2022 Porsche Macan T Review

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2022 Porsche Macan T Review 1

The first T-badged Porsche four-door brings a more dynamic edge to the most mainstream Macan.

When Porsche resurrected its ‘T’ touring specification for the 911 Carrera T in 2017, and followed it up with the 718 Boxster T/Cayman T combo two years later, we started asking the inevitable: when would a four-door model get the same treatment?

There wasn’t long to wait. The Macan T (which in Porsche speak means Touring) arrives in Australia mid-2022 with a sharper dynamic brief than the vanilla Porsche Macan, along with sportier styling and an extended equipment list as standard.

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The entry-level car’s 195kW four-cylinder petrol engine is retained, meaning it sits below the V6-powered Porsche Macan S on performance, but a recalibrated chassis, stiffer anti-roll bars and a 15mm ride height reduction (25mm with optional air suspension) promise greater driver appeal.

Visual tweaks include an Agate Grey Metallic front splitter, mirrors and side blades, along with a roof spoiler and 20-inch alloy wheels in exclusive colours. How prominent they look is colour dependent, but all help set it apart from the standard car.

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Inside, the sports seats get Soft-Tex inserts with silver striped stitching and are heated as standard. The Sport Chrono package is also included. Were you to spec a standard Macan to the same level, it would eclipse the pre-options price of a Macan S.

What the T lacks in power compared with the Macan S, it makes up for in weight savings, with 58kg less mass over the front axle. It feels more nimble on turn-in as a result, letting you scythe through corners with the precision normally expected from a sports sedan rather than a compact SUV. The steering is weighted perfectly and the minimal body roll is controlled well.

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Porsche has retuned the all-wheel drive system for a stronger rear bias, and you don’t have to push especially hard to feel it. Exit a particularly tight corner under a heavy throttle and the rear steps out ever so slightly, before collecting itself and pressing on. It allows for an entertaining yet controlled drive when you want, and confidence-inspiring levels of grip everywhere else.

The stiffer set-up is felt through the car’s ability to cling to the road at speed. Sport Plus mode sharpens things up to the extreme, particularly with the optional air suspension that drops the ride height another 10mm on demand, but it also makes you feel every road imperfection, however small. Normal mode is far more relaxed for everyday driving.

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Porsche’s quick-shifting PDK automatic transmission helps to make the most of the engine’s power band, with peak torque arriving at 1800rpm and the turbo spooling up rapidly after, but this isn’t an explosively quick car. It pulls smoothly, and the brake-based torque vectoring fitted to our test car helps to put its power down when traction is limited, but you might find the Sport Response button sees more use here than it might on other Porsche models.

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It doesn’t have a particularly great-sounding engine note, either, although our test car didn’t have the optional sports exhaust fitted. In all other respects, the four-cylinder Macan remains an excellent all-rounder: small enough to place precisely on a narrow road, but with enough space to carry four in (relative) comfort, and with respectable economy when you’re not hustling it around.

Last year’s mid-life update really helped to bring the cabin up to date, with a centre console featuring haptic touch buttons instead of an abundance of physical ones.

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Android Auto sadly remains absent, but Apple CarPlay is present and the PCM infotainment system is a lot more straightforward than other Volkswagen Group offerings.

Stuttgart’s brief was to give Porsche’s best-seller added dynamic appeal, without upsetting the established order. I’d say the Macan T is mission accomplished.

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Keen drivers already considering a four-cylinder Macan shouldn’t have to think too hard about stepping up to the T. It’s not as characterful as the Macan S, and the upgrades won’t make themselves obvious on the daily commute, but on the right road, it’s a more engaging steer than the entry-level offering.

Model: Porsche Macan T
Price: From $91,500 before on-road costs
Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo petrol
Power/torque: 195kW/400Nm
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Available: Mid-2022 (Australia)


Tom Morgan-Freelander

Final Verdict:

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