Home Gear box 2022 Porsche Macan GTS Review: Jack-of-all-trades

2022 Porsche Macan GTS Review: Jack-of-all-trades

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Sabel Courtney

Chances are you never heard the term “macan” until around 2014. Before Porsche chose the term to be the name of its second smaller SUV, it was the kind of unlikely term that most of us encountered; after all, the Malay name “tiger” probably doesn’t come up too often, unless you live in Indonesia or have family there who were obsessed with Joe Exotic and wouldn’t shut up about his topic during these early 2020 Zoom sessions.

Over the past eight years, however, macan has become a household term in affluent neighborhoods across America. It became Porsche’s best-seller here by a country mile, moving an average of around 20,000 units a year. Part of that is, well, it’s the most affordable way to buy a new car with a Porsche badge on the hood; part of that is also that it’s an accessible luxury crossover SUV in a world that can’t seem to get enough of accessible luxury crossover SUVs.

And while the next-gen Macan is expected to be the next step in Porsche’s slow and steady climb towards an all-electric future, the Zuffenhausen gang haven’t ditched the existing petrol model just yet. For the 2022 model year, the Macan lineup received a subtle but comprehensive refresh, which brought a new variant to the top of the tree: the Macan GTS.

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The Macan GTS reaches the pinnacle of performance

The Macan may no longer have a Turbo version in its ranks – that version was dropped as part of the latest refresh – but the GTS certainly doesn’t disappoint as the best performer in the range. Its 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 develops 434 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque, all transmitted to all four wheels through a dual-clutch transmission that changes gears almost instantly on the way to all four wheels. Compared to, say, a 911 Turbo S that might not seem like much, but then again, it’s not a sports car; it’s a vehicle the size and shape of a Honda CR-V.

(Plus, for what it’s worth, the Macan GTS is the most affordable way to get 400+ horsepower in a new Porsche. Do what you want with it.)

To really unlock everything the Macan GTS has to offer, you’ll need to activate Sport mode. With the suspension locked in its stiffest setting and the gearbox having a vested interest in keeping the rpm close to the top of the powerband, it responds…well, if not like a 718, then at least like a killer hot hatch or sport sedan.

Thanks to its razor-sharp reflexes – the quickness of the steering, the instantaneity of the twin-turbo V6 when boiling, the bite of the brakes when you hit them hard to lose speed in a corner, which feels like an uncanny lack of body roll when diving into said corner – the Macan GTS really drives with an enthusiasm not found in most cars, let alone SUVs. It may share bits of its skeleton with the likes of the old Audi Q5, but this Porsche does indeed drive like a Porsche in all the best ways.

Inside, this Porsche is very Porsche

Porsche interiors never stray from each other, in terms of design; Whichever car you choose today, you can expect a large, center-mounted tachometer with further gauges on either side, a tri-fold steering wheel, a crisp, colorful touchscreen above a bunch of buttons and an ignition switch on the left-hand side of the wheel.

Even after its latest redesign, the Macan’s guts remain the least modernized in the current Porsche lineup, the 992-generation 911 and Taycan seem half a generation further into the future than this car. And admittedly, some of the changes look less like improvements and more like cost-cutting measures; the haptic glass touchscreen of “buttons” surrounding the gear lever is a step back from the old hard buttons, which were easier to use without looking.

Still, there’s no complaining about the weatherproofing and quality of the interior; as with all new Porsches, everything seems well done in the manner of an expensive car should feel. And there are still plenty of details to appreciate; that might sound overkill for efficiency-minded German engineers who would say a little rocker is all you need to handle an electronically controlled gearbox, but there’s just something satisfying about the feel of the lever gears between the seats.

Of course, the capabilities of the Macan GTS don’t come cheap.

Porsches are expensive; in other news, the water is wet, more at 11. But it’s one thing to see a high price tag on a sports car; it’s quite another to see an SUV the size of a Ford Escape with a price approaching six figures. Despite all its capabilities, the Macan GTS is equal to any other compact crossover when it comes to life’s daily tasks.

That said, it will make those tasks much more fun. Sure, you could have a base Boxster and a Toyota RAV4 for the same price, but then you’re paying more for insurance, more for maintenance, etc. You could spend the same piece of dough on a GMC Yukon Denali or Lincoln Navigator and have a lot more usable space – but you’d be driving a truck and you’d have the fuel bills to match.

If you have the money to park the Macan GTS in your garage, but there is only one space inside, and you need a high-end crossover for example, a Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing or a basic Panamera “I would say it’s worth it.

2022 Porsche Macan GTS

Base Price / Tested Price: $81,250 / $95,180

Powertrain : 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6; seven-speed dual-clutch automatic; all-wheel drive

Powerful : 434

Couple : 405 lb-ft

EPA Fuel Economy: 17 mpg city, 22 mpg highway

Seats: Four comfortably, five in the blink of an eye

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