Porsche Macan GTS:
The automotive sweet spot
The Porsche Macan GTS gains a bit more visual aggression due to its revised front and rear bumpers. (Photo: Rory Daley)

Clichés are often based on some truth, and in the case of the Porsche Macan GTS it falls into two of them: The first, the one car for everything, the other is that the GTS badge is sweet spot for Porsche vehicles.

What better way to test both clichés than take a 700-mile roundtrip across south and central Florida. Why? Because a road trip always reveals chinks in the armour of any vehicle.

Spoiler alert: None to be found here.

Like all Porsches, the Macan has been more of an evolution, rather than revolution. The theory being why get rid of the good and start over. Visually, the Papaya Metallic tester on its 21-inch gloss black wheels provided to Auto not only stands out in super car-jaded Miami, but highlights the recent updates. The body colour options remind everyone that the Macan is the younger, more playful brother to the larger Cayenne, while the original soft round shape, now has some serious bite to it.

Luxury meets sports car is the best way to describe the interior of the Macan GTS. (Photo: Rory Daley)

The front fascia of the GTS is very aggressive, boasting wider openings behind which the massive coolers necessary for its increased performance peek out in mild anger. The rear is slightly revised, but maintains the LED light signature and badging.

The more compact dimensions, driving and parking assist technology make the Macan easy to operate in the bustling downtown Miami streets. While waiting on traffic lights, or just paused due to congestion, one can take the time out to enjoy the many amenities of the Porsche. There's traditional luxury as many features can be automated or are powered for convenience.

Leather, with embossed Porsche crest and deviated stitching, blesses every inch of the interior, while carbon fibre and aluminium accents hint at the sporty nature of the Macan GTS. Technology is also abound, but the large crystal clear infotainment touchscreen and the main control buttons hidden under a piano black surface manage to keep these elements subdued.

The cabin feels more driver-focused than many SUVs, yet there's more than enough space and practicality via storage solutions for the average family. The panoramic sunroof does even more to increase interior space when open.

The 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 develops 434 hp giving the Macan GTS a sprint to 60mph in 4.3 seconds with the Sport Chrono package. (Photo: Rory Daley)

Fire up the 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 and the refinement continues. At low to average speeds the Macan GTS gobbles up highway miles with unflappable poise. There's no ECO mode, but it can deliver over 30mpg when driven with restraint. The suspension is never harsh, partly due to its adjustable nature. Interior noise is low, never affecting the BOSE Surround Sound System.

One of the charms of the Macan has always been its sports car-like performance. It may appear and work like an SUV on its surface, but dig deep and it retains every characteristic expected of a vehicle wearing a Porsche badge. In seconds the leather-wrapped, heated/ventilated powered seats with memory function can be made sports car firm in preparation for spirited driving. Launch control is a matter of engaging SPORT+, following the proper pedal sequence, and 4.3 seconds later — exhaust crackles and all, the Macan is at 60mph after several lightning shifts from its 7-speed PDK transmission. For those willing to risk their driver's licence, 168mph can be seen on the long straight American interstate network with ease.

The Macan GTS isn't just a straight-line cruising champ. On the back roads it shines just as well. Be it long sweepers, tight corners, linked s-turns, the adjustable suspension does an impeccable job to maintain performance car levels of body control while the steering exhibits pin-point accuracy. Push hard and the 434bhp is not just distributed perfectly to all four wheels, but the braking and handling inspires utmost confidence in all conditions, day or night, wet or dry.

The GTS trim is the middle ground for those who want the best of the performance features from their Porsche, but still want to retain that sense of luxury. It works well here. The Macan is already a fine luxury vehicle with exceptional driving dynamics beyond its class rivals. Layer on the GTS badge — and all the performance gear that comes it — and it puts the Macan into a different league.

The compact nature of the Macan means a more sports car-like performance when necessary while having a very sedan-like practicality. (Photo: Rory Daley)

Put through its paces across the state of Florida, the Macan provided a perfect blend of comfort, luxury, practicality, fuel efficiency and, best of all, driving excitement when possible. The Macan GTS is the sweet spot, not just between luxury and performance, but car and SUV.

BY RORY DALEY Auto writer

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