New Car Review

2018 Porsche Macan GTS: First Drive Review

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Porsche Macan
New 2018 Porsche Macan
MSRP $66,000
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Porsche Macan
New 2018 Porsche Macan
MSRP $61,550
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Porsche Macan
New 2018 Porsche Macan
MSRP $56,970
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Porsche Macan
New 2018 Porsche Macan
MSRP $66,260
RELATED READING
See all Porsche Macan articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Michael Harley November 2018

The entry-level Porsche Macan, fitted with a 252-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder, is a competent performance-tuned crossover starting at just $47,800. The flagship Macan Turbo with the Performance Package, boasting a 440-hp twin-turbocharged6-cylinder, is an $87,700 track-ready rocket ship. While both product endcaps offer merits, our suggestion is to dismiss the two and focus your attention on the sweet spot in the middle: The 360-hp 2018 Porsche Macan GTS, priced at $68,900.

Engineered to appeal to those driving enthusiasts who choose to frequent the long, windy and circuitous route home, the 2018 Porsche Macan GTS has been methodically upgraded with the tastiest bits from Porsche's go-fast parts bin and tuned to near-perfection. In a nutshell, the GTS badge represents a comprehensive package that focuses on handling and dynamic performance, without compromising functionality or comfort.

A Luxury-Appointed Interior Atop Proven Architecture

The 5-passenger Macan GTS sets itself apart from the other models in the lineup with distinctive cosmetic enhancements both inside and out. The exterior features black accents, which replace the bright chrome on the window trim, lower body trim and model designation. There are 20-inch Spyder Design wheels at all four corners, and the side blades -- the solid panels on the lower parts of the doors -- are matte black. The interior is fitted with the leather package as standard equipment. Heavily bolstered GTS sport seats, which are incredibly comfortable for nearly all body sizes and shapes, are upholstered with grippy Alcantara panels, and there are unique GTS logos on the headrests (the rear seats are tight for adults over 6 feet tall, but that is expected in this compact segment). Those looking for a bit more interior flair will want to choose the GTS Interior Package with deviated stitching in colorful Carmine Red.

It's no secret that the Macan shares chassis architecture with the first-generation Audi Q5. But, it is a misconception that the two are identical. There are no shared body panels between the two, and Porsche has reworked nearly every component beneath the skin. Compared to the standard Macan models, the GTS flaunts upgraded air suspension and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) as standard equipment. The chassis rides slightly lower than the other models to drop the center of gravity. As an added benefit, the vehicle height may be raised and lowered via a cabin switch to facilitate off-road prowess or to ease loading.

A Crossover With the Driveline of a Porsche 911

The Macan GTS is fitted with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 mounted longitudinally within the engine bay (mimicking the layout of a rear-wheel-drive vehicle). With direct injection and up to 17.4 psi of boost, the all-aluminum engine is rated at 360 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The powerplant is mated to a 7-speed PDK, which is a variant of Porsche's celebrated dual-clutch gearbox that is used in its 911718 and Panamera sports cars. Mash the accelerator from a standstill and the 2018 Porsche Macan GTS launches with authority and quickly zooms up to speed (there's a launch control mode for those who want neck-snapping acceleration). It's official 0-to-60 sprint is 4.8 seconds, with a top speed of 159 miles per hour. The 4,200-lb crossover feels every bit as quick once the engine's boost is fully on tap, but there is a slight boost delay if the engine is below 3,500 rpm.

While every other crossover on the road borrows a driveline from a passenger car or a truck, the Macan literally shares its driveline with a race-winning sports car, the Porsche 911. Lifted literally from the undercarriage of a Carrera 4, the rear-biased permanent all-wheel-drive system of the Macan GTS boasts the ability to split torque as needed to each driving wheel. Add in the optional Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus, which assists in directional control, and the Macan displays tenacious grip. Toss it into a corner and turn the steering wheel with delicate precision, and the GTS glides from apex to apex with the effort of skiing on a well-groomed slalom. With no apparent body roll and four meaty contact patches clawing at the pavement, its only limiting factor is the tires -- amazing. We have never driven a crossover that is as agile as the Macan GTS.

Sports Car Dynamics With Abundant Utility

Carving canyons isn't the Macan GTS' only trick. It's also a graceful long-distance cruiser and a practical workhorse. We took the Porsche on a 350-mile cross-country drive, and it delivered 25.7 miles per gallon overall (the EPA rates it at 17 mpg in city driving and 23 mpg on the highway). Thanks to the suppleness of air suspension, the luxurious cooled seats and the crossover's natural raised height for peering over traffic, the trip was effortless. We also filled its luggage compartment with several boxes, a week's worth of luggage and an assortment of camera equipment -- it swallowed everything, and we could still see out the back window.

Porsche didn't need another variant of the Macan -- there are already a half dozen of those -- yet the GTS proved itself to be our favorite because it genuinely delivers on all its promises. Automakers have spent years agonizing about how to turn trucks into crossovers that handle like passenger cars. Porsche, in its own unique manner, has solved the riddle. The Macan GTS is a genuine sports car masquerading as a crossover.

To gain access to this information, Autotrader attended an event sponsored by the vehicle's manufacturer.

Find a Porsche Macan for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Porsche Macan
New 2018 Porsche Macan
MSRP $66,000
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Porsche Macan
New 2018 Porsche Macan
MSRP $61,550
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Porsche Macan
New 2018 Porsche Macan
MSRP $56,970
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2018 Porsche Macan
New 2018 Porsche Macan
MSRP $66,260
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2018 Porsche Macan GTS: First Drive Review - Autotrader