Saturday, February 4, 2023
Reviews 2021 Porsche Macan GTS Review: Personal Premium Sporty Utility Vehicle

2021 Porsche Macan GTS Review: Personal Premium Sporty Utility Vehicle

The 2021 Porsche Macan GTS is the ultimate version of the German brand’s front door

  • The 2021 Porsche Macan is priced from $57,800 in Canada, $52,100 in the US.

  • More than 600,000 Macan SUVs have sold since its introduction in 2014.

  • It is the brand’s conquest vehicle.

The Macan’s many roles for Porsche are far more important than we think. With 80% of Macan buyers being new to the legendary sports car company, the small SUV is Porsche’s gateway vehicle. Despite its somewhat modest origins as a joint effort with Audi, the Macan is still very much a Porsche.

2021 Porsche Macan GTS | Photo: Olivier Delorme

And perhaps no other model better demonstrates this fact than the GTS. As with all other Porsche vehicles that bear the “Gran Turismo Sport” moniker, the Macan GTS features the ideal compromise where performance meets luxury. Certainly, draped in Carmine Red, it also happens to be the most elegant.

Handsome and luxurious

As always, the Porsche Macan’s proportions are perfect. The extremely short overhangs, long hood, and low sweptback roofline create an incredible stance that expresses performance. The GTS includes black 20-inch RS Spyder Design wheels which dramatically heighten the standard Sport Design package and blacked-out trim. The contrast between red and black is spectacular.

2021 Porsche Macan GTS | Photo: Olivier Delorme

The Macan’s cabin, though snug, is an excellent place to spend many an hour driving. This is especially true with the GTS as it features a leather-Alcantara mix throughout. The centrally-mounted Carmine red tachometer is the driver’s focal point for must-have driving information. Next to it, the standard 10.9-inch is perfectly adapted to its surroundings and its interface has proven to be intuitive and user-friendly. If someone disagrees, there’s series of hard button shortcuts to get the job done just below it.

One surface I’ve always enjoyed is (actually was as the 2022 Macan is different) the cascading series of controls atop the center tunnel. This is where the driver will quickly various drive functions including the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) damping control and the sports exhaust.


2021 Porsche Macan GTS | Photo: Olivier Delorme

The 2021 Porsche Macan GTS is powered by a hot-in-the-V 2.9-litre V6. It produces 375 horsepower from 5,200 to 6,700 rpm and 383 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,750 and 5,000 rpm. With the accompanying 7-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, the GTS fires off the 0-100km/h in only 4.9 seconds. Though impressive, I got the impression that the V6 is throttled, or chocked. Its true potential is (was) found in the Turbo thanks to its 434 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torque. For 2022, the GTS’ 2.9-litre trickles down to the Macan S and the GTS gains Turbo numbers.

Although I did complain about the engine, I’ve only ever praised the PDK. Its superior engineering and functionality position it as the best existing dual-clutch transmission. In normal drive mode, it changes gears with no shift shock or, if you so desire, will drop gears with lightning-fast speeds and precision.

More refined and sharper than the competition

2021 Porsche Macan GTS | Photo: Olivier Delorme

About the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) damping, despite the 15mm-lower chassis over standard, the ride quality is outstanding. The key is the available adaptive air suspension which not only further lowers the vehicle by another 10mm, when combined with the sidewall-rich Goodyear 20-inch tires, creates an ultra-comfortable driving experienced. This is an unexpected bonus for the small SUV and truly takes nothing away from its overall abilities.

The optional Sport Chrono package, as fitted on the test car, manipulates the various drive settings including the dampers and the standard Porsche Traction Management (PTM) active all-wheel-drive system. Even when in the sportier modes, the ride suffers little, but the Macan GTS’ dynamics suddenly rise to the surface. Flat, surefooted, and fun, the small SUV has no true equal among its segment mates.

Personal, prestigious, and a Porsche

2021 Porsche Macan GTS | Photo: Olivier Delorme

As luxurious as the GTS is out of the box, the tested unit included the optional GTS leather interior package in Carmine Red, the 18-way Adaptive Sports seats, and a premium BOSE surround sound system. With a base price of $79,200, the 2021 Macan GTS you see in the gallery and video retailed for a grand total of $101,090.

A quick tour of the competition will point out that very few other small high-end SUV comes close in price, performance, and I’d effortlessly argue prestige. Fighting off the likes of the Lexus NX, Audi Q5, Volvo XC40, and a few others, only the BMW X3 M40i and the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 match it pound-for-pound in performance. And though Benz and BMW are premium brands, the GLC and X3 are very common compared to the Macan.

The Porsche Macan GTS is a personal premium high-performance SUV with an extremely wide-ranging number of abilities. If it happens to tight size-wise, there’s always the Cayenne.

2021 Porsche Macan GTS | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2021 Porsche Macan GTS | Photo: Olivier Delorme

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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