This post is about my experience and reality of owning, driving and maintaining Porsche Macan S Diesel for 3 years. Real world review.
Prehistory – choosing the Macan
I’m quite confident saying that many men dream about owning Porsche at some point in their lives, if not owning, then at least admiring cars of this brand. And so this was no different with myself. I came to the point in my life where it became realistic to own one of the Porsche cars. Being thoughtful of finance I’ve chosen to go with under two years old 2017 Porsche Macan S with a mileage of 36k miles. I would have waited for longer to own one, but there was such a great opportunity and the car with an amazing spec that after all the used Macan market researched I’ve done, I realised that was a unique and rare chance to own highly specced Porsche with my preferred options. I’m sure there will be many saying “Porsche and Diesel” is a wrong combination, however, the nature of the use I’ve intended was long distance trips on the highways. Therefore diesel made complete sense. To add up to this, I’ve tested Macan with the 2.0 petrol engine, and Diesel version having a greater torque by about two times made the decision easy. Who would say V6 diesel sounds worse than 4 cylinder 2.0 petrol engine? Add up PSE (Porsche Sports Exhaust) and V6 diesel sounds a complete fun. Surely petrol S, GTS or Turbo version would be much more responsive, however a lot less efficient too.
Long road trips
At the time of writing, I’ve owned this car for 2 years and 8 months. I’ve covered around 30k miles (around 50k km) in it. I’ve been to quite a few trips across Europe, checked out the German Autobahns too. The car fulfilled my expectations completely. It provided sensation of some power as well as was quite efficient. Long trips were easy and I never felt tired after driving it. 18-ways adjustable seats were very comfortable as you can adjust them to your every possible need. Handling it while running 21 inch wheels was a great pleasure with precision feeling too. Adaptive suspension seemed to do what it was intended for, and some rougher roads weren’t harsh, as well as there was enough stiffness in Hard suspension mode, which allowed to enjoy some twisty roads with confidence. Adaptive air suspension for sure would have provided even more comfort, however I was a little concerned about it’s long-term reliability and cautiously stayed away from it.
Macan specification overview
So the Porsche Macan that I’ve got was quite full of options, and here I’ll briefly overview each of them, perhaps that’d help for future owners of this model to decide what options are for them.
- PDLS+ – Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus – you may not notice it if your previous car had good lights. However, once you sit in economy rental for a couple of days and get to drive at night on the twisty roads – you realise how much PDLS+ gives you.
- Adaptive suspension (non-air) – a compromise between reliability and driving comfort & sportiness. Soft mode is nice on lower quality roads, sport mode is good when you want to go faster or want more confidence when manoeuvring. And when you want to get sporty handling experience with confidence in turns – sport plus is the way to go (the hardest suspension).
- Sport Chrono Package – it’s not just a clock on the panel! It’s Sport Plus which makes throttle response and gearbox shifting somewhat aggressive.
- Adaptive cruise control – feature that brakes for you if there is a car in front of you, keeps the distance, making driving a relaxed matter. Honestly, I’ve used it only in the boring situations like going through speed cameras or more extensive city zones to avoid temptation to go a little faster 🙂
- 360 camera view – how could have I missed this important feature! If you like precision and awareness, this feature helps so much with a bigger car like the Macan. You can see all your surroundings, makes life so much easier in narrow spaces, without anxiety of “how far the surroundings are”. Really helps to optimise reverse driving manoeuvres. Maybe not 100% precise with the curbs in the view, but helpful enough to see your position!
- Blind zone indicators – useful when driving in left and right hand drive environments (UK vs Europe). Just an additional eye when you may be missing something in the blind zone yourself.
- 21 inch Sports Classic wheels – sharper handling, sporty looks.
- Panoramic roof – brighter and nicer during the gloomy days, pleasure in the warmer weather when driving on some nice roads, not too fast, with the roof half open! Breeze of fresh air.
- Roof rails – got myself roof transport system from Porsche for carrying my bikes, and it does the job very well. Is there when you need it.
- Porsche Sports Exhaust – can it sound on a diesel? Oh yes it can. Not overly noisy, but gives that growl that personally inspires me and makes want more of it!
- Dimming rear view mirrors – you forget the blinding lights from the cars behind, unless you get into a car that doesn’t have this feature!
- Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system with Apple CarPlay support – so convenient to have your phone power with navigations apps and phone calls controls on your car interface. Built in navigation is not bad either, but cars simply can’t keep up so well with mobile apps which can also be used via Apple CarPlay too!
- 40/20/40 rear seat split – useful when having to take some long dimension things with yourself, and you don’t have to sacrifice half of the rear seat! You can use just the middle “20”.
- Privacy glass – rear windows are tinted, so it gives extra coziness inside and privacy too. Actually the car looks good too!
- Exterior chrome in black – makes the looks so much more minimalistic and solid.
- Folding mirrors – useful in narrow parking spots, you just fold them either automatically (managed through car settings) or by simply long-press on the key fob’s lock button.
- Lane change assist – I hope that’s the right name for this feature. I haven’t used it much, it is supposed to help you notice when you’re about unintentionally to leave your lane.. I almost never used it. Only at the beginning to understand car’s position in the lane better. So basically I haven’t found it any helpful.
Maintenance over 3 years
- Tyres – moved away from Pirelli P Zero to Continental Conti Sport Contact. Continental seem much more civilised, quieter, softer rubber, better grip, however will probably wear faster.
- Brake fluid – what a difference, I though I’ve got new brakes after the fluid was replaced.
- Engine oil – I’m still surprised the change interval is 20k miles OR two years. Seems way too long, but perhaps diesel engine doesn’t rev that high and long-life oil lasts longer?
- PDK oil – once every 40k miles (or every second oil change). No noticeable differences before/after change.
- Brake pads – crucial part, more sensitive brakes, more stopping potential. So crucial for a fast car! Especially if you ever go to Germany 🙂
- Windshield wipers once – I never wait until I can’t see. Vision is very important and in addition I’ve tried rain repellant additive to washer fluid to make rainy days a complete pleasure for eyesight.
Perhaps few other small things included in the service packages. And oh, the most importantly I’ve extended the warranty for another two years after original three year factory warranty ran out. The best decision ever.
Faults and issues over 3 years
Air flow sensor – unexpected limbo mode when accelerating gently uphill in 7th gear. No issues when driving harder in the lower gear whatsoever.
Belt tensioner – some rattling noise after a long run in the hot summer day. Replaced under warranty. I’m not completely sure though that was the cause, but never had such intense rattling ever after.
Memory seats – something could have gotten stuck, preventing memory seats from getting into programmed position automatically. After some sort of “reset” it is all fine and never failed again.
Transfer Case – stuttering and unpleasant behaviour from stand still, later whenever having to accelerate. No signs since bought, however occurred and was replaced under extended warranty at around 55k miles.
Rear passenger window guide as the window was behaving as if it was obstruct. Windows seal and guide replaced under warranty and issue is gone.
Front passenger window – no automatic close after behaving as if being obstructed for a few times. Refusing to open / close windows using key fob. Yet to find out what could that be (perhaps someone’s attempt to get into the car by forcing window down?). That must be a matter of some sort of “reset” to fix it.
Front doors being more difficult to close in the first attempt if you’re used to the cars with lighter doors. A soft close would be such an awesome solution in the Macan. That’s apparently same with all the Macan models to date. Perhaps better with the latest facelift models?
All in all Porsche Macan seems rather expensive to maintain, however I couldn’t find a substitute when it comes to the driving experience and confidence. As many cars I’ve driven, none lived up to the feeling of “sticking to the road”, cornering precisely, handling intuitively even if naughtily loosing the rear end with the stability control being completely off. A very capable car for almost all possible life scenarios. From long highway trips, to light off-roading, being practical when you want to carry your bikes and much more. Porsche Macan raised the bar so high that driving many other cars which have nor four wheel drive, nor wide tyres or adaptive suspension… they all feel like unpredictable animals on a slippery surface (especially in the rain) and wanting to kill you on every corner with no grip. Of course, I’m exaggerating a little, there are plenty of good sporty cars, but Porsche lives up to it’s name and this so-called SUV drives more like a sports car than SUV really.