Improving the Base Game Macan

porsche macan full presentation

Somewhere between the perfect pirouette of the 2023 Porsche Macan T around one of the countless hairpin turns of the Angeles Crest Highway and the blasting of a rock-faced straight, a strange thought occurred to me. mind: “I’m bored.” After driving just about every modern Porsche on ACH, one of the best driving roads in the country, this was a new experience. Maybe if the hood of the SUV had another manufacturer’s badge on it I’d feel more engaged, but what about Porsches? Well, the company has proven over and over that it can build more exciting vehicles.

What is the Macan T?

Let’s backtrack to get a comprehensive understanding of the 2023 Porsche Macan T. A new addition to the recently refreshed Macan lineup, the Macan T is designed to bring some of the perfect Porsche GTS magic into the Macan’s four-cylinder line. . . Previously only available on the 911 and 718, the “T” trim is best considered a Macan GTS Lite, with sportier tuning and aesthetics in a friendlier package.

Performance-wise, the 2023 Porsche Macan T gets 20-inch wheels as standard (instead of 19), Porsche Active Suspension Management and sportier, more rear-facing all-wheel drive. For those looking to increase the wick a little more, Porsche also offers a T-specific version of Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus and its air suspension, the latter of which is “inspired by the GTS” and sits just over a third of a inch lower than standard steel springs. Our Macan T test car was equipped with both options.

On the aesthetic side, the exterior of the Macan T is distinguished by the 20-inch wheels; Agate Gray trim on its grille, mirrors, side blades and spoiler; and black-trimmed window surrounds and exhaust tips. Inside, the Macan T features sports seats covered in suit-like pinstripe fabric with gray contrast stitching, embossed Porsche logos on the front head restraints and a heated GT Sport steering wheel.

Unlike the Macan GTS, which gets a power boost over the lesser Macan S, the Macan T shares its powertrain with the base Macan – an upgraded 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 for 2022 good for 261 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. It is backed by a PDK seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

So what’s the deal with the way he drives?

Yes, yes, a “boring” Porsche? Really? I’m admittedly a bit hyperbolic, but having driven just about every Porsche model made in the last decade, and then some, the four-pot Macan may seem the least Porsche of them all, and the T package does little to mask that made.

Let’s start with the good. The 2023 Porsche Macan T is undeniably capable on a good back road. You’ll never confuse it with absolute quickness, but it’s pretty quick, especially once the turbo kicks in when the tach exceeds 2,000 rpm. Porsche’s PDK helps make the most of the powerband of the four potentiometers, shifting intelligently and quickly as is standard in all Porsche products. However, to make the most of the limited passing power on tap, I found myself using the Sport Response button (it puts the powertrain responses on high alert) on the steering wheel much more than ever on other Porsche.

When it comes to stopping power, the company offers tungsten carbide coated brakes for more bite, but the stock brakes offer plenty of performance and a great feel. Porsche hasn’t disclosed pricing for the upgrade for 2023 (it’s an extra $4,440 on 2022 models), but that’s likely of questionable value from a performance standpoint, as the Macan T is not capable of speeds where upgrading seems worth it for the street.

The Macan’s steering rack provides light, vague feedback; switching to Sport or Sport Plus makes the steering heavier in an attempt to mask the lack of communication from the front, but it’s still a bit like driving after your hands have fallen asleep. In other words, the Macan T, like the rest of the Macan line, responds predictably but without the immediacy or precision you get in other Porsche products.

Likewise, the suspension tuning is just fine, relatively speaking with the high-bar Porsche ladder in mind. In Normal and Sport modes, our air-suspension-equipped 2023 Macan T sent impacts quickly and without drama, but the hint of body roll allowed in these two modes amplifies the numb steering, resulting in catch-up play on the roads. sinuous. as body roll throws the Macan slightly off its line. Luckily, Sport Plus firms up the suspension enough to alleviate this issue.

What about the rest?

The Macan T’s interior, refreshed last year, looks great with those T-exclusive pinstripe sports seats, which are comfortable and supportive both in town and during aggressive driving. On the outside, the agate gray accents look great and are a refreshing change of pace from the black accents that most automakers use to designate sporty special editions.

Is the Macan T worth it?

Porsche hasn’t announced pricing for the 2023 Macan T, but says it will be in the $60,000 range, falling between the base Macan and the Macan S. Our best guess says you can expect to see the Macan T start around $63,000 or so, which makes it about $3,000 cheaper than the 375 horsepower V-6 powered Macan S and about $7,000 more than the base non-T Macan. If we We’re right, that would make the Macan T more expensive than the Audi SQ5 (349 hp, $57,590 to start), the 385 hp Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 ($60,950) and the 382 hp BMW X3 M40i (58 $540). ). Although some may argue that the Macan S and not the T is the direct competitor of the aforementioned models, the likely price position of the T might suggest otherwise.

Ultimately, the 2023 Porsche Macan T is a perfectly capable SUV. However, it just doesn’t stand out as being as magical as most of Porsche’s other offerings in its diverse vehicle lineup. This is a manufacturer that has managed to make a 2.5 ton electric sedan, a 631 hp SUV and a roadster under $70,000, all driven with the same passion and purity as our vehicle. performance car of the year, the Porsche 911 GT3.

High-powered Porsches make enthusiasts dream, but the truth is that sometimes the most accessible models are those that occupy the high points of the range. After all, that’s why we love the GTS variants so much. We’d like to see the Macan T capture some of that essence, with a more organic steering feel, a tad more power and less body roll. After all, Porsche has proven time and time again that its vehicles – any of them – have the potential to excite.

This seems good! More details?

Specifications of the 2023 Porsche Macan T
STARTING PRICE $63,000 (est)
ARRANGEMENT Front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door SUV
MOTOR 2.0L/261 hp/295 lb-ft DOHC Turbo Direct Injection I-4
TRANSMISSION 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
UNLOADED WEIGHT 4,300 pounds (manufacturer)
WHEELBASE 110.5 inches
L x W x H 186.1 x 75.9 x 63.2 inches
0-60MPH 5.8 sec (mfr east)
EPA FUEL ECONOMY 19/25/21 mpg (east)
EPA RANGE (COMB) 360 miles
ON SALE Fall 2022