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Porsche's strides towards a range of relevant top-end business cars has hit a new peak with the launch of the Macan.
The small 4x4 has its roots in Audi's Q5, although you'd never know to look at or drive, and, with the exception of the 71g/km Panamera and forthcoming 76g/km Cayenne plug-in hybrids, the Macan is the lowest-emitting Porsche ever at 159g/km.
Porsche expanding to a sixth model line for the first time, and into a new and more mainstream segment, opens up the brand to many new corporate buyers. Although there are a pair of petrol engines - the Macan S and the Macan Turbo - it's the 3.0-litre V6 diesel that will be the only one worthy of serious corporate consideration because it's available at 159g/km while its petrol-powered siblings can't get below 212g/km. All come with permanent four-wheel drive and Porsche's PDK automatic gearbox as standard.
The diesel offers power of 258hp, matching its closest rival - BMW's X3 xDrive 30d - and both sit in the same BIK band of 27%, which is lower than other rivals of similar power including the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60 (both 169g/km), and the Infiniti QX50 (224g/km). There is a 159g/km Range Rover Evoque, but at 190hp that is underpowered compared with any of the rivals listed here.
To drive, the Macan is peerless, backing up Porsche's claims of being the most dynamic vehicle in the compact SUV segment. It manages to handle impeccably without the harsh ride offered by an X3, and the diesel engine avoids emitting any sort of clatter. From the inside, it sounds like a petrol, even on start-up. There is a small amount of body roll, but it's well under control in a way that even the X3, previously peerless in terms of enjoyable small 4x4 experiences, can't match.
The interior is all regular Porsche fare, the switchgear is the same as more expensive models, and the sports seats are comfortable and supportive.
While the boot is 40 litres smaller than the Q5 and 50 litres below the X3, it's plenty big enough at 500 litres, although rear seat space could be more generous for adult passengers.
The big news, though, is the huge RV advantage the Macan has over any rival, with KwikCarcost quoting 53.2%, more than nine percentage points clear of the X3's 43.9% and the Q5's 42.6%. That wipes out the price premium the Macan suffers compared with the Audi, and means the Porsche wins on cost per mile. There are cheaper versions of all its rivals, whereas the Macan only has one diesel option, but excluding the pricey plug-in models, it puts Porsche squarely into its most relevant fleet position yet, and it's done so in style.
Model price range
BIK 20/40% per month
Boot space (min/max)
Not cheap, but immense residuals and a great drive