At Porsche, the word turbo has advanced from being just a description of the forced-induction power adding turbines on some of their engines. It has now become another way of saying it’s their best, the top of the line. So, now it’s time to do our best, with the Porsche Macan Turbo.
Whether Porsche fanatics like to admit it or not, the Macan, their smallest SUV, is the best-selling Porsche vehicle in the U.S.; helping the brand power through a 10-year run of year-over-year sales increases. Technically still in its first generation, Porsche has been going through the Macan lineup recently, doing some significant updating. The latest, is also the most powerful, the 2020 Porsche Macan Turbo.
So, let’s find out what turbo motor is in the Turbo. Well, it’s the Panamera’s 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6, good for 434-horsepower and 405 lb-ft. of torque here; that’s actually a bit less than the previously available Macan Turbo if you added its optional Performance Package. But not to worry, updates to the 7-speed PDK transmission and other driveline components, have actually lowered 0-60 times.
So, it’s off to the track to find out by how much…
It hits hard off the line, getting away with just a touch of wheel spin thanks to standard all-wheel-drive grip; and then it’s really off to the races, hitting 60 in under 4-seconds.
That’s about 3 tenths faster than before. Power really pours on as you streak down the track with PDK shifts as violent and aggressive as they are quick. If all goes well, you can clear the ¼-mile in 12.3 seconds at 112 miles-per-hour.
Take a look through the notes of our drivers from the test track, and you’ll see the word perfect more than once; great steering feel, immediate response, exceptional balance, and virtually no body roll. All of the things you get in a 911, here in an SUV; amazing really.
The Macan’s chassis was updated last year, with lighter and stiffer components; helping it feel better through our cone course than many sport sedans, and instantly makes you feel like you’re a better driver than you are.
As expected, brakes were impressive as well; just 95-feet was all that was required to stop from 60 miles-per-hour, with consistent, fade free stops as straight as nails.
Now, all of that performance does come with some compromise, there’s a firm ride on the street; not too harsh for daily use if you’re already used to a performance-type ride. But, there’s a reason that a height-adjustable air suspension is also available to take some of the harshness out of it; particularly over rough pavement.
And the Macan is clearly not the most practical utility around either. Rear seat space is tight and there’s only 17.7 cubic-ft. of cargo space behind it; expanding though to a decent 53.0 with rear seatbacks folded.
But, up front, the tight confines just add to the sporty experience; and the fantastically comfortable 18-way adjustable Adaptive Sports seats go a long way towards taking some of the harshness out.
Plenty of tech on display, featuring a 10.9-inch HD touchscreen for the Porsche Communication Management, a great mix of virtual and analog gauges, and a 14-speaker Bose audio system.
You’ll also find leather upholstery, and brushed aluminum trim throughout the quite refined interior; not to mention the great mix of touch and manual controls, and a steering wheel that feels great in the hands.
Outside, the Turbo adds a fixed roof spoiler, along with a new front end with enlarged air intakes, sill extensions down the sides, and even Sport Design side mirrors. A Sport exhaust system is standard, along with big 20-inch wheels.
Headlights are mounted a little higher to give the Turbo a unique look at night, wheel arches are extended just a bit to cover the wider wheels, and most everything is now body-colored.
The Macan’s 5,291-lbs. tow rating is exceptional for the compact class, and more than many midsize crossovers.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 17-City, 22-Highway, and 19-Combined; our average was right on, at exactly 19.0 miles-per-gallon of Premium.
So, it has a worse than average Energy Impact Score, with consumption of 17.3-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 7.7-tons.
There’s always got to be a negative, and after 2-weeks of testing, the only other thing we could come up with was the pricing sheet; $84,950 is a lot of money for a compact utility vehicle; no matter how fast it is.
And truth be told, its less expensive GTS sibling is perhaps a better all-around vehicle for daily use, sacrificing a little bit of speed for a more comfortable ride. But when it comes to a no compromise performance SUV, it’s hard to find a better one than the 2020 Porsche Macan Turbo.
Engine: 2.9L Twin Turbo V6
Torque: 405 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 3.9 seconds
1/4 mile: 12.3 seconds @ 112 mph
EPA: 17 City / 22 Highway / 19 Combined
Our Fuel Economy: 19 mpg