Porsche adds four-cylinder affordability, GTS aggression to ’17 Macan line

2017 Porsche Macan

2017 Porsche Macan

What changes make the 2017 Porsche Macan different?

Accessibility to a wider audience thanks to introduction of a turbocharged four-cylinder base model with a base price under $49,000. There’s also a new value in Macan high performance via a GTS version slotted between the S and top-line Turbo models. All but the base use twin-turbocharged V-6 engines but every 2017 model gains more standard equipment, including new safety features and updated infotainment systems. This premium-compact crossover SUV shares some of its underskin hardware with the Audi Q5 (Porsche and Audi and subsidiaries of Volkswagen). Porsche adds its own design and engineering touches, though, to give the Macan a distinct personality.

Why should I buy a 2017?

If you lusted for this hot little Porsche but were chilled by $55K-plus starting prices. With its turbo four, the new base model begins at a more palatable $48,550 (including the manufacturer’s $1,050 destination fee). And the GTS adds some Turbo-model thrills at a starting price $8,800 less. More standard equipment on all models is also a draw. It includes a new infotainment system with standard satellite and HD Radio receivers. Porsche used to charge extra for these items, which you’ll often find as standard equipment on vehicles costing less than half as much. Ascending from the new entry-level model, the ’17 Macan lineup consists of the S, sport-themed GTS, and high-performance Turbo versions.

Check Out Our 2018 Porche Macan Review for the Latest Info

Is the styling different?

Not meaningfully. The Macan line bowed for model-year 2015 in S and Turbo guise. With its black exterior accents, matte lower-body finish, and dark-tinged 20-inch alloy wheels, the GTS represents the main styling alteration so far. It’s also distinguished by a sport suspension that lowers ride height 0.4 inches compared with the Turbo. The Turbo has its own look, too, particularly in details of the grille and front fascia; Every Macan has a familial resemblance to the brand’s other SUV, the premium-midsize-class Cayenne. At the back, you can see some of the Audi Q5’s influence, but Porsche has done a solid job making the Macan distinct from its corporate cousin.

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Any mechanical changes?

Yes. The Base model introduces to the line a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 252 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque; it’s the same engine used in some Audis, including the redesigned 2017 A4 sedan and Q5. The S returns with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 of 340 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. The GTS upgrades that to 360 and 369, respectively. Turbo models get a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6 with 400 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. (Pending VW’s resolution of its diesel-emissions issues, keep an eye out for a Macan diesel model.) All Macans use a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that behaves like a sport-calibrated conventional automatic. Also standard on all is a performance-tuned all-wheel drive (AWD) system. A number of wheel/tire combinations and other performance-enhancing upgrades are available. Wheels range in size from 18-21 inches and can cost anywhere from $1,260-$3,745. Electronic suspension control is standard on the GTS and Turbo and $1,360 otherwise. An extra $1,385 on top of that upgrades it to an air suspension for all models. Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus, which meters torque through the rear wheels to improve cornering, is $1,490. A sport exhaust system is standard on the GTS, but a $2,930 extra for the other models. Carbon ceramic brake discs, which are designed to last the life of the vehicle, are an eye-watering $8,150.

Does the fuel economy improve?

Yes, thanks to the four-cylinder. EPA fuel-economy ratings for the ’17 Macan line were unavailable in time for this review, but expect the Base model to rate around 19/27/22 mpg city/highway combined. The S and Turbo versions should return – somewhat remarkably, given their power differences – rating the same 17/23/19 mpg. Look for the GTS to better that by a smidge. Porsche will require premium-grade 91-octane gasoline for all.

Does it get new features?

Yes. All ‘17 Macans get a new infotainment system with standard satellite and HD radio. Also newly standard across the board are a rearview camera, front- and rear-obstacle detection, and lane-departure warning. While the extra safety and convenience features are appreciated, there’s still a laundry list of options that will cost you plenty. Among the standalone features are: adaptive cruise control that maintains a set following distance ($1,440); lane-change assist ($690); auto-dimming outside mirrors ($420); heated front and rear seats ($525-$1,050); ventilated front seats ($660); rear window sunshades ($250); rear DVD entertainment ($2,790-$3,115); Porsche Connect Plus with Apple CarPlay, 4G LTE connectivity with WiFi hotspot, Google Earth and StreetView maps, and real-time traffic data ($1,300); and a high-end Burmester audio system ($4,700-$5,690). Non-functional options include interior trim crafted from wood ($365-$1,240), carbon fiber ($365-$1,815), or aluminum ($510-$950), along with colored gauges ($690), seat belts ($500), key fob ($525), and air vent slats ($2,055). Most paint colors cost $690. Porsche will also color-match your Macan to any hue you desire, for $6,515.

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How are 2017 prices different?

The four-cylinder Macan starts at $48,550, the S at $55,450, the GTS at $68,250, and the Turbo at $77,050. These reflect $1,800 and $2,100 increases on the S and Turbo, respectively, over their 2016 counterparts. Ticking most of the option boxes can get an S to six figures while the Turbo can easily blow past $125,000. It’s hard to be judicious since many desirable features cost so much extra. The steep price of entry is balanced somewhat by Porsche’s stellar reputation for reliability, resale value, and customer service.

When does it come out?

The 2017 Porsche Macan S, GTS, and Turbo are arriving at dealers now. The four-cylinder base model is due in summer 2016.

Best competitors

Audi Q5, Acura RDX, BMW X3, Jaguar F Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Volvo XC60

What changes would make it better?

Porsche is right to expand standard equipment, but we’d still like to see the automaker include even more content in base prices; it could begin with blind-spot alert and full leather upholstery. It’s difficult to fault the driving experience. Macan is arguably the most entertaining SUV of any kind. As a relatively affordable entry point, the four-cylinder should sell well and it’s handling is likely to be up to snuff, even if acceleration does less than full justice to the brand’s sporty image.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]