[TEST DRIVE] Porsche's Macan is an SUV with sports car DNA
It turns out there is one Porsche that many people choose as their first — the Porsche Macan SUV.
Nearly eight out of 10 first-time customers chose the Porsche Macan SUV, the German carmaker said. A total of 88,362 Porsche Macan SUVs were sold around the world last year, accounting for 30 percent of the company's sales. It is the best-selling Porsche.
The latest Porsche Macan is a partially revamped version of the first generation of the SUV, which was launched in Korea in 2018. The new version is available in two types in Korea, the Macan S and Macan GTS.
The Korea JoongAng Daily recently got behind the wheel of the Macan GTS, the most expensive version available, and took it for a spin on a 120-kilometer (75-mile) journey around the outskirts of Seoul, which included a few minutes off-road.
Starting with the exterior, the creamish-grey color, which the company is marketing as “Crayon,” was extremely appealing. The Porsche Macan is available in 14 different color options, and if you're willing to pay more, customizing it in any color is possible, according to the company.
The inside was wide and spacious. The trunk capacity is around 488 liters (129 gallons or 17.23 cubic feet), and expands to 1,503 liters when the back seats are folded down.
The infotainment system was disappointing compared to what other brands are offering. The driving assistant system didn't do much at all. Though Porsche Korea said it does help drivers when the car veers out of its lane, this reporter barely noticed the system operating while driving.
A parking assistant system was not provided, while the in-car navigation system was just okay, with no voice commands accepted.
But everything came clear after getting the SUV up to high speed — and this reporter realized that this is a Porsche, made by a company known for its sports cars, dedicated to driving and engine performance, not interiors and unnecessary features.
The acceleration was extremely strong but smooth, while handling and cornering were very easy. The speed was amazing and tended to creep up on you; this reporter drove at 120 kilometers per hour on an empty highway, and it felt like 80 kilometers per hour.
Driving was never boring. Changing the driving mode from normal to sports and sports plus mode, the car made dramatic engine sounds just like a sports car.
Equipped with a 2.9-liter six-cylinder twin-turbo engine, the Porsche Macan GTS boasts a maximum of 448 horsepower and 56.1 kilogram-meters of torque.
It can reach a maximum speed of 272 kilometers per hour and only takes 4.3 seconds to reach 100 kilometers per hour.
The brake took some getting used to. Unlike the latest cars from other premium brands that have a very quick response time, in the case of the Porsche Macan, the driver must brake with all their strength to come to a complete stop.
When driving on a bumpy dirt road near a river, the air suspension system automatically raised the car for a smoother drive and softened the impact of bumps and potholes.
The sticker price starts from 114.5 million won ($95,000) but can go much higher with option.
Porsche Korea sold 731 Porsche Macan SUVs in Korea last year.
BY SARAH CHEA [firstname.lastname@example.org]