A Porsche for $54k? No wonder the German performance brand’s sales are soaring. New for 2017, the Macan compact SUV starts life with an economical 4-cylinder turbo engine that’s still quick enough…

2017 Porsche Macan Road Test

It's too early to tell exactly why Porsche has improved Macan sales so dramatically since its first full year of availability in 2015 when it sold 2,121 units, to the close of 2016 when its final tally was an impressive 2,800, but its recent ability to target an entirely new audience of entry-level luxury buyers probably had something to do with it.

Enter the all-new 2017 Porsche Macan. No, I'm not talking about the fabulous Macan S and its 340 horsepower 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 that's been available since the sporty utility debuted as a 2015 model. That trim continues forward into 2017 as one of the compact luxury SUV segment's quickest and most agile vehicles, but its $61,400 price point, while reasonable for what you get, puts it out of reach of many would-be buyers. Porsche has addressed this issue with a new base four-cylinder Macan that starts at just $54,100, hence the stronger sales numbers.

Yes, it seems hard to believe but you can potentially purchase Read Full Story
It’s too early to tell exactly why Porsche’s Macan has improved its sales so dramatically from its first full calendar year of 2015 when it sold 2,121 units to the close of 2016 when its final tally…

2017 Porsche Macan

2017 Porsche Macan
Even the near base Macan looks great, seen here with upgraded alloys and that’s about it. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
It’s too early to tell exactly why Porsche’s Macan has improved its sales so dramatically from its first full calendar year of 2015 when it sold 2,121 units to the close of 2016 when its final tally was an impressive 2,800, but the model’s ability to target an entirely new audience of entry-level luxury buyers as the 2017 model year began last fall likely had something to do with it.
2017 Porsche Macan
Dark colours seem to work best with the Macan, or at least that’s our opinion. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Enter the all-new 2017 Porsche Macan. No, I’m talking about the 2016 Macan S, which drove all four wheels through a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 with 340 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque, conjoined to a seven-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox. That reasonably priced $59,200 model continues forward into 2017 as one the compact luxury SUV segment’s fastest vehicles. Rather, the model that likely boosted sales at the close of last year is the new base four-cylinder Macan that starts at just $52,700.
2017 Porsche Macan
The Macan feels more like you’re riding in a sports car than an SUV, although its taller ride height is much better for visibility. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Yes, it’s for real. A Porsche you can potentially purchase for less than $50k if you negotiate a discount, and while powered by a seemingly mainstream VW-sourced 252-horsepower 2.0-litre turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder with 273 lb-ft of torque it still pulls off a relatively quick 6.7-second sprint to 100km/h (or 6.5 with the as-tested Sport Chrono Package) before attaining a top track speed of 229 km/h. The new engine is actually based on Audi’s latest 2017 A4 2.0 TFSI powerplant, but anyone denying Volkswagen roots is either ill informed or more likely working from a Porsche-financed marketing/PR department.
2017 Porsche Macan
A new PCM infotainment system is better in every way, thanks to navigation that actually works. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
I’m going to quote fuel economy numbers of 11.6 L/100km city and 9.3 highway only because they matter to Porsche, as I can’t see many Porsche buyers caring all that much about saving money at the pump, or at least that’s not likely the reason they sprang for the base Macan. This is a dollars and cents option (or what I like to call a dollars and “sense” option), a way for someone considering an Audi Q5, or a similarly powered compact luxury SUV, to spring for a Porsche.
2017 Porsche Macan
Yes, you’re looking at suede-like Alcantara and leather upholstered sport seats. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Speaking of competitors (and now we can truly name these brands as Porsche rivals), the Macan managed to pass right on by Lincoln’s more affordably priced MKC and Infiniti’s (granted long-in-tooth) QX50 on the sales chart last year, the latter likely to claw its way back after its long awaited replacement debuts this coming fall. Still, the achievement is significant for an SUV that costs considerably more.
2017 Porsche Macan
Rear seat roominess is excellent and comfort supreme. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
You get a lot for the extra coin, mind you, starting with one of the best balanced chassis in the compact SUV sector, no matter the trim level chosen, as well as arguably attractive Porsche styling (I think the Macan is Porsche’s most alluring SUV and one of the more attractive in its segment), and an extremely well made interior filled with soft-touch surfaces, high quality trims, and state-of-the-art digital interfaces.
2017 Porsche Macan
A roomy cargo compartment makes the Macan one of the most liveable Porsches available. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
The primary gauge cluster remains a mostly analog affair, which is probably a good thing for Porsche purists (they pout a lot when Porsche messes with things like… anything), but the PCM infotainment touchscreen is larger at seven inches and includes features like proximity sensing (digital buttons pop up when your fingers get near), tablet style multi-touch gestures, and Apple CarPlay (sorry Android users, Porsche doesn’t believe you’re interested in its vehicles despite the fact you dominate pricey smartphone sales).
2017 Porsche Macan
Is that an inline four in there? You got it. 2017 is Porsche’s year of the “four”, thanks to four-cylinder power in its 718 Boxster and Cayman as well as the new 911. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Personally, I think Porsche will rethink this choice by next year, especially if it wants to make more headway in emerging markets like China that are leading global smartphone purchasing (Huawei, Oppo, and BBK are some of the fastest growing brands). According to American IT research and advisory firm Gartner.com, as of the fourth quarter of 2016 99.6 percent of all smartphone sales were Android and iPhone, but of the 432 million smartphones sold in the last quarter, 352 million ran Android (81.7 percent) and 77 million ran iOS (17.9 percent).
2017 Porsche Macan
Thanks to this new four-cylinder entry model and the new GTS that arrived earlier, expect sales of the Macan to continue in an upward trajectory. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
On the positive the new PCM infotainment system is a marked improvement over the outgoing system that was riddled with problems, especially its navigation system that was downright comical, while Porsche also provides new placement for its powered USB port so its easier to plug in your smartphone (even if you’re still using a Windows phone or Blackberry), while Wi-Fi can now be had via on-board internet. Lastly, the new system allows for remote mobile device-to-vehicle connectivity via a downloadable app. Another 2017 bonus is completely revised rear-seat entertainment including a set of monitors attached to the backside of the front headrests, multiple HDMI and USB ports, and an SD card reader, while music and video can be streamed into the system via Wi-Fi. Our 2017 Macan tester included the Sport Chrono Package and a set of larger rims, but little else, which is a good thing as it lets us tell you all about a mostly base model. Make sure you come back to read all about it and peruse through our massive photo gallery…
Recently we reported on Porsche taking home Canadian Black Book’s 2017 Best Overall Brand Award in the Luxury category, as well as four individual model awards. These awards were handed out at the Canadian…

ALG forecasts two Porsche models for best future retained value

Recently we reported on Porsche taking home Canadian Black Book's 2017 Best Overall Brand Award in the Luxury category, as well as four individual model awards. These awards were handed out at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto last week, as were awards for the 2017 ALG Canadian Residual Value Awards. Why two residual value awards? The difference between the CBB awards program and ALG's is that CBB analyzes the past and ALG forecasts the future. On that note the two Porsches chosen to retain their values best after three years are the new 718 Boxster in the Premium Sportscar Segment and the Panamera in the Premium Executive Segment. "I am pleased to accept these two awards from ALG," said Alexander Pollich, President and CEO, Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. "Our new 718 Boxster exemplifies the modern two- seat roadster and provides its occupants with an unrivaled driving and ownership experience. The Panamera underlines its appeal with its second consecutive ALG award with a whole Read Full Story
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2017 Porsche Cayenne Platinum Edition Road Test Review

Just how much does the Cayenne matter to Porsche? To the storied Stuttgart-based premium brand it's worth its weight in gold, or at least platinum.

So far this year Porsche has sold 1,810 two- and four-door sports cars, but Cayenne sales alone add up to 2,115 over the same 11 months. Factor the brand's rising star, the Macan compact SUV into the mix and Porsche's 2016 calendar year sport utility sales have already broken 4,700 units, which means its two SUVs account for almost 77 percent of the brand's 6,100-plus year-to-date sales. In other words, without the Cayenne and new Macan, Porsche would likely cease to exist in Canada. Being that the results are similar in the U.S. and other markets around the world, let's just be glad the powers that be at the helm of this storied brand had the smarts to enter the luxury SUV sector when they did way back in 2002.

After all, the Cayenne is not only a superb family hauler that actually lives up to the first initial in SUV, but Read Full Story
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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster S Road and Track Test Review

Porsche's lovable Boxster has come a long way since I first tested it in S trim way back in Y2K. That would be year 2000 for those too young to have memory of the event, the turn of the previous millennia that was supposed to be the end of everything as we knew it, but in reality was just the beginning of a brave new era of unprecedented technology advancement.

The concept of a Cayenne SUV was mere heresy to Porschephiles in 2000, not the savior that would soon provide much needed funding for now hallowed supercars such as the Carrera GT and 918 Spyder, not to mention Porsche's more attainable sports cars, while Boxster production began just four years earlier in 1996. The model year 2001 Boxster S' 250 horsepower 3.2-litre flat six was good for "a sensational 5.9" seconds to 100km/h, or so I stated with unbridled enthusiasm 16 years ago (I was pretty green back then), which by today's standards is rather inefficient use of so many pistons and cubic centimeters.

The all-new Read Full Story