Expert Reviews

2024 Porsche Macan First Drive Review

“Try it, you’ll like it.” My mother has uttered this phrase countless times over the years, usually as I turned my nose up at something displayed on my plate. More often than not, she was right, and after tentative sampling, I’d become convinced. Skeptical about an electric Porsche SUV? Heed my mom’s wisdom and try it. I bet you’ll like it.

Tempting Style

Porsche has always done an excellent job keeping the Macan’s look tidy and unadorned with fleeting fashions that can quickly date a vehicle. A decade-old Macan still looks contemporary, though it doesn’t have the edgy aggression of the second-generation model. The new SUV’s sweeping profile makes the Macan look like a ⅞-scale Cayenne Coupe, and there are plenty of Porsche family traits. The sloped backlight flows down to meet the full-width light bar that looks cribbed from a 911. The black accent panel that runs the lower length of the doors is retained from the first generation as a defining Macan element.

The front end is particularly sinister, having now adopted the Taycan’s headlight design that features a quadrant of thinly sliced LEDs that reinforce the new Macan’s wider stance. The car sits low and muscular, its haunches stretched over the rubber-band tires and 22-inch wheels on this test car, and yet, despite the aggressive looks, it’s impressively aerodynamic, cutting a 0.25 drag coefficient.

Fresh but Familiar Interior

The family resemblance is even stronger inside the new Macan. The dashboard shape continues the broad, expansive dash top and rounded instrument binnacle housing a trio of circular gauges displayed on a 12.6-inch curved screen. The central dash houses the 10.9-inch primary infotainment display, while this test car also features an optional screen visible only to the front seat passenger. While I’ve found these passenger screens gimmicky in other cars, when getting lost on the very tight urban streets in Southern France, it was helpful having my co-pilot manipulate his navigation screen without affecting my map display.

Conveniently, the directions are also displayed in front of the driver via an augmented reality head-up display that helps keep their eyes on the road ahead as directional indicators are projected in their field of view. Best of all, this head-up display is still visible with polarized sunglasses, which is rarely the case with other cars.

Those who lament the modern trend of all-glass controls may not love the Macan’s switchgear layout, which requires most driver inputs through screens or haptic “buttons,” but the system is swift and responsive, if not the simplest or most intuitive on the market. The voice command system now offers 23 languages and can help a driver control most comfort functions, music playback, or even help locate parking or a battery charger.

Android Automotive is the native operating system, and Android and Apple CarPlay connectivity is wireless. Wireless phone charging now has its own cooled cubby. Apple Maps and Google Maps can both be displayed in the driver’s instrument panel as well as the primary screen. The Porsche App centre can integrate a multitude of music, conferencing, and even home assistant smart apps, plus sophisticated route planning based on optimized charging stops, which can be helpful when road-tripping with an electric vehicle (EV).

More Spacious

The Macan’s wheelbase grows by 86 mm, mostly providing greater rear-seat legroom, but with the seating positions also lower than before, there’s more headroom front and rear, too. Although slightly longer and wider, the Macan remains a compact crossover, but it’s a little more hospitable than before.

The benefits of electrification also apply to the new Macan’s cargo capacity with up to 540L of space behind the second row, which expands to 1,348 L with the rear 40/20/40-split sections folded flat. There’s also an 84L front trunk under the hood, too. The rear liftgate can be opened with a kick motion beneath the rear bumper, while a sorcerer’s hand gesture just below the Porsche crest will magically open the hood.

Supercar Performance with Daily Livability

After last autumn’s demonstration drive at Porsche’s Leipzig test facility, I became a believer in the new Macan Turbo’s capabilities. Test drivers demonstrated the 630 hp (833 lb-ft) launch control heroics that sent the little SUV from rest to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds, while the high-performance tires and electronic damping control glued the Macan to the track. That said, at the will of a skilled driver, the tail end is easily provoked into long, lurid power slides when the traction control is switched off.

All this before sending the Macan down muddy paths and up rocky hills. Nobody does mind-bending SUVs that are equally adept at track and trail duties like Porsche, and electrifying the Macan only reinforces its performance prowess. Even the entry-level Macan 4, with its 382 hp (402 hp with during launch control) and 479 lb-ft of torque is said to hit 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, but it certainly feels quicker than that.

Realistically, most Macan owners aren’t going to approach anything near the machine’s capabilities on- or off-road, so Porsche enabled us to evaluate it in the (ahem) “real world” of the French Riviera. A brief drive around Nice at rush hour revealed the abysmal traffic congestion afflicting the area, confounded by the frightening narrowness and wild scooter riders who lack a self-preservation instinct. There, the Macan 4’s compact size was appreciated almost as much as its quick and responsive steering, and the SUV was even more nimble thanks to the optional rear-axle steering.

The next day, behind the wheel of the Speed Yellow Macan Turbo seen in the photos, my drive partner and I escaped the urban squeeze to explore some of the mountain roads northwest of Cannes. It was there the Macan’s low centre of gravity, sticky tires, and active torque vectoring meant the Porsche clung to corners relentlessly, even when a foolish amount of throttle was called upon, rocketing the SUV toward the next curve with mind-bending pace.

The way contemporary, sporty SUVs can be engineered into legitimate high-performance track machines is incredible, but the most astonishing of all of them is this new Macan. The steering and handling are exactly what one expects from Porsche – and not just a Porsche SUV, but a genuine sports car – that, when coupled with the electric drivetrain, seem like an impossibility of physics. The Macan Turbo rockets forward with dizzying effortlessness, which is made even more exciting by its instantaneous response to driver inputs.

On the highway in a more relaxed drive mode, the suspension settles and the Macan becomes a near-silent, serene cruiser.

High-Performance EV

The new Macan impresses as an EV as well. Official Canadian figures haven’t been published for the new Macan yet, but the notoriously generous European testing cycle rates the Macan 4 at up to 613 km of range and the Macan Turbo at 591 km. Our Macan Turbo tester showed a more realistic estimated range of 420 km at the start of our journey. After crawling through urban traffic, cruising local highways, and tackling mountain roads with gusto, we depleted 30 per cent of the battery, leaving a remaining 318 km of range shown, suggesting the initial 420 km estimate was pretty accurate.

Porsche claims 95 of the 100-kWh gross energy content of the Macan’s lithium-ion battery pack can be actively used. The battery pack is divided into modules for future serviceability, and with high-speed DC charging up to 270 kW, the battery can go from 10 to 80 per cent charge in just over 20 minutes. Plus, thanks to extensive pre-conditioning of the battery, the Macan can sustain high-speed charging for long periods, meaning an extra 250 km of range can be added within 10 minutes. Like the Taycan, the Macan has a charging port on each side, although unlike the Taycan, they’re situated toward the rear of the vehicle instead of the front fenders.

Pricing and Final Thoughts

Due to its diminutive dimensions and exceptional handling, the Macan has always felt more like Porsche’s version of a high-performance, premium “hot hatchback” than an SUV. The new electric 2025 Porsche Macan is more efficient, more spacious, and more capable on road, track, and on the trail than before. But past Macan owners will be in for a surprise if they visit their dealer expecting to find a new Macan priced similar to the old one. The new Macan 4 is a six-figure car, starting at $99,300 before any options, destination or dealer charges, or luxury tax.

This yellow Macan Turbo tester starts at $125,300 and is dressed up with over $25,000 in options, approaching $170,000 after fees.

Still, the new 2025 Porsche Macan Turbo is certainly one of the most incredible performance machines I have experienced. That it can hunt for supercars on a race track as successfully as it can haul the family (or a small trailer) to the cottage and do the daily commute in the carpool lane makes it an astonishing feat of engineering.

Don’t believe me? Try it, I bet you’ll like it.

Porsche Canada is now accepting orders for the new Macan, with deliveries expected to start later this year.