimedia setup is now on a par with modern offerings from other European and Asian makers and the audio was highly rated by my teenagers.

Verdict

It is either a seriously quick SUV or a very accommodating sports car. Think of it as a quality blended whisky rather than a single malt.

Are you interested in a super sporty SUV or something more practical? Tell us in the comments below.

Click here to see more 2016 Porsche Macan pricing and spec info.

Pricing Guides

$83,888
Based on 54 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$59,990
Highest Price
$122,900

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
GTS 3.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $89,990 – 122,900 2016 Porsche Macan 2016 GTS Pricing and Specs
S 3.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $59,990 – 89,900 2016 Porsche Macan 2016 S Pricing and Specs
S Diesel 3.0L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO $73,888 – 83,888 2016 Porsche Macan 2016 S Diesel Pricing and Specs
Turbo 3.6L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $95,800 – 115,900 2016 Porsche Macan 2016 Turbo Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8