Porsche Macan S 2019: First drive review

Front of a green Porsche Macan S driving on a coastal road

Tim Nicholson

Posted March 02, 2019

Tim Nicholson takes a first drive in the updated Porsche Macan S.

The Macan is Porsche’s best-selling model globally, and the German sports car maker has just introduced a mid-life update for its popular mid-size SUV.

Porsche launched the refreshed model in Australia this week with a media test drive that kicked off from Melbourne Airport, winding north to Whittlesea and Yea before ending up at the historic Mitchelton Wines in Nagambie. The entry-level Macan is priced from $81,400, plus on-road costs, but we drove the spicier Macan S, which sells for $97,500.  

First impressions:

The changes Porsche has made to the Macan are enough to ensure it remains the driver’s choice in the premium medium SUV segment.


So what were the early impressions? From the outside, it’s hard to pick the changes over the outgoing Macan, but this model gains new headlights, a refreshed front end and new 3D LED tail-light panel connecting the light clusters.

Inside, the biggest change is the inclusion of a 10.9-inch touchscreen display that houses the Porsche Communication Management system and replaces the old model’s 7.0-inch unit.

The cabin materials feel high end and the overall look is classy and unmistakably Porsche. Porsche has introduced measures to improve cabin noise and while it is difficult to tell without a back-to-back comparison with the old Macan, it does feel more hushed.

The front sports seats are beautifully designed and incredibly supportive and while there is adequate leg and shoulder room in the rear seat, the sunroof does affect headroom. From behind the wheel, the Macan feels lower to the ground than most of its high-riding rivals. This provides a feeling of being ensconced in the cabin and ensures a sportier driving position than others. 

Acceleration is brisk and the steering is heavily weighted but direct. Twisty roads on the launch drive route helped showcase the dynamic abilities of the Macan S. Porsche claims that the Macan is the sports car of its segment, and we think this is accurate.


Rear of green Porsche Macan S parked overlooking golf green


Under the bonnet of the all-wheel-drive Macan S is a new 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged petrol engine delivering 260kW/480Nm, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission

The base Macan uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 185kW of power and 370Nm of torque, but it was not available to drive at the media launch. There’s no diesel this time as Porsche dropped diesel engines from its range late last year.

The Macan S consumes 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the official combined cycle – that’s 0.1 litres better than the old version – and emits 204g/km of CO2. 

As well as the all-new engine, Porsche has made tweaks to the chassis and the independent rear suspension to improve driving dynamics. The sporty crossover also has bigger brakes for improved stopping power as well as mixed tyre sizes that are larger at the rear. 

The standard equipment list is sufficient without being generous, and while it has a number of active safety systems, autonomous emergency braking is available only when you option the $2410 Adaptive Cruise Control with Porsche Active Safe system

The changes to the Macan are not huge, but the incremental updates have certainly improved what was already an impressive and unique offering.


Porsche Macan


Price as tested: $97,500 plus $12,000 estimated on-road costs.

Model range: $81,400 to $97,500.


3.0-litre turbo-charged V6, seven-speed auto, all-wheel drive.

Power: 260kW@2400-6400rpm.

Torque: 480Nm@1360-4800rpm.

Tyres: (front) 265/45 ZR 20, (rear) 295/40 ZR 20, 18-inch collapsible spare.


98 RON petrol, 65-litre tank, 8.9L/100km (government test), 204g/km CO2 emissions.


Not yet tested by ANCAP, eight airbags, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera.


10.9-inch infotainment system, satellite navigation, 10-speaker 150W sound system, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, DAB digital radio, auto-dimming rearview mirrors, LED headlights, automatic tailgate opening.


Three years/unlimited kilometres. One year/15,000km intervals.

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