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Porsche Macan GTS review New Zealand

Nestling sweetly between the Macan S/Diesel and the Macan Turbo is the all new Porsche Macan GTS. At first glance you get the feeling that it looks a little bit different and you’d have just cause. Crossing ever closer the void between Sports car and SUV, the Macan GTS sit’s lower than its kin, Porsche have increased the power and Torque and it even has a redesigned chassis.

Most of the time I prefer to ‘discover’ the vehicle I am looking to review but there are those times when the brand manager proudly wants to walk you around, this was one of those times and his affection of the Macan GTS was contagious.

The section ‘SUV’s that are (almost) too good to take off road) applies in spades with this wagon especially here all sparking in Carrara Metallic White – it makes it even harder to believe someone would want to take this Sporty SUV off the ‘clean’ tarmac.

It looks wide and at nearly 2m I guess that it is, the width is possibly accentuated due to its 1.6m height but rest assured the inside feels roomy and not cramped at all. The nose is full of huge air scoops and to me it looked poised ready to run on its 21” Sports Alloys, it’s easy to forget that this is an SUV. For this example, Porsche had kept the side blades black, it breaks up the side lines and added a Panoramic Roof System that spanned the entire roofline.

Open the door and the first thing you notice is the amount of buttons that adorn the centre console – it is a little daunting. Of the plethora (32 I think), there are a couple (okay a few) that I couldn’t help but press. First up the auto stop button, I know that they are there to conserve fuel and help the environment (and your bank balance) but really, this is a Porsche, it shouldn’t go quiet at the lights, it should be revving! There is also an exhaust baffles opener – at the touch of this button the exhaust note comes alive – a must push for the neighbours to hear you coming (or if you’re lost in the countryside).

But then there’s the Sports Plus button (part of the Sport Chrono package) – one push of this and it overrides the auto stop and opens the baffles – so you’re saving time and effort by pushing it, however it does so much more.

In this (my favorite) mode, the engine becomes more responsive and the rev limiter is adjusted to a harder setting. The PTM (Porsche Traction management) becomes sportier and its trigger threshold is raised for greater dynamics.

The PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) develops harder damping and more direct steering, the gear shift times are quicker, the air suspension drops to a lower level and ‘launch control’ can be used – but more importantly, the engine note is more aggressive and it backfires on downshift when decelerating –  I love that button!

Back to the interior – it has 18 way adaptive sports seats in a deep black leather and Alcantara inlays. They are comfortable and supportive, there is a setting that hugs your back and hugs your legs – you really feel wanted. Black leather dash and wheel and just a total air of Porsheness about it. Infotainment is easy to use and the stereo is very loud and very clear. Click through the menu (via another button on the wheel) and one of the dash screens turns into Navigation or additional vehicle information (such as tyre pressure or wheel power ratios). The rear offers plenty of legroom, especially for my young family.

The turn of the ‘key’ starts the engine – it actually took me a couple of moments to figure that out, I’m getting so used to push button starts (guess I should have asked questions during the introduction) and that lets you meet the motor.

 The engine is a 3L water cooled V6 that really packs a punch. The 550Nm of torque makes itself know at 1,650rpm and 265kW is up near 6,000. It will take you off the mark and up to 100kph in 5.2 seconds (it seems quicker) and up to a top speed of 256kph. In sports plus mode (the mode you’ll want to be in ALL the time) the PKD 7 speed box is a bit fierce in its lightening fast gear changing but it almost underlines its racing pedigree. The combined fuel consumption is around 9L/100k’s but due to the erratic way I drove it (I’ll get to that in a moment) I saw nothing like that.

I teased the Macan GTS out of the confines of the Porsche carpark and headed straight for the highway. A flick on of the Sports Plus button and I unleashed the noise. The Macan is relatively quiet under normal driving and throttle but push down hard on the accelerator and the V6 beats its chest and bellows out – it really is one of life’s joys! So like I said, I ended up driving erratically, holding back and then racing up on cars on the cars infront. Yes I am a child. Round the tight turns and winding roads near my home, the Macan GTS hugged the road as hard as the seat hugged my derriere.

The Macan GTS has a sports car feel and yet has the room of a wagon. It’s number ten in the Porsche GTS family and ticks most of the boxes when it comes to fun and excitement (but also has an SUV practicality about it). I am reliably informed that there is a guy who owns a farm that continually abuses his Macan (seldom can you see the paintwork for mud) so I’m sure it has a good off road capability, (maybe Porsche will let me try this out) but until then, I’d be happy to continue listening to that V6 roar and keeping the Metallic white gleaming.

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