This is the cheapest Porsche on sale in Australia. Is there enough of the good stuff left in it?
- Stops and steers brilliantly
- Good amount of standard equipment
- New 2.0-litre engine and seven-speed PDK are a winning combo
- Cramped second row
- Expensive servicing
- You’ll be waiting over 12 months for it
The facelifted Porsche Macan range arrived in Australia late in 2021.
It’s not an all-new car, rather an update that uses the same eight-year-old Macan bones but filled with all-new guts. Stuff like new powertrains, interiors and configurations come with the update, but also come against the sombre backdrop of higher prices than before.
In fact, Porsche has already increased the price of its upcoming 2022 ‘MY23’ Macan range, so it’s worth recapping on what costs what.
We start with our test car – the self-titled 2022 Porsche Macan. It is the first of four models in the range, and is priced from an awfully tempting $89,300 before on-roads.
Our test car was equipped with $10,470 worth of options, but you could forgo them all and still be very happy. Its price comes in at $99,770 before on-road costs, or a bit over $110,000 drive-away. A full breakdown of the configuration and option pricing is in the table below.
It’s powered by a new 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 195kW/400Nm. Power is manipulated by a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic and sent to all four wheels, albeit with a bias toward the rear ones for everyday driving.
Next up in the range is the 2022 Porsche Macan T from $92,700 before on-roads. Consider this version like a sports-led take on the entry-level 2.0-litre turbo model, as it comes standard with Porsche’s adaptive damper system with 15mm lower ride height, 20-inch wheels, and uniquely coloured dark-grey exterior elements.
Next up are the 2022 Porsche Macan S and GTS pairing. Both use the potent twin-turbo petrol V6 engine with the former making 280kW/520Nm, and the latter 324kW/550Nm.
Both are fast and expensive. The 2022 Porsche Macan S starts from $112,400, and the 2022 Porsche Macan GTS $137,300, both before options, taxes, and on-road costs.
That makes our optioned-up and near-on $100K entry-level Macan even more appealing then.
Is there enough Porsche left in it? Let’s find out.
|Key details||2022 Porsche Macan|
|Price (MSRP)||$89,300 plus on-road costs|
|Colour of test car||Volcano Grey metallic|
|Options||Panoramic sunroof – $3110
Bose surround-sound system – $2230
Metallic paint – $1800
LED headlights with Porsche Dynamic Lighting Plus – $860
Seat heating (front) – $790
Self-steering park assist – $650
Porsche Logo LED courtesy lights – $540
Power steering Plus – $490
|Price as tested||$99,770 plus on-road costs|
|Rivals||BMW X4 | Mercedes-Benz GLC | Jaguar F-Pace|
It’s nice to see that even the cheapest Porsche on sale in Australia maintains enough of the brand’s good stuff.
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The thin steering wheel is the same one you grab in a 911 or Panamera costing $300,000, so you’re off to a good start before you turn it on. The dials in our car remain rather simple, with a great centre tacho containing a small digital speed readout, secondary speedometer on the left, and fully digital panel on the right.
It’s not data overload, but the information you need is large and right in front of you. The standard-fit seats are 14-way adjustable with brilliant amounts of lumbar support, a deep seat base and strong bolstering.
There’s two-position memory, too, but heating will cost you another $790 via the options list. Heated or not, they’re ideally comfortable and supportive, and will keep you still for a bit of fun on a good road.
I also love the knurled-looking toggle switches to adjust the vehicle’s climate-control system, and the fact the rotary dial on the dash can be used to roll around the screen if you wish to navigate the infotainment that way.
There’s even a gracious sunglasses holder located just beneath the gearshifter, which I think is a stroke of ergonomic genius. Obviously you wear sunnies when driving a Porsche.
The door bins are spacious, and the front cupholders take 750ml water bottles. Over in the back, space isn’t the first thing on your mind. I’m 183cm tall and sitting behind my own driving position was a chore.
I felt a bit squashed, with my knees against the seat backs, and legs awkwardly placed. Luckily the seat itself is comfortable, with a deep seat base and squishy backrest.
Other things in the back include two USB-C ports, a pair of air vents, deep bottle holders in the doors, and two more beverage holders in the fold-down armrest.
Boot space is 488L with five seats up, and 1503L with the second row folded. It’s a nice, squarely proportioned area with a decently flat floor and small load edge.
The second row folds in a 40/40/20 split, meaning you can throw two passengers in the back with a long set of skis up the middle. How fancy. In terms of carrying space, a young family of three or four will find it suffices. It seems the second row suffers to give preference to the first row and boot.
|2022 Porsche Macan|
|Boot volume||488L seats up / 1503L seats folded|
Infotainment and Connectivity
Infotainment is handled by a 10.9-inch infotainment system with wireless and wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as digital radio broadcasting.
The interface is Porsche-specific and pretty simple to use, other than having some features buried deep within submenus. The hardware is strong and keeps up with multitasking really well.
Our car was also fitted with an optional $2230 Bose surround-sound system. It’s probably the only time I’ve heard a Bose-branded car stereo that sounded really good, and funny that it’s in a Porsche product too.
The ones where people care about the calibration of every detail. Anyway, the 14-speaker sound system and single, monstrous 14-channel amplifier did a brilliant job of making Trains by Porcupine Tree sound absolutely huge when it begins, and mellow and flat during interlude moments.
MF Doom’s Doomsday came across stellar, too, with centre-stage spitting coming line and fire, and off-cuff studio murmurs in their correct placing spatially.
I honestly prefer setting most fancy audio systems with stereo mode for the least processing, but the proprietary Bose Surround software works bloody well on the bigger and more ambient tracks.
The Porsche Macan has not been crash-tested by ANCAP. The model does carry an expired five-star rating from 2014 from Euro NCAP, but the age of this rating means it’s not comparable to current car ratings.
In terms of active safety systems, the 2022 Porsche Macan features lane-change assist with departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, a surround-view parking camera, plus autonomous emergency braking with steering and brake assist.
If you want adaptive cruise control it costs extra, and the same goes for lane-keeping (steering) assist too. Others in the segment offer more advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) as standard.
|2022 Porsche Macan|
The first two alternatives you should consider are from BMW and Mercedes. But before we look, it’s worth recapping on the price of our 2022 Porsche Macan test car.
It starts from $89,300, or in the exact specification of our test car, $99,770 before on-road costs. The 2022 BMW X4 xDrive30i starts from $82,971 before on-roads and packs a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 185kW/350Nm.
Another choice is the Mercedes-Benz GLC300. It starts from around $88,700 before on-roads and options, but is bigger and offers the luxury of different roof lines – SUV or Coupe – if that’s your thing
|At a glance||2022 Porsche Macan|
|Warranty||Three years / unlimited km|
|Service intervals||12 months or 15,000km|
|Servicing costs||$2385 (3 years), $4831 (5 years)|
Servicing is expensive at $2385 for three years and $4831 for five, especially considering consumables are on top. You’ll probably get a strong residual value come resale time, so it’s horses for courses when truly considering value.
|Fuel Useage||Fuel Stats|
|Fuel cons. (claimed)||9.3L/100km|
|Fuel cons. (on test)||9.8L/100km|
|Fuel type||98-octane premium unleaded|
|Fuel tank size||75L|
If you begin the drive of your entry-level Porsche Macan by navigating a tight driveway or complex, then no-one will question whether it has enough Porsche DNA left in it.
Even my wife – from the passenger seat – questioned how much the driveline was binding, as she could feel and hear it shudder through the car on a tight, full-lock turn.
It’s that noticeable, but it’s the sort of thing that just seems to happen with performance-aligned and locking all-wheel-drive systems. Her old 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI used to do the same thing, hence why we were discussing such details.
Either way, it signals that the underpinnings are full-fat and not watered down in any way. Performance from the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is admirable, with plenty of power to keep things exciting with one passenger on board.
It’s quick and responsive, and the way the seven-speed PDK shifts is a masterclass in dual-clutch calibration. It helps get the best of the engine with both its rapid-fire ability and clever selection of ratios.
Porsche gets all these details right, and it’s why you pay the big bucks. Despite enjoying its fun-to-drive nature on a back road more than I usually would, we still managed to achieve 9.8L/100km, or half a litre over the official combined claim.
I’m sure in the long run you’ll see something similar or potentially under the claim. Although I spent a fair amount of time on the highway, I also spent time traversing the Southern Highlands district of New South Wales, and across some of its great driving roads too.
Out in that environment, the Porsche Macan is a proper treat. Our test car was fitted with speed-sensitive steering, and although I can’t speak for what it’s like without it, it’s probably not worth saving $490 to find out.
It weights up just right, lets you know the second you veer off centre, and the wheel itself is perfectly proportioned in both rim thickness and overall diameter.
Its inherent steering qualities give you the confidence to enjoy the road, and feel in control of the car too. Even as a base-model vehicle with no form of optional chassis control, the out-of-the-box single-stage damping is still firm.
Again, no questioning the Porsche DNA here, as it feels properly secure and in control as the speed increases. The staggered 19×8.5-inch by 19.9-inch wheel combo alludes to its natural balance, too, and that’s one that prefers sending power to two wheels at the back.
If you’ve driven sport sedans and just haven’t found that same dynamic quality in an SUV yet, try the Macan. It feels rear-driven, but most importantly confident and not top-heavy like pretty much everything else in the class.
It’s one for the driver, no doubt. In terms of road noise, it’s quiet and calm at speed, but others like the 2022 Jaguar F-Pace remain the victor in terms of all-out refinement.
|Key details||2022 Porsche Macan|
|Engine||2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol|
|Power||195kW @ 6500rpm|
|Torque||400Nm @ 1800–4500rpm|
|Drive type||All-wheel drive|
|Transmission||Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic|
|Power to weight ratio||106kW/t|
|Tow rating||2000kg braked, 665kg unbraked|
If you’re wondering whether the base-model 2022 Porsche Macan has enough of the Free People’s State of Württemberg in it, the answer is yes.
It feels every bit Porsche upon entering, driving and finally departing, as you admire it walking away, and also admire your brave decision to buy one. If you’re thinking about moving up from an Audi or Mercedes, then the entry-level 2022 Porsche Macan is worth the extra spend in my books.
The wait time is currently long, too, so realise you likely won’t see your car for over 12 months. Its huge list of options means that some good options might be brushed over and left off – $490 worth of dynamic steering as one – so it’s worth building your own one to get the spec just right anyway and not buying off the floor.
Don’t forget to sit in the back before deciding, as that’s the biggest letdown of the lot for me. The rest is right on for the money.