2017 Porsche Macan adds four-cylinder engine - Weekend

2017 Porsche Macan adds four-cylinder engine

The Macan, Porsche’s smallest SUV, is more affordable and more fuel efficient for 2017 and is stocked with more standard equipment, including a rearview camera.

The new base model, called simply the 2017 Macan, has the Macan’s first four-cylinder engine and carries a starting retail price, including destination charge, of $48,850. That’s $4,745 less than the starting retail price of the 2016 Macan which came only with V-6s.

There is less power in the new base Macan than in last year’s base model and less power than in the other four 2017 Macans with six-cylinder engines.

But the 2-liter four cylinder is turbocharged, and the 252 horsepower and 273 foot-pounds of torque generated provide plenty of get up and go and strong cruising speed in typical Porsche fashion. In fact, if the test vehicle was any indication, drivers need to keep a close eye on the speedometer, because this new Macan easily gets to 85 miles an hour on highways without the driver realizing it.

The special blended character of this Porsche — part SUV and all sports car — remains intact. This new Macan, at just over 15 feet in length, feels like a higher-riding but still tenacious, road-hugging Porsche, agile and responsive.

The smaller engine is lighter weight than the 3-liter and 3.6-liter sixes, so the base Macan with no options weighs just 3,902 pounds — 210 pounds less than a Macan with a V-6.

The lower weight and fuel efficient four cylinder produced better fuel economy ratings from the US government: 20 miles per gallon in city driving and 25 mpg at legal highway speeds.

The gas tank is sizable, at 19.8 gallons, and the Macan four-cylinder engine uses premium fuel. But for the first time, the Macan’s travel range on a single tank of gasoline tops 400 miles. Even the test Macan, which was driven in a sporty manner and averaged 20.7 mpg, could go more than 400 miles without a fill-up.

After just a bit of turbo lag, power in the test SUV came smoothly and forcefully through the seven-speed PDK automatic transmission, and the engine sounded powerful.

Brakes had strong stopping power, and steering reacted quickly to even slight inputs from the driver.

The array of 19 buttons clustered around the Macan gearshifter in the center console is an impressive presentation, yet easy to understand. (AP)

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