Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Reviews 2023 Porsche Macan T Review: (Relatively) Cheap Thrills

2023 Porsche Macan T Review: (Relatively) Cheap Thrills

Great handling, good price.

  • The 2023 Porsche Macan starts at $58,950 in the United States and at $62,550 in Canada, freight charge included.

  • Excellent dynamics, impeccable fit and finish, still relatively affordable.

  • Tight back seat, low on cargo space, no centre console storage space.

The 2023 Porsche Macan is the brand’s most affordable model, and has surprisingly remained affordable throughout the nine years it’s been on the market so far. Sure, one could spec a Macan to end up costing well over $100K, as Porsche offers a wide range of performance, appearance and tech options to make sure every Macan built can potentially be one of a kind.

To further drive that last point home, the company can manufacture a vehicle in any colour the customer desires, if said customer is willing to pay a little extra. Make that a lot extra. In the case of the Macan, the Paint to Sample option is currently listed at $11,430 USD or $13,050 CAD, and includes a list of 50 hues to choose from, in addition to the regular colour palette. It takes three more months for the company to produce a vehicle with this option.

For those seeking even more customization, the Paint to Sample Plus allows us to choose any colour we want by providing a sample to our local dealer. The company will then take up to a year to figure out if it’s a feasible hue, and charge upwards of $22K USD in the process. Our 2023 Porsche Macan T test car was decked out in Speed Yellow, and the paint itself represents about 20% of the vehicle’s base price.

As for the Macan T itself, it was introduced to the world in February 2022 as a low-priced, high-thrill machine that may not take our breath away in a straight line, but has all the essential ingredients to make the morning commute a lot more engaging from a handling standpoint.

And let’s face it—it makes sense. The Macan GTS and its 434-horsepower, twin-turbo 2.9L flat-six may get our adrenaline pumping with a 0-to-60 mph (0-100 km/h) time of under 4.5 seconds, in addition to a top speed of 169 mph or 272 km/h, the reality is that it’s impossible to fully exploit those capabilities on public roads. Meanwhile, base Macan and Macan T are equipped with a more sensible turbocharged 2.0L four that develops 261 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The Macan T is said to blast from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, or from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds, when the Sport Plus mode is engaged. Top speed is pegged at 144 mph or 232 km/h. That’s fast enough, right?

City/highway/combined fuel economy numbers for the turbo 2.0L engine are set at 19/25/21 mpg or 12.4/9.3/11.0 L/100 km. We managed a decent 22 mpg or 10.6 L/100 km during our winter test, as the Macan T was wearing winter tires.

More importantly, the 2023 Porsche Macan T is equipped as standard with the brand’s Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), the Sport Tailpipes and the Sport Chrono Package, which are all optional on the base Macan. An adaptive air suspension, which lowers the vehicle by another 10 mm, the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) system and the sport exhaust system are available as individual options as well.

As one can expect, the Macan T will all these goodies sticks to the tarmac like seagulls at a McDonald’s joint, serving up razor-sharp reflexes, predictable cornering abilities and hunkered-down, solid on-the-road feel. All stuff we don’t absolutely need for the everyday drive, of course, but the experience behind the wheel is definitely more enjoyable.

2023 Porsche Macan T

The 2023 Porsche Macan T can be recognized—barely—by its Agate Gray front fascia trim, mirror caps, door blades and rear spoiler. It also sports 20-inch Dark Titanium Macan S wheels, although those were swapped for Satin Platinum wheels on our tester. Obviously, buyers can rather opt for a plethora of color-keyed exterior components.

Inside, the 2023 Porsche Macan T is by no means lavish, yet doesn’t feel stripped down either. The seats are covered in black leather with hard fabric inserts, or what the company calls Sport-Tex Strip. It’s spruced up with silver contrast stitching, which also extends to the multifunction GT steering wheel. It can be replaced with a full leather interior in various hues. The slanted centre console with its array of haptic buttons maybe seem complex at first, a little unintuitive even, but we quickly figure out where the controls are located. Separate dual-zone climate control fan speeds for the driver and passenger are a nice touch. There isn’t much in regards to storage space, though.

2023 Porsche Macan T

And as always, the Macan’s cabin is tight, especially for rear-seat occupants who won’t enjoy much legroom and headroom.  Cargo space with the rear seat in place is among the worst in its segment with a volume of 17.2 cubic feet or 488 litres, but catches up somewhat when the seatbacks are folded, with a total volume of 53.1 cubic feet or 1,503 litres. Speaking of capabilities, the Macan can tow up to 4,409 pounds or 2,000 kilograms with the turbo four-cylinder Macan and Macan T, and up to 5,291 pounds or 2,400 kg with the six-cylinder Macan S and Macan GTS variants.

So what competes with the 2023 Porsche Macan? Well, there’s the Audi Q5 and Q5 Sportback with their 261-hp turbo 2.0L four (same engine as in the Macan) as well as the SQ5 and SQ5 Sportback and their 349-hp turbo V6 engine. There’s the BMW X3 and X4 with the choice of a 248-hp turbo 2.0L four or a 382-hp turbo 3.0L six, along with the X3 M and X4 M with their 473-hp or 503-hp twin-turbo 3.0L six. There’s the Alfa Romeo Stelvio with its 280-hp turbo 2.0L four, or the Stelvio Quadrifoglio and its 505-hp twin-turbo 2.9L V6. There’s the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 and GLC 300 Coupé with their 255-hp turbo 2.0L four as well as the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 and GLC 43 Coupé with their 385-hp twin-turbo 3.0L V6. There’s also the Jaguar F-PACE with the choice between the 246-hp turbo 2.0L four, the 395-hp mild-hybrid turbo 3.0L inline-six or and the F-PACE SVR’s 542-hp supercharged 5.0L V8.

In short, a lot of performance-oriented foes here with various output levels. However, the Macan T is arguably a unique proposition with the base powertrain and suspension enhancements. Or as the T designation signifies, a “touring” variant.

Starting at $58,950 in the United States and at $62,550 in Canada, destination freight charge included. While the latter is very reasonable by today’s standards, the Canadian website mentions an extra $2,750 dealer fee. The Macan T is listed at $64,550 in the U.S. and at $67,950 in Canada. That’s not bad at all, despite our test car having been stuffed with the air suspension, the sport exhaust with black tailpipes, SportDesign side skirts, PTV Plus, heated rear seats and carbon fibre interior trim, for a grand total of $85K USD or $92K CAD.

2023 Porsche Macan T

By the way, a fully electric Porsche Macan is on the way, and should be revealed sometime this year as a 2024 model. It’s expected to produce 603 horsepower and 737 pound-feet and torque, sending all that power to the ground through an all-wheel drivetrain and four-wheel steering. The Macan EV should be sold alongside the current ICE Macan, at least for a while.

For those who understand that the most powerful engine isn’t a must-have for the daily grind, the 2023 Porsche Macan T exists to provide great handling characteristics and a racy appearance at a relatively affordable price. On the flipside, the Macan isn’t a very spacious vehicle overall, so any consideration as a versatile family hauler must be taken with a grain a salt.

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