2020 Porsche Macan GTS review: Emphasis on performance

The GTS looks good in carmine red.

Steven Ewing / Roadshow

At this point, GTS in Porsche parlance should simply mean Get This Spec. The company’s GTS-branded cars strike the best balance of absolute performance and everyday driveability, and that’s as true in this 2020 Macan as in any other. 718, 911, cayenne pepper or Panamera. I drove the S is I drove the Turbo, but the GTS is the Macan I would park in my garage.

Like it

  • Exceptional chassis balance
  • Sports car-like steering
  • Sound sports exhaust
  • Robust infotainment technology

I do not like

  • The V6 biturbo lacks character
  • It gets expensive fast

The GTS uses a weakened version of the Macan Turbo’s 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6. Here, the engine produces 375 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, notable reductions from the Turbo’s 434 horsepower and 405 pound-feet. But on the road, you would have a hard time noticing the difference. This engine lacks visceral drama, although I think it’s less striking when associated output numbers are lower. The GTS at least compensates for this somewhat with a standard sports exhaust, which adds some punch to the powertrain’s buttoned behavior.

Porsche claims the GTS can accelerate to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono Package, which is 0.4 seconds slower than the Macan Turbo. I honestly don’t think a discrepancy of less than half a second is something anyone can hear during everyday driving on public roads. And because engine torque is fully available from just 1,750rpm, the GTS’s acceleration is never lacking, whether you pull away from a traffic light or try to bridge the gap between slower cars on the highway.

The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is always ready for a sudden downshift via steering wheel-mounted paddles, and Sport and Sport Plus modes – the latter part of the $ 1,360 Sport Chrono package – alter throttle and transmission programming just enough to revive the character of the Macan. You can drive the GTS in Sport mode all day, every day without ever feeling agitated, while Sport Plus is best left for tighter stretches of winding roads where you’ll want to take advantage of its tendency to keep the gears up close to the engine redline. .

The powertrain of the GTS is fine, but the chassis, steering and brakes make this Macan feel very special. Porsche’s adaptive air suspension is standard and can lower the Macan by 10 millimeters in Sport and Sport Plus modes. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) shock absorbers are a perfect match for the air-ride system, delivering a smooth ride on broken pavement while maintaining the GTS stretched and composed on smooth stretches of canyon roads. Even with my tester’s oversized 21-inch wheels and offset 265/40 front and 295/35 rear tires, the Macan never feels too stiff or too floaty for a given scenario. Honestly, ride quality might be the GTS’s only best attribute.

These 21-inch wheels and low-profile ties don’t spoil the ride of the GTS.

Steven Ewing / Roadshow

Porsche always has the right steering of its cars and the Macan GTS is no exception. The weight and communication offered are more like that of a 718 Cayman than any other compact SUV, with a properly sized steering wheel adorned with few redundant controls. My tester has Porsche’s Surface Coated Brakes (PSCB), which were a bit shoddy when they first launched on the Cayenne, but have since been reworked with new pads, improved pedal feel, and a better feel. more progressive stopping experience. Now, these brakes are good enough and reduce dust build-up on the wheels. Still, it’s hard to tell if they’re worth the $ 3,490 upgrade over the perfectly flawless standard steel brakes.

One option worth adding is Porsche’s brake-based torque vectoring technology, for $ 1,500. This ability to modulate power from side to side of the rear axle improves the Macan’s cornering reflexes, making this already sharp little crossover even more fun. You will never hear it work, but it will be easier for you to keep up with smaller, more powerful sports cars on mountain roads.

By choosing the GTS you get the Sport Design exterior treatment, with black painted exterior accents, LED headlights and a darker tint for the taillight bar. Inside, you’ve got the leather-wrapped sports seats, though you can have the entire cockpit upholstered in Alcantara suede with carmine red stitching as part of the $ 4,790 GTS interior package. Like all Macans, the GTS is very comfortable for the driver and front passenger, but the rear seats are terribly small, even for the dimensions of compact SUVs.

PCM infotainment technology is new but the rest of the interior is showing its age.

Steven Ewing / Roadshow

The Macan received a welcome tech upgrade as part of an update in 2018 and now uses Porsche’s communication management infotainment software on a 10.9-inch touchscreen. PCM continues to amaze with its quick responses to inputs, online search tools, brilliant graphics, and reconfigurable splash screen. A Wi-Fi hotspot e Apple CarPlay they are standard, but Android Auto it’s still a no-go. Sin.

Look under the touchscreen, though, and you’ll find a sea of ​​controls on the console, a reminder that the Macan is a bit older than other Porsche models. Sure, the rows of buttons are clearly labeled and easy to use, they just look outdated, especially compared to the flush, backlit designs of the new Porsche products.

I’d like to tell you about all the standard driver assistance features of the Macan, but as is the case with any Porsche, all good things come at an extra cost and are available à la carte. A surround view camera costs $ 1,200. You can purchase lane change assistance and lane maintenance assistance for $ 700 each, or simply spend $ 1,380 and get them as part of a package. Adaptive cruise control comes in for another $ 1,170, and if you want keyless access, that’s an extra $ 800 too. Sheesh.

The Macan is undoubtedly the luxury compact SUV with the best drive.

Steven Ewing / Roadshow

There are a plethora of options available for the Macan GTS, so its starting price of $ 73,450 (including $ 1,350 for the destination) is just that – the start. My carmine tester is a German spec model that Porsche flew over for testing, so I don’t have an exact price for the SUV you see here. Playing to the best of my ability with Porsche’s configurator, I’m going to estimate a tested price of $ 94,000 out the door, give or take some Benjamins.

If you compare the price tags, the Macan GTS is kind of a tough sell compared to competitors like the BMW X3 M40i or Mercedes-AMG GLC43, both can be well equipped for less than Porsche’s initial MSRP. But the Macan, especially the GTS, is the best-handling, best-balanced SUV of the bunch, and it hits above its weight easily. If performance is a priority, you definitely get what you pay for.

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