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Porsche Macan 2023 review: T

You can see more than a hint of 911 in the Porsche Macan T. (Image: James Cleary)
EXPERT RATING
7.1
Porsche's SUVs, the Cayenne and Macan, are by far the most popular models the famous German maker offers. But sports cars are in this brand's DNA, so no surprise a 'T' version of the Macan has arrived with specific tuning of the engine and suspension to dial up driver engagement.

For Porsche, T is much more than the 20th letter of the alphabet. In Weissach-world it stands for Touring, and has been applied to special 911 variants for over half a century.

More recently it’s been attached to the 718 Boxster and Cayman, and now the mid-size Macan SUV.

Porsche says T means “precise tuning, exclusive equipment and efficient engines”, and this most recent example adds another option in the Macan line-up, one rung above the entry-level model.

We spent a week with this recently introduced 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, AWD machine to see how far it expands the Porsche Macan performance and practicality envelope.  

Porsche Macan 2023: T
Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency9.5L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$86,460

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

With cost-of-entry sitting at $92,700, before on-road costs, the Macan T is positioned just above the entry-level grade in a four model line-up.

And it stacks up against well-credentialed and well-equipped competitors like the Audi Q5 45 TFSI S line Sportback ($90,600), BMW X3 xDrive30i M Sport ($91,900), and Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 ($92,300).

Aside from the performance and safety tech covered later, the standard equipment list includes the often optional ‘Sport Chrono Package’ (including a mode switch and ‘Sport Response’ button on the steering wheel), as well as a 10.9-inch HD multimedia touchscreen, sat nav (with voice control), three-zone climate control, eight-way electrically-adjustable sports front seats (with driver’s side memory), heated front seats, cruise control, as well as keyless entry and start.

The Macan T has an entry price of $92,700, before on-road costs. (Image: James Cleary) The Macan T has an entry price of $92,700, before on-road costs. (Image: James Cleary)

Also included is combination leather and ‘Sport Tex’ cloth seat trim (with silver contrast stitching), a leather-trimmed heated GT sports steering wheel, 10-speaker/150-watt audio with digital radio as well as Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay connectivity (no Android Auto, though), a 4.8-inch configurable info display in the instrument cluster, 20-inch alloy rims (finished in ‘Dark Titanium’), LED headlights, tail-lights and daytime running lights, plus an auto tailgate. There’s more, but you get the idea.

Worth noting our test car featured more than $25K’s worth of options. Specifically, a leather trim package ($3280), panoramic roof ($3110), sports exhaust ($3080), adaptive air suspension ($2790), 18-way adaptive sports front seats ($2410), Bose 14-speaker/665-watt audio ($2230), ‘Papaya Metallic’ paint ($1800), tinted LED headlights with ‘Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus’ ($1650), adaptive cruise control ($1620), carbon interior trim package ($1600), lane keeping assist ($1100), high-gloss black roof rails ($650), and Porsche logo door courtesy lights. Total price as tested (before on-road costs) $118,560.  

At that money you’re more in line with the Audi SQ 5 Wagon ($110,400), BMW X3 M40i ($118,900), and Merc-AMG GLC 43 ($129,000). A tough trio to get your nose in front of, but the Macan T still presents pretty well.

Is there anything interesting about its design?   8/10

Michael Mauer has been Porsche’s chief of design for close to 20 years, overseeing the look and feel of every product the brand has produced in that time. And he’s been successful in massaging particular forms and signature elements to work across the line-up. 

For example, you can see more than a hint of 911 in the Macan T (and other models, for that matter), from the elongated four point headlights, to the gentle curve at the rear of the roofline, as well the distinctive tail-light treatment.

Since launching internationally in 2012, the Macan has been tweaked in 2016, before a full-blown refresh in 2021. Mauer and his team have somehow transplanted a Porsche sports car’s stance and personality to this mid-size SUV, which incidentally boasts a drag-coefficient of 0.35 (not bad, but still a fair way off the 911’s 0.29). 

The wide centre stack houses a 10.9-inch media display above physical ventilation controls. (Image: James Cleary) The wide centre stack houses a 10.9-inch media display above physical ventilation controls. (Image: James Cleary)

For car-spotters keen to tick the Macan T off their list, the thing to look out for is exterior elements finished in ‘Agate Grey Metallic’. Specifically, the middle section of the front apron, the side ‘blades’ running across the lower section of the doors, the roof spoiler, and the exterior mirrors (including their V-shaped bases).

Then it’s all about high-gloss black on the side window trims, exhaust outlets and parts of the rear diffuser. But the biggest giveaway is the Porsche logo and model designation finished in, you guessed it… Agate Grey Metallic.

In looking at the Macan T’s interior design it’s important to call out our test car’s optional leather trim package ($3280) and carbon interior trim package ($1600), combining to dial up the cabin’s racy, premium feel.

The exhaust outlets are highlighted by a high-gloss black trim. The exhaust outlets are highlighted by a high-gloss black trim.

A relatively simple dash design incorporates Porsche’s iconic three-dial instrument layout housed in a compact, curved binnacle. On the right-hand side a 4.8-inch configurable info display takes the place of what would have traditionally been an analogue gauge.

The wide centre stack houses a 10.9-inch media display above (big tick) physical ventilation controls. A sloping centre console is filled with touch controls under a piano black finish. Looks good in the showroom, but fingerprints are its enemy.

The front sports seats feel as good as they look, and overall the design is premium, functional and focused.

How practical is the space inside?   8/10

At just over 4.7m long, around 1.9m wide, and a fraction more than 1.6m tall the Macan is a large medium-size SUV, but inside it feels more like the former than the latter.

Plenty of breathing space for the driver and front passenger, with a broad centre console dividing the space. Storage is good, too.

The glove box is a handy size, there’s a decent lidded box between the seats (that doubles as a centre armrest), as well as two large cupholders in front of it, and a handy oddments tray just behind the gearshift. Big door bins with space for large bottles are also a welcome inclusion.

There is plenty of breathing space for the driver and front passenger, with a broad centre console dividing the space. (Image: James Cleary) There is plenty of breathing space for the driver and front passenger, with a broad centre console dividing the space. (Image: James Cleary)

Swapping to the back seat, sitting behind the driver’s seat, set to my 183cm position, I had heaps of leg and headroom. There’s even enough room for three full-size adults on short to medium journeys, although the full road trip experience would be too close for long-distance comfort. A trio of up to teenage kids will be laughing. 

For storage there are two cupholders in the fold-down centre armrest, bins with enough room for large bottles (and a bit more) in the doors, and adjustable air vents with temperature control as part of the three-zone climate-control system. No map pockets on the front seat backs, though.

Power and connectivity runs to a 12-volt outlet in the front centre console and another in the boot, as well as a SIM and SD card slot in the front, supplemented by two USB-C jacks in the front and another pair in the rear. 

In the second row there is enough room for three full-size adults on short to medium journeys. (Image: James Cleary) In the second row there is enough room for three full-size adults on short to medium journeys. (Image: James Cleary)

Speaking of the boot, it’s generous, with 488 litres (VDA) available with all seats up (measured to the upper edge of the rear seats). Fold the 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat and that number grows to 954 litres. Measure volume right up to the roof in that configuration and you have no less than 1503 litres to play with.

The boot space is properly illuminated, there are four tie-down anchors to help secure loose loads, and a small netted space lurks behind the wheel tub on the driver’s side.

Our test car was fitted with the optional adaptive air suspension system ($2790) which allows lowering of the car’s rear when stationary to make shuffling heavy loads into the back easier. And the standard auto tailgate is super helpful.

Maximum towing capacity for a braked trailer is 2.0 tonnes (towbar preparation and ‘Trailer Stability Management’ are standard), and the spare is a space-saver.

  • With all seats in use, the boot capacity measures at 488 litres (VDA). (Image: James Cleary) With all seats in use, the boot capacity measures at 488 litres (VDA). (Image: James Cleary)
  • In the boot is a space-saver spare tyre. (Image: James Cleary) In the boot is a space-saver spare tyre. (Image: James Cleary)

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   7/10

The Macan T is powered by a version of the VW Group’s ‘EA888’ turbo-petrol, four-cylinder engine, used in a host of Audi, Seat and Skoda models, as well as, most-notably, the previous generation VW Golf Mk7 GTI.

The 2.0-litre, all-alloy unit uses a combination of port and direct fuel-injection, plus variable cam timing on the inlet and exhaust side to produce 195kW from 5000-6500rpm, and 400Nm across a broad plateau from 1800rpm right up to 4500rpm. The rev ceiling sits at 6800rpm.

Power goes to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and an electronically-variable multi-plate clutch.

Under the bonnet is a turbo-petrol, four-cylinder engine producing 195kW and 400Nm. (Image: James Cleary) Under the bonnet is a turbo-petrol, four-cylinder engine producing 195kW and 400Nm. (Image: James Cleary)

How much fuel does it consume?   7/10

Porsche’s official fuel economy number for the combined (ADR 81/02 - urban, extra-urban) cycle for the Macan T is 9.5L/100km, the 2.0-litre four emitting 217g/km of CO2 in the process.

Over a week of city, suburban, and some freeway running we saw a dash-indicated average of 10.2L/100km. A solid, if unspectacular result for a close to 1.9-tonne SUV. 

Auto start-stop is standard, but pricey 98 RON premium unleaded is required, and you’ll need 75 litres of it to fill the tank.

Using the official number that translates to a range of 789km, which drops to 750km using our real-world number.

Porsche’s official fuel economy number for the Macan T is 9.5L/100km. Porsche’s official fuel economy number for the Macan T is 9.5L/100km.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   5/10

The Macan has been around for 10 years, and despite regular updates it’s starting to give ground to competitors in terms of standard active and passive safety tech. 

With a base price within shouting distance of six figures, you’d expect the Macan T to be at the pointy end of the safety game, but not so.

While crash avoidance features include ‘Lane Change Assist’, ‘Lane Departure Warning’, tyre pressure monitoring, and ‘Park Assist’ (including a reversing camera and 360-degree surround view), other big ticket items are optional extras.

Arguably the biggest is adaptive cruise control (including AEB) at $1620, and ‘Lane-keeping Assist’ for another $1100. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and other increasingly common systems aren’t available at any price.

Despite regular updates, the Macan T is starting to give ground to competitors in terms of standard active and passive safety tech. (Image: James Cleary) Despite regular updates, the Macan T is starting to give ground to competitors in terms of standard active and passive safety tech. (Image: James Cleary)

What? It’s as much the principle as the dollars. These things should be standard in a close to $100K Porsche.

If a crash is unavoidable there are eight airbags on-board (driver and front passenger front, front side, rear side, and full-length curtains), but the front centre airbag, increasingly included to avoid head clash injuries in a side impact, is MIA. 

Multi-collision brake minimises the chance of subsequent impacts after an initial crash, and there are three top-tether points for baby capsules/child seats across the rear row, with ISOFIX anchors on the outer positions.

For the record, Porsche doesn’t submit its cars for ANCAP (or Euro NCAP) evaluation, and so far the independent body hasn’t raided the piggy bank to purchase one for assessment.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

3 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   6/10

Porsche is the last brand standing in the local mainstream sports luxury market, offering a three-year, unlimited kilometre warranty when the rest of the segment has moved on to five-year, unlimited km cover. 

The good news is paint is covered for three years and a 12-year (unlimited km) anti-corrosion warranty is included (the Macan’s body is fully galvanised). 

Porsche Roadside Assist provides 24/7/365 coverage for the life of the warranty, and after the warranty runs out is renewed for 12 months every time the vehicle is serviced at an authorised Porsche dealer.

Porsche offers a three-year, unlimited kilometre warranty on the Macan T. Porsche offers a three-year, unlimited kilometre warranty on the Macan T.

Servicing is required every 12 months or 15,000km, which is less in terms of mileage than some others in the category.

With Porsche, final costs are determined at the dealer level (in line with variable labour rates by state/territory), but indicative pricing for the first five years is: 12 months/15,000km (annual) - $695, 24 months/30,000km (inspection) - $1300, 36 months/45,000km (annual) - $695, 48 months/60,000km (inspection) - $1300, 60 months/75,000km (annual) - $695. Not exactly cheap, but not outrageous in this part of the market.

A brake fluid flush is recommended every two years ($290), as well as spark plugs ($450), air filter ($200), and transmission fluid and filter ($850) every four years. So, be ready for those ‘extras’.

What's it like to drive?   8/10

Porsche claims the Macan T will accelerate from 0-100km/h in a suitably rapid 6.2 seconds and mid-range pulling power is healthy, with maximum torque available from 1800-4500rpm.

Worth noting, however, if you’re looking for ‘special event’ engine and exhaust noise to accompany that progress you may be left wanting more aural oomph. Despite our test car’s optional sports exhaust ($3080), this four-cylinder can’t match the relative drama of the Macan S and GTS’s twin-turbo V6.

The upside of that difference is the 2.9-litre V6 puts an extra 59kg on the Macan’s front axle, so the 2.0-litre T feels lighter and that bit more responsive when the road starts to twist.

Porsche claims the Macan T will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 6.2 seconds. Porsche claims the Macan T will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 6.2 seconds.

Suspension is multi-link front, trapezoidal link rear, and the Macan T is also fitted with stiffer, model-specific sway bars to manage body roll. Ride height is also 15mm lower than the base 2.0L Macan.

Steering is quick, road feel is good, and despite the standard 20-inch rims, ride comfort is excellent. This is Porsche’s long-established, engineering party trick, combining plush compliance with sharp dynamic response, even in a high-riding SUV. That said, the optional adaptive air suspension fitted to our test example, is $2790 well spent.

The drivetrain is set up with a RWD bias, and standard rubber is Michelin’s high-performance SUV tyre, the Latitude Sport 3 (265/45 fr / 295/40 rr). They grip hard while remaining quiet, and the Macan T is an entertaining drive on a quiet B-road.  

Steering is quick, road feel is good and ride comfort is excellent. (Image: James Cleary) Steering is quick, road feel is good and ride comfort is excellent. (Image: James Cleary)

Braking is by vented discs all around (350mm fr / 330mm rr) with beefy four-piston alloy monobloc fixed calipers up front and floating singles at the rear. Stopping power is reassuringly strong and progressive, especially important given the car’s 2.0-tonne (braked) towing capacity.

For more adventurous drivers, ground clearance is 187mm, while the approach, departure and ramp angles are a relatively modest 15.8, 15.4, and 21.0 degrees, respectively.

In the less challenging terrain of a shopping centre car park the standard reversing camera and 360-degree surround view make manoeuvring into tight spaces a stress-free operation.

Verdict

Competent and comfortable, the Macan T delivers that amazing Porsche double act of crisp dynamic response without compromising refinement. It’s well equipped for the price, neatly packaged, and entertaining to drive. But there are holes in its armour. Active safety comes up well short and a three-year warranty now stands out like a sore thumb. It’s good, but could be better.

Pricing guides

$139,900
Based on 9 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$158,888
Highest Price
$158,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
S 2.9L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $131,560 – 151,250 2023 Porsche Macan 2023 S Pricing and Specs
(base) 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $99,000 – 113,850 2023 Porsche Macan 2023 (base) Pricing and Specs
T 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $86,460 – 99,330 2023 Porsche Macan 2023 T Pricing and Specs
GTS 2.9L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $152,900 – 176,000 2023 Porsche Macan 2023 GTS Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.1
Price and features8
Design8
Practicality8
Under the bonnet7
Efficiency7
Safety5
Ownership6
Driving8
James Cleary
Deputy Editor

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Pricing Guide

$158,888

Lowest price, based on 2 car listings in the last 6 months

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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.