2015 Porsche Macan S: What's It Like to Live With?
Read the latest updates in our long-term road test of the 2015 Porsche Macan S as our editors live with this car for a year.
What do you want to know about?
- Hunting This New "Tiger"
- Get the Summer Tires
- Excellent Suspension Tuning
- Awesome Seats
- So Many Buttons!
- Burly Exhaust Note
- Heated Steering Wheel Button
- Doesn't Feel Turbocharged
- The Right Tire Pressure
- What Makes the Seats So Good
- A Sporty Spirit
- Suits Me Fine
- Back Seats Are Tight
- Fuel Economy Update for July
- Exhaust Video
- HOLD Feature
- Oil Bottle Holster
- Rhymes With...
- How All Navigation Systems Should Behave
- How All Thumb Wheels Should Operate
- Performance Testing
- Security System False Alarm
- Optional Lights
- Wide Open Cargo Space
- Impersonating a Cayenne?
- Checking the Oil
- The Ottoman Fit
- Fuel Economy Update for August
- Why You'll Want To Buy A Macan
- The Bench Fit
- Better at Hauling the Mail Than Hauling Stuff
- I'd Buy One
- Mirror Dip Tip
- Boomers Thinking Small
- The Slick Steering Wheel
- I May Have Sold One
- No Podcast Menu
- The Affordable Porsche
- Best Automatic You'll Ever Drive
- Electronic Glitch
- Fuel Economy Update for September
- Abnormal Seat Height
- Unique Hatch Release
- Functional Styling Subtleties
- Hidden Heated Steering Wheel Button
- Launch Control Surprise
- Road Trip Hero
- Fuel Economy Update for October
- Its Simplicity Is Welcome
- Carefully Managed Airflow
- Bad Bluetooth Behavior
- Staggered Wheels And Tires
- Alarm Fixed
- Infotainment Issues
- Seats Could Be Better
- An SUV Purchase Is an Emotional Decision After All
- Just How Useful Is It With a Rear-Facing Infant Car Seat?
- Styling Gets Better Over Time
- Fuel Economy Update for November
- 10,000 Miles
- 10,000-Mile Service
- Fuel Economy Update for December
- Silicon Beach Surf Wagon
- The Sport Button
- Fuel Economy Update for January
- Rear Visibility
- Sports Car Steering Wheel
- Tire Repair
- Versus a 6.5-Foot Table
- Properly Balanced
- Holds My Giant Mountain Bike
- Common Cargo
- Rough Start/Stop System
- Fuel Economy Update for February
- The Best Porsche?
- Elevated Intimacy
- 15,000 Miles
- Torque-Split Display
- To Utah and Back
- Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel
- Center-Mounted Tachometer
- Fuel Economy Update for March
- The "A Word"
- It's the Best
- Here's The Future of Gauge-Integrated Displays
- Front Parking Sensors Freak Out Even in Reverse
- Fits Four Tires
- Blew A Fuse
- Returns Best MPG Yet in April
- Mine Would Be Blue, Expensive
- Rear Passenger Comfort Is Optional
- Hidden Battery Jump Start
- Low Oil and Service Due
- 20,000-Mile Service
- Road Trip Around the Grand Canyon
- Faster Than That "Other" Porsche
- Subtle Reminder of its Performance Roots
- May Fuel Economy - Heavy Feet Keep Us Short of EPA Rating
- Sold, But Stays Close to Home
- Fond Farewell, Friend
What Did We Get?
A white 2015 Porsche Macan S. It's Porsche's newest SUV. Measuring just over 110 inches between the wheels and 184.3 inches overall, the compact Macan slots below the Cayenne in both size and price. Main competitors for the Macan include the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Infiniti QX70 and Mercedes-Benz GLK.
The Macan S is the base model. It comes with a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V6 rated at 340 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, dubbed "PDK" in Porsche-speak, is standard, along with all-wheel drive. For those who want more than 340 hp in their urban grocery getter, there's the Macan Turbo. It features a larger 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 rated at 400 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque.
What Options Does It Have?
As with all Porsches, the Macan's options list is extensive. We exercised some restraint, which means we only spent an extra $11,470. That's on top of the base price of a Macan S, which stands at $49,900. Yes, the Macan starts at less than $50K, but the chances of finding a Macan with no options is zero. Plus, there's that little issue of the unavoidable destination fee of $995.
For our $11 grand and change we got a couple packages and a handful of stand-alone options. The $2,990 Infotainment package adds a 7-inch TFT display with navigation, a 40GB hard drive and the increasingly less useful CD/DVD player. It also includes a satellite radio tuner, HD radio and various apps like AHA radio. The $2,590 Premium package adds heated seats front and rear, park assist radar front and rear, auto-dimming mirrors and the Porsche Dynamic Lighting System. That's a fancy name for adaptive headlights and washer nozzles.
In the high-dollar stand-alone category we added things like the 20-inch SportDesign Wheels ($1,260), a Bose Premium audio system ($1,400) and a carbon-fiber interior package ($1,490). Lesser options include Lane Change Assist ($690), a heated multifunction sport steering wheel with carbon-fiber trim ($615), rear window shades ($250) and, of course, Porsche crest center caps for the wheels ($185).
Final tally: $62,365.
Why Did We Get It?
It's the second coming of the end of the world. Purists feared that the Cayenne was going to destroy Porsche after all. Instead, it likely saved the company from extinction.
If Porsche managed to squeeze everything that's good about the Cayenne into the more manageable Macan, then it will likely have the same level of success, if not more.
The real question with the Macan is whether it's a tall sports car or a shrunken SUV. Those hoping for the former might be pleasantly surprised, while buyers hoping for the latter might find it lacking in utility. We have 12 months to find out where the Macan stands and which camp will like it better.
Check our Long-Term Road Test Page often for new updates as we put the 2015 Porsche Macan S through its paces over the next 12 months and 20,000 miles.
Edmunds purchased this vehicle for purposes of evaluation.
Porsche says the 2015 Porsche Macan's name is derived from the Indonesian word for tiger, and "combines suppleness, power, fascination and dynamics — core characteristics of this new all-terrain car." Those are some lofty adjectives that are begging to be put to the test. I put on my imaginary pith helmet and started the hunt for this new species.
The Macan has only been on dealer lots for about two weeks, but there was a decent enough selection to choose from. The Macan S starts at around $50,000, but in the real world, the true base price is in the mid $50K range. As is the case with any Porsche, the options can get out of hand pretty quickly and you can end up in the high $70K range. Our goal was to find something in between.
Our "must have" option was the 20-inch Macan SportDesign wheels. This greatly narrowed the pool of candidates. The standard 19-inch wheels and the 21-inch 911Turbo Design wheels are far more common.
We found a white Macan at Rusnak Porsche in Thousand Oaks, California. It had the wheels we wanted and all the packages on our shopping list. A few extra options like carbon fiber interior and Bose audio came along for the ride, a common occurrence when shopping for cars in the wild. More on those in future posts.
Edmunds True Market Value showed that these cars were selling at MSRP and we paid exactly that. Our Macan had a sticker of $62,365. The out-the-door price was $68,921.
Robert Watkin, our sales representative, delivered the car to us on his day off. He even offered to buy the car back from us at the end of this long-term test. I may take him up on that offer in about 12 months.
At the first opportunity, I bent our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S through a corner with some spirit. This is a Porsche, after all.
What I was rewarded with was less than inspiring.
The Macan didn't bite into the tarmac with authority. Instead, its tires howled loudly in protest. There was not nearly the kind of grip on tap I anticipated based on reading our First Drive of the wagon-compact-sport-utelet. and its sporty ride, sharp steering and, again, this is a Porsche.
A peering at its tires' sidewalls told me all I needed to know: "M+S". As in, Mud and Snow. All-season tires. What the what?
Yes, our Macan S, a Porsche, is equipped with all-season tires. Michelin Latitude Tour HP Green X all-season tires, to be exact. These tires have neutered the Macan's sporting proclivities. This despite its "plus one" optional 20-inch wheels (which look magnificent) and, well, Porsche. As an aside, we equipped our long-term Macan as we expect many of them will be.
Check out those big 6-piston brake calipers, by the way. Beefy.
All-season tires are a peculiarity of the American automotive consumer. Other markets (particularly Europe) have no problem with using the tire best suited for the conditions, so they mount snow tires for winter and use summer tires the rest of the time. American consumers want one tire to cover all four seasons, the end result being a tire that is at best mediocre in all of them. "All-seasons" are "no-seasons."
Fortunately, summer tires are available as an option on the Macan. Get them. After all, you bought a Porsche instead of an Audi Q5, right?
Our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S has a firm ride, but it is very well-resolved. The chassis does not get upset by bumps, and it's never crashy or unduly stiff. Nor is its ride busy. The Macan is alert yet compliant. Simply put, its damping is just spot on.
There's no fancy multi-mode dampers or air suspension at play here on our base-spec'd Macan S, either. Just plain-jane twin tube jobs and steel springs and bars.
Suspension tuning, my friends. But that's not all.
Further aiding the cause here is the Macan's tires. True, they're all-seasons, which I'm not crazy about. On the plus side, the Macan's tires are not run-flats, so their sidewalls have compliance that plays along harmoniously with the dampers. Certainly the optional summer tires (also non-run-flats) are a better fit for the sport-tuned nature of the chassis as stated.
The Macan stands as a great example of how to tune a suspension to be sport-oriented but not offensive. I'm looking at you, Mercedes-Benz CLA250.
You expect great seats in a $50K SUV, but these aren't just great for an SUV, they're better than anything else in our current fleet.
The strange thing is, there's not much to them. These are the base seats. They have eight-way adjustment which is nice, but there are two higher levels of seat excellence available in the Macan. There's a power seat package that adds 14-way adjustability while an adaptive seat package bumps it to 18 directions of adjustment.
No idea if they're any better, but if I were ordering one for myself I wouldn't bother upgrading. It's early, though, so we'll see if they hold their perfectly formed shapes after 10K miles or so.
Is the 2015 Porsche Macan S a real Porsche? If you mean from a philosophical or dynamic perspective, I'll have to leave that answer to future entries and authors after more extensive drives. Yet, from the way the door feels when you open it, to the 911 gauges, the firmly snug seat and chunky sport steering wheel, there's no mistaking the Macan as hailing from anywhere other than Stuttgart's finest.
The most controversial Porsche element in place in the Macan, however, is the rising center console covered in oh-so-many buttons.
Now, I'm a supporter of buttons. I generally like them and curse those who complain about them, because such criticism has often led to rubbish alternatives like iDrive 1.0 and Honda's new era of touchscreens. Buttons, in sensible moderation, are a very good thing. It's the reason I appreciate Mercedes, Volvo and pre-Q50 Infinitis. Call me a luddite if you must.
In the Macan, as in other Porsches, there is a wonderful heft to the way the buttons click that evokes a serious machine rather than a toy or technological gadget. Although there may be a few too many (does each air direction really need its own button?), I enjoy the immediacy of wanting to do something and pressing a single button to accomplish it. No clicking a mouse, no pressing three illustrated "buttons" to go through sub-menus. Although it can be overwhelming at first learning where everything is, once you do, you can operate them without looking. Try that with an iDrive-like system or more comprehensive touchscreen.
So although there are a lot of buttons, and although their presence on the center console may eliminate the possibility of handy storage areas, I resolutely remain pro-button.
After I fired up our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S within earshot of my friend Dave, he commented how surprisingly aggressive it sounded. He had been standing thirty feet away from it at the time.
I didn't know what he was talking about.
See, from within the cabin, the Macan sounds normal upon startup. There's a bit of a growl as the revs flare and then its settles into an ever so slightly baritone hum at idle. Pleasant, certainly, but normal; nothing that stands out as particularly aggressive or meek.
Dave's had his share of car sounds enter his ear hole, so his comment stuck with me. As such, the next time I lit up the Macan's turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 from cold, I lowered all the windows and then walked around to the back to listen to it.
Man. The Macan's exhaust note is burly, even somewhat exotic-sounding.
V6s typically aren't known for the keen aural characteristics, but, dang, this one sounds good. And such a difference from inside to out.
The cluttered center console in our 2015 Porsche Macan S is a friendly reminder that Porsche loves loves LOVES buttons. There are myriad buttons in all shapes and sizes strewn about in a logic that I have yet to decipher. Our Monroney claims we have a "Heated Multifunction Sport Steering Wheel in Carbon Fiber ($615)," but where is the button to keep our hands warm when the temperature drops below 80 degrees?
Well, if not in the waterfall of toggles and pushables, it surely must be located to the left of the steering wheel as in our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe.
Nope, not there either.
While searching through the owner's manual to decode a different set of switches, I stumbled upon the location of the errant button. It's hidden in the crevasses of the steering wheel, on the inside of the lower spoke. The unintuitive placement makes me wonder why Porsche didn't utilize the ample real estate below the shifter to stick the heated steering wheel button.
Our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S doesn't feel turbocharged. The power delivery of its 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 is so linear and tractable that most people wouldn't know it was turbocharged from behind the wheel. It simply feels like a strong normally aspirated engine.
This is the product of a couple of different factors.
The first factor responsible for this seamless trickery is the engine's calibration (throttle and electronic wastegate tuning), which act to linearize the power delivery. However, there's another thing at play here: the PDK gearbox. The PDK delivers a relatively small drop in revs between gear changes and allows the throttle to remain open during gear changes, both of which keep the turbos (and consequently, the engine) on boil.
It doesn't sound turbocharged either. There's no sighing from the compressor bypass valves, no intake hiss, nothing to tip its hand regarding its artificially aspirated nature. All this, and it also still manages to have a vocal exhaust note.
Remember our 2013 Porsche 911? Sure you do. It was silver, a convertible and the tire pressures were always out of whack. We've only had it a few days, but I'm thinking our 2015 Porsche Macan S is going to be the same way...
When our new Macan showed up the tire pressures were way too high. You could feel it. PitterPatterPitterPatterPitterPatter over every seam in the road and the ride suffered. My first assumption was the Macan had fallen on the wrong side of the comfy/sporty spectrum and Porsche had shot itself in the foot. My second thought was this is the way our 911 rode when its tire pressures were way off, so maybe someone at the Porsche dealer went to town on these ones, too.
Trusty tire gauge at the ready, I let the Macan cool down and went to check the pressures in my 70-degree garage. 41 up front, 42 out back. (The number was different than displayed here. Our gauge has been recently calibrated. I trust it.) The door jamb says 36/39 for all-season 265/45 R20 fronts and 295/40R20 rears. To the owner's manual!
As expected from a German car these days, the recommended tire pressure is split into two parts: Full Load and Part Load. We're not generally going 150 mph with passengers and cargo, so we go with Part Load which for the Macan S is 33/36. So that 41/42 from earlier was clearly just an inflator set to a specific PSI.
I dropped the tires down to 33/36 and went for a ride. Much better. As expected. We'll keep a tally of how many times Porsche Service resets these to something in the 40s.
My esteemed colleague Mr. Hellwig commented on the seats in our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S. He reckons they're tops in our fleet.
He's onto something, too. The Macan's seats are indeed stunningly good. But why?
There's not much to tell by looking at the seat. See for yourself. It looks like a seat. Big deal, right?
It's not that they're a million-way adjustable (they're not; they're the humble, base 6-way seats). This (and our long-term CL65 AMG) shows that a big number of adjustments is not a guarantee of goodness.
What makes the Macan's seats so good is their fundamental shape. The bolsters are modest but effective. The backrest portion seems to land on a large portion of your back clear down to your lower back without any pressure points. Same goes with the bottom cushion and your butt and thighs.
It's as if Porsche / Porsche's seat supplier spent an inordinate amount of time ensuring this seat was shaped to properly accommodate a human. It sounds so silly and simplistic, but that's the most succinct way to describe how these seats feel.
Porsche put the 2015 Macan's tachometer right in the driver's face just like in the 911 and its other sports cars.
Just in case you thought this was any ordinary compact crossover SUV.
The compact size of our new 2015 Porsche Macan S is perfect for me. At only 5'4" I find the Macan easy to get in and out. I was instantly comfortable in the driver seat, and all the controls are within easy reach. It's too early to tell, but this may be my new favorite long-term car in our current fleet, although I haven't driven the Jaguar F-Type yet.
It almost seems wrong to have fun while driving a compact SUV. Aren't they built for practicality and errand running? The Macan is sporty and powerful and knows how to take a curve. Grocery shopping has never been so enjoyable.
As Ed and Jay mentioned, the driver seat is really good. It's comfortable, supportive, and covered in material that keeps me from sliding around.
As James said, there is a button for everything in the Macan. But I'd rather have buttons than have to dig around in the nav screen to operate simple controls like the air flow. (I'm looking at you, MDX.)
My only problem with the Porsche Macan so far is its brakes. More on that in my next update.
In my last update I mentioned how much I like driving the 2015 Porsche Macan S. My one issue with this compact SUV is the brakes.
Sure, they stop the car. But I feel they are not as sensitive as they should be. This car can really motor. In fact, there are times when I've looked down at the speedometer and was surprised at my speed.
When I press the brake, there is some pedal travel before I feel them take effect. Yet when they do take, they are very grippy. If you need to stop fast, you can stomp on them and be confident they'll hold. But in a normal situation, like approaching a red light, I feel like they are not going to stop. But of course, they do. It's a feeling you get used to, but they take some finesse.
The Macan comes with front and rear ventilated disc brakes. In front they have six-piston fixed calipers, with single piston floating in rear. And they have four-wheel ABS. There is an option for ceramic composite brakes but we have the regulars.
I'm interested to see how the Porsche Macan performs at our test track. They'll probably do well in our 60-to-0 mph test. But it's the day-to-day driving that's important to me.
Our 2015 Porsche Macan S is good at many things. Transporting adults in the back seat is not one of them.
As you can see, there's not much room in the second row. Tall people need to duck their heads and even average size adults will find the back seat on the narrow side. I would give you some numbers for comparison, but Porsche has not published any that I can find. I'm guessing they're not particularly flattering.
None of this should come as a surprise to anyone considering a Macan. The Cayenne isn't known for its spaciousness and the Macan is an even smaller version of it. Compact SUVs in general aren't known for great passenger room and the Macan's sleek roofline certainly doesn't help its cause.
To its credit, the seats themselves are nicely shaped, so if you happen to fit you'll likely find the back seat a nice place to be.
We've only had the 2015 Porsche Macan S in our long-term fleet for a few weeks, but it's been an enthusiastic few weeks apparently. With less than 1,800 miles on the odometer, we've yet to even break the EPA's city estimate of 17 mpg.
There's undoubtedly a road-trip or two in the Macan's future, which will likely help bring up the average lifetime MPG, but for now here are the numbers:
Worst Fill MPG: 11.2 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 16.2 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 13.8 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City /23 Highway)
Best Range: 250.5 miles
Current Odometer: 1,728 miles
We've talked about how much we like the burly exhaust note on our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S, but you can't really judge for yourself without some audio to accompany our description. So, here it is.
Here's what the exhaust sounds like from outside the car:
More disappointingly, here's what it sounds like from the driver's seat with the windows up:
Really all you get from inside the car is engine noise, so it looks like I'll be spending most of my time in this car with the windows down.
I discovered the 'HOLD' function in our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S by accident. It was just another ordinary day in the soul-crushing, time-suck that is Los Angeles traffic and this neat little feature revealed itself to me. Designed to keep you from rolling backwards on an incline, it actually helped me keep my sanity during a gridlocked Friday afternoon commute.
Here's how it works. Push down on the brake pedal, the car stops. Perfectly normal. Push down a little bit further (once you're at a complete stop) and a little HOLD light engages on the dash. Lift your foot off the brake and the car remains stationary until you engage the throttle. Some other hill-start systems have a time limit, then they release and you roll away but this feature in our Macan holds the brake indefinitely.
When you're in rush-hour traffic this is extremely useful. Everything is very stop-and-go on my daily route, with about 30 traffic lights along the way and it's nice to be able to take my foot off the pedal whenever I come to an extended stop.
I had a friend that got rid of his Audi A4 because he hated having to top it off with oil.
"I shouldn't have to add oil to a new car!" he said.
I explained that this was normal consumption for the engine, but he wasn't having it. Perhaps he equated it with having an old car with a constant leak.
According to the owner's manual, the 3.6-liter turbo V6 engine in our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S also requires an occasional oil top off.
Our Macan didn't need any oil at the time of this writing, but I wanted to point out the handy oil bottle holster in the cargo area.
The holster is actually a gift from the dealership and not standard equipment. I was expecting some off-brand oil to be inside, but it looks like Rusnak Westlake Porsche gave us the good stuff. They also included a small funnel and a pair of plastic gloves.
I doubt having a bottle in the back would've changed my friend's mind, but it will certainly make things easier for us.
Would you avoid buying a car that requires frequent topping off?
So, how do you pronounce it?
Just so you know.
Can you spot it? All navigation systems should do what the one in our 2015 Porsche Macan can do. In the past I've cursed other navigation systems for not doing this and have often wondered when someone would get a clue.
I'm not sure if Porsche is the first or not. This may have snuck in under my radar in a few isolated cases. You have to be following an actual route in an unfamiliar place to be in the proper mood to care about this issue. Or sitting in traffic trying to decide between your various options, as I am every morning and afternoon.
What am I going on about? Scan around the photo a few more seconds before clicking to the next page.
Does this help? No? Are you certain?
How about this shot of our 2014 Jeep Cherokee? Surely you can see it now.
It's the position icon, the thing that shows where you are. The Porsche system positions the arrow near the edge of the screen so as to maximize the view ahead. And it changes position gradually as you make a turn, as shown in the second photo. No point in showing where you've come from. The state of the traffic behind is useless trivia.
Most cars are like the Cherokee, with the position indicator dumbly frozen in the middle. Too little screen space is dedicated to the road ahead and too much is wasted showing the road behind. All in the name of symmetry, I suppose. Or maybe a simple lack of thinking.
Yes, the perspective view offered by some can be an exception, but I generally prefer the overhead view, especially if everyone did it like the Porsche Macan.
Does your car or aftermarket nav system do this?
Steering wheel controls come in many shapes and sizes, and they seem to be influenced by styling and symmetry as much as anything else. I'm a big fan of the thumb wheel for volume control and for sorting through station presets and other lists. Our 2015 Porsche Macan does thumbwheels better than any other from recent memory.
That's because they've angled the roller axis such that I don't have to relax or alter my grip to operate it. I can easily flick my thumb to the side and then flex the knuckle in the desired volume-up or volume-down direction. It feels far more natural and custom-tailored than the ones that roll straight up and down, which is to say every other thumbwheel I've seen, of late.
Thumbs don't bend that way. It's a little thing, but the devil is in the details. Or in this case the delight is in the details.
Only two months in, and the 2015 Porsche Macan S has asserted itself as one of the favorites in our long-term fleet. The reasons are numerous. It has perfect seats, a wonderful exhaust note, and power delivery so linear you'd swear the engine is naturally aspirated. It's a great car, to be sure, but "Is It a Porsche?" The last time we saw our old friend, The Question, was in 2010 when the Panamera launched, and before that the Cayenne. It's the same inquiry that has been asked of every new Porsche that isn't a 911.
So we sent Porsche's least expensive model through the usual battery of tests to see if we could answer The Question. Here's what we found:
Vehicle: 2015 Porsche Macan S
Driver: Chris Walton
Drive Type: Front engine, All-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 7-speed automated manual
Engine Type: twin-turbo V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 2,997 / 183
Redline (rpm): 6,800
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 335 @ 5,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 339 @ 1,450
Brake Type (front): 13.8-inch one-piece ventilated with six-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 13.0-inch one-piece ventilated with one-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent double wishbones, coil springs, twin-tube dampers
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, twin-tube dampers
Tire Size (front): 265/45R20 104V M+S
Tire Size (rear): 295/40R20 106V M+S
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Latitude Tour HP Green X
Tire Type: Low Rolling Resistance
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,315
0-30 (sec): 2.2 (w/ TC on 2.6)
0-45 (sec): 3.7 (w/ TC on 4.2)
0-60 (sec): 5.6 (w/TC on 6.1)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 5.3 (w/TC on 5.7)
0-75 (sec): 7.9 (w/TC on 8.5)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 13.8 @ 100.2 (w/TC on 14.2 @ 99.6)
30-0 (ft): 28.9
60-0 (ft): 121.0
Slalom (mph): 67.1 w/ESC on
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.88 (0.87 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 1,800
Acceleration comments: In typical, default mode(s), the Macan eases off the line smoothly then there's a surge of power that feels unending. Also, because the transmission shifts so smoothly and the gearing is optimized to maintain the engine's power, it feels all the more relentless. Sport mode noticeably quickens both the initial get-away as well as the shifts that become more harsh and evident. Unlike most vehicles with a sport mode, our data shows this one improves acceleration by about a half-second across the board. Finally, there's an Easter-egg "Launch" mode that allows the engine to rev up to about 4,000 rpm before the Macan leaves the starting line. This mode, again, sharpens the shifts further and produces (only slightly) better acceleration.
Braking comments: This is perhaps the very first Porsche we've ever tested with all-season tires and the distances in our simulated panic stops from 60 mph tell the tale. With five consecutive stops (shortest distance on the fifth) all within 2 feet of one another, the braking hardware is more robust and capable than the tires can handle. While 121 feet to stop from 60 is typical of SUVs in its class also wearing all-season tires, the feel and attitude of the Macan was very good: firm, communicative pedal, dead straight, minimal nose dive, and the rear remained planted. As earlier stated, there was virtually no brake fade in either distance or pedal feel.
Handling comments: There is no sport or dynamic mode for the electronic stability control (ESC) system (perhaps there's a SportPlus option this Macan S is lacking, or the Macan Turbo has). That said, the ESC is rather lenient about aggressive maneuvers and even okay with a little bit of sliding around — up to a point. Steering feedback is firm but not heavy or syrupy. Precision is impressive and response is terrific. The Macan turns in with the confidence of a sports car, maintains a steady line, and is happy to transition quickly from side to side. Also, in both our slalom and skidpad tests, one gets a real sense that the Macan is mostly rear-drive with the added traction of all-wheel drive ONLY when the throttle is being heavily used and only when absolutely necessary. However, when the all-wheel drive kicks in, it does so in a seamless, almost invisible manner. Finally, as in our braking test, a set of summer tires would likely transport the Macan from 'very good' to untouchable 'benchmark' status here. One really gets a sense of the tires being the weak link here. Still, some so-called sports cars struggle to have an average speed of 67 mph through our slalom test that the Macan S does with ease.
And just for fun, here are the Macan's numbers compared with its cousin, the 354-horsepower Audi SQ5. The Audi weighed in at 4,419 lbs, wore summer-spec performance Dunlop tires and stickered for $64,770.
|Porsche Macan S||Audi SQ5|
|Curbweight as Tested (lbs.)||4,315||4,419|
|0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec.):||5.3||4.7|
|¼-mile (sec @ mph)||13.8 @ 100.2||13.4 @ 102.0|
|Skid Pad Lateral Accel (g):||.88||.84|
The above photo does not represent the actual incident. It is a clever recreation of events made possible by an advanced forensic technique that involved switching on our 2015 Porsche Macan's parking lights.
Now imagine them flashing. Imagine a piercing high-pitch alarm oscillating up and down. And then imagine yourself sprawled out on the couch watching a fairly loud action movie on TV at 8:30 p.m.
"Yes, it is. Where are the keys?"
No one had touched the vehicle. No one was anywhere in sight, in fact. A heavy truck utterly failed to drive by. The neighbor's dog hadn't so much as wee'd on a tire. And the key was on a nearby table. This was no butt-dial incident.
After this apparent false alarm I moved the Macan from the curb to the driveway. That obviously didn't make any difference because it happened once more at 11:30 p.m. But this time I had to run through the house from the back bedroom.
As I write this I'm told it happened once more to Cameron last night. I'd reported this to Mike Schmidt the morning after it happened, but since no one else had experienced it we decided to wait and see if it wasn't some sort of fluke. Cameron's neighbors can tell you it wasn't.
So we took it to the dealer this morning. They were not surprised. Apparently it's a known Porsche Macan issue that has to do with a flawed motion sensor.
At the moment there is no fix, but a remedy is in the works and they expect updated parts within a month.
Until that time there is a workaround in the form of a trick, a secret handshake. When we exit we're supposed to press the lock button on the fob twice instead of once. This action sets the alarm but disables the motion sensor.
Not quite sure why that function would be there, but we can make some guesses. Have you ever been to the Long Beach Grand Prix and heard the car alarms go off every lap as the racecars come past the parking garage adjacent to the back straightaway? It's pretty hilarious. Or maybe you park next to something less exotic but no less vibratory, like train tracks.
We'll post another update when the parts arrive and the permanent fix is made.
Because we upgraded our 2015 Porsche Macan S with the optional Premium package, it has adaptive headlights, or the Porsche Dynamic Lighting System as it's called.
It consists of bi-xenon lights that feature both dynamic and static cornering lights. The dynamic low beams swivel toward corners based on steering angle and vehicle speed while the static lights simply light up when the wheel is turned hard to one side or the other in tight quarters.
Together they make for a very effective system that rarely fails to provide excellent lighting coverage in almost any situation. The swivel rate of the headlights isn't overly jumpy like some systems, and even the static lights have enough power to make them useful. Can't say the same about every such system of this sort. I don't how much better it is than the standard setup, but this is one option I would go for on a Macan of my own.
When I think of our 2015 Porsche Macan S, cargo space is not usually the first thing that comes to mind. Yet when it comes down to it, the cargo area of the Macan is surprisingly useful.
Useful is the key word here as its total volume isn't very impressive. Compared to the Audi Q5, which has 29.1 cubic feet of cargo volume, the Macan's available space is a meager 17.7 cubic feet. Blame the steeply raked roofline.
As you can see, however, the actual space is wide, flat and unobstructed. That makes for easy loading and unloading, assuming your cargo isn't overly tall. Basically, if you can fit it underneath the cargo cover you're in good shape. If you have to take it off, your chances of getting something back there are considerably slimmer.
Fold down the seats and the space opens up to 53 cubic feet. That's more in line with other vehicles in the class. And each seatback folds individually, so there's some flexibility there, too.
So the Macan makes the best of what little space it has. That'll make it good enough for some and unusable for others.
If you buy a 2015 Porsche Macan S expect to have this conversation. A lot.
"How do you like your Cayenne?"
"It's a Macan."
"A Macan? I haven't heard of that. Thought it was a Cayenne. Do they still make the Cayenne"
"They do. This is new. It's smaller than the Cayenne."
"Cool lookin'. Looks like a Cayenne. Heck, I thought it was a Cayenne."
And kill me now.
The first time this happened I thought it was a fluke, but it keeps happening. I've had this conversation with everyone from valet parkers to my own father and after ten or twenty times you gotta ask yourself, "Is the Macan's strong resemblance to the larger more expensive Porsche Cayenne a blessing or a curse?"
More and more cars are dumping the tried-and-true dipstick, and our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S is one of them.
As is the case with all modern Porsches, there's no need to open the hood of a Macan to check its engine oil level. Instead, you just flick a few buttons from the driver seat and read the colorful graphic on the crossover's instrument cluster.
For some this is gratuitous engineering. They like the simple, mechanical interface of the dipstick that has served car owners reliably for over 100 years. But it's hard to argue with the convenience of this technology. No more hovering over a hot engine and putting your hands on the greasy bits. No more checking the oil only when the car is parked. No more forgetting to do it at the gas station.
I'm a bit wishy-washy on this one. Checking the engine oil the old fashioned way has never bothered me, and I religiously execute the ritual every other Sunday on my wife's GMC Acadia. But there's no denying the advantages of this new technology, which is eventually going to reach cars of all segments and price points.
Today I'm all for it. And it's clear our Porsche Macan hasn't used any oil over its first few thousand miles.
Moving furniture in our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S did not seem like a great idea. The Macan is small. With people in its front and rear seats it offers just 17.7 cubic feet of space thanks to its cool looking fastbackishly raked rear window.
Wrong. The ottoman fit like a glove.
Okay, so it's not a huge ottoman. It measures 35 inches x 27 inches and it's less than 2 feet tall. But I was sure I'd have to fold the Porsche's second row to fit it inside and close the rear hatch.
In fact, before I even carried it out to the driveway I had prepped the scene by folding the Macan's second seats (which are split 40/20/40) in anticipation.
Nope. Once the Macan, the ottoman and myself were all in the same place at the same time it became obvious that the Porsche was the perfect vehicle for hauling this particular piece of furniture. Makes me think the Macan's interior designer also shops at Ikea.
How else would you explain it?
We've finished up the second month in our 2015 Porsche Macan S and I've run the numbers to get August's fuel economy details.
During that time we added more than 2,500 miles. It's also possible that some of our drivers were thinking of Goose and Maverick from Top Gun: "I feel the need, the need for speed!"
The good news is that we did a lot better than last month's dismal 13.8 mpg average. In fact, we got our best tank of gas yet in August: 19.7 mpg.
The bad news (from an efficiency standpoint) is that this is little better than the EPA's combined fuel economy estimate of 19 mpg.
Our most gas-intensive driving during the month left us with 14.8 mpg from a tank. With everything averaged out, we posted 17.4 mpg for the month.
For a fun-to-drive vehicle like the Macan, though, I suppose this is largely expected.
Worst Fill MPG: 11.2
Best Fill MPG: 19.7
Average Lifetime MPG: 16.0
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/23 Highway Combined)
Best Range: 310 miles
Current Odometer: 4,571 miles
Porsche has taken its sweet time fielding a small crossover luxury SUV. BMW's been doing it since 2004 with its X3, for example. So what does the new 2015 Porsche Macan offer that nobody else has thought of so far? It seems to me that it's a sense of spirit and fun.
The Macan is a crossover that's going to have you nailing the gas and switching over to the PDK transmission's manual shift mode to zip though the gears on a frequent basis. You'll drive around turns quicker than you really have to. You'll park it with a sense of pride. It's going to put a smile on your face.
I recently took our long-term Macan on one of my favored driving roads that you see in the pictures. With the possible exception of the Audi SQ5 (which I haven't driven), I doubt I would have bothered with any of the Macan's competitors.
It's important to point out that the Macan doesn't give you the stereotypical small Porsche driving experience. It's not a Boxster or 911. The Macan's steering, though quick, isn't all that lively in your hands. You don't get otherworldly feel and communication from the chassis. The turbocharged V6 engine has about as much aural personality as an air conditioning unit and feels quite ready to go to the next gear by 6,000 rpm. In that sense, maybe the Macan is a little disappointing. But rest assured, you're going to have a great time anyway.
On this drive, the Macan reminded me a little of what it's like piloting a Subaru WRX. There's an impressive amount of compliance to the suspension even with those big 20-inch wheels. You can drive along bumpy and curvy roads at a good clip and still feel in complete control. The V6 is thick with torque and power right in the middle of the rev range, which is just where you need it on roads like this. Drive around a tight turn and then hit the gas — the all-wheel drive dishes out the power and helps fire the Macan straight out. Even the all-season tires, whose mediocre grip can make you think you mistakenly picked the Chastity Belt option package, are good enough for this kind of driving. Shiny side up, rubber side down, you know.
This Macan is surprisingly fun, like the movie Pacific Rim. If you are thinking about buying a small luxury crossover and really like to drive, the Macan is what you want.
Once my cheap Ikea ottoman fit inside our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S it was time to get serious. I turned to my two young daughters, "Kids," I said with authority, "Go get The Bench."
They knew exactly what I was talking about. The Bench, which once resided in our entry way, has been taking up space in my garage for way too long. I hate The Bench and it was time for it to go.
But this is no small bench. At five feet long, 14 inches wide and almost 18 inches tall I had my doubts whether or not the Macan could swallow it.
But it did. And I only had to fold one small section of its second-row seat. Pretty cool.
"Hey kids, go get mom's favorite coffee table."
There's a saying around the Edmunds office that when a car is fast it can really "haul the mail." Our 2015 Porsche Macan is pretty good at that. But when it comes time to just haul your stuff, it's not quite as impressive.
For everyday use, the Macan is just fine, actually. You can easily fit groceries, your work out or recreational gear, or whatever else you might normally throw in a sedan's trunk. Heck, you can fit an ottoman. But the Macan's sleek looking roofline for the liftgate cuts down on the available amount of space if you want to pack things higher than the beltline.
As an example, you can't easily fit four big storage bins behind the rear seats. The bottom ones will be fine, but the top ones will stick out too far and the hatch won't close. I ended up taking just three bins and turning the top one perpendicular so that it would fit, but for the photo I turned it back just so you can get the idea.
On one hand, stacking stuff high in the cargo area or needing to fit a bulky box is an uncommon experience. But the Macan is a crossover SUV, after all, and the expectations for utility are higher than a sedan's. If you need to go "big" with cargo in your small luxury crossover SUV, other models like the Acura RDX and Volvo XC60 will probably work out better.
A small luxury crossover SUV isn't something that normally evokes a lot of passion. But our 2015 Porsche Macan S has quickly become one of my favorite vehicles in our long-term fleet.
I'll admit I was rather ambivalent when news first started coming about the Macan. I might have said something to the effect of, "Another small luxury crossover joining the bandwagon, and this one with the bones of the Audi Q5? Meh." But I'll give credit to Porsche as it's really worked some magic here. The Macan might not be a Porsche sports car in the traditional sense, but for this vehicle segment it's fantastic.
A lot of that does have to with the Macan's sporty personality. It never feels like a crossover when I'm driving it. It's more like Porsche's just built an all-wheel drive hatchback. The turbocharged V6's acceleration is addictive (as witnessed by our poor fuel economy) and the PDK transmission works so well that I don't wish for a manual transmission at all. It's fun to zip and dart around turns even if I'm just driving around town. The Macan looks cool inside and out, too.
As a complement to that, the Macan is also very practical for somebody like me. The backseat is suitable for my two small children (school taxi!) and the luggage area, while certainly compromised, is still useful enough for most daily chores. And with all-wheel drive, I could mount up some winter tires and have an excellent winter sports vehicle.
On a more personal level, I also like how the Macan so far seems to be less glamorized (and/or stigmatized) than Porsche's other vehicles. A lot of times when driving a new 911 I feel like I should be 20 years older and have 20 times more money in the bank. The Macan, though, seems more real world. My father-in-law even commented that I "look pretty good in it" when he saw me pull up to his house.
I'm not in the market for a small luxury crossover, but if I were this is the one I'd buy. Yeah, shocker: "Automotive journalist likes the Porsche best." I know. But I suspect the Macan will be a lot of other people's favorite, too.
In addition to having a backup camera for parallel parking, I like the vehicle setting that lets a driver dip the passenger side mirror to see her position in relation to the curb. It was not immediately obvious to me how to achieve the mirror dip in our 2015 Porsche Macan S
The first time I parallel-parked, the passenger mirror tilted up when the car was in reverse. Not helpful. There is a box to tick within the car's options menu that purportedly sets the tilt downward on reverse, but doing so only kept the mirror in neutral position.
Before diving into the owner's manual for a fix, I did a Google search and turned up a helpful post from user Yippie at Macanforum.com. It took a little trial and error in our Macan to get the feature set, and may have involved some unnecessary steps, but the mirror now tilts down for parking, as the good car gods intended.
So: Put the car in reverse. Set the passenger mirror downward tilt at the angle you prefer. Then it's a deep dive into the Car Options menu: choose Personal Settings, then Lighting and Visibility, Reversing Options and then (finally) tick the "Lowering mirror" box. Put the car in park, turn off the engine and lock the car. Locking the Macan saves the setting to the car's key.
On the next try, the mirror tilt worked fine. Getting it to work seemed a bit too complicated, though, and as it turned out, the manual did not make the steps as clear as Yippie did.
Does your car have the reverse tilting mirror function? Do you use it?
Edmunds.com analysts have just published some interesting stats about the compact SUV segment. It's exactly this part of the market that Porsche was keen to enter when it brought the 2015 Porsche Macan S to market.
Compact SUVs are the fourth largest car segment, behind midsized cars, compact cars and large trucks. The most interesting part of the report was that while compact SUVs are being marketed to thirtysomethings who are about to start families or have small ones, nearly half of the buyers are actually over the age of 55.
It makes sense to me that a Macan would speak to baby boomers with (lots of) disposable income. The car looks great. Its ride height gives excellent forward visibility, and the blind-spot warning system compensates for what you can't easily see over your left shoulder.
It would also be a great car for grandparents who prefer to discourage babysitting a grown child's big brood: That back seat just isn't up to the task. On the other hand, there's a ton of cargo space, which is perfect for road trips and visits to gourmet stores and wine shops. That's my idea of retirement.
We paid $615 to get the sport steering wheel on our 2015 Porsche Macan S. I like all the in-wheel features, even the stubby little paddle shifters. What I don't like is the carbon fiber. Yes, a wheel should slide through your hands, but a little resistance is preferable to sheer slither. That's how the carbon fiber feels to me.
What's your preference in steering wheel materials?
Carroll is spot on in her assessment of the new 2015 Porsche Macan S. It was parked in my driveway this weekend when my neighbor walked over to check it out. He owns a pickup, a 911, and his wife currently drives a Volvo SUV. He wants to switch her into the new Macan, knowing that its compact size will appeal to her and the Porsche-ness will appeal to him.
Over the years as their children have moved out of the house, they have been downsizing their cars. They both recently retired so he no longer needs his work truck, or the other larger vehicles they've driven in the past. They've had a Ford Bronco, an Excursion, and now the Volvo. It's time to get a vehicle just for them, something smaller and fun to drive.
I gave him a tour and he asked if he could bring his wife over later. (And if I would help convince her.) No need. As soon as she sat in the Macan she loved the seats, remarking how comfortable they are and how they seemed to hug her. She also liked the carbon-fiber trim and quiet cabin. He does not like the carbon-fiber trim, but likes the twin-turbo engine, paddle shifters and massive tail pipes.
After driving them both around the block, she wanted one. No convincing necessary. I wouldn't be surprised to see one in their driveway by the end of the week.
Finding a podcast using a car's iPod/iPhone interface is just about impossible when there isn't a dedicated podcast menu within the interface. The artist is usually something like Immediate Media LLC or Sportsnet 590 the Fan, while the track tends to be something like "Prime Time Sports - September 19, 2014 6 p.m." that is too long to fit and you just see a long, indistinguishable list of multiple "Prime Time Sports – Se ..." And even if you knew exactly what those names were, it's a royal pain to rifle through hundreds of tracks or artists to find them. Sometimes podcast will be a genre, but that too is annoying.
Thankfully, most car companies now have podcast menu buttons, with BMW recently and finally coming on board. Not so thankfully, Porsche has not, and selecting a podcast in our 2015 Porsche Macan S requires you to either use the aux jack or override the car's interface with the iPhone itself. This is more distracting than using the car's interface.
Porsche's online configurator is one of my favorite ways to live vicariously on the Internet. Here I can happily build my perfect dream Porsche 911 with all the little options I desire (leather-upholstered air vent slats? Sure, why not!). But then I click the Summary button and see my final, real-world dollar tally. Gack! I think I've just built Larry Ellison's Porsche.
But along comes the 2015 Porsche Macan. In comparison to the Porsche mainstays, it's within the realm of affordability. A bargain Porsche, you might say.
The Macan S starts at $49,900, or $50,895 with destination. (A new base-level Macan priced below the S is also said to be debuting later on.) Sure, that's not cheap, and that price is without adding any options. But our Macan is pretty nicely equipped and ended up at $62,365. To get a Cayenne S you're looking at spending another 10 grand on top of that just to get in the door.
If you think about it, Porsche has come up with an impressively appealing combination. Here's a practical, family-friendly vehicle (by Porsche standards, anyway) with all-wheel drive, 340 horsepower, sleek styling and a high-class interior. It's a pretty impressive vehicle in its own right, and it just so happens to be the easiest way to join the Porsche family.
For many of us, buying the first Porsche in our life means buying a used Porsche. But the Macan will change the game.
I've driven plenty of Porsches with the dual clutch "PDK" transmission before. They all felt and drove great, but in the 2015 Porsche Macan S the PDK feels nearly perfect.
Drive slowly and it's nearly invisible, grabbing gears with barely a blip or lurch. It's always in the right gear at the right time so even the standard turbo V6 feels burly.
Get more aggressive and the PDK really shines. Shifts are delivered with an audible pop and a perfectly seamless transition to the next gear that keeps the engine right in the heart of its powerband. That nearly constant stream of power makes the V6 feel even more powerful than it really is, a trait that makes the Macan Turbo seem like overkill.
San Bernardino, California has three claims to fame. One: It is the location of the very first McDonald's. Two: It is the location of the very first Taco Bell. And three: It is my wife's hometown.
San Berdoo was also my destination as I jumped in our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S last Thursday morning. I had already punched my destination into the crossover's navigation system and had hit the freeway for what I hoped would be an uneventful 72-mile drive due east.
The Porsche had other ideas.
Within a few miles Howard Stern was rudely interrupted as the Macan's infotainment system seemed to reboot itself. As it restarted, it displayed the storied Porsche crest on its 7-inch screen (I quickly reached for my camera). And when it returned to life it defaulted back to the radio station I had been listening to the night before. Hmmmm.
Not a big deal. I retuned the station on Howard 100, drove for a few miles and then it happened again.
When it restarted, it again defaulted to the station I had been listening to the night before. Weird. This time I also noticed the nav system had purged my destination and was not interested in accepting a new address. Hmmmm.
Back to Howard 100.
A few miles later it happened again.
Now, stuck in some stop-and-go traffic I took the opportunity to throw the transmission into Park and cycle the key.
No luck. A few miles later it happened again. And again. And again. And again. It happened fourteen times during the first 60 miles of the trip. Then it miraculously stopped. Still, the nav system remained frozen.
Whatever. I used my new iPhone 6 to find my destination. Two hours later I returned to the Macan hoping it had healed itself. It had, mostly.
Howard went uninterrupted the entire drive home, and the nav system functioned normally, although its screen remained half black (second photo) regardless of what I asked it to display.
Later that day, I drove the car again. It was fine. Everything functioned perfectly and none of the bugs I experienced have happened since.
Our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S, didn't cover many miles during the month of September. Only about 1,300. But its lifetime fuel economy continues to improve.
Since we bought the Porsche Macan back in June, its lifetime average fuel economy has climbed from 13.8 mpg in July to 16.0 mpg through August to 16.4 mpg today.
Although this remains significantly below the crossover's EPA combined rating of 19 mpg, it's very close to its 17 mpg city rating, and our Macan has spent the majority of its life in L.A.'s urban sprawl. In addition, the Macan is driven often with its "Sport" mode activated, which tunes its drivetrain for more performance. And that certainly has a negative effect on its fuel economy.
Some road trips are planned, however, so those highway miles should continue to inch up the Porsche's mpg average.
Worst Fill MPG: 11.2 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 19.7 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 16.4 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 310.3 miles
Current Odometer: 6,800 miles
If you're used to climbing into different sorts of cars, there's a muscle memory that develops. You expect a certain ratio of step-in height to seat height. SUV's, even smaller crossovers, have an elevated step-in height and then an elevated seat height as well. Cars have a lower step-in height and then fall into the seat. Essentially it's up and up, versus down and down.
The 2015 Porsche Macan S is abnormal. You step up onto its elevated floor, then fall down into its low seat. It's vaguely reminiscent of an old body-on-frame car like our long-term Grand National. If you look at the Macan, it makes sense, since it has that elevated ride height, but then it also has a low roof that makes it look even more compact than the typical compact luxury crossover.
Just another reason the Porsche Macan isn't your typical SUV.
I drove our 2015 Porsche Macan S for the first time this week. The first time I tried to open the Macan's hatch I was baffled by the lack of a traditional release so I resorted to the remote release on the key fob.
When I got home and needed to open the hatch I looked more carefully for a release. That was when I spotted the brilliant bit of integration Porsche managed in combining the release into the base for the rear wiper.
Slick. Elegant. And not so obvious. But worth it.
So our 2015 Porsche Macan S has been sitting in my driveway for several days now which has given me plenty of opportunities to observe the subtle merits of its design. One of my favorites is also one of the least obvious.
Every Macan is twin turbocharged and twin intercooled. And in this case we're talking about air-to-air intercoolers which need fresh air to perform their cooling duties. Those who pay attention to such details recognize that means Porsche has to package the intercoolers in a place with real airflow. On the Macan they're located in the two ducts flanking the grille. But the packaging is subtle. You've got to look deep into those ducts to notice that they're highly functional.
Just a little detail demonstrating this SUV's performance roots.
Yes, our 2015 Porsche Macan S has a heated steering wheel. You'll likely not discover it by looking for a button, however. The button to activate it is hidden behind and between the steering wheel's center spokes. I accidentally bumped it with a finger when wheeling through a parking lot.
With a week behind the wheel I had the chance to make some interesting discoveries in our 2015 Porsche Macan S. Among those was the somewhat unsurprising verification that even this most practical and relatively inexpensive Porsche is, well, still a Porsche.
It occurred to me to see if the Macan has launch control at the perfect time. I was on a deserted road by myself. I switched Sport mode on, deactivated stability control, then stopped, wooded the brake, wooded the throttle and — lo and behold — the revs climbed unimpeded to 3,500 rpm and stopped.
So I released the brake.
What followed wasn't exactly overwhelming, but it was certainly faster than simply hammering the throttle. Leaving the line is rather uneventful with zero wheelspin and a quick, modest launch. Shifts are far snappier than in Sport mode but return to normal after the throttle is released.
Despite warnings in the owner's manual to the contrary, there's nothing about the process that feels like the Macan is hurting itself. With both pedals matted there's no resistance against the brakes as there would be when performing a traditional power brake. The revs hold until the brake is released. Also of note: this process works without activating Sport Plus mode (our Macan doesn't have it) and without "Launch Control Activated" being displayed, both of which are mentioned in the owner's manual.
I have a rule: I don't fly to San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix or Las Vegas. I drive. From Edmunds HQ in Santa Monica these drives range from a couple of hours to SD to up to seven hours to get to Frisco or Phoenix. Vegas is about five.
Last week I had business at Google just south of San Fran and some Edmunds internal business in downtown San Diego. So I fired up our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S and hit the road.
Great car for the trip. Supremely comfortable. Great navigation system. And plenty of go to get around those lane-hogging eighteen-wheelers. Plenty.
Plus, I managed nearly 23 mpg, which is the Porsche EPA highway mileage rating.
Whoever designed the Macan's seats, and its seating position, should get a big fat raise. Both are perfect. Even after nearly six hours of continuous driving it was only my bladder that needed a break.
And there's no denying the Macan's cool factor. It not only feels cool from behind the wheel, it earns thumbs-up from fellow travelers and compliments from the valet at San Diego's modish Hard Rock Hotel. Name another compact crossover you can say that about.
I think the Range Rover Evoque just got bumped.
We added another 1,600 miles or so on our 2015 Porsche Macan S in October. A couple of short road trips boosted the overall mileage slightly, while our around-town driving made sure it didn't move the numbers too far out of the norm.
Editor in Chief Scott Oldham managed to set the single tank record with a run of 351.7 miles on one tank. We're guessing it could probably squeeze out another 20 or 30 miles if you're careful with your speed. Consider 350 miles an easily achievable range on the highway.
Our overall mileage of 16.5 mpg is still well below the EPA number for combined driving, so clearly we're still enjoying the Macan's performance on a regular basis. It's hard not to drive it fast as it feels more like a tightly wound sedan than a compact SUV.
Worst Fill MPG: 11.2 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 20.8 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 16.5 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 351.7 miles
Current Odometer: 7,815 miles
The fact that Porsche stuck with its tried and true instrument panel setup that puts the tachometer front and center is great, but I would have been satisfied with analog gauges regardless of where the tachometer was placed.
I say this because there's a growing trend of replacing actual gauges with virtual gauges. It allows for better integration with all of the extra features that some people want, but it makes for a far less interesting layout.
Instead of deep-seated binnacles to house real gauges, the virtual needles sit on a flat screen spread across the dash. It's a subtle distinction that some might not notice. Personally I find such setups bland looking and out of place in a luxury car. Glad to see Porsche hasn't succumbed to the draw of the virtual world.
Digging around under the hood of our 2015 Porsche Macan S reveals some interesting and precise engineering. Even casual observation shows critical thought and heavy expenditure in an area that sometimes isn't given such effort. Here, it's Porsche's careful management of every bit of air flowing into the Macan's nose.
Intake air first passes through the grille (red arrows, top photo). Some of the air that bypasses the Macan's active grille shutters is rerouted upward through a second grille under the hood (red shaded area top photo). It then makes its way into the hollow hood (red arrows and shaded area, second photo) where it passes relatively unobstructed through a large space before being shoved downward through two holes in the bottom of the hood (pink arrows and shaded area, second photo) and into the airboxes on either side of the engine (pink shaded area, top photo).
After being filtered in the airboxes, intake air is ducted past the frame rails to the turbochargers where it's compressed and sent on the other side of the frame rails into the intercoolers (blue shaded area, bottom photo). After passing through the intercoolers, which are cooled by fresh air through the bumper (blue arrows, top photo), the intake plumbing merges (green shaded area, top photo) just before air enters the engine.
It's a convoluted path and there's a high volume of intake air being pushed around, yet this turbo engine isn't the slightest bit laggy. Impressive and expensive, no doubt.
I like a lot of things about our 2015 Porsche Macan S but the way it deals with Bluetooth streaming audio is not one of them.
Here's how it works in a normal car.
- Pair phone (Just once. Then it knows you for life.)
- Start playing music off of phone
- Rock out
- Stop, turn off car and get out
- Do whatchu gotta do
- Return to car and start it up
- Continue rocking out to Bluetooth streaming music.
Here's how it works in the Macan
- Pair phone (Just once. Then it knows you for life.)
- Start playing music off of phone
- Rock out
- Stop, turn off car and get out
- Do whatchu gotta do
- Return to car and start it up
- Wonder why stereo has defaulted to FM radio. You were never listening to FM radio.
- Try to pick Aux Bluetooth
- Wait 60-90 seconds for Aux Bluetooth to pair
- Manually reselect Aux Bluetooth
- Grumpily Rock Out.
Is this a deal breaker? No. Not even a little. It is, however, different than any other current system and is a bit of a bummer. I mean, couldn't you at least default to satellite radio if that was the last thing I was listening to?
Our 2015 Porsche Macan has wider tires out back than it does up front. The Macan's 295/40R20 rear tires are considerably wider than its 265/45R20 front rubber.
Traditionally, staggered fitment like this is the territory of sports cars where it's done to create balanced handling. And that, I'd wager, is the same reason Porsche has opted for such an arrangement.
Our 2015 Porsche Macan S has a neat feature. If you leave it parked and locked, the alarm will randomly, frequently go off. For a long time. For no reason at all.
You know this, though. Dan told you so back in August when we took it to Beverly Hills Porsche to be told that it was a known problem, and that Porsche didn't have the new part yet.
We got the call last week that the new motion sensor was in stock.
We made an appointment for the day after we got the call and it only took about two hours to get everything sorted.
It's been about a week since the new part was installed and we've had no more random wake-up calls from a colicky Macan.
The last time I drove our 2015 Porsche Macan S, I ran through my usual regimen. Plug in the iPhone, adjust the seats and mirrors and go. A few minutes into my drive, I decided to pair my phone so I wouldn't have to text a friend while driving. No problem. A minute or two later I was yacking away with my brother from another mother. Once the call was over, I switched back to listen to the music on my iPhone. That's when the problem started.
The music started up but then stopped a short time later. The Macan's infotainment screen went blank, then it restarted with the logo pictured above. Then the radio started playing. I went to switch back to the iPhone but it didn't even show up in the media list.
I unplugged the phone then plugged it back in. The phone responded with the typical buzz and showed it was charging, but I still couldn't select it as an audio source. Then the screen went blank again and started up.
I thought it best to not even plug in the phone again and listened to the radio. Then poof. Blank screen, restart. It seemed to me that it was doing this on a regular basis so I timed it. It was two minutes between failures. Not around two minutes, though, EXACTLY two minutes. I even unpaired (is that a word? It is now, I guess) my iPhone but that had no effect.
The same two-minute rule appeared in the morning drive into the office, too, so there's one thing we'll need to have checked at the dealer.
Our 2015 Porsche Macan S has some darned good basic seats. Like our old 911, they're supportive and firm like a nice orthopedic shoe. After a day on the road, your back actually feels better.
Still, these seats could be better, and now that I've experienced that, I can't go back...
The seat controls that lead this article are found on our long-term car. These belong to a short-term Macan Turbo. It has more buttons and is more better.
To be more clear, our seats offer eight-way adjustment of seat height, seat cushion, backrest angle and fore/aft adjustment.
The more better seats (Adaptive Sport Seats with memory Package) have 18 adjustments including seat backrest and height, fore/aft, seat cushion inclination, seat cushion depth (thigh support), seat cushion side bolster and backrest bolster. With front heating, these partial leather seats cost $2,235 and, as a guy with long thighs, I'd say that the thigh support alone is worth that.
And while I'm at it, I'd spend $810 to get fully keyless entry/ignition. And maybe the air vents should be wrapped in leather...
Sometimes I get too wrapped up in what a compact crossover SUV ought to have: a large backseat, a useful cargo bay, storage galore. But not every utility vehicle needs to be a Honda CR-V. Driving our 2015 Porsche Macan S makes that abundantly clear.
I don't know if there's anything useful at all about our long-term Macan, other than maybe its slightly elevated ride height and all-wheel-drive system, and I really don't care.
Much as Brent Romans described, our Porsche Macan S is a joy to drive. To start, it gives you a great place to sit, a real cockpit rather than a tall chair. And I really do like the way it rides on its 20-inch all-season tires. It's comfortable and never harsh on our terrible local freeways, yet it feels highly controlled. I don't think I've ever driven a sport-utility that got this balance so right.
If you're buying a smallish crossover SUV just to drive around in it by yourself or with your significant other (or significant canine) and your budget is large, I don't see why you wouldn't buy a Macan.
Driving around in our 2015 Porsche Macan S by myself is quite enjoyable. But I am rarely by myself anymore. And so if I were planning to buy a Macan, I would care whether I could fit a rear-facing car seat in back and still sit in the front passenger seat in front of it.
Would the seat be better and safer in the center position? Yes. Undoubtedly. But by putting it in the outboard position, I've ensured that I still have a workable and comfortable driving position, which is also important. Plus, my daily driver is now a Mazda 5, which has no rear center position, so I'm used to having the seat on the side.
The car seat, a Maxi Cosi Mico rear-facing infant seat, which accommodates babies up to 22 pounds, went in easily. The lower anchor points are easy to locate, though I'd probably lose the plastic covers in the first week if I really owned our Macan. The seat-bottom cushion is surprisingly not that contoured, so I had no difficulty tightening the car seat's base down. I eyeballed the angle and deemed it workable without the addition of a towel.
The baby was quite content, no doubt thanks to the Porsche's tinted rear side glass (something that our 2014 Mazda 5 Grand Touring does not have) and manually adjustable sunshades (also not available in the Mazda).
As for me (and I am 5-feet 10-inches tall if you're keeping score at home), I just fit in the front passenger seat. Said seat might be uncomfortably upright for some, but it's a nicely shaped, supportive seat, so I think I could manage a couple of hours in it. And it's about the same amount of room I have in the Mazda 5.
Alas, the kiddo has just about outgrown her infant seat, and the giant-size convertible seat I've purchased eats up quite a bit more legroom in the rear-facing position. My days of being comfortable in any vehicle short of a standard-size minivan are just about over.
If you consider that there have been two generations of the midsize Cayenne, the 2015 Porsche Macan S represents Porsche designers' third attempt at styling an SUV. To my eyes, the Macan represents their biggest success, and it's all about the rear three-quarters angle.
Certainly, the Macan's smaller size offers more design leeway. No one expects it to be as practical, so you can get away with a faster roofline and, in consequence, a smaller cargo bay.
But just look at the difference in the rear taillight design between the Macan and Cayenne. The shape of the light is so much simpler, so much less fussy and, ultimately, so much more appealing. Every single SUV that Porsche has built to date has been rich and elegant on the inside, but only the Macan looks that way on the outside.
In the picture above you can see some raindrops on our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S. We need rain badly in California and we're supposed to get a few days of it this week. Cross your fingers and your toes.
But November was sunny and dry as usual and we added 1,873 miles to the Macan's odometer during the month.
A lot of those miles were earned by Dan Edmunds. He had four out of our nine fill-ups in November. All together we averaged 17.1 mpg for the month, which is slightly higher than the EPA city estimate.
Our lifetime average increased .2 to 16.7 mpg. Here are the rest of the numbers:
Worst Fill MPG: 11.2 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 20.8 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 16.7 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 351.7 miles
Current Odometer: 9,708 miles
This weekend our 2015 Porsche Macan S hit the 10,000-mile mark. Where was the Porsche when it eclipsed this notable milestone? It was stuck in traffic. Talk about an awful way to celebrate. So let's reflect on the first 10,000 miles...
Maintenance: There was that problem with the alarm going off at random. It was fixed. Currently, the radio turns off at random. We'll have that addressed when the car is due for its first routine maintenance. That's now.
MPG: We are averaging 16.7 mpg after 10,000 miles. This is several steps behind the EPA-combined estimate of 19.0 mpg. Our best range on a single tank was 351.7 miles.
Road Trips: We drove up to Google in San Francisco. Local commuting accounted for most of our mileage accumulation aside from that. Looks like it's time for us to get out and do something.
As we mentioned in a previous post, our 2015 Porsche Macan S just hit 10,000 miles. That meant it was time to bring it to our local Porsche dealership for its first service. We also needed to exorcise the demons in the infotainment system and a parking sensor malfunction that Mike Magrath reported the day before we were set to take the car in. The sonar-based sensor, which sounds when the Macan approaches a mass at low speed, was triggering while passing slower vehicles on the freeway. We made an appointment for a Thursday at Beverly Hills Porsche and readied our wallet.
The 10,000-mile service was a relatively straightforward oil change and multipoint inspection. The infotainment system randomly restarting was a known problem and would be easily addressed with an update. The sensor required probing and experimentation, and I was told the Macan would at least need to stay overnight. We asked for a loaner vehicle and moments later, left the service bay in a Cayenne.
Our service advisor gave us his cell phone number and sent updates several times throughout the Macan's stay. Porsche tech support was consulted for the parking sensor problem, which extended the Macan's absence through the weekend. On Monday, our advisor texted us to say the oil change was completed and the nav system software updated from version 4.63 to 4.73. The dealer was unable to trigger the parking sensor problem and wanted us to duplicate the error on a test-drive. We could not make it fail predictably, so we asked for the car back instead. He texted back a few hours later, informing us that they replaced the sensor anyway.
We picked the Macan up early the next day. The infotainment update and parking sensor replacement fell under warranty. Nine quarts of oil at $9.50 each seemed reasonable, but $2.50 to top off the windshield wiper fluid was hilariously lame.
Total cost: $418.12 ($270.00 labor, $85.50 oil, $33.40 oil filter, $9.72 O-ring, $2.69 aluminum seal ring, $2.50 windshield washer fluid, $2.27 oil disposal, $12.04 tax).
Total days out of service: 4.5
Our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S only covered about 1,500 miles during December. And it averaged 16.9 mpg for the month.
Oh yeah, this ain't no Prius.
Since we bought the Macan back in June, its lifetime average fuel economy has climbed from 13.8 mpg in July to 16.7 mpg in November. Today that lifetime mpg remains at 16.7 mpg.
Although that performance is significantly below the crossover's EPA combined rating of 19 mpg, it's very close to its 17 mpg city rating and our Macan continues to spend the majority of its life in L.A.'s urban sprawl.
In addition, most of us drive the Porsche Macan often with its "Sport" mode activated (I know I do.), which tunes its drivetrain for more performance. And that certainly has a negative effect on its fuel economy.
Worst Fill MPG: 11.2 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 20.8 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 16.7 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 351.7 miles
Current Odometer: 11,530 miles
Old woody station wagons filled with surfboards are as large a part of Southern California culture and lifestyle as the palm tree, the traffic jam and the movie star.
But times change. L.A.'s rough-and-tumble Dogtown is now Silicon Beach and the surf wagon has evolved from big American classics to big buck European crossovers.
Crossovers, like our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S, have become a regular at So-Cal surf spots including San Onofre, El Porto, Santa Monica and Malibu. Just don't try to squeeze in the longboards.
As you can see, however, our three shortboards from Roberts, which range in length from 5-feet 4-inches to 5-feet 6-inches, fit perfectly after dropping the larger side of the Porsche's 60/40 split-fold-down rear seat, leaving just enough room for my pals Bodhi and Johnny Utah.
I never drive our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S without first pushing the Sport button.
According to Porsche, when you push the Sport button the Macan's "electronic engine management system switches the engine mapping to offer an even sharper response and engine dynamics that are more direct".
Trust me when I tell you, it works. You can feel the difference the instant you push that button. Suddenly the throttle response is quicker, the transmission holds gears longer, and it's quicker to downshift.
It's as if the crossover just received a shot of adrenaline.
Don't misunderstand, without Sport mode activated the Macan is still as engaging and as sporting a drive as any crossover out there.
But turn it on, and it's just about perfect.
Someone recently asked me what kind of mileage our 2015 Porsche Macan S gets. I didn't know offhand, but I told them it was probably around 20 mpg or so on a good day. I was close, but not entirely accurate.
Turns out the Macan will only get 20 mpg on a very good day, although its average is getting better with every month. In January, the overall mileage number nudged up to 16.8 mpg overall. Like the previous months, our Macan spent most of its time commuting, so its chance to turn in some more impressive highway numbers was limited.
In the process of trying to squeeze the last few gallons out of our Macan I did get this message on the instrument panel display. It was a bit disappointing since it replaced the "miles to empty" countdown that gave me more specific numbers. For the record, it switches to this warning when you're down to 10 miles of range. It's a pretty common progression in cars these days. I guess the automakers don't want drivers pushing the limits much when it comes to fuel.
Worst Fill MPG: 11.2 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 20.8 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 16.8 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 351.7 miles
Current Odometer: 12,345 miles
I was sitting in our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S adjusting everything the way I like before my drive home from the office.
Someone much taller than me had driven the Macan last, so I took some time getting the seat position just right. Then I went for the mirrors. The driver-side and passenger-side mirrors are large and well-shaped. They allow for a good view of the sides of the car. They are very useful when changing lanes on the freeway. And the side windows give a good view when you peek around before moving. I have no problem with front and side visibility in the Macan.
But the rearview mirror is oddly shaped. It almost seems like it's upside-down to me. Combine that with the way the rear window is slanted and the view you get out the back is just a slice.
I was glad for the additional help from the rearview camera when backing out of my spot in our busy garage.
Some of our staff members have expressed dislike for the carbon-fiber trim on the steering wheel in our 2015 Porsche Macan. I'm on the opposite side of that spectrum, and I'm not even a fan of carbon-fiber trim.
Yeah, it's not very grippy, but there's enough leather where it counts to make up for it. It helps that the steering wheel itself is the perfect size, with a small diameter and a thick rim.
I think the smooth carbon fiber feels much like the wood trim found on many other high-end sedans. It's a constant reminder that you're in something special. You don't even have to be looking, you can just feel it. Sure, it could be really smooth plastic I suppose, but the look of the carbon fiber, or wood for that matter, adds something to the experience as well.
When I got into our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S in the morning, the TPMS went off immediately. It said the right rear tire was down 7 psi. I got out to look it over and found a large nail embedded in it.
I pumped up the air in the tire and then drove it carefully over to Stokes, our neighborhood tire store. We've been here many times over the years and they know us well. Cameron called ahead and told them I was coming, so as soon as I pulled in, they were ready for me.
After checking the tire, they said it would be an easy fix and take about a half-hour. The repair cost $30.00
Days out of service: 0
Total repair cost: $30.00
After the Mini tire incident, I can't decide if I'm the Edmunds tire fairy or the Edmunds tire jinx.
Our 2015 Porsche Macan S isn't the biggest SUV on the block. Trading the size of the Cayenne for the extra maneuverability and fuel efficiency is generally a tradeoff I'm happy with and I generally like SUVs.
Until a girl who lives in my house sees it and says "Sweet, you brought home an SUV. Let's go to Ikea."
"I'm in," I said. "But this thing's not that big, so we can't go nuts or buy anything huge."
65,000 hours later, I'm riding on a four-wheeled shopping cart with a 78-inch table and two hotdogs in my hand. (If we're going to Ikea, I'm going to ride the cart like a ship captain and she's going to push that cart.)
Of course the table doesn't fit in the back with the rear seats folded. Or down the middle. And the front seat doesn't fold flat.
So the front seat goes all the way forward and I incline it all the way until the headrest is almost touching the windshield and then jam the tabletop as far forward as possible. It's pretty slanted at this point, so I've got to hold it still while the power liftgate nearly closes on my hand. There's no room to spare on the passenger side of the car (the thing is 23 inches wide) so she rides in the back on my side.
It's not ideal, but in a pinch, the Macan's hatch can swallow more than I anticipated. Bummer.
When we got our 2015 Porsche Macan S back from Stokes Tire Repair, they had balanced all of the tires to the recommended spec.
Our Macan's TPMS measures the psi as the vehicle is moving. But unlike our long-term Mini Cooper it performs this action very quickly. It's complete by the time I get out of our parking garage. And if I leave the display on the instrument panel, it keeps adjusting on the fly.
With the Porsche's tires properly inflated and balanced, the ride in the Macan was admirably smooth and comfortable even on our bumpy L.A. freeways.
As educated readers, I'm sure you know to check the air pressure in your tires often. Most people don't know this, however. I was telling a friend about my tire adventures and she told me she just bought new tires, so she knew her tires were properly inflated.
She bought those tires two months ago, and I know she hasn't checked the pressure since. She lives in a state where you are not allowed to pump your own gas. So I told her the next time she filled up to ask the station attendant to check her tire pressure. She doesn't even have to get her hands dirty or worry that she isn't doing it properly.
How often do you check the tire pressure in your car?
My Giant XTC hard tail is a fairly big mountain bike. Confusingly, small Giant bicycles exist, but mine truly fits the name: it's an XL-sized frame and it rolls on 29-inch wheels. Despite its dimensional bigness, it fits in the back of our 2015 Porsche Macan, but only just.
The rear seats have to be down, of course, but I don't have to make any allowances with the front seat position, especially on the driver side, because the tire clears it fully. In fact, there's a nice flat spot behind the driver's seat for a gear bag.
And it turns out the lip at the rear edge of the slightly sunken load floor is a good thing. It helps keep the bike in position and eliminates the risk of it hanging out too far and getting smacked by the closing hatch.
Loading the 2015 Porsche Macan S with miscellaneous stuff seems almost sacrilegious. But then, if Porsche didn't want you to use their vehicles for mundane tasks, why would they build a "low-priced" SUV?
En route to a Girl Scout cookie sale, the Macan hauled a 4-foot table, cash boxes, tablecloths and other miscellaneous gear, as well as a couple of cases of cookies.
The remaining 12 cases of cookies were easily loaded in the GS troop's co-leader's Toyota Sienna.
I'm surprised that the start/stop system in our 2015 Porsche Macan S isn't smoother, mostly because everything else in this performance SUV is excessively precise. From the sharp-shifting transmission to the buttons on the steering wheel, most everything works with a click or a snap.
The start/stop system isn't quite so slick. Leaving from a stop, the engine comes to life with a noticeable chug that has me looking for the off switch almost instantly. I'm not sure why it's not as smooth as some of the other systems in our other long-termers, some of which I don't mind leaving on.
Maybe it's the engine's considerable power, or a desire by the engineers to make it feel like it's working instead of blending in to the background. Whatever the reason, I find myself using the system less and less the more I drive the Macan. We'll see if this ends up affecting its final mileage number when the year is up. I suspect it will.
Our 2015 Porsche Macan S's fuel economy nudged ever so slightly up in February and we (or rather, I) managed to set a new mpg tank record. Unfortunately, neither is especially impressive.
Over the course of about 1,600 miles, the Macan went from 16.8 mpg to 17 mpg. That's against an EPA-estimated figure of 19 mpg combined. My new record stands at 21.4 mpg, set between Jacumba Hot Springs, Calif., on Interstate 8 (pictured) and Goodyear, Ariz. With flatter terrain and slower speeds one could in theory eek out the EPA-estimated 23 mpg highway. We'll see if anyone can get it done in the next four months.
Also, note its mediocre range. Our best is still 368.8 miles and that was with its 19.8-gallon tank running on fumes.
Worst Fill MPG: 11.2 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 21.4 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 17.0 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 368.8 miles
Current Odometer: 14,230 miles
Is the 2015 Macan S the best Porsche? Well, the existence of the 911, Cayman, Boxster and their great many great variations would indicate otherwise. So too would the usually merry band of monogrammed polo shirt-wearing Porschephiles who would surely threaten my very existence should I be serious about answering my rhetorical question in the affirmative.
However, after driving our Macan to the press launch of the revised 2015 Porsche Cayenne S and Panamera S, I walked away thinking that the cheapest four-door Porsche is in fact the best four-door Porsche.
The Panamera feels so enormous when behind the wheel. This is in part because it is enormous, but also because of the driving position. You sit low with high sills and an expansive hood that seems to reach out for every rock face and road-encroaching shrub. The controls feel Porsche-like, but there's no escaping the feel of overwhelming girth in both its maneuverability and agility. It's good despite its inherent self.
Then there's the Cayenne. It feels like an SUV that Porsche took apart and reengineered using its parts bin and endlessly impressive mechanical wizardry. Its controls also feel Porsche-like and it handles better than you ever thought an SUV could, but it nevertheless always feels like a big, tall SUV. It's good despite its inherent self.
The Macan, on the other hand, feels the most true to the brand. Although obviously bigger than Porsche's sports cars, it doesn't feel enormous. In terms of perception both visual and tactile, you get the sense you're driving something more akin to a slightly taller sport sedan than an SUV put under the spell of sportiness. Everything from the steering to the PDK transmission is taut, mechanically precise and atypical of the SUV norm. It's a joy to drive with no qualifications needed.
The best Porsche? No, but even if money was no object, my four-door Porsche would be the Macan.
One of the nicest things about a Porsche 911 (such as our former long-termer) is sliding into its snug cabin. The seat pulls you in and hugs you tight. And off you go.
This same hand-in-glove feeling exists in our 2015 Porsche Macan S. As other drivers have said, the SUV's seats are comfortable and conform to the body. It's unlikely that the average Macan driver would need seat grip to combat extreme g-forces during a daily commute But the effect is terrific, even when you're punching the accelerator just a bit for a lane change. The cabin reinforces a sense of closeness and privacy without making you feel claustrophobic.
The bonus in the Macan is that this snugness comes with a great view. Riding in the low-slung 911 on a freeway is like being in a submarine that has barely surfaced. Riding in the elevated Macan is quite the opposite. You see all, and are seen as well. Elevated intimacy: It's a good combination for daily driving.
Our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S passed the 15,000-mile mark while Scott was driving through Utah. More about his trip will be coming soon.
Aside from an electronic glitch in the infotainment system and a random nail in one of the tires, our miles have been trouble free.
The Macan has been a popular vehicle with our staff, some even calling it the Best Porsche. It's fun to drive, comfortable, and attractive. We're looking forward to reaching our next milestone with this sporty compact SUV.
Our 2015 Porsche Macan S comes standard with all-wheel drive. Included is this gauge which shows torque-split in real time. It's constantly dancing around in ways that approximate how it's distributing torque to where grip is most needed.
That sending torque to the wheels with the most grip is a good thing is an inarguable point. Whether you need to know what it's doing, or more philosophically whether you need to see it, is less clear.
Regardless, when you accelerate in the Macan the gauge shows more torque going rearward, which makes sense. Presumably, if the rear wheels were slipping we'd see torque redirected to the front axle. On dry pavement, it's all theory anyway as the Macan S lacks the power to slip the wheels.
I wonder if Porsche takes it to the next level with the optional Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus, which redirects torque from side to side across the rear axle using the brakes. This would demand not only a more complex gauge, but a driver willing to watch it while cornering, since that's the only time it would need to work on dry pavement.
Frankly, like most drivers, I'm not as interested in seeing or knowing what's going on behind the Macan's curtains. But driving does interest me. And in that regard, this is an incredible SUV.
There's a guy that lives in a modest white farmhouse about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City. His house is visible from I-15, as it sits just a few hundred yards west of the interstate, and it's the absolute perfect backdrop for his ride.
Yes, his ride.
Sitting in front of this man's house was his car. His beautiful car. Parked under a tree. On the grass. Within spitting distance of his front door.
There sat a near perfect replica of Bo and Luke Duke's General Lee. An orange 1969 Dodge Charger artistically festooned with a "01" on each door and the now-controversial stars and bars on its roof. I could even make out the correct push bar on the nose and of course the classic Mopar's 15-inch black and silver Vector wheels.
I was in awe.
I was driving our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S. A wonderful machine. One of my absolute favorite cars. The Porsche is a near peerless mix of performance, comfort, sex appeal and utility.
But I was jealous.
I arrived in Park City, Utah, 703 miles from our Santa Monica office, after a little more than 10 hours behind the wheel of the Macan. It was the perfect vehicle for the drive.
First of all, its driver's seat is from the heavens. This is the way a driver's seat should be shaped. If you work for a car company, stop what you're doing and make your seats like the Macan's. Trust me. You'll be a hero.
But the Macan's extreme comfort doesn't come at the expense of fun. At the expense of the drive. This car is engaging. You know you're driving. And you're enjoying it.
It's a Porsche through and through.
Still, I was jealous.
My two-day stay in Park City was all about the General Lee. Did I really see it? Was it real? Does John Schneider live off Interstate 15 in rural Utah? I needed to know.
After 48 hours, I was determined to find out.
My return trip was just as enjoyable. About 11 hours door-to-door with a relaxed lunch stop. The Macan averaged 21.9 mpg for the trip and would burn a little less than two tanks to cover the distance.
And the General Lee was there as I passed for the second time, now southbound. It was really there. The phantasm was real.
And no, John Schneider, the real John Schneider, does not live off Interstate 15.
Our 2015 Porsche Macan S includes the optional $615 heated carbon fiber steering wheel. I prefer leather. I don't want the control surface that I'm touching every second while driving to be rock-hard or slick. Carbon fiber is both.
Sure, there's some leather on there, but there's no escaping the carbon since that's the point. A Walnut and leather wheel is also available for the same money. I'd be perfectly happy with the standard leather wheel, which can be optionally heated for $250.
That our 2015 Porsche Macan S utilizes a center-mounted tachometer speaks volumes about its purposeful design. Center-mounting the tach says "this is a priority." I've driven cars with sporting intent which place less emphasis on knowing engine speed. Fiat 500 Abarth, I'm talking to you.
Engine speed should never be an afterthought, at least in cars with internal combustion engines. And placing it prominently in the center only feels right in a vehicle that will ever be driven with purpose - even an SUV. Porsche manages to do so without compromising the other primary job of the instrument cluster - displaying vehicle speed - by making it redundant via both a digital readout and an analog gauge.
It's not typical for our hard-driving Editor-in-Chief Scott Oldham to break any fuel economy records, but during his recent 1,400-mile round-trip from Los Angeles to Park City, Utah, Chief Oldham guided our 2015 Porsche Macan S to a new "best fill" record of 23.9 mpg.
That's 0.9 mpg better than the Macan's EPA highway fuel-economy rating.
Oldham managed a couple other fuel-efficient tanks while away from the office, bringing the Macan's lifetime average up to 17.3 mpg.
Worst fill remains at a dismal 11.2 mpg.
Worst Fill MPG: 11.2 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 23.9 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 17.3 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 422.0 miles
Current Odometer: 16,610 miles
If you want to start an Internet flame war guaranteed to entertain on a rainy day, visit any music/home theater/car audio forum and start dropping the word "audiophile." Man, that word can get people fired up, at least the kind of people who nerd out to audio-quality obsessions and, equally, those that mock them.
Start dropping the word "Bose" shortly thereafter and you'll have the kind of conflagration that drives people from their Malibu and Laguna canyon homes. In fact, I'm hoping to start one right here in this thread. I'm practically handing a lit match to our chief pyromaniac, fordson1, hoping his/her expertise in every facet of automotive manufacture, design and operation lights this puppy up like a crateful of Tijuana bottle rockets.
"Audiophile" is such a loaded word, drawing detractors and defenders, but what drives me bananas is seeing the word abused as a marketing term, such as it is in our 2015 Porsche Macan S.
The Bose audio system features a "linear" setting that purports to adapt a neutral sound character that satisfies your inner audiophile. It even states its intentions in the display. All I hear when selecting it, however, is a thin film of digitally-processed reverb lifting away and a slight crossover shift that's probably filtering out anything below 80Hz (in the owner's manual, Porsche/Bose maintain that selecting Linear de-emphasizes heavy bass for a more neutral setting).
Also, I'm not sure you can characterize a system as "audiophile" when bass and treble are the only available tone controls, as they are in our Macan. And this is before we all agree that quality listening in the interior of an automobile — a small cage of concave and convex surfaces, plastic and glass, road, tire and wind noise — is as productive as playing tennis on the beach.
This isn't to say the Macan's Bose system is bad. It's not. Bose quality varies widely in the automotive world — the system in our former C7 Stingray was disappointing, for example — but the system in our Macan is nice enough. It's balanced and can get loud enough without distorting. That'll work for almost everyone. But audiophile it is not, regardless of what the Sound Options menu tells me.
As a $1,400 option, the Bose wasn't a bank buster. That sounds like a lot, but you'd spend more on aftermarket preamps, speakers, and the installation if you went off the options sheet. But you'd probably end up with a better system.
Then again you could just go big and order the optional $5,700 Burmester system.
If you want a small luxury crossover and can afford a 2015 Porsche Macan, just go buy one. I'm serious. I think the Macan is that good.
Yes I like the Audi Q5. And yes, I really like the S Q5. I'm also a fan of the BMW X3, the Volvo XC60, the Range Rover Evoque and the new Lexus NX, although it is horrifically ugly. They're all good vehicles any of us would and should be proud to own. Just a few months ago, I was a whisker away from owning an XC60, but my wife and I decided to lease an XC70 instead. And we love it.
But the Macan is special. It's better than good. It's the best.
After driving our white Porsche thousands of miles, it's the one I would have. No doubt about it. Yes, it costs more but if I could buy the one I want, bucks be damned, it would be the Macan. And you should too. If you want to know why, really want to know why, go drive one. Just make sure you push the “Sport” button before you leave the dealer lot.
Trust me. And bring your check book.
Our 2015 Porsche Macan S, like Porsches in general, provides a glimpse at what we can expect from future tech interfaces. No, not a Boeing cockpit worth of center console buttons, but rather a configurable color display within the gauges than can do and show much of what the central touchscreen can.
Such color display screens are increasingly common these days, especially in luxury cars. However, Porsche's is rather subtle by comparison. Jaguar-Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and even Kia, for example, have replaced some analog gauge clusters with a large screen that, in most cases, mimics traditional gauges. Audi's new TT not only has one giant screen where its gauges should be, but it's also the only screen. There isn't one in the center of the dash.
I like Porsche's approach. There's still an area to view navigation, entertainment and other information easily, but you also get good old-fashioned gauges that are more legible (and perhaps forever will be) than an LCD or TFT screen, especially in direct sunlight. That the Porsche display fits neatly within a circular instrument binnacle is a nice aesthetic choice that blends better than a typical color trip computer display placed between the speedo and tach.
Allow me to present a scenario. You jump into the 2015 Porsche Macan S. It is, per a perfectly common scenario, parked in a busy lot head-first against a wall. You check behind you like a responsible driver, looking for cross-traffic or pedestrians. There's nothing, so you put the car in reverse and prepare to move, noting in the rearview camera that there is still nothing behind you.
And yet, the Macan starts beeping at you as if you're about to run over something. What in the world?
After some confusion, you realize the rear parking sensors are not picking up a child, lawnmower or, I suppose, a woodland creature small enough to elude your eyes and those of the camera, but big enough for the rear sonar to pick up. No, the perimeter beeping is coming from the FRONT parking sensors detecting the wall in front of you. You're in reverse and the car is telling you there is something in front of you.
No kidding, thanks car.
How, in any way, is that helpful? By definition, if the car is in reverse, there's no way you can run into whatever is ahead. And since the rearview camera is on, the usual front perimeter display (pictured) doesn't come up telling you from what direction the beeping originates.
Now once you know about this, you can be prepared for the front sensor false alarm. But what if there is, in fact, something behind you and you've acclimated to ignoring the parking sensor that cried wall? Not good.
For the last few months I've been underwater, prepping my 1976 Pontiac Trans Am for The Bandit Run, now just about a week away.
After rebuilding the air conditioning, going through the carburetor, installing taller gears, replacing the rear springs, addressing a rear main seal leak, replacing a few hoses, getting the front end aligned and putting new foam in the front seats, it was time for some new tires.
To my amazement, four well-used BF Goodrich Radial T/As, sized 245/60R15, fit in the cargo hold of our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S.
I was sure I'd have to fold some seats to make it work, but the Macan, despite its fast backlight, swallowed the four tires perfectly. And I mean perfectly. With very little space to spare, I could load all four tires and close the hatch.
It's as if someone at Porsche is a big Smokey and the Bandit fan.
Unless I'm specifically evaluating the wired functionality of phone/car marriage, I don't plug my iPhone into cars anymore. After two bricked phones (Corvette and Jag XF) while connected and a growing list of apps that don't work well while tethered (Amazon music, MLB At Bat), I just connect via Bluetooth and use a 12-volt adapter and cable to keep things juiced.
So there was a moment of panic when I loaded up the Sox/Orioles game on Friday, plugged in my 3.1A dual USB charger into the cigarette lighter/power port of our 2015 Porsche Macan S and the blue light didn't come on.
Baseball or battery? Tough choice.
I grabbed the manual and flipped to the section on fuses. The one I needed was in the cargo area, behind a panel that currently houses a leather bag with a bottle of oil. Nice touch.
The manual is very clear and I knew immediately which fuse guarded the relevant circuit. The puller was with a different fuse box, so I used the fuse-removers I was born with (I probably should have disconnected the battery or something, but I was pretty sure I'd be fine.)
Yep. Blown. Easy fix. The manual even points out the section of the box reserved for spare 20A fuses. Too bad those slots were empty.
To the auto parts store!
Three dollars for 5 fuses. 45 more seconds of labor. Fixed.
The 2015 Porsche Macan S doesn't have much time left in our long-term fleet, but that doesn't make it any less popular than it was the first day it showed up in our garage. During the month of April, the Macan blew a fuse, carried around some tires in the boot and added about 1,800 miles to the odometer.
We added those miles in varied driving conditions, with enough highway time to set a new best-fill MPG (28.3 mpg) and some time in heavy city traffic that delivered its second-worst tank yet (11.3 mpg).
Worst Fill MPG: 11.2 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 28.3 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 17.1 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 422.0 miles
Current Odometer: 18,367 miles
I really like our 2015 Porsche Macan S. As in "configure-one-and-see-how-negatively-that-monthly-payment-would-affect-my-life" like it. The answer, as it turns out, is "very negative." But going through the process, I noticed that our long-termer isn't equipped the way I'd do it.
Here's how I'd have mine.
First off, the cars we order for the fleet are ordered for specific reasons that aren't "Magrath's tastes." We try to get them in colors that photograph well and with options that are either wildly popular or so new we need to live with them. We're also largely beholden to what's in stock. We'll order cars every so often, but if there's something on the lot that hits 99 percent of our requirements, but has wheels we don't like or a carbon-fiber pack, we're willing to live with that to get the test rolling.
So, while our Macan is really, really nice, here's what I'd do different:
Blue. It's $690 and worth every penny. They don't offer Lime Rock Green so blue is the second-best option.
No carbon fiber bits. The carbon fiber steering wheel is slippery and unattractive. Ditch it. Leather's fine.
RS Spyder wheels. We've got the 20-inch Sport Design wheels that are $400 cheaper than these cool RS Spyder wheels. The ride's not objectionable on 20s, so no need to change here.
18-way adaptive sport seats. They cost all of the money, but I don't care.
Premium Package Plus. Another option that costs as much as a used Honda, but in SoCal, you need seat coolers. And in SoCal at night, you need a sunroof. And the fact that our Macan doesn't have keyless entry/start drives me batty. This package solves those very First World problems.
Delete model designation ($0). I know what I bought. Fewer badges mean fewer places for the rag to snag while washing.
Sport Exhaust with black tailpipes. More engine noise, more better, especially when I can adjust it.
Adaptive cruise control. We've discussed this before. I like ACC and if I'm letting anyone else drive it, I'll be happy it has automatic emergency braking.
Burmester stereo. We've got the $1,400 Bose setup and it sounds like a $1,400 Bose setup. It's fine. It could be better, $5,690 better. I want it better.
Now here's what I'd keep the same:
It's not a Turbo. I've spent considerable time with the Macan Turbo and, really, it's just not worth it for my kind of driving. If I lived in Texas and needed something to obliterate straight lines while counting cattle, I'd get the Turbo. I don't. I live in a place with consequential corners where, by the time you've gotten your money's worth out of the Turbo's additional acceleration, you're enjoying a lovely view of the ravine you're crashing down.
Infotainment package. Need it.
Here's what I'm on the fence with:
Thermally and Noise-Insulating Privacy Glass. It's only $990, but I've never experienced one with this. I hate to be hot and hate exterior noises, so this might be worth it.
Sport Chrono Package i.c.w. PCM. Cooler stopwatch on the dash and a Sport PLUS button. I think I need this. I probably don't. Sport PLUS!
Total out the door for me: $77,365. The Edmunds LT Macan is $62,365. The Macan's base price is up a couple grand from when we bought ours, though the way I'd want mine is still $25,000 more than base price. That explains why one isn't in my driveway right now.
To see the full build, click here and, if you're feelin' it, build your own and submit the code in the comments to show how you'd have one.
According to my friend and Edmunds colleague Keith, the rear seat of our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan S is a comfortable place. He rode back there on our way home from the OC Half Marathon and said that he was satisfied with the ride quality and seat comfort. He wondered aloud, though, why there weren't any climate control vents for rear seat passengers.
I wondered the same thing. Where on this $62,365 Porsche had they hidden the rear vents? It turns out that Porsche kept them on the options sheet for 2015.
Spurred on by Keith's comment, I looked through the spec sheets of the Macan's competitors. The 2015 Audi Q5 and SQ5 come standard with tri-zone climate control, while the BMW X3 and the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque get dual-zone climate control with rear-seat vents as standard. With the 2015 Porsche Macan, tri-zone climate control is a $510 stand-alone option that we declined.
For the 2016 Macan though, tri-zone climate control and the previously-optional heated steering wheel ($250) become standard.
Notably though, those two changes carry with them a $2,700 price increase for the base Macan S, which is almost four times their combined cost on the 2015 model. It seems then, that it would make a good bit of sense to add the rear vents to your 2015 Macan S before the price goes up next year.
It was pushing 11:30 on Saturday night as I filled up our 2015 Porsche Macan near the end of a long road trip you'll read about later. A black, last-generation Toyota Camry sat quietly across the island as its driver walked back from the mini-mart after paying the clerk.
Soon after I heard a series of clicks, followed immediately by a muttered curse and a female voice imploring, "Sir, can you help me?"
I was more than a little road weary and just wanted to get home. But there was no one else around and, unlike me, she had jumper cables at the ready. "Sure," I said, figuring this shouldn't take long.
I had no idea where the Macan's battery was located and it wasn't visible when I lifted the hood. But it quickly became obvious that an owner's manual consultation wouldn't be necessary when I espied prominent "+" and "-" marks molded into the plastic engine compartment trim.
The former was centered atop a small hatch that concealed a stout metal terminal. The latter was adjacent to an exposed copper post with another "-" stamped onto its end. It was all very obvious.
From there it was easy: red clamp on the Camry's positive terminal followed by matching red clamp on the Porsche's positive post and a black clamp on the Porsche's negative post. Now I could make the final black connection, which she'd been holding away from any metal while I was busy with the first three clamps.
This last hookup surprised her. She expected me to make the final connection to her dead battery's negative post, but I went for one of the Camry's unpainted upper strut-mount bolts. I explained about the final connection's propensity to generate a spark and the admittedly vague possibility of battery gasses subsequently igniting if the spark had leapt from the negative battery terminal.
I started the Porsche and let it idle. She twisted her key about 30 seconds later. The Camry came to life after a few slow cranks. As we disconnected the cables she said, "I learned something today," referring to the last connection to the Camry's body instead of the battery.
She was carrying cables because she knew something was up but hadn't yet decided how to handle it without paying too much. The terminals and cables didn't look too bad. She asked if she should add water, but her battery only had vents. It soon became clear her five-year old car was still on its original battery. Considering the age and the trouble she was having, I suggested it was time to buy a new one. Having your car go dead near midnight in a semi-questionable part of town and asking a complete stranger for help is not a great situation.
As for the Macan's actual battery location, it's hidden under the floor beneath the spare tire in a protected compartment. Those remote underhood posts are provided for good reason. And they're easy to locate and use.
On a recent road trip, Dan Edmunds cycled our 2015 Porsche Macan S past the 20,000-mile mark. When he handed the keys over, he warned me about the service indicator, but I was surprised to see a low-oil warning just a minute or so from my house.
According to the in-car gauge, the oil level was fine, but it was right on the line where something like temperature or even angle of the vehicle might trigger the warning. Instead of reaching for the bottle in the trunk (in its nice leather case), I called the Porsche service center four miles from my house and told them I had a Macan with 20,000 miles on the clock that I'd drop off in the morning.
"For the 20,000-mile service?" the service rep asked. I confirmed. "Okay, that'll be $1,050," he said.
"Dollars?" I asked.
"Okay, I need you to itemize every part and minute of labor for this to make anything like sense," I said.
After a few quiet minutes, he apologized. "Sorry sir, I quoted you for the two-year service, not the 20,000-mile service. This one's $750."
That's still a high number for an oil change and a several inspection checks, but it's in line with what we've observed from other Porsche services. Gotta pay to play.
We dropped the car off, received notice that it was subject to five TSBs, one of which involved the alarm system we had fixed back in November. Because of the additional services, we had to leave it overnight. They offered a free rental, but we declined.
The other day I mentioned we dropped our 2015 Porsche Macan S at Beverly Hills Porsche for its scheduled 20,000-mile service and an assortment of TSBs.
It's back. Here's what got fixed and, more importantly, how much it cost.
When I left you last time, I failed to mention two items I asked them to look at: a squeaky driver-side window and a blown fuse from a few weeks back. In my mind, it was just a fuse and I didn't think anything of it. But a couple of you wondered why it blew, so I asked.
Porsche said they'd have the car done by mid-afternoon the day after I dropped it off. They called me at 10:30am and said it was ready to go. Under promise, over deliver — solid plan.
During their 25-ish hours with our Macan, the service department took care of service campaigns for a front door gap issue, added protective film on the rear door sill, checked/replaced the alarm thingy we already had replaced, and reprogrammed the PDK and ECU. Macan owners are saying they've felt improvements in shift quality and auto start/stop behavior. We'll report back if we notice anything.
The service department also lubed a squeaky driver-side window seal.
The 20,000-mile service itself includes an oil change ($34.95 oil filter insert, $13 in sealing rings, $76 of Mobil 1, $2.27 for disposal), a multi-point inspection ($2.50 of washer fluid — seriously — and a $69 air filter), resetting the oil light(!), and resetting our tire pressures back from where we want them (33/36) to what the door says (36/39). Beverly Hills Porsche estimated that the whole thing would cost $750. Actual cost: $667.
As for the fuse? Well, our service advisor let slip that this was a common problem with the Macan and stemmed from the power port just below the shifter. Apparently if you remove a plug at a sharp enough angle (anything other than straight up?), the contacts touch something they shouldn't and short the system. Glad I asked.
Update: Sorry, folks, forgot to include this: BH Porsche charges $180/hr for labor. There's a big sign when you walk into the service area making that very clear.
A recent business trip required my presence in Flagstaff, Arizona. It's a destination that's within easy reach by car and the decision gets really easy when you consider the scenery along the way. But I'd be covering a lot of miles and there was high potential for dirt-road side trips, so I drafted our 2015 Porsche Macan.
I hate driving an out-and-back trip along the same route, so I hatched a plan to take a longer northerly route for the outbound leg. I figured I could make it in time for my 6:00 pm dinner meeting if I got started before sun-up.
The end result was a complete lap around the Grand Canyon, a landmark I would never quite see during the entire trip. But that didn't matter. The entire area is a road-tripper's paradise.
I've pretty much got Interstate 15 memorized between here and Las Vegas, so I didn't plan on breaking out my camera until I knew I was on track to make my appointment.
Zzyzx, California: The Macan's maintenance reminder winked on before I got to the Nevada state line. It seemed likely that I'd finish this trip a couple hundred miles overdue for the Porsche's next oil change.
Apple Valley, Utah: Rain started to fall as I passed through here, but the interesting fact about this spot is the name of the dirt road: Main Street.
Fredonia, Arizona: My chosen route dipped into Arizona for a brief spell before crossing back into Utah on the way to Kanab, the Kane county seat. Kane County covers 4,108 square miles and is home to 7,260 people. It is not a crowded place.
Page, Arizona: The Glen Canyon Dam Bridge spans a narrow chasm on the Colorado River, with the dam itself just out of frame below and to the right. Lake Powell backs up behind it, but the lake level was the lowest I can remember. As I drove by, I noticed a spot where I'd once water-skied that now only looked suitable for roller blades.
The Gap, Arizona: The Gap is a tiny trading post and fuel stop on the Navajo reservation. I'd hoped to push farther south toward Flagstaff and the land of name-brand gasoline, but the Macan had other ideas.
An hour later, I was in Flagstaff where I stopped to attend a drive event for the Ram 1500 Rebel. The Macan sat quietly in my hotel's parking lot for a couple of days until I started home.
Valle, Arizona: The way home was shorter than the outbound leg of my trip, so I decided to take a few detours.
Old Route 66, Arizona: I followed a meandering dirt road toward the railroad tracks just because I could.
Old Route 66, Arizona: Route 66 nostalgia is big in these parts, up to and including reproductions of the multi-sign Burma Shave roadside poetry ad campaign.
Old Route 66, Arizona: The railroad follows roughly the same route, and it almost seems like there are more trains than cars.
Old Route 66, Arizona: I have no idea. The place was closed up.
Chloride, Arizona: No particular reason.
Kingman, Arizona: Our Porsche Macan rolled past 20,000 miles just outside of town. I missed the moment by two miles looking for a place to stop.
Kingman, Arizona: The 20,002-mile moment came here, near this nameless rock outcrop.
It got dark as I crossed back into California, where I grabbed a drive-through burrito and powered through the remainder of the trip with no further stops. In all, I covered 1,279 miles and went through three-and-a-half tanks of gas. The first tank included over 100 miles of someone else's city driving, so I'm excluding it from my calculations and starting instead with my first fill in Jean, Nevada.
From there, the trip was 1,096 miles long and consumed 48.92 gallons. Over those miles the Macan averaged 22.4 mpg, which compares quite favorably to its EPA highway rating of 23 mpg - especially when you consider all of the side trips and mindless U-turns I made to shoot my weird collection of photographs.
The Macan has grown to be one of my favorite road trip cars. It's got power, it steers with precision and confidence, and it's a pleasant place to sit for hours on end. The fact that it offers a modest dollop of off-road capability doesn't hurt, either.
I'm going to miss it when it's gone.
Want to be a hit at an elementary school? Bring cool cars for show and tell. That's the lesson three Edmunds editors learned last week when we spoke to fourth- and fifth-grade classes during Career Day at Mayo Elementary School in Compton.
Of course, we brought cars, including the 2015 Porsche Macan S. Consumer Advice Editor Ron Montoya brought our 2014 BMW i3. Road Test Editor Mike Monticello brought (of course) the 2015 Ford Mustang GT.
I wasn't sure what kind of reaction the Macan would get. It is not a 911, although no one asked us why we hadn't brought a "real Porsche." It isn't a flashy kid magnet, like the Mustang. It isn't a toaster car with a breakfast tray dashboard, like the i3. But the kids flocked to the Macan, and at a purely unscientific glance, it seemed to draw more girls than boys. Clearly, Porsche marketers know what they're doing.
Here's a sampling of questions that the Mayo students had about the car:
"Why are there so many buttons?"
"Is it faster than that other Porsche? I think it's called the Porsche Camaro."
"How much does it cost?"
I asked the kids what they thought the car cost.
"Ten thousand dollars," one kid called out. I gave him the universal raise-that-price thumbs-up, and we made our way to 50K. Then another boy jumped the bidding, suggesting that maybe $100,000 was closer to the mark. After that, the news that we'd paid $62,365 didn't seem so shocking.
Truly, the Edmunds mini fleet was a bit hit at Mayo. Until these National Guard guys and their ride showed up.
The legacy of the Porsche 911 is everywhere, including the gas pump screen at our local fueling station. Most customers probably don't even notice the digital 911 that pops on the screen while you're pumping, but when you're in a Porsche, it's an interesting reminder of the power of the brand.
The 911 personifies performance in many people's minds, at least enough for our local Union 76 station to use it as an indication of just what kind of cars deserve its premium fuel. It's easy to forget such notions when you're driving an SUV, but it doesn't mean the Macan deserves any less reverence.
Call it an SUV, crossover, whatever — the Macan is a serious performance machine. It accelerates, stops and corners better than most cars and doesn't beat you up in the process. You sit high for a good view, but it doesn't feel any less ready to attack an empty freeway ramp. It's time with us is drawing to a close, so I'm glad I got one last run in this very expensive compact SUV. If I had the money, I would buy it for myself in a second.
In May, our 2015 Porsche Macan S improved its average mpg slightly, and now stands at 17.3 mpg. That's up marginally over April's 17.1 mpg average. The real-world Macan falls short of the official EPA rating of 19 mpg combined, however. We racked up another 2,200 miles in May and passed the 20K milestone. And you know what that means - our baby SUV is going to a new family very soon.
Also in May, the Macan had its 20K service (complete with an insanely, erroneously high initial estimate). Dan Edmunds, ever the Good Samaritan, brought it to the aid of a driver with a dead battery. And thanks to Dan, we learned where to find the Macan's posts for jumping - and where to find the battery itself.
Worst Fill MPG: 11.2
Best Fill MPG: 23.9 (the previous 28.3 mpg was an erroneous short fill)
Average Lifetime MPG: 17.3 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 city/23 highway)
Best Range: 422 miles
Current Odometer: 20,082 miles
Edmunds.com employees get first dibs to buy our long-term cars. To avoid any perception that we play favorites with employees, we offer the cars at a "no-haggle" Edmunds private-party True Market Value® price.
We offered our 2015 Porsche Macan S to employees for $49,411. It was in great condition and had just less than 21,000 miles on the odometer.
Only one employee (who wishes to remain anonymous) expressed an interest in the Macan. He had wanted to buy a new one, but found that they were still in short supply. Those that were on dealer lots were either Turbo models or loaded with options. When he saw that our reasonably-optioned Macan was priced under $50K, he said it was a no-brainer.
We paid $62,365 when we bought the Macan new last year. Our sale price of $49,411 reflects a 21 percent depreciation in value. This puts it right in line with our fleet average of about 22 percent.
And so the Porsche Macan leaves the Edmunds fleet, although we'll still see it around the garage (we may even need to bribe the new owner for another turn behind the wheel now and then). We wish its new owner well and hope he enjoys it as much as we did.
The 2015 Porsche Macan S remained one of the most popular cars in our fleet until the end. Everyone wanted a piece of it. So much so that when it came time to sell the Macan, it stayed close to home, ending up in the garage of one of our Edmunds colleagues.
We raved about it seats, its seamless power and its utility. We put 21,000 miles on the odometer. We spent about $1,100 in maintenance for the year. We didn't quite achieve EPA-rated fuel economy of 19 mpg combined (our actual: 17.3), but we didn't exactly baby the throttle, either. We sold it at 21 percent depreciation.
It was Porsche through and through. We really, really liked it.
Click here to read highlights of our impressions from our year with the Macan.
What We Got
We purchased a 2015 Porsche Macan S, the entry-level offering that sits below the Macan Turbo in the lineup. That name is a little misleading, however, as both Macans are powered by turbocharged engines. In our case, that was a 340-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 hooked to a seven-speed dual-clutch (PDK) transmission. It had a starting price of $49,900.
After sifting through an extensive options list, we settled on a few packages. We added the Carbon Fiber ($1,490), Infotainment ($2,990) and Premium ($2,590) packages along with a few stand-alone options like a Bose stereo ($1,400), 20-inch SportDesign wheels ($1,260) and Lane Change Assist ($690). Wheel center caps with the Porsche crest ($185), a heated multifunction sport steering wheel ($615) and rear window shades ($250) rounded out the options list. When the salesman slid the contract to us across the table, its bottom line read $62,365.
"In typical, default mode, the Macan eases off the line smoothly, then there's a surge of power that feels unending. Also, because the transmission shifts so smoothly and the gearing is optimized to maintain the engine's power, it feels all the more relentless." — Chris Walton
"I'm surprised that the stop-start system in our Macan isn't smoother, mostly because everything else in this performance SUV is excessively precise. From the sharp-shifting transmission to the buttons on the steering wheel, most everything works with a click or a snap.... Leaving from a stop, the engine comes to life with a noticeable chug that has me looking for the off switch almost instantly." — Ed Hellwig
"It's not typical for our hard-driving Editor-in-Chief Scott Oldham to break any fuel economy records, but during his recent 1,400-mile round-trip from Los Angeles to Park City, Utah, Chief Oldham guided our Macan to a new 'best fill' record of 23.9 mpg." — Kelly Hellwig
"In the process of trying to squeeze the last few gallons out of our Macan, I did get this (mind remaining distance) message on the instrument panel display. It was a bit disappointing since it replaced the 'miles to empty' countdown that gave me more specific numbers." — Ed Hellwig
"First of all, its driver seat is from the heavens. This is the way a driver seat should be shaped. If you work for a car company, stop what you're doing and make your seats like the Macan's. Trust me. You'll be a hero. But the Macan's extreme comfort doesn't come at the expense of fun. This car is engaging. You know you're driving. And you're enjoying it." — Scott Oldham
"What makes the Macan's seats so good is their fundamental shape. The bolsters are modest but effective. The backrest portion seems to land on a large portion of your back clear down to your lower back without any pressure points. Same goes with the bottom cushion and your butt and thighs." — Jason Kavanagh
"My Giant XTC hard tail is a fairly big mountain bike.... It's an XL-sized frame and it rolls on 29-inch wheels. Despite its dimensional bigness, it fits in the back of our Macan, but only just. The rear seats have to be down, of course, but I don't have to make any allowances with the front-seat position, especially on the driver side, because the tire clears it fully." — Dan Edmunds
"The Macan's sleek-looking roof line for the liftgate cuts down on the available amount of space if you want to pack things higher than the beltline. As an example, you can't easily fit four big storage bins behind the rear seats. The bottom ones will be fine, but the top ones will stick out too far and the hatch won't close.... If you need to go 'big' with cargo in your small luxury crossover SUV, other models like the Acura RDX and Volvo XC60 will probably work out better." — Brent Romans
"If I were planning to buy a Macan, I would care whether I could fit a rear-facing car seat in back and still sit in the front passenger seat in front of it.... By putting it in the outboard position, I've ensured that I still have a workable and comfortable driving position, which is also important.... I just fit in the front passenger seat. Said seat might be uncomfortably upright for some, but it's a nicely shaped, supportive seat, so I think I could manage a couple of hours in it." — Erin Riches
"In the Macan, as in other Porsches, there is a wonderful heft to the way the buttons click that evokes a serious machine rather than a toy or technological gadget. Although there may be a few too many (does each air direction really need its own button?), I enjoy the immediacy of wanting to do something and pressing a single button to accomplish it. No clicking a mouse, no pressing three illustrated "buttons" to go through sub-menus. Although it can be overwhelming at first learning where everything is, once you do, you can operate them without looking. Try that with an iDrive-like system or more comprehensive touchscreen." — James Riswick
Audio and Technology
"This isn't to say the Macan's Bose system is bad. It's not. Bose quality varies widely in the automotive world. The system in our former C7 Stingray was disappointing, for example. But the system in our Macan is nice enough. It's balanced and can get loud enough without distorting. That'll work for almost everyone. But audiophile it is not, regardless of what the Sound Options menu tells me." — Dan Frio
"I like Porsche's approach (to instrument panels). There's still an area to view navigation, entertainment and other information easily, but you also get good old-fashioned gauges that are more legible (and perhaps forever will be) than an LCD or TFT screen, especially in direct sunlight. That the Porsche display fits neatly within a circular instrument binnacle is a nice aesthetic choice that blends better than a typical color trip computer display placed between the speedo and tach." — James Riswick
"We picked the Macan up early the next day. The infotainment update and parking sensor replacement fell under warranty. Nine quarts of oil at $9.50 each seemed reasonable, but $2.50 to top off the windshield wiper fluid was hilariously lame." — Cameron Rogers
"Our car has a neat feature. If you leave it parked and locked, the alarm will randomly, frequently go off. For a long time. For no reason at all.... It's been about a week since the new part was installed and we've had no more random wake-up calls from a colicky Macan." — Mike Magrath
"Even casual observation shows critical thought and heavy expenditure in an area that sometimes isn't given such effort. Here, it's Porsche's careful management of every bit of air flowing into the Macan's nose. It's a convoluted path and there's a high volume of intake air being pushed around, yet this turbo engine isn't the slightest bit laggy. Impressive and expensive, no doubt." — Josh Jacquot
"The Macan might not be a Porsche sports car in the traditional sense, but for this vehicle segment it is fantastic." — Brent Romans
Maintenance & Repairs
The Macan asked for routine service in 10,000-mile intervals. And they weren't cheap. We spent over $400 at the 10K and more than $600 for the 20K. The total for regular maintenance was just under $1,100 for the year.
Numerous service campaigns had to be performed on the Macan. Each was addressed during routine visits: Replace the front parking aid sensor, update the PCM, adjust the front door gap, add protective film to the rear door sill, reprogram the PDK and reprogram the DME. We made a special trip (two, actually) to the dealer to remedy an oversensitive motion alarm. The fix involved replacing the overhead roof console.
Fuel Economy and Resale Value
Observed Fuel Economy:
EPA estimates for the Macan S are 19 mpg combined (17 city/23 highway). We averaged 17.3 mpg over 20,837 miles. Our best single tank was 23.9 mpg, and the farthest we traveled on a single tank was 422 miles.
Resale and Depreciation:
We purchased the Macan for $62,365. After one year and 20,837 miles, Edmunds' TMV® calculator valued the SUV at $49,411 based on a private-party sale. Our first step in the sales process is an offer to Edmunds employees. The Macan didn't make it beyond that. We sold it just a few days after hanging up the "For Sale" sign.
Pros: As close to a "sport" utility vehicle as you're ever going to find, top-notch interior materials, outstanding seats, responsive automatic transmission, refined ride quality even with 20-inch wheels and tires, 400-plus-mile range on a tank, strong resale value.
Cons: Routine maintenance averaged $500 per visit, limited rear passenger room, cargo area doesn't take kindly to taller items, rough stop-start system.
Bottom Line: The Porsche Macan combines the feel of a sports car with the body of an SUV better than anything else on the road. If you can deal with the limited space in back, and the steep sticker price, buy one. You won't be disappointed.
|Total Body Repair Costs:||None|
|Total Routine Maintenance Costs:||$1,085.49 (over 12 months)|
|Additional Maintenance Costs:||$30 to patch a tire|
|Warranty Repairs:||Replace front parking aid sensor, PCM update, adjust front door gap, add protective film to rear door sill, replace roof console, reprogram PDK, reprogram DME.|
|Scheduled Dealer Visits:||2|
|Unscheduled Dealer Visits:||2 to remedy an oversensitive motion alarm.|
|Days Out of Service:||1 overnight stay required for 20K service.|
|Breakdowns Stranding Driver:||None|
|Best Fuel Economy:||23.9 mpg|
|Worst Fuel Economy:||11.2 mpg|
|Average Fuel Economy:||17.3 mpg|
|True Market Value at service end:||$49,411 (private-party sale)|
|What it Sold for:||$49,411|
|Depreciation:||$12,954 (21% of paid price)|
|Final Odometer Reading:||20,837 miles|
Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.