porsche macan Full Overview

Somewhere between pirouetting the 2023 Porsche Macan T perfectly around one of Angeles Crest Highway’s myriad hairpin corners and blasting down a rock-walled straight, an odd thought entered my mind: “I’m bored.” Having driven just about every modern Porsche on ACH, one of the country’s best driving roads, this was a new experience. Maybe if the SUV’s hood was adorned with any other manufacturer’s crest, I’d feel more engaged—but as far as Porsches go? Well, the company has proven many times over it’s capable of building more thrilling vehicles.

What’s the Macan T?

Let’s back up to get an overall understanding of the 2023 Porsche Macan T. A new addition to the recently refreshed Macan lineup, the Macan T is designed to bring a little bit of the pitch-perfect Porsche GTS magic into the Macan’s four-cylinder line. Previously only available on the 911 and 718, the “T” trim is best thought of as a Macan GTS Lite, featuring sportier tuning and aesthetics in a more wallet-friendly package.

On the performance front, the 2023 Porsche Macan T gets 20-inch wheels (up from 19s), Porsche Active Suspension Management, and a sportier, more rearward-biased all-wheel-drive tune as standard. For those looking to turn up the wick a bit more, Porsche also offers a T-specific version of Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus and its air suspension, the latter of which is “GTS-inspired” and sits a little more than a third of an inch lower than the standard steel springs. Our Macan T test car was equipped with both options.

On the aesthetic front, the Macan T’s exterior is distinguished by the 20-inch wheels; Agate Gray trim on its grille, mirrors, side blades, and spoiler; and black-trimmed window surrounds and exhaust tips. Inside, the Macan T gets sport seats finished with a suit-like pinstriped cloth with gray contrast stitching, Porsche logos embossed on the front headrests, and a heated GT Sport steering wheel.

Unlike the Macan GTS, which gets a power bump over the lesser Macan S, the Macan T shares its powertrain with the base Macan—an upgraded-for-2022 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 good for 261 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. It’s backed up by a PDK seven-speed twin-clutch automatic.

So What’s Wrong With How It Drives?

Yes, yes—a “boring” Porsche? Really? I’m admittedly being a bit hyperbolic, but having driven just about every Porsche model made in the last decade and then some, the four-pot Macan may feel the least Porsche-like of all of them, and the T package does little to mask this fact.

Let’s start with the good. The 2023 Porsche Macan T is undeniably capable on a good back road. You will never mistake it for being outright fast, but it’s quick enough, especially once the turbo spools up as the tach swings past 2,000 rpm. Porsche’s PDK helps make the most of the four-pot’s powerband, shifting intelligently and quickly as it does in every Porsche product. However, to make the most of the limited passing power on tap, I found myself using the Sport Response button (it puts the powertrain responses on high alert) on the steering wheel far more than I ever have on other Porsches.

When it comes to stopping power, the company offers tungsten-carbide-coated brakes for more bite, but the stock brakes deliver plenty of performance and great feel. Porsche hasn’t disclosed pricing for the upgrade for 2023 (it’s a $4,440 upcharge on 2022 models), but it’s probably of questionable value from a performance standpoint, as the Macan T isn’t capable of speeds where the upgrade seems worth it for the street.

The Macan’s steering rack provides light and vague feedback; switching into Sport or Sport Plus makes the steering feel heavier in an attempt to mask the lack of communication from the front end, but it’s still a bit like driving after your hands have fallen asleep. In other words, the Macan T, like the rest of the Macan line, responds predictably but without the immediacy or precision you get in other Porsche products.

Similarly, suspension tuning is just OK, relatively speaking with the high-bar Porsche scale in mind. In Normal and Sport modes, our air-suspension-equipped 2023 Macan T dispatched with impacts quickly and without drama, but the hint of body roll allowed in these two modes amplifies the numb steering, resulting in a game of catch-up on winding roads as the body roll throws the Macan slightly off its line. Sport Plus thankfully firms the suspension up enough to mitigate this issue.

What About the Rest?

The Macan T’s interior—refreshed last year—looks sharp with those T-exclusive pinstriped sport seats, which are comfortable and supportive, both around town and during aggressive driving. Outside, the Agate Gray accents look great and are a refreshing change of pace from the black accents most automakers use to denote sporty special editions.

Is the Macan T Worth It?

Porsche hasn’t announced pricing for the 2023 Macan T but says it will sticker in the low $60,000s, slotting between the base Macan and the Macan S. Our best guess says you can expect to see the Macan T start around $63,000 or so, making it about $3,000 cheaper than the 375-hp, V-6-powered Macan S and about $7,000 more than the base non-T Macan. If we’re right, that would make the Macan T pricier than the related Audi SQ5 (349 hp, $57,590 to start), the 385-hp Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 ($60,950), and the 382-hp BMW X3 M40i ($58,540). Although some might argue the Macan S and not the T is the direct competitor of the aforementioned models, the T’s likely pricing position could suggest otherwise.< /p>

Ultimately, the 2023 Porsche Macan T is a perfectly fine performance SUV. However, it simply doesn’t stand out as being quite as magic as most of Porsche’s other offerings across its varied vehicle lineup. This is a manufacturer that has managed to make a 2.5-ton electric sedan, a 631-hp SUV, and sub-$70,000 roadster all drive with the same passion and purity as our Performance Vehicle of the Year, the Porsche 911 GT3.

High-power Porsches are the stuff of enthusiasts’ dreams, but the truth is that sometimes the more approachable models are the ones occupying the sweet spots in the line—after all, that’s why we love the GTS variants so much. We’d like to see the Macan T capture some of that essence, with more organic steering feel, a hair more power, and a touch less body roll. After all, Porsche has proven time and again that its vehicles—any of them—have the potential to excite.

Looks good! More details?

2023 Porsche Macan T Specifications
BASE PRICE $63,000 (est)
LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 2.0L/261-hp/295-lb-ft turbo direct-injected DOHC I-4
TRANSMISSION 7-speed twin-clutch auto
CURB WEIGHT 4,300 lb (mfr)
WHEELBASE 110.5 in
L x W x H 186.1 x 75.9 x 63.2 in
0-60 MPH 5.8 sec (mfr est)
EPA FUEL ECON 19/25/21 mpg (est)
EPA RANGE (COMB) 360 miles
ON SALE Fall, 2022

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