2019 Porsche Macan First Drive Review


2019 Porsche Macan

It may be hard to believe, but the Porsche Macan was released nearly five years ago. That’s forever in car years, and Porsche finally decided that the time had come for a “mid-cycle” refresh: a raft of small improvements that should keep the Macan fresh until the next major redesign comes around.

To test that theory, we flew to the middle of the Mediterranean to take the new 2019 Porsche Macan for a spin. After a day of navigating Palma de Mallorca’s narrow, twisting cliff-side roads, and dodging packs of cyclists, we can confirm that Porsche’s small SUV is still one of the best in class. Despite being a crossover, it does what all Porsches do best: deliver a great, sporting drive.

The 2019 Macan will ship with two engines, or as Porsche likes to call them, “drive units.” The base Macan will come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four that puts out 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. These numbers are identical to the outgoing Macan, which shouldn’t be a surprise as it’s basically the same engine apart from several small revisions designed to increase responsiveness and efficiency.

Speaking of the PDK, Porsche’s ubiquitous dual-clutch automated manual transmission is standard and has been optimized to the new engines. In both Normal and Sport mode, shift times have been decreased and responses to throttle inputs have been improved.

Porsche has made a few upgrades to the handling as well, and since great handling is part of the Porsche DNA, it happens to be what really sets the Macan apart from the rest of the small SUV crowd. Up front, the control arms are now made of aluminum instead of steel, and they have a unique forked design that spreads over and around the driveshafts, creating a more direct connection with the front upright.

When it arrives at dealers this spring, the 2019 Porsche Macan will list for $49,900 with the S going for $58,600. That continues to make it one of the priciest vehicles in the compact luxury SUV segment, with rivals like the BMW X3/X4, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class and Jaguar F-Pace undercutting it by thousands. Yet the Macan has generally looked, felt and driven like it should cost a bit more. And while there’s no radical additions to the new Macan, all of the small upgrades and revisions should at least continue that perception while maintaining its reign as Porsche’s No.1-selling vehicle.

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