AT THE TRACK

Porsche Macan behaves strangely in Consumer Reports' avoidance-maneuver test

But the otherwise great-handling SUV proves safe

Published: October 15, 2014 03:30 PM

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Porsche Macan being tested at the Consumer Reports track.

Swedish publication Teknikens Varld recently reported that the Porsche Macan exhibited “strange” behavior in its “moose test.” It’s an assessment similar to Consumer Reports’ accident-avoidance maneuver, through which we’ve put thousands of vehicles. We had similar “strange” results with the Macan that we’ve just finished testing. But let’s put that unexpected performance in perspective.

Consumer Reports’ accident-avoidance maneuver assesses how well a vehicle responds to rapid lane changes, simulating a situation where an obstacle appears in front of the car. Picture a deer, or even a moose, stepping into the road. Twist the wheel to the right to go around it, then, while facing opposing traffic, the driver must rapidly return to the proper lane.

This test measures the speed at which a vehicle can accomplish this maneuver and the level of confidence or drama experienced. 

In Consumer Reports’ test, the Macan had a tendency to run wide of the exit cone as its stability control locked up a wheel or two. Consequently, the car momentarily continues straight, then resumes its chosen line. Ultimately, the Macan managed a speed of 51 mph through the course—a reasonable speed that marks this Porsche as being able to safely execute this maneuver. It just does so with an unusual stutter step and at lower speed than its track-holding grip would suggest. (Incidentally, a Toyota RAV4 can do this maneuver quicker.)

We’ve seen similar behavior to various degrees of severity with other models in recent years, most notably in a Mercedes-Benz GL and also in Volvo and Ford SUVs. For what it’s worth, the Swedish publication's Macan was a diesel version, which is heavier than the gas one. Also, the publication's course and methodology are a bit different from ours.

While the Macan’s behavior in this particular test might not be ideal, we don’t think it’s nearly as alarming as say, lifting a wheel or two and tipping up, which can potentially lead to a rollover.

The takeaway? The Macan is the most agile SUV we’ve tested, albeit one with a quirk in our avoidance-maneuver test.

Check back soon for our full road test of the Porsche Macan.

—Gabe Shenhar

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