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Mention Porsche and for many, thoughts understandably turn to the 911 and other sports variants. There is, however, another side to the famous German brand- SUVs and it is now these vehicles which capture the bulk of sales.

Recently, I had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Macan which is the doorway to the Porsche family, a compact SUV which has the family DNA. It certainly satisfies the driver who wants the most from a SUV, practically and performance and this member of the Porsche family certainly delivers, as I discovered. Now comprehensively upgraded in terms of design, comfort, and connectivity and driving dynamics, the Macan therefore remains the sporty role model in its segment. In keeping with the Porsche design DNA, the compact SUV features a three-dimensional LED light panel on the rear of the vehicle; LED technology is also standard for the headlights.

The most eye-catching new features in the interior are the 10.9 inch touch screen for the new Porsche Communication Management (PCM); the newly arranged and designed air vents and the optional GT sports steering wheel, which is familiar from the 911. The PCM provides access to new digital functions such as intelligent voice control and the standard online navigation. The range of comfort equipment is extended by Traffic Jam Assist, an ioniser and a heated windscreen, among other things.

My test drive was with the entry level model which is powered by an enhanced two litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine which  produces 245PS and delivers a maximum torque of 370 Nm. Enough to take you from rest to 100kph (62mph) in just over six seconds.

Move up the scale to the S which is powered by a new V6 engine with three litre displacement and twin-scroll turbocharger in a central turbo layout.  This unit has a power output of 354PS and a torque of 480 Nm and you can reach 440PS with the Turbo. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (PDK) and the PTM all-wheel drive are perfectly matched to these engines.

I have to state that in no way was I disappointed with the smaller engine, it was quite perky and I have no doubt it will satisfy a lot of drivers; sure there always always others who crave for more power. For everyday use I could easily settle for the version I tested.

The core feature of the Macan is driving dynamics and the revamped chassis increases driving pleasure by ensuring a more neutral response while at the same time offering unchanged stability and improved comfort. I doubt if there is another SUV which handles as well as the Macan, after all being a Porsche you expect such.

As in the Panamera and Cayenne, the user interface can be adapted to suit personal requirements with predefined tiles. With full connectivity as standard, the new system offers improved online navigation and Porsche Connect Plus. The connection to the navigation-related “Here Cloud” plays an important part here. This provides you with up-to-date online data at all times for fast route calculation. Other services and functions include web radio with automatic switching between FM/DAB/online sources, the intelligent Voice Pilot voice control system and also remote functions such as security and emergency services.

The Porsche Connect app and Porsche Car Connect app enable you to communicate with the Macan via their smartphone and the off-road precision app can be used to make the off-road experience in this POrsche even more emotionally charged and to document trips.

It would be so easy to just state that this yet another SUV which is best suited to the urban environment, it offers much more and is a very confident performer when going off road.

Practicality is a key to the success of any SUV and in this respect the Macan scores well, however I suspect the would be purchaser is very much drawn to the brand and the performance aspect of the Macan. I can best describe it as a good all rounder. Maximum luggage space is pretty average at 1,503 litres, what a superb vehicle for a weekend away.

A final parting as I drove the Macan, I wondered what Ferdinand Porsche, who founded the company back in 1931, would think of his modern day SUVs.

Ian Lynas

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