After the Porsche Macan was introduced in 2014, there was a time when it was only available via special order for the four-cylinder model. The six-cylinder automobiles were what Porsche truly wanted to sell and what you would want anyhow, albeit you could have one if you really wanted one.
But times do change. The majority of car taxation has increased as well as fuel prices. Actually, less ought to be more.
When the four-cylinder basic Macan was removed from the hidden menu a very long time ago, it has been a commercially successful component of the lineup, especially since the Macan was updated in 2018. The Macan T, a second four-pot option, has now joined it, marking the first time the T badge has been applied to a vehicle other than a sports car. T signifies Touring in Porsche lingo, and it refers to vehicles that provide the best driving experience without significantly more power.
To do this, the Macan T boasts a number of chassis upgrades but no further power for the 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine, which keeps outputs of 261 bhp and 295 lb ft from the base Macan (although the Sport Chrono pack is standard here, shaving 0.2sec off the 0-62mph time).
These dynamic adjustments include inserting PASM adaptive dampers and 15mm lower steel springs (air springs are optional). The four-wheel drive and traction control systems have been tweaked for more rearward bias, and the front anti-roll bars have been made firmer. The design upgrades inside and out that come with your £5000 price premium over the original Macan also include 20-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, and some contrasting grey bumper accents.
Despite being created to fill the gap between the Macan and the Porsche Macan S, it is not unexpected that the Macan T drives and feels much more like the former than the latter. The only thing it might actually benefit from is a little more poke. That is a major omission here given that it weighs close to two tonnes.
The Volkswagen Golf GTI engine is used, which is probably not what a Porsche owner wants to hear. There is no denying that the engine is good, smooth, fast, and a terrific match for the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, but it isn’t particularly loud in the hatchback and it’s certainly not in this bigger, heavier SUV. Although it is impossible, Porsche should attempt the Honda Civic Type R’s
Even though it’s been a while since I drove a four-cylinder Macan, my test route didn’t show many differences between the standard car and the T; everything was pretty much the same as I remembered it. The ride-and-handling balance is well chosen for a car of this type to interest you in the drive rather than excite you, and the steering in particular keeps a lot of feel and input. Driving one of the six-cylinder Macans equipped with air springs, which just hold the road so wonderfully and dispel any misconception that SUVs can’t handle, is never the eureka moment you’re looking for.
Despite appearing to be perpetually trendy and young, this car is actually beginning to feel a little dated. That’s because it is; the so-called second-generation Macan from 2018 was really just a significant update of the first model from 2014, and this shared design wasn’t brand-new at that time either. T or not with T, the cabin architecture and design in particular feel pretty staid, and Android Auto mysteriously doesn’t come standard.
I can see the reasoning behind Porsche’s positioning of the Macan T and their desire to give the Macan, which is still the most affordable four- or five-door Porsche to buy, operate, own, and pay taxes on, more glitz. Even without a power upgrade to more immediately distinguish it, this car falls short of being a model in its own right.
The T is a night-and-day boost in terms of power, performance, and how it engages and delights you as a driver for just £1000 less than the V6-powered Macan S. It would be much better to bundle some of the desirable features that would otherwise be options into an optional package and sell it with the standard Macan, similar to what BMW does with M Sport.