2020 Porsche Macan Turbo: Pros And Cons
Following its refresh for the 2019 model year, the Porsche Macan reintroduces the Turbo model for 2020, offering consumers even more power and performance in an updated package. The twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 (also featured in the Macan GTS, as well as the Cayenne and Panamera) is a familiar companion, working alongside a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission to help scoot the smallest Porsche SUV to 60 in as little as 4.1 seconds.
But frankly, we aren’t sure power is the reason to buy this car. While the Macan is quick, our time with the Turbo instead highlighted its talent as a luxury vehicle, with attractive finishes inside and an eye-pleasing skin outside. It’s also composed and comfortable, too, with a quiet ride and a plush cabin. At the same time, though, the new Macan Turbo re-enters the world with more enemies, all offering better power and sharper characters, but at a lower price. You can’t go wrong with a Macan Turbo, but some alternatives might be a bit more right.
With a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 producing 434 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque, the Macan Turbo is always willing to get up and move. The sprint to 60 miles per hour takes a scant 4.1 seconds when carrying the Sport Chrono package, which adds a Sport Response button, launch control, and other straight-line goodies. The Macan offers peak twist from 1,800 to 5,600 rpm, while the two turbochargers exhibit limited lag – powerful acceleration is always a pedal press away, giving the Macan the straight-line character we expect of one of Porsche’s Turbo-badged cars.
The Macan Turbo is quick, but it’s an easy car to live with. Around town, the throttle response is relaxed and predictable, while the standard air suspension provides a comfortable ride. The dual-clutch transmission, as is usually the case from Porsche’s seven-speed PDK, is well behaved. And of course, the cabin is quiet and comfortable, with little wind or road noise and a comfortable driver’s seat. The Porsche badge on the front and the Turbo script on the back might scream performance, but this car is a great reminder that the German brand knows how to make a comfortable vehicle, too.
Navy blue and tan is never a bad combo, so it’s little surprise we adore the Night Blue paint and Mojave Beige upholstery on this tester. But at the same time, the Macan Turbo – every Macan, really – is an attractive thing, regardless of color. Clean lines and pleasant details make it a joy to walk out to every day, and once in the cabin, there’s the usual host of high-quality finishes. That said, the Macan’s interior – a main focus of the 2019 refresh – is starting to feel a bit stale relative to newer Porsche models like the Cayenne and 911. We’re eager for a fresh take on this small Porsche CUV.
Yes, we like the Macan when it’s relaxed and luxurious. But when the Turbo does decide to let its hair down and act like a high-performing Porsche rather than a comfortable one, it could do so with more noise. Even with the standard quad-tipped Sport Exhaust engaged, the Macan Turbo sounds muted. We aren’t asking for a big increase in volume – 20 percent would probably do – but a little something more would definitely serve this Macan Turbo well. Despite the lack of presence, the twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter does sound nice, with a smooth character and a rich tone. We just want more, though.
This might actually be a pro for prospective customers, but the Macan Turbo – in this car’s spec, at least – rarely feels like it wants to entertain or engage with the driver. Oh sure, it’ll do the speedy acceleration thing and when pushed around a corner, this CUV will impress with the tight body motions and well boosted. But unlike a similarly priced Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio or a BMW X3 M Competition, it always feels like there are a few layers between the driver and the action. This car drives very well, but it rarely thrills like the competition.
It’s no coincidence we bring up the Stelvio Quad or the X3 M at this point. While the Macan Turbo has a very different character to those vehicles (they’d compete more with a hypothetical Macan GT3), the reality is that they all exist in the same price point and are likely being cross shopped. If you want a speedy compact CUV, are you going to drop $83,600 for a 434-hp Macan Turbo when you can get a 472-hp X3 M for $69,900 or a 505-hp Stelvio Quadrifoglio for $80,500? And while we really like the Porsche, a Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 packs 469 hp, a thunderous V8 engine, and it’s nearly $10,000 off.
There are certainly merits to buying the Macan, especially compared to the BMW and Alfa, but the relaxed character, relative lack of power, and higher price hinder its case for customers that aren’t dead-set on a Porsche.