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First review Porsche Macan GTS (2021) – why the Macan is the best handling SUV

What stands out about the Porsche Macan GTS (2021)?

Although the Macan has been on the market for seven years and Porsche has kept the facelift subtle, the car still looks very current. The air scoops in the front bumper are slightly different in shape and the LED strips of the daytime running lights have been moved up a few centimeters. Smart headlights are standard. At the back, the black diffuser has crept up slightly, as it were. The reflectors are also pressed upwards.

Inside, our eye immediately catches the new tunnel console. Gone is the somewhat archaic button mash, replaced by a completely flat panel with haptic touch surfaces. Just like other new Porsches have. Funnily enough, the control panel for the interior lighting still has buttons in the same style as the old center tunnel. On the same tunnel there is still a real selector lever instead of the small joystick that we find in the 911. Only it is no longer a matter of pushing aside if you want to select the handstand of the PDK transmission, as before. You can now do this with a touch button on the steering wheel.

The most important change to the renewed Macan can be found under the hood: all versions received a power upgrade. The double blown 2.9-liter V6 went from 380 but 440 hp. The torque increased by 30 newton meters, from 520 to 550 Nm. This puts the GTS at the same level as the Macan Turbo from before the facelift and can call itself the top of the series.

What is good about the Porsche Macan GTS (2021)?

Well, what’s good about The Night Watch, majestic about Kilimanjaro, and impressive about the Sagrada Família? It is difficult to give an unequivocal answer to that. With the Porsche Macan GTS, it’s the sum of things. We know very few other SUVs that manage to forge driving pleasure, performance and comfort into such a beautiful whole. At least: if you remove the check mark for the standard sports suspension, because it is very sturdy. And our experiences with the standard air suspension are so positive that the added value of the sports suspension is, to be honest, a little elated. In Normal position, the Macan offers most drivers more excitement than all the complicated positions of the Kamasutra put together. In Sport, the idle speed is slightly increased, the PDK box responds more alertly and pops and crackles in the sports exhaust as if it is New Year’s Eve.

It gets really intense with Sport Plus. The chassis is 10 centimeters lower, while the engine climbs a little further in the revs. Activate the launch control and you pop – literally – in 4.3 seconds to 100 km/h. You take tight turns with a minimum of steering angle and a maximum of grip; it looks like Porsche didn’t put tires on the 21-inch wheels, but a thick layer of super glue. Of course you don’t do that in the presence of your partner and children; you told them that the four-wheel drive and the surplus of power mainly serve safety. And with the car in Normal, the heating of the beautiful, comfortable leather on and the activatable sports exhaust system at rest, they take it for granted.

What could be better about the Porsche Macan GTS (2021)?

They probably think in Zuffenhausen that the average Porsche driver prefers to use the brake and accelerator pedal at all times and everywhere, and rarely uses the cruise control. Otherwise we cannot explain why the brand still installs an old-fashioned lever for the operation that you have to operate by touch. But with a super potent motor under your right foot and with a constantly eagerly panting CJIB at your neck, you as a Dutchman just want to regularly put the speed controller to work. That was difficult with that ‘invisible’ lever, (illuminated) buttons on the steering wheel are much more convenient and safer to use. We would like to exchange the button for the manual mode of the gearbox. We found the old handstand selection method to be much more intuitive: flick the lever to the left. Furthermore, we would have liked slightly longer paddle shifters; especially if you’re boenderen on a winding route, now and then you feel wrong.

The Porsche Macan is not a space miracle, especially for a SUV. As long as no one is taller than roughly 1.80 meters, four adults will find a great place. With more oversized occupants, this or that person soon has to show himself more lenient than is comfortable.

When will the Porsche Macan GTS (2021) come and what is the price?

Do you want to enjoy one of the best fossil Macanians? Then you can already go to the nearest Porsche Center. That will give you a new GTS from 139,300 euros. Also cheaper: a Macan with a four-cylinder two-liter turbo engine (265 hp) costs 101,900 euros, the 380 hp Macan S with six-cylinder 2.9 Biturbo is available from 120,800 euros. But more expensive is easier. Our test car was sprayed in the delicious color Papaya orange for 1106 euros and equipped with a beautiful leather package for more than 1800 euros. Then you are already at more than 142,000 euros. It could be even crazier, because the car in the photos was ‘decorated’ for a total of about 30,000 euros. We can afford that you have to pay extra for heated seats in the back. But charging a surcharge for active cruise control, self-dimming mirrors and a heated windscreen, we find that in this price range just money-making.

What do I think of the Porsche Macan GTS (2021)?

On most sport utility vehicles, I think ‘sport’ stands for fishing, hiking and shuffleboard. In the case of the Macan, it’s a completely different story; what a beast this is. You can throw and toss it like a hot hatch, but at the same time it is a practical family car. Provided the children do not yet claim a place in the youth selection of the national basketball team.

Call me old-fashioned, but a car like this gives me a lot more driving pleasure than a fast EV. For ‘whom gasoline blood flows through d’adren’, it is the interplay of mechanical sounds and reactions that makes the hairs on the arms and scruff of the neck stand up. But let Porsche just now work on an electric successor to the Macan. I get it, and the Taycan shows that an electric Porsche can also be exciting, yet I see it with sadness …

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