2015 Porsche Macan: Road Trip Around the Grand Canyon
June 2, 2015
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.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 20,327 miles