Porsche Macan T (2022) review: its own worst enemy

► Base Macan, now with added bits► Retains 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine
► Go for a V6

Porsche insists that the T stands for Touring and harks back to lightweight traditionalism. It first bestowed the letter to the 911 in 1968 and has since stuck it on the back of cars focussed on driver engagement above all else. But personally I think for the Macan T it should just be short for trim level.

Driver engagement might sound like a weird phrase to be associated with an SUV, but we are talking about Porsche after all. The Macan is the default choice of small and very quick SUVs and this latest model is the lightest with the most amount of tech attached to it.

Oh, and while I’m here, I should mention that petrol engined Macans are on their way out. Soon enough Macans will only be electric, but it looks like fossil and electron powered models will be on sale together for a bit.

What’s new?

The T sits above the base spec car, but below the S and GTS. As standard it receives Porsche’s Sport Chrono Pack (drive modes, sport response, launch control etc) while it also gets Stuttgart’s adaptive damping system, so it sits 15mm lower than the regular car.

Porsche Macan T (2022) review: its own worst enemy

Cosmetically it receives Agate Grey door mirrors, side blades, spoiler and badging plus the wheels also come in dark titanium.

Look beyond the marketing and the T is essentially a base spec Macan with a lot of the options pre-ticked for customers. This seems like a sensible idea as absolutely boggo Macans are a rare breed.

What’s it like to drive?

It’s a really well composed car. The seating position compromises well between sitting high up like an SUV and feeling cocooned in a sportscar-like way. The hemmed in seats with a soft bottom really help with this.

The steering is pure and informative. It’s supremely easy to place on the road and you’ll do extremely well to break traction. It flows naturally and turn in is precise, sharp and with little body roll.

Porsche Macan T (2022) review: its own worst enemy

The adaptive damping is mated to standard springs (rather than air) and they’re not as soft or as supple as the latter. However, the T is nearly 60kg lighter than an S and you can feel it with the rebound when you come across crappy UK roads. It’s still stiff, but there’s no horrendous bounce.

The seven-speed auto ups its response speeds depending on which driving mode you’re in. It’s rarely caught out, plus with a decisive push to the left on the gear shifter it can be locked into manual.

The 0-62 sprint is over in 6.2seconds. In theory, that’s only 1.6seconds slower than a V6 model but in practice it feels sluggish when driven back-to-back. The 2.0-litre doesn’t zing, zang or zoom. 

Porsche Macan T (2022) review: its own worst enemy

Peak torque is over and done with by 5,000rpm. It methodically builds up revs before dumping them and starting again when the turbo’s on boost. It’s a great engine for a hot-hatch but a bit disappointing when underneath the gold, black and red emblem.

Our test car had Porsche’s Torque Vectoring Plus system (£1,052) which allows it to apply brake pressure to the wheels independently to control yaw. Which is a bit of overkill for a small SUV with a mere 261bhp already fitted with four-wheel drive and traction control.

How’s the interior?

The materials used are high end and everything is well bolted together. The infotainment is slick and easy to use, and of course has the relevant Apple CarPlay/Android Auto controls. Dials are easy to read and still incorporate Porsche’s signature revs first approach.

Porsche Macan T (2022) review: its own worst enemy

The centre console is nicely pared back, with a central housing being split by the gear shifter. Physical switches for the heating too, which is a nice touch.

Broadly it can feel a touch dark in here as standard, but work your way through the configurator and you’ll find much lighter colours that can add a bit of pep.

Practicality

This is unchanged from the rest of the Macan lineup. This means it’s useful enough for four tall adults to sit comfortably, while also being easy to get in and out of. The middle seat in the rear is a squeeze because of the transmission tunnel, but hey, we doubt many people really choose a Macan to go five up in.

The 488-litre boot is wide and flat, plus it’s easy to park. Well, assuming you go for the optional reversing camera (£362).

Verdict

In my notebook I have ‘only £1,000 cheaper than the V6’ scrawled unneatly with two double lines underneath it. If you drive a Macan T back-to-back with an S you’ll be able to feel that it’s a bit lighter on its feet in the corners and the ride is just a smidge better.

But the 2.0-litre engine just isn’t special enough, it’s not really that much more economical than the 3.0-litre (WLTP pegs it at less than 3mpg in favour of the 2.0-litre) and despite the ‘with all the options’ ticked tagline, the model we drove still had nearly £7,000 worth of kit on it. £354 a phone pouch, anyone?

In the market for a Macan? Ask yourself how much you really want a lightweight sports SUV over an S that weighs a bit more but feels so much more special.

Porsche Macan T (2022) review: its own worst enemy

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