Last year, we reviewed the Porsche Macan here. It was an absolute stunner and I believe that it is the very best car on sale today. Here's why.
Sorry, I've always thought that the base unit was the bare bones taxi specced offering of a manufacturer to accommodate people that want to buy into a brand. This is usually the one that boosts all the sales. However, the base model Macan is one of the best equipped cars in the country.
It comes standard with a rear view parking camera with parking sensors, a fantastic Bose audio system, adaptive xenon headlights, fat sporty tires, and a blisteringly quick transmission. Plus, it is completely void of cheap plastic materials. It is a beautiful place to be in.
As a general rule, dual clutch transmissions are a bit twitchy and jerky especially in traffic situations. However, Porsche's PDK system is by miles the best consumer dual clutch transmission.
It is a lot quicker than the shifts you get from a Ferrari 458 Italia, and the Porsche is a compact SUV that costs a fourth of the price. The moment you tap the paddle, it blips the throttle and swaps cogs in no time at all.
FIT AND FINISH
It is no secret from the world that Porsche make the most solidly built cabins in the automotive world. Even in the Macan's base trim, everything feels solid. Sure, there's a lack of accent trims, but it's a solid package.
The buttons feel great to push and toggle. There's a sense that Porsche went the extra mile developing these buttons and how they feel when you use them. They have a haptic department that takes care of all the feels.
The engine is sublime. Yes, it's the same power plant that you'll find in a Volkswagen Golf GTI and an Audi TT. The only difference is that it has some extra grunt, and when mated to the stunning transmission, it pulls and punches well above its weight class.
It does not feel turbocharged and neither does it feel like it only has four cylinders. It has a free-breathering and rev-loving engine that completely suits the character of the car - and this is only the base unit. Imagine what the faster models are like?
BOSE AUDIO SYSTEM
Unlike some audio systems that you find in cars, this 14-loudspeaker setup by Bose has been developed specifically for the Macan. The acoustics have been studied to produce the most accurate representation of music as it was designed to be listened to by the artists who've created them.
It's flat, it's adjustable, and it's very precise. The low frequency bass has a quality that you feel rather than hear, the mids are present yet never overpowering, and the highs are crisp yet soft to the ears. It is a very precise and stunning audio system, and it isn't even the best that Porsche can offer.
918 SPORT STEERING WHEEL
It has best steering wheel in the business. Now I know that this is purely subjective, as is everything about this list. Except, you cannot argue that Porsche make the best steering wheels in the business. They aren't only lovely to look at. They are actually so great to hold and the multifunction buttons are ergonomically positioned.
I once said that a manufacturer can ruin a car by giving it a lousy steering wheel. After all, apart from your rear end and your feet on the pedals, it's all that connects you to the car. I think, it's exquisite. And the fact that it's been lifted from their very own 918 hypercar only makes it so much more special. See what I mean? Base model.
ELECTRIC POWER STEERING
As a general rule, I am not a fan of non-hydraulic steering systems. I've always argued that there's never enough feel and it still remains true. You cannot replicate the feeling of what's real with something synthetic. Think of the home button on an iPhone 6 versus the fake haptic sensor on an iPhone 7. It's the same concept.
Porsche on the other hand have really come very close to it. It's very precise and it gives loads of feedback to the driver. The system in the Macan has a delicacy and precision that suits it perfectly. You'll need to be a race car driver of sorts to even notice that the steering isn't hydraulic. It is so deliciously good even when you're pottering around town.
SPORTS CAR DYNAMICS
It is magical and it defies physics. I make absolutely no joke about this, I've ridden in more performance cars that felt like less of a performer than the Macan - which is on stilts. It is just as comfortable on the race track as it is in the bustling metro.
It corners almost flat and the way it grips and fires you out of the corners begs belief - and that's all without the sophisticated Porsche dynamic and suspension options ticked. The chassis is an absolute gem. Remember, we are talking about the base model.
It's a beautiful thing to look at. This is essentially what the design of the Cayenne should have always been. Porsche has had its hits and misses in creating an SUV with unmistakable Porsche design cues, but the Macan is their platinum selling hit. It has zero bad angles, in my opinion at least.
It is stunning to look at and it gets even better as it ages. The base model isn't fitted with a lot of aesthetic options, but it is still such a looker with so much road presence. I love the LED daytime running lights as well as the tail lights that look like they were stolen from the 918 Spyder.
VALUE FOR MONEY
It offers tremendous value for money. It is by no means a cheap car, but if you look at what else is similarly priced in the luxury segment, the Macan is actually a bargain. It is a relatively affordable ticket to the prestigious world of Porsche ownership. It's also two cars in one.
It is a sports car for days when you feel like carving some twisty roads and it is also a compact SUV for the mundane trips to the office. It will happily seat four more people in the lap of luxury, and that only means that you can share the sports car experience with more people than usual.
OH, AND HAVE I MENTIONED THAT IT'S A PORSCHE?