For 2022, the Macan gets a slightly revised look, but it remains a handsome SUV. LED lights are standard across the board, and the front and rear bumpers are a little different than before. Some wheel choices are new, too, with rollers as big as 21 inches in diameter on offer.
Inside, the Macan has a backlit center console, similar to what Porsche offers in the Cayenne and Panamera. Also on hand is a 10.9-inch touchscreen running the Porsche Communication Management infotainment system, though, curiously, it’s not the most up-to-date version of PCM. Sure, the system overall is quite responsive, but the menu structure is somewhat complicated and there’s no Android Auto compatibility. Wireless Apple CarPlay is standard, at least, though a charging pad costs $270.
Overall, the Macan’s interior isn’t any bigger or smaller than before, and the cargo area is actually one of the most compact in this class. Porsche says you’ll get just 17.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, compared with 25.8 cubic feet in the Audi Q5 and nearly 29 cubic feet in the BMW X3 and Genesis GV70. However, fold the seat backs flat and the Macan has 52.9 cubic feet of space, which isn’t too bad.
Thankfully, the Macan’s performance makes up for any cabin shortcomings. The 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 engine is small but mighty. It pushes out 261 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque — increases of 13 hp and 22 lb-ft over the 2021 Macan 2.0T. All-wheel drive is standard, as is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and with launch control activated — part of the optional Sport Chrono package — Porsche says this Macan will scoot to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Not bad for a base model.
Sport Chrono is just one of many options you can add to the base Macan, and I think it’s a worthwhile upgrade. This $1,220 add-on gets you an Individual drive mode where you can set your own parameters for the powertrain and chassis, as well as the Sport Response button which puts the Macan on full boil for 20 seconds — perfect for passing slowpokes on the highway.
Still, even in Porsche’s preset modes, the Macan is a joy. The steering is light and direct — though maybe a little too light for my liking — and I love how in Sport Plus mode, the transmission will hang out close to redline and downshift under braking. Even with the 2.0-liter engine, the Macan has a lot of verve.
This SUV is great while toddling around town, too. The turbo engine delivers power smoothly and the transmission’s shifts are never jerky. The suspension is nicely tuned, letting no pothole disturb my cool and collected experience. But it’s not all perfect. If driver-assistance features are on your must-have list, prepare to open thy wallet. Lane-change assist is $700, lane-keeping assist is $800 and a surround-view camera is $1,200.
However, the Macan’s worst foible might be its fuel economy. The EPA gives this compact SUV a rating of 19 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. During a week of testing, I’m seeing 22.8 mpg, but checking the competition, the Macan looks like a gas guzzler. An Audi Q5 with its 2.0-liter turbo engine gets 29 mpg highway, and four-cylinder versions of the BMW X3, Genesis GV70, Mercedes-Benz GLC300 and Volvo XC60 get 28 mpg. And the Macan costs at least $10,000 more than all of those competitors. Ouch.
But while it might not be a value proposition, once the road turns twisty, no small SUV handles like the Macan. Sharp and sporty, but practical as well, the four-cylinder Macan is a true Porsche at heart.