Like a Golf GTI | Review of the 2023 Porsche Macan T: an agile SUV — 98.5 Montréal


2023 Porsche Macan T, profile

Auto123 updatestry the 2023 Porsche Macan T.

When I look at my shoe collection, I realize that I have quite a wide range of shoes. In addition to my sneakers for my sports activities, I own a clean pair of shoes for special occasions, a more casual pair of shoes and even an old pair of sneakers that I keep for cutting the lawn …or for any messy work at home after all!

It’s somewhat in this spirit that I approached this test drive of yet another version of the popular German crossover. Because yes, you can have a Macan in your garage for all situations. The Macan T (T for Touring) is new this year, fitting just above the base model and under the S livery, equipped with a twin-turbo V6 engine, let’s remember.

Although the Macan range is made up of a series of sneakers, the Macan T appears to have been developed for the Olympics, the crest that hones the vehicle’s parameters « a bit more » like a hyper-specialized sneaker developed for a sport in particular.

It’s not the first time I’ve sat behind the wheel of a T version (911 T, 718 Cayman T); so I kinda knew what to expect, although an SUV doesn’t offer the same kind of experience as a rear- or mid-engined sports car, we agree.

Note, however, that this model came directly from Germany, despite the Ontario plates installed on the vehicle. However, the option costs mentioned in the text are those of Porsche Canada.

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Porsche Macan T 2023, crest

What does the T bring to the Macan?
Before giving you my driving impressions – because beyond the utility side, the Macan T is above all a driving tool for the purist – I must explain the distinctions of this specific model.

From the outset, you have to get up early to recognize the physical features exclusive to the Macan T. At the front, in the center of the shield, the central fin is dressed in Agate Gray coloring, a shade that we Also found on the shells are mirrors and protective strips on the sides or « sideblades » as the manufacturer likes to call them on its official website. Also note that the rear spoiler, the rear diffuser and the badges are painted in this color, like the 20-inch diameter rims borrowed from the Macan S for the occasion. The details fit well with this Intense Black Metallic bodywork (not to be confused with the Black delivered free of charge).

Inside, the half-leather, half-fabric Sport seats come standard, a detail that will ensure that front-seat passengers will be held in place when cornering with vivacity. In the center of the seats, a striped fabric – or Sport Tex Stripe if you prefer the exact name – looks great in this all-black cabin, as does the brand crest engraved in the leather of the headrests. .

The GT suede Alcantara multifunction steering wheel is also a big part of the show, though I found the latter to be slippery at times. Driving gloves would almost be recommended here, because to enjoy such a pleasant steering wheel and such precise steering, there is nothing better than having both hands « taped » to this last.

And for those who closely or indirectly follow the evolution of the brand’s most agile crossover, the dashboard now has this vast touch screen – 10.9 inches diagonally – which is very responsive with graphics worthy of the standards of the Stuttgart brand.

Porsche Macan T 2023, headlight

But still…
However, it is the inclusion of the PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) system which lowers the chassis by an additional 15 mm which distinguishes the Macan T a little more, the only one to be able to take advantage of both this device and the suspension at steel springs. In this case, however, the vehicle had swapped its springs for an air suspension ($1,590) which reduces the height of the body by an additional 10 mm. With such a low level, I must add that the Macan T almost looks like a family car. On the other hand, at its highest level, the vehicle seems ready for a gravel path.

The PTM (Porsche Traction Management) system is also part of the starting equipment, this one which was designed to promote a feeling of a rear-wheel-drive car. The Sport Chrono set is also delivered ex-factory. The engineers have also enlarged the anti-roll bars at the front, which stiffens the vehicle somewhat. The PTV Plus system (for Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus), which works in concert with an electronic limited-slip differential to bite even more adequately into the asphalt, adds $1,700 to the bill.

2023 Porsche Macan T, three-quarter front

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Driving
The least I can say is that the Macan T changed my opinion of the crossover, especially in the face of the base livery. The Macan T gets the same 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine delivering 261 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque and the same seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, but there’s that feeling of driving a firm and hyper-sharp sports car, especially when the Sport mode is engaged via the small wheel on the steering wheel, an impression absent from the Macan “without the T”. The powertrain is not a thunderbolt like that of the higher liveries, but it is sufficient for dynamic driving, and above all, economical at the pump.

On the other hand, when placed in Comfort mode, the SUV becomes softer for the occupants. At the risk of repeating myself, the T livery is not ideal for riding on the worn surfaces of our road network with the sportier driving modes. On the highway, however, where it’s generally smoother, the Macan T behaves like a heavier and less throaty Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Quieter than its V6-powered peers, the Macan T feels firmer, more athletic in its execution. Tailored for backcountry roads, the Macan T is no dealer in speed, but around corners it’s (very) hard to fault. Braking, without being as powerful as on the GTS liveries for example, does its job without grumbling.

I still have some reservations about the use of the piano black finish inside the cabin, but apart from this detail which sometimes blinds front-row passengers, I have no complaints about the environment of the passengers. The driving position is perfect, while the execution is on par with the brand’s other products.

2023 Porsche Macan T, three-quarter rear

The final word
Between either of the sports cars from Stuttgart and this astonishing SUV agile as a cheetah, I still prefer to slip inside one of the many variations of the 911 or the tandem 718, but to take advantage of the agility – and on the utility side of the Macan, the Touring model is a superb option for tackling the interlaced roads of the globe, whether in Quebec or elsewhere!

WE love

The race look
Sporty handling
General quality

We love less

The firmness of the suspension (and Quebec roads)
The asking price (!)
The timid sound of the engine

The main competition

Alfa Romeo Stelvio
Audi Q5 / Q5 Sportback
BMW X3 / X4
Cadillac XT4
Infiniti QX55
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
Lexus NX
Lincoln Corsair
Mercedes-Benz GLC / GLC Coupe
Volvo XC60

2023 Porsche Macan T, rear

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