First Drive

Can Porsche’s compact Macan CUV really cost $110,000?

In 2017 Macan Turbo form with an optional Performance Package, yes it can!

2017 Porsche Macan

Really? $110,300 for a compact utility vehicle! Really?

That was the as-tested price of the 2017 Porsche Macan Turbo with Performance Package that I picked up fresh off the boat at Autoport in Dartmouth, NS. That MSRP included $12,700 in options and $1,200 in “delivery, processing and handling” charges. It was more than double the $52,700 ticket for the base 2017 Macan.

Can any compact utility vehicle be worth more than $100,000? There are two answers – yes, if you can afford and want it, and no for everyone else.

Exclusivity and technology come at a price, one that some are quite willing and able to pay.

This Macan differs from its base sibling just as a $40,000 Rolex does from a $10,000 version. And yes, the Macan offers similar utility as a raft of $25,000 vehicles, just as the Rolex tells the same time as a $50 watch.

Big price for a small vehicle

Still, it’s a very big price tag for a relatively small vehicle – smaller than a Chevrolet Equinox, about the same size as a Nissan Rogue, and just slightly longer than a Honda CR-V, for example.

But is all about the brand – the label, the logo, the image – whether on your wrist or on the key fob.

Porsche is widely known as the most profitable car company in the world. Automotive News reports Porsche earns an average profit of $17,250 (US) on every new vehicle it sells. And it didn’t get that way by accident.

Porsche’s option sheet is legendary. It includes such things as $3,590 for an optional paint, $4,070 for bigger wheels, up to $6,600 for two-tone leather interior, $4,370 for adaptive sports seats, $630 to have the logos painted body colour, $750 for tinted tail lights, $560 to have the key and leather key pouch in body colour etc. You get the idea.

Not only are folks willing to pay the MSRP; most go to great lengths to personalize their Porsches with selected options at prices the average person might think ridiculous. But these are not average people or normal vehicles. Porsche sells about 500 vehicles a month in Canada, Ford, 18,000.

The image has been earned

While exclusivity and personalization are key factors in this company’s success, the brand is also widely respected for its engineering, performance and racing prowess.

The latest addition to Porsche’s utility vehicle line, the one gathering all those attributes in one single vehicle, is this Macan Turbo with Performance Package.

In typical Porsche fashion, it starts out expensive and goes upward from there. Also, as expected of a Porsche, it goes, stops and handles like no other small utility vehicle – and very few sports cars can keep it in sight!

The Macan Turbo was already the most powerful and fastest vehicle in the segment. But to maintain that edge in the face of competition from BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes, Porsche has endowed the 2017 Macan Turbo with an extra dose of steroids and upgraded suspension and brakes capable of coping with the increased performance.

The $11,800 Performance Package brings 10% more power, a lowered suspension, newly developed brake system, unique chassis control, special exhaust system and a Sport Chrono Package.

A recalibration of the ECM for the 3.6 litre, twin-turbo aluminum V-6 that produces 400-horsepower in the ‘base’ Macan Turbo, bumps it to 440 with the Performance Package. More useful in daily use is its 442 lb-ft of torque, starting at only 1,500 rpm. This engine has dry sump lubrication allowing the engine to sit lower in the chassis, helping in the handling department. Oil is carried in a separate reservoir instead of in a pan hanging under the engine. 

Sports car on steroids

Bright red six-piston calipers, clamping internally-vented 390-mm rotors (10% larger than the Macan Turbo) almost filled the space inside the 21-inch forged wheels ($2,920) and this Macan sits 10-mm lower than its siblings thanks to a height-adjustable, self-levelling air suspension tuned specifically for this application.

The result is a sports car on steroids. It may look like a utility vehicle, but from behind the wheel it feels very much like one of the smaller, lower two-door Porsches. The 2017 Macan turbo with Performance Package can haul itself to 100 km/h in less than five seconds. And, in about the same time it takes one of those same-size $25,000 UVs to reach 100 km/h, this Macan has topped 160 km/h.

Perhaps more importantly, and a true indication of the engineering involved, the Macan Turbo with Performance Package tackles the twisties with an aplomb that belies its size, height and weight. It is as if the engineers at Weissach have re-written the laws of physics. And should you find yourself well in excess of intended speeds, the massive brakes will erase forward momentum as if you ran into a wall. 

When Porsche came out with the Cayenne the “purists” cried foul. But they were not Porsche owners. Those people were busy putting down a deposit on the new four-door utility vehicle that could perform everyday family chores while their other Porsche rested up for weekend and fine weather duties.

And these owners have proven more than willing to pay the price! Porsche sold more than 5,000 utility vehicles in Canada last year, compared to 1,550 sports cars.

Specifications:

Model: 2017 Porsche Macan Turbo with Performance Package

Price: $97,600 base; $109,100 with options as tested before delivery and taxes.

Engine: Twin turbocharged, 3.6-litre, V-6, 440 horsepower, 442 lb-ft of torque

Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic

Fuel Consumption Rating: (city/highway): 12.3 / 7.7 L/100 km

Length: 4,699 mm

Width: 2,098 mm

Wheelbase: 2,807 mm

Mass: 1,925 kg

Competitors: Jaguar F-Pace S AWD, Mercedes AMG GLC43 Matic.

Standard equipment: 18-way adaptive, heated front sport seats with memory; heated steering wheel with electric adjustment for tilt & telescope, three-zone automatic climate control, Porsche Communication Management with navigation, 665-watt, 14-speaker Bose audio system; power heated mirrors, power windows, power tailgate, cruise control, front and rear park assist, rear view camera.

Options on test vehicle: Volcano grey metallic paint, $790; black leather seats with garnet red trim, $240; heated rear seats, $600; LED headlights with automatic leveling and aim, $1,340; 21-inch alloy wheels, $2,920; Connect Plus, $1,510; Premium Package Plus (lane keep and lane change assist, automatic dimming mirrors, ventilated front seats, panoramic sunroof), $4,100.  











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