Porsche’s brilliant bullet train

This is one of the big debuts of 2014 – the Macan, Porsche’s rival to such favourites of monied suburbanistas as the Audi Q5, the BMW X3 and the Range Rover Evoque, says Sam Philip on Topgear.com.

The range-topping Turbo S model will set you back £59,300 – which will buy you a 394bhp, 3.6-litre bi-turbo petrol V6, good for a 4.6-second 0-62mph time and a top speed of 165mph. And “crikeymoses” is it quick. It’s not quite so “retina-detaching” as the 911 Turbo, but by SUV standards, the Macan is “a bullet train of a thing”.

The defining aspect of the Macan Turbo is its handling, however, says Greg Kable in Autocar. “Fling the Macan Turbo down a back road at a decent clip and it responds beautifully, offering generous feel and a good deal of feedback through wonderfully weighted and engaging electro-mechanical steering.” If there is a more engaging SUV, “I’ve yet to drive it”.

It is unlikely that many Macan buyers will venture far off-road, if at all, but it is “quite useful away from the asphalt” too. It’s no bargain, but when an SUV is this good, it’s hard not to believe that it won’t anyway become “the fastest-selling Porsche of all time”.

If practicality and space are an issue, you might be better off with the BMW X3, says Rory White in What Car. But if you’re attracted to the Macan primarily for its promise of performance, handling and luxury, then the Porsche has no rival.

Price: £59,300
Engine: V6, 3,604cc, turbocharged, petrol, four-wheel drive
Power: 394bhp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 405lb ft at 1,350rpm
Top speed: 165mph
0-62mph: 4.6 seconds
Economy: 31.7mpg
Carbon dioxide: 208g/km

Merryn

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