Whether you call it SUV or CUV, it is not easy to find the right one in a market where every brand has several different options. Porsche Macan has been the least expensive way to get into the Porsche family since 2015. It is not just a sport-luxury SUV with soul and Porsche engineering, it is the main reason Porsche keeps building better sports cars.
It was a little late to the luxury crossover segment when it first came out, but the sales took off and it has quickly become the best-selling vehicle in the brand’s model lineup. The Macan is already updated a few years ago, and it had another tweak last year. This week, we review the 2022 Porsche Macan S, which is placed between the GTS and the base trim, also described as the sweet spot in the model lineup.
Starting with the looks, it is undeniably Porsche from all angles. First and foremost, the clamshell hood is quite rare to see nowadays, and it has an integrated air duct system to force more air into the airbox. Unlike most SUVs, it comes with a lower roofline for a sportier silhouette. It is not easy to carry over a design language from the other Porsche models to an SUV, but they did a great job with overall looks. The exterior design has significantly changed since it is first released in 2015, such as the new bumper design, new headlights, and the new giant one-piece taillight that looks much better than the previous version.
Like the exterior design, the interior is undoubtedly Porsche. It offers such a nice balance of refinement and sportiness with traditional details. You will find the same steering wheel, analog cluster, and clock on the dashboard used in other Porsche models. The fit and finish are excellent, everywhere you touch is leather or soft-touch plastics, and the material choice is pretty impressive. Our tester had brushed aluminum interior trims, but there are many different options you can choose from based on your liking.
All Macans come with a 10.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard, which is a huge improvement compared to the 7-inch screen you used to get in the previous model year. The screen looks very wide, which also means Porsche had to move air vents to the bottom of the dashboard. Although there are lots of touch-sensitive buttons in the interior, there is a physical volume knob. The rearview camera also has a great resolution and it also comes with 360 view feature.
The only thing I will bring up as a negative is the excessive amount of glossy black used throughout the center stack, which looks shiny and great until you have fingerprints all over them. With the 2022 update, now there are no longer physical buttons located in the center console, there are several touch-sensitive buttons instead. It definitely gives it a cleaner look, but you have to look down to find the right button when you are driving.
The front seats are exceptionally comfortable and they can also provide a good amount of side bolstering if needed. They offer a lot of adjustment options. At 6’1″, I found the front seats offer more than enough legroom and headroom despite having a huge panoramic sunroof. The seating position is quite different than traditional premium SUV, where most feels like you are sitting on top of the vehicle. Macan S feels like you are sitting lower, much like a hot hatch.
When we move on to the rear seats, you realize the headroom is a little bit limited due to the low and sloping roofline. You get a decent amount of legroom, but it’s definitely not the class-leading option if you prioritize the rear space. Rear-facing child seat fits okay, you might have to move the front passenger seat a little bit, but it’s definitely doable for smaller families.
Like all Macans, the 2022 Porsche Macan S comes with 17.2 cu-ft (487 L) of cargo space behind the rear seats, with a maximum capacity of 52.9 cu-ft (1497 L) when the back seats are folded down. Like the rear seats, the small dimensions also compromise the trunk space and those are below-average figures for a luxury compact SUV. It’s surprising to see the rear seats split and fold in 40/20/40 fashion. A stroller can fit horizontally with no issues, you can also place small items around it.
The 2022 Macan S gets a significant power bump, as it inherits its engine from the old GTS. The “new” 2,9L twin-turbo V6 engine puts our 375 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, placed longitudinally to send most of the power to the rear wheels and send more power to the front wheels if the rear wheels lose traction. 30 more horsepower and 30 more lb-ft of torque mean it can hit 100 km/h almost a second quicker compared to the previous year.
Like many other Porsche models, the Macan S comes with a 7-Speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. As expected from any Porsche with a PDK, it upshifts and downshifts extremely fast, and responds to driver inputs precisely. It is also one of the biggest contributors to hitting 100 km/h in less than 4 seconds. Our tester comes with a Sport Chrono package, which adds a launch control feature and throws the Macan S forward and the driver back into the seat with equal force.
Our tester had the Adaptive Air Suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management system which gives you a few different options to choose the right firmness for your driving style. You can also adjust the ride height for sportier riding, or for more ground clearance. You might expect a similar ride quality with other cars sharing the MOB architecture, but the Macan S feels quite different, as it is heavily updated to meet Porsche standards.
It is obviously very fast and fun in a straight line, but the driving experience is what makes the Macan unique. It is one of the few SUVs that can be fun on twisties. Of course, the 375 horsepower V6 engine and 7-Speed PDK transmission contribute a lot when it comes to the overall driving experience, but Macan S offers a great balance of performance and refinement in an everyday livable format.
The biggest difference is how it delivers the power and communicates with the driver. When it is driven normally, it feels just like a luxury SUV, but when it’s driven at the limit, it becomes a different animal. Despite having a heavy twin-turbo V6 in the front and an AWD system, the understeering is minimal, and you can rotate the Macan S with the throttle. It is a rear-biased AWD system that always sends power to all wheels, but prioritizes the rear wheels in most situations.
Speaking of Porsche standards, the brand is known for its braking systems, and the Macan S is no exception. It comes with 4-piston aluminum monobloc fixed calipers matched with 360mm rotors in the front. The initial bite is a little bit touchy but gives you a lot of confidence. For most people, the braking performance is definitely overkill, but the right choice for enthusiasts.
At the end of the day, it is still an SUV with a higher center of gravity, but it feels more like a premium hot hatch with higher ground clearance that can go very fast, stops even faster, and rotates effortlessly, but most importantly, it allows you to have fun. It offers something that we are missing in modern cars, especially in most SUVs – it is the excitement factor.
The 2022 Porsche Macan S might not be the most aspirational Porsche, because it is an everyday Porsche and meant to be usable. However, it still gives you the balance of refinement, luxury, and fun factor. It is compromised when it comes to the overall interior space, and if you can get past that, it is clearly the benchmark of its class.
|Engine||2894cc twin-turbocharged V6|
|Transmission & Drivetrain||7-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic & All-wheel-drive|
|Max power||375 hp @ 6700 rpm|
|Max torque||383 lb-ft @ 1850 rpm|
|0-100 km/h||3.9 sec|
|Curb Weight||4386 lbs – 1989 kg|
|Top Speed||160 mph – 257 km/h|
|Fuel Economy (Combined)||19 MPG – 12.4 L/100 km|
For more details – please visit www.porsche.com/canada/