Porsche Macan GTS Review: Fastest Version Yet Is A Standout Small Luxury SUV
The best Macan GTS yet is one of the best choices for a small luxury crossover.
There is a very good reason why the Macan is highly appreciated, both in the U.S. and Europe. Even though no one knew of the term “Macan” before 2013, Porsche’s second, smaller SUV did not take long to win the hearts of its owners. After all, for nearly a decade now, the Macan has constantly overdelivered on its expectations.
It can travel farther offroad than most owners need, the suspension will keep the SUV level on the tightest of turns, and the trunk is larger than any of its class competitors’. Porsche had a home run on the first try with Macan, so why would there be a need for a sizable revamping?
As it looks right now, the next generation Macan will be exclusively electric. Porsche wants to overlap the current generation with the upcoming one, which is why the combustion Macan is getting an extended lease on life and some more updates.
The diesel version is long gone, so the base model kicks off the party with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine sourced from the Volkswagen GTI, tuned up by Porsche engineers to spit 261 horsepower through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) to all four wheels—this drivetrain is standard on all Macans.
Upping the ante, the Macan S still uses the Golf GTI’s four-cylinder in a 375-horsepower tuning. But the GTS takes the cake with 435-hp, VW-sourced V6 unit. There’s also a Macan T, marginally cheaper than the Macan S – it brings the base engine but boasts quirks and features to improve handling.
Sadly, the Macan GTS couldn’t face the likes of AMG GLC 63 or Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio Quadrifoglio, both pushing out 500-plus horsepower. Does that make the new Macan undrivable and undesirable? Not by a long shot. This superb all-rounder has more to offer than just raw numbers.
The GTS is the fastest Macan out there. It needs just 3.6 seconds to reach 60 mph and 12.2 to blast the quarter mile mark. Once you’re in the city, pressing the throttle gets Porsche’s beautiful DCT to quickly downshift and launch the car forward.
Does the 2022 Porsche Macan handle like a sports car? No. Yet, the twisty road experience intensifies as the adaptive dampers and air springs lower the body of the Macan, getting it to grip the road better than some competitors.
The optional $12,010 Sport package brings along torque-vectoring and huge 21-inch wheels dressed in Pirelli P Zero Corsa PZC4 tires. It all translates into the Macan pulling no less than 0.96G of lateral grip and a notch over 1G on smooth, grippy tarmac. These are impressive numbers for an SUV.
Strangely enough, the U.S. market Macan is no longer offered with the carbon ceramic braking system. According to Porsche, the demand was so low that the tungsten-carbide discs are now the only available option in North America.
Getting inside the Porsche Macan GTS takes a tad bit of practice. Clearing the tight door openings and sliding near the enlarged center console may prove to be a bit of a workout at first. Surprisingly though, once you manage to squeeze past the entry point, the Macan somehow proves to be more spacious than expected. Admittedly, there isn’t a ton of room for luggage, but four grown adults will comfortably fit inside this SUV.
The handful of revisions made to keep the 2022 Macan design fresh include a now touch-sensitive center console, a GT sport steering wheel sourced from the latest 911, a GTS-specific set of exterior colors and a larger 10.9-inch touchscreen. The infotainment controls aren’t any easier to use than before, taking a considerable amount of time to adapt to their positioning and usage.
Did Porsche sacrifice its customary driving experience to boost a chassis to a performance level most of its buyers will never benefit from? Thankfully, no. In fact, Porsche managed to pinpoint the exact sweet spots where revamping was needed for the 2022 Macan GTS.
Like any Porsche, the Macan GTS is precise, handles like a dream and shifts gears better than anything else in the segment. The additional power plus the interior additions make this Macan GTS the best one yet and one of the best choices for a small luxury crossover.