The Porsche Macan S Isn’t As Good As You’d Expect, It’s Better

Porsche proves that it is possible to make an excellent SUV even better

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The Porsche Macan S Isn’t As Good As You’d Expect, It’s Better

Let’s establish one thing first — the Porsche Macan S is an accomplished soft-roader, one of the best that a lot of money can buy, in its class. The SUV certainly has all the credentials — four-wheel drive, tall ground clearance and the ability to raise it higher, and all the drive modes that will endeavour to get you unstuck. 

Yet, for all of its talents, the Macan S will spend most of its time on the tarmac, avoiding after-rain puddles like it was the Mariana Trench. Porsche knows this, and they know their customer all too well. Which is why, with a step on the pedal, this SUV can outrun most cars on the road.

When called upon, the 3.0-litre V6 turbo engine delivers 354hp and 480Nm, pass it through the 7-speed PDK and into the 21-inch wheels. Fast. Hot hatch kind of fast. If you owned the previous Macan S, you already know that. Except this Macan S has 14hp and 20Nm more. The gains might seem a little, but results are significant. Clocking its 0-100kph in 5.1 seconds underscores how punchy the engine is. 

Although you have more exciting driving modes at your disposal, thanks to the GT sport steering that comes with you’ll be driving this mostly in its default mode. Even then, the Macan S still has enough in the stables for surprise bursts of acceleration. The turbocharged V6 is configured as such. Shortened exhaust paths between the chambers and turbochargers with a central turbo layout levels up this SUV’s responsiveness.

With the increase of power, so too must the brakes be bigger. The front discs have grown by 10mm to 360mm, with a thickness of 36mm. The Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) comes as optional, but it will improve braking strategies going into a corner. Speaking of which, it is much more intuitive to come down from speed. The brake pedal gives specific feedback of the diminishing speed, and it does it fast without locking up at the end.

Not a very typical SUV, this. Not when the competition, with their same-sized offering, can’t seem to match the Porsche around the corners. The handling is well-engineered, closer to how a hot hatch would handle instead of an SUV. Porsche’s four-wheel-drive system — Porsche Traction Management — is good enough to keep the SUV on the road. But the added Porsche Active Stability Management and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus laces the ride and handling with more spice. 

Of course, it won’t be as good as a well-sorted sports car, but the Macan can sure hold its body upright when shimmying through the corners. The steering feels appropriately weighted and nicely communicated. Quick on the action, too, 

The ride complements the sporty handling. Not too hard or harsh, mind you. The Macan S seemingly glides over small humps and dips on the road with little impunity. Only encounters with larger bumps and holes could rattle the Porsche’s body, albeit without getting out of sorts. 

Driver and passenger remain calm and comfortable inside, barely hearing external noises apart from the gruff of the engine.

Leather wraps nearly all of the places where hands may be placed, and the rest is trimmed in aluminium or high-grade plastics. Perforated sport seats cradle the body nicely, good bolstering on the sides and the thighs. The rear seats get the same treatment, so no one feels out of place. Unless you’re a child, the rear’s middle position isn’t comfortable. Except for the rear’s middle seat which looks like the antithesis of soft and comfy, unless you’re a child. 

New on the inside is the Porsche Communication Management that now features a larger 10.9-inch full-HD screen. The PCM screen has all the gleam of a new smartphone screen and works just as smooth as one. If you like your cabin air clean, the optional ioniser with fine particulate air filter is available. 

The Macan S’ facelift also brought the three-dimensional rear light bar to the party. Upfront, the optional Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus and LEDs come as standard. 

With a price tag that starts from RM625,000, the Macan S isn’t exactly wallet-friendly. In fact, if you’ve specified your Macan S to be exactly like the unit you see here, then be prepared to fork out RM735,327.00 nett. The blow is softened by a warranty, and free service and maintenance, that will last for four years. Expensive, yes, but if you want the best sporty SUV money can buy, then the only name in your list should be the Porsche Macan S. 

Specification: Porsche Macan S
2,995cc, V6, turbocharged | Transmission 7-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, 4-wheel drive | Power & Torque 354hp @ 5,400-6,400rpm / 480Nm @ 1,360-4,800rpm | Performance 0-100kph in 5.1s, 0-160kph in 12.8s, max speed 254kph, 8.9l/100km combined | Price RM625,000 | Score 9/10

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