The Crossover and Sport Utility Vehicle market is on top at the moment, with small to medium-sized models the hottest of the hot. The recent introduction of the Porsche Macan S and Macan Turbo couldn’t have come at a better time for the Stuttgart, Germany automaker and sales have been brisk if what I see on the road in my daily southern Ontario commute is any indication. The Macan is everywhere. Building on this trend, the 2017 Porsche Macan GTS slots in between, offering a sporty appearance, exceptional comfort and a driving experience that is certain to keep things moving ahead.
Power comes in the form of a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder gasoline-powered bi-turbo engine. Situated in the front, which if you know Porsche is a place generally reserved for a suitcase or two in the esteemed 911 Carrera, it delivers 360 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque at 1,450-4,000 rpm. This represents an additional 20 horsepower over the Macan S and 30 lb-ft more torque. It does so partially with improved engine breathing both under the hood and out of the less restrictive exhaust system.
Matched to a 7-speed PDK transmission, the new Macan GTS accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 256 km/h. On road performance numbers indicate 80-120 km/h takes just 3.4 seconds; something to relish when driving the highway and passing slower moving commuters or a large tractor-trailer. Turbo boost pressure has been raised .2 bar for a total of 1.2 bar and it shows with each press of the accelerator pedal.
All-wheel drive, a specialty of the Volkswagen Group, makes easy work of gentle to somewhat challenging off-road adventures. This is not to say the Macan GTS can’t handle the majority of dips and bumps when pavement gives way to dirt and rock; in fact, the exact opposite is true. It’s more so that this particular model looks so good, you might want to think twice about getting it too dirty. Plus, ground clearance is more restrictive than the Macan S as the GTS is lowered 15 millimetres for improved sportiness and handling.
Driving on the island of Tenerife, a volcanic land mass best navigated with a strong stomach and a willingness to round an endless string of blind left and right hand turns, the Macan GTS feels firmly planted and up to the challenge. It’s a good thing too as narrow highways have little to no run-off should things go terribly wrong. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is standard on the Macan GTS.
Exterior features unique to the GTS model include front and rear aprons and a rear roof spoiler in gloss black. Matt black “Spyder” 20-inch alloy wheels are standard. Our test vehicle is equipped with the optional 21” Sport Classic wheels in black. Headlights feature black inserts and the rear taillights are smoked glass for added drama. In addition, the side-blades are black while the rear exhaust highlights an aggressive tone to go along with its devilish demeanour. Remember to push the sport exhaust button on the center console to maximize the sound.
Inside, creature comforts are the order of the day in a typical over-the-top Porsche kind of way. The first thing I notice when taking hold of the wheel is the bright red center tachometer. It glows, staring at me, daring me to crack the red line with every opportunity. To the left is speed, to the right navigation and the fuel gauge. The center console is all business and a little overwhelming at first if you are not familiar with the jetliner layout. Everything imaginable is right at your fingertips, or neatly placed on the steering wheel, it just requires a few minutes to take it all in.
Carmine red stitching on the seats, door sills and dash, plus bright red seat belts and a GTS logo on the headrest, emphasize sportiness. The combination of suede and leather seating surfaces is both stylish and supremely comfortable. The sweet sounds of a Porsche at full song are music enough to my ears, but it is hard not to crank up the optional Burmester Surround Sound system once in a while as we criss-cross the island from Abama on the west coast to Santa Cruz de Tenerife on the north.
The 2017 Porsche Macan GTS is an excellent addition to the Macan family. It offers Porsche power and performance, roominess for up to five and a well-proportioned trunk. In the mid-size SUV market, this is about as good as it gets. Priced to start at $73,100, sales start in spring, 2016.
2017 Porsche Macan GTS
Base Price: $73,100
Price as tested: $83,810
Configuration: front engine/ all-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 3.0L 6-cyliner / 7-speed PDK
Power/torque: 360 horsepower/ 369 lb-ft
Fuel (capacity): Regular (65.1L)
Fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): TBA
Competitors: Audi SQ5, BMW X4, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Lexus RX
- Forceful exterior appearance
- V6 turbo power
- Backseat legroom is minimal