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Porsche Macan 2022 review: 2.0 Family test

There's no mistaking the Macan for anything other than a Porsche

You've always fancied a Porsche, but now that you're actually in a position to slot one into the garage, a family has happened around you.

So, the obvious answer is this mid-size, five-seat Macan, the most affordable way into a Porsche SUV, in fact, any Porsche at all.

It's the entry-point to the famous German maker's Australian line-up, offering all the quality and features you'd expect at a relatively accessible $84,800, before on-road costs.

Question is, do you really need a Porsche for day-to-day family duties? Read on to find out.

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What does it look like?

There's no mistaking the Macan for anything other than a Porsche, with signature design cues from the brand's classic models like the 911 and 718 (Boxster/Cayman) applied to this longer, taller and wider canvas.

The large grille with additional cooling vents either side and dramatically elongated headlights look familiar, as do the full-width LED tail-light treatment and racy diffuser flanked by twin tailpipes under the rear bumper.

Standard wheels are 19-inch alloys, with a set of even more imposing 20-inch 'S' type rims available for an extra $3960.

  • The large grille with additional cooling vents either side and dramatically elongated headlights look familiar. (image: James Cleary) The large grille with additional cooling vents either side and dramatically elongated headlights look familiar. (image: James Cleary)
  • As do the full-width LED tail-light treatment and racy diffuser flanked by twin tailpipes under the rear bumper. (image: James Cleary) As do the full-width LED tail-light treatment and racy diffuser flanked by twin tailpipes under the rear bumper. (image: James Cleary)

Inside is classy, yet restrained with (in this case) a muted grey colour palette across the simply patterned smooth leather seats (the steering wheel and gearshift are leather-trimmed, too) dash and doors.

The centre dash panel houses a sleek touchscreen managing nav, audio, phone, car settings, a host of apps, and more. Big tick for a sensible mix of screen sliders and conventional dials, and the finish around the screen is a combination of shiny piano black surfaces and silver coloured accents.

A three-dial instrument display, again echoing the look and feel of other Porsches, incorporates a 4.8-inch hi-res colour screen, showing gear position, and able to scroll through various readouts such as service intervals, fuel level, and warning displays.

The broad centre console surrounds the gearshift with a mix of rocker switches and touch controls for multiple functions. Overall, the interior oozes quality and reflects a typically Teutonic attention to detail.

Standard wheels are 19-inch alloys, with a set of even more imposing 20-inch ‘S’ type rims available for an extra $3960. (image: James Cleary) Standard wheels are 19-inch alloys, with a set of even more imposing 20-inch ‘S’ type rims available for an extra $3960. (image: James Cleary)

How does it drive?

This Macan is the first of four grades available, and is powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine, matched with a seven speed dual-clutch type automatic transmission. Drive goes to all four wheels.

Even though it weighs a touch over 1.8 tonnes (reasonably hefty, but not outrageous for a premium five-seat SUV) Porsche says it will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 6.2 seconds. Which isn't just quick, it's fast.

The engine's smooth, like a bigger capacity V6, and willing, with heaps of pulling power almost from the moment you start squeezing the accelerator.

This Macan is the first of four grades available, and is powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine. (image: James Cleary) This Macan is the first of four grades available, and is powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine. (image: James Cleary)

But it's not intimidating. The way the car drives is still relatively benign, compared to the S and GTS models at the top of the Macan range.

And it's comfortable, thanks in part to the forgiving Michelin tyres (they're '55' sidewall profile is quite high) and a compliant suspension.

This is a Porsche, though, developed by skilled engineers able to pull off that rare magic trick; a car that rides well, yet gives nothing away in terms of dynamic response. Doing one or the other's easy, but both takes that something extra, especially in a high-riding SUV.

The steering is precise, without being overly sharp, and nicely weighted, making the car easy to manoeuvre at parking speeds or through twisting sections on the highway.

How spacious is it?

Measuring just over 4.7m long, 1.6m high, and a little over 1.9m wide the Macan is a substantial rather than enormous SUV. But there's plenty of space inside for five passengers and everything that goes with them.

The doors open wide and jumping in and out, even for smaller kids, isn't a monstrous undertaking.

There's plenty of head and shoulder room for the driver and front passenger, and sitting in the second row, behind the driver's seat set to my 183cm position, I enjoyed plenty of head and shoulder room. Three Cleary children (two 15-year olds and one at 21) rode back there without complaint. Well, nothing related to the car, anyway.

  • The 14-way, electrically-adjustable ‘Comfort’ front seats (with memory) live up to their name. (image: James Cleary) The 14-way, electrically-adjustable ‘Comfort’ front seats (with memory) live up to their name. (image: James Cleary)
  • There’s plenty of head and shoulder room for the driver and front passenger. (image: James Cleary) There’s plenty of head and shoulder room for the driver and front passenger. (image: James Cleary)
  • Sitting in the second row, behind the driver’s seat set to my 183cm position, I enjoyed plenty of head and shoulder room. (image: James Cleary) Sitting in the second row, behind the driver’s seat set to my 183cm position, I enjoyed plenty of head and shoulder room. (image: James Cleary)

That said, three child seats in the back won't be a goer, unless you have ultra-slim seats.

With all seats up, boot volume is a more than decent 488 litres (VDA); enough to hold our three-piece hard suitcase set, with room to spare. Or the bulky CarsGuide pram, with even more room to spare.

And there are four (beautifully chrome finished) tie-down anchor points to help secure loose loads, as well as a recessed pocket, with elasticised retaining strap, behind the wheel well on the driver's side.

The rear seatback split-folds 40/20/40, and with it completely flat load space increases to 1503 litres.

  • With all seats up, boot volume is a more than decent 488 litres (VDA). (image: James Cleary) With all seats up, boot volume is a more than decent 488 litres (VDA). (image: James Cleary)
  • Enough to hold our three-piece hard suitcase set, with room to spare. (image: James Cleary) Enough to hold our three-piece hard suitcase set, with room to spare. (image: James Cleary)
  • Or the bulky 'CarsGuide' pram, with even more room to spare. (image: James Cleary) Or the bulky 'CarsGuide' pram, with even more room to spare. (image: James Cleary)
  • The spare is an expanding/collapsible space-saver. (image: James Cleary) The spare is an expanding/collapsible space-saver. (image: James Cleary)

How easy is it to use every day?

With arms full of 'stuff' and passengers barking for attention as you approach the Porsche Macan, thoughtful design touches emerge to help you get on top of it all.

First, you can off-load whatever it is you're carrying that little bit more easily thanks to a (kick function) auto tailgate. And if it's after dark, courtesy lights on both sides help you get your bearings around the car.

Entry is keyless, and once inside, ambient lighting in the doors and roof console look cool and help you acclimatise. Then 14-way, electrically-adjustable 'Comfort' front seats (with memory) live up to their name.

Storage is plentiful with two big cupholders in the front centre console, with an oddments tray in front of them, and a lidded box between the seats. There are also big bins in the doors with space for large bottles, and a generous glove box (with cooling function).

Inside is classy, yet restrained. (image: James Cleary) Inside is classy, yet restrained. (image: James Cleary)

Appreciate the way the padded lid on the centre storage box, which doubles as an armrest, can be raised to different levels and moved forward.

Three zone climate control air conditioning means those in the back can tailor the temperature to their liking, with tinted, thermally insulated glass (all around) helping the system stay on that setting without too much stress.

And there are two cupholders in the fold-down armrest, large door bins, with a central divider to stop stuff rolling around too much, as well as coat hooks here and there.

For power and connectivity there's a 12V socket up front and in the boot, with SIM and SD card slots alongside two USB-C jacks in the front storage box. There are another two USB-C ports in the back of the console for rear passengers.

Overall, the interior oozes quality and reflects a typically Teutonic attention to detail. (image: James Cleary) Overall, the interior oozes quality and reflects a typically Teutonic attention to detail. (image: James Cleary)

Parking has to be top-of-mind when it comes to day-to-day ease of use, and all around vision is good. But if you're after extra help, front and rear proximity sensors, and a reversing camera, incorporating a 360-degree 'Surround View' function, are all standard.

If you need to hook up the boat, van or horse float, the Macan is rated to tow a braked trailer up to 2.0 tonnes. And the spare is an expanding/collapsible space-saver.

How safe is it?

The Macan hasn't been assessed by ANCAP, and the big safety elephant in the room is that AEB isn't standard. Tick the box that says 'Adaptive Cruise Control' ($1620) and that auto braking functionality comes along with it. But really, in a Porsche, aimed at families, it should be included.

Crash avoidance tech like lane change assist, lane departure warning, and tyre-pressure monitoring, as well as LED headlights featuring static and dynamic cornering lights, speed-sensitive range control, are on-board, however, and passive protection includes eight airbags (dual front, front side, rear side, and full-length curtain).

There are three top-tether points across the rear seat with ISOFIX anchors on the two outer positions for securing child seats and baby capsules.

What's the tech like?

The 10.9-inch high-definition touchscreen offers a user-friendly mix haptic touch controls and conventional dials for basic stuff like audio volume and switching between functions or stations. It's pretty much spot-on, and the software is quick to respond.

Our test car was fitted with an optional 14-speaker, 665-watt Bose 'Surround Sound' audio system ($2230) which has enough punch to raise the roof, with impressive clarity. But the standard 10-speaker, 150-watt set-up isn't exactly shabby.

The centre dash panel houses a sleek touchscreen managing nav, audio, phone, car settings, a host of apps, and more. (image: James Cleary) The centre dash panel houses a sleek touchscreen managing nav, audio, phone, car settings, a host of apps, and more. (image: James Cleary)

How much does it cost to own?

As mentioned this entry-level Macan has an MSRP of $84,800, which aligns it with an impressive set of premium SUVs including the Audi Q5 45 TFSI Quattro Sport ($80,800), BMW X3 xDrive30i M Sport ($89,900), Jaguar F-Pace P250 R-Dynamic SE ($84,143), Lexus RX350 Luxury ($83,013), and Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic ($88,700).

And aside from the safety and performance tech detailed above the Macan's standard equipment list features the prerequisite essentials for this segment, including, high-quality leather trim, multi-zone climate control, electrically-adjustable front seats, big alloy rims, LED headlights, tail-lights and DRLs, a thumping stereo, slick multimedia, and a whole heap more. It gives nothing away to its competitors.

The official, combined cycle fuel economy figure for the Macan is 9.3L/.100km, and over a week of city, suburban and freeway driving we averaged 13.6L/100km. Not horrendous, but not exactly great either, showing no matter how efficient, a four-cylinder engine pushing a 1.8-tonne SUV is going to be relatively thirsty.

The centre dash panel houses a sleek touchscreen managing nav, audio, phone, car settings, a host of apps, and more. (image: James Cleary) The centre dash panel houses a sleek touchscreen managing nav, audio, phone, car settings, a host of apps, and more. (image: James Cleary)

Porsche covers the Macan with a three year/unlimited km warranty, with paint covered for the same period, and a 12-year (unlimited km) anti-corrosion warranty included. That main cover is off the premium market pace of five years/unlimited kilometres.

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.

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.

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. Be prepared.

The official, combined cycle fuel economy figure for the Macan is 9.3L/.100km. (image: James Cleary) The official, combined cycle fuel economy figure for the Macan is 9.3L/.100km. (image: James Cleary)


The Wrap

The Macan is an impressive, five-seat, family SUV package. But to fulfil the role this car will typically face, you don't need a Porsche. Equivalent Audis, BMWs, Mercs and other premium market options are similarly capable, luxurious and practical. But that kind of cold-hearted pragmatism won't stop people wanting one.

This 'entry' model is quick, comfortable, practical, and beautifully put together, and it scores 3.5 out of five, losing points for no standard AEB, a sub-par warranty, and the engine's relative thirst. Our flibbertigibbet kids were willing to let it off the hook, though, and gave it a four. Hey, it's a Porsche.

Likes

Comfort
Practicality
Space efficiency

Dislikes

No standard AEB
Sub-par warranty
Relatively thirsty

Scores

James:

3.5

The Kids:

4

$84,800

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

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.