Porsche Macan S review: Updates to the premium compact SUV keep it relevant

Fresh from a midlife update, the Porsche Macan remains as brilliant as it ever was

The Porsche Macan (the car that is the smaller counterpart to the Cayenne) is a car that every right-thinking petrolhead should hate on principle. It is, after all, the second SUV from one of the world’s most storied sports car manufacturers.

Even more galling is the fact that it’s massively popular. Across the Asia Pacific region in 2018, the Macan (and all its varied submodels) contributed almost 30 per cent to Porsche’s total sales.

But step into one and drive it for even the briefest moment and all that hate evaporates, because the Macan really is just that good. Despite being five years old this year, the model shows absolutely no signs of slowing down, and that’s reflected in its strong sales numbers. 

But the powers that be have seen fit to give it a midlife refresh. The most minor of midlife refreshes, if I may. It’s like that, unless you’re the most detail-obsessed Macan spotter, you’re more than likely to miss the redesigned front and rear bumpers. That, along with a new headlight cluster with its four-point LED daytime running lights, and a conjoined rear light cluster with a light bar bisecting the car’s rump. 

On the inside, there’s also a new 10.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a high-definition, which it shares with the rest of the Porsche range. This replaces the grainy (and clunky to operate) 7.2-inch-based system from before. 

There are some other changes to the car, though they’re even harder to spot, unless of course you happen to be a mechanic. The three-litre V6 on the Macan S (first used on the base model Cayenne) is all new, the front suspension arms are now made of aluminium and my favourite feature of all, a new brake pedal.

Yes, you read that correctly. A new brake pedal. Specifically, one made of composites-enriched moulded thermoplastics replacing the steel one from before and saving 300 grams in the process.  

So… aside from a new coat of figurative lipstick, the Macan is pretty much the same as before then. *Cue big yawns from the audience.

Then again, I’d argue that the Macan didn’t really need any major updates. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. 

The Macan, particularly in S guise, still offers class-leading dynamics, and even more so now with the new, optionally available 21-inch wheels shod with sports car-grade 295-section tyres. 

Grip through corners, as you might expect from such wide rubber is tenacious, to say the least. With the tweaked anti-roll bars, the Macan’s attitude is uncannily flat, helped along by the accurate helm.

The full story is available in the June 2019 edition of Robb Report Singapore. Get the annual print subscription delivered to your doorstep or read on the go with a digital subscription.

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