Well, I’m now just over 2.5wks with the Macan so thought a write-up was in order. By way of background, the Macan was both a spontaneous purchase as well as one which had been many, many years in the making. Since 2008 I’ve been on the cusp of realizing a dream and owning a Porsche but many things have got in the way. None of these necessarily financial – there’s been the battle with myself (I have suffered quite a bit with “imposter syndrome” in the past and believed I wasn’t good enough or that suddenly everything would come crumbling down) and my ex-wife was always one to call time on the idea whenever it was mooted. But once the house was sold and cashflow free’d up, a chance conversation with my girlfriend about a Carrera 997.2 I’d seen at 911Virgin had her immediately say “if you like it, why don’t you buy it”? The seed was sown. That was one lazy afternoon in Frankfurt lying on the sofa playing with the iPad, which then turned into many evenings of trawling the web for both cars and more and more research on “Porsche Ownership”. The brief was simple – I was “permitted” to buy a Porsche, but nothing else. The Porsche was the dream and this was about living a dream, not just replacing a car; since in her opinion (quite rightly), I had a fine car in the F11 530d which was owned outright and wanted for nothing. This was never going to be anything other than an emotional purchase, but it did have to still stack up financially and practically. In the end, the 911 was discounted as a concept. As much as I love driving them and would love to own one (although interestingly, less so now I have the Macan!), it’s just too compromised in many ways. I’d immediately discounted 997.1, even Official Porsche Centre (OPC - approved) cars due to the potential for bore scoring and IMS failure and I know the 997.2 cars have a much better build qualty on top of the DFI and more robust engines. My budget was good enough for a 997.2 OPC warrantied car but on PCP finance, Porsche took a very dim view of residual values (which in reality aren’t the case) which leads to very high monthly payments. They were affordable but not where I wanted to stick my hard-earned. On top of that, the practicality (or lack thereof) meant that this car would be uncomfortable for my daughter on longer journeys and completely useless if we extended our family in due course……..which is the grand plan. After whizzing through Cayenne’s, I kept coming back to the Macan. My Uncle has owned both and I remember loving the Macan. He’s had diesels in all of his Porsche SUVs and although they’re mighty fine units, they still lack soul and I’m done with diesel as a concept anyway. I think it’s particularly difficult to pin hopes on residuals and going back to the fact this was going to be realizing a dream, it had to be petrol. Diesel & Porsche seems a bit of an oxymoron for me and with Porsche themselves distancing themselves from heavy oil as a future fuel, it made my decision easier. So anyway, long and short of it was that I trawled around and came up with the spec I wanted which resulted (in my price bracket of up to 45k) in around 4 cars – all of which were Macan S. There were Macan (base) but they’re a turbo 4-pot, which is also no Porsche IMHO. I’m no big fan of silver, but my car is specced to the gills (with a lot of big things, but missing some smaller things, which I only found out afterwards, but more to that later). I found out during the “due diligence” phase that my car was an ex-press car – its registration number being similar to that of a few press reports I read and then having enquired further, I was sent a couple of videos by the dealership which showed my car getting rave reviews by a couple of well-known journo’s. At this stage I was unsure what to do, but I remembered conversations with my Uncle about when his firm looked after press fleet and other bits I’ve read elsewhere – the manufacturers ensure that the cars are well looked after as they have to be at their best for the journos. Porsche Hatfield also assured me that cars of my spec never went near the track – track work was reserved for those cars with 21” wheels and air suspension. So that then ruled out the other two cars in the OPC network!!! Video presentation, lots of chats on the phone, some haggling on px and list price (I got 7.2% off, which is close to max achievable with Porsche) and it was agreed due to my limited time in the UK that the car would be prepped for collection on testdrive day, paperwork would be done the day before and I could drive it away if I liked it. If not, then no hard feelings. On the day itself we (myself, girlfriend and daughter) at Porsche Hatfield and wandered around parking lot unable to see my car. Upon walking into the showroom, we were greeted and told to wander whilst they found our Salesman. I saw a beautiful looking silver Macan in the showroom and told Martina……….”that’s similar to our one” and carried on looking at all sorts of exotica. When the Salesman came asked if we wanted to see our car and then duly walked us over to what I had thought was a brand new one sitting in the showroom. It wasn’t – it was ours! J We were given time to pour over it and honestly, it was so difficult to think that it was not brand new. The level of preparation was immense. It was detailed to perfection and the only imperfection we could fine was a scuff on the interior plastic trim next to where my daughter sits, some slight scuffs on the entry sills and a tiny mark on the bonnet. Otherwise you’d quite easily have thought it was brand new. The Salesman then started it and drove it out of the showroom and from the moment he fired it up, I went weak at the knees! The testdrive was predictably brilliant. The steering is noticeably heavier than virtually any car I’ve driven and took some getting used to (although at speed it is weighted PERFECTLY) and the pick-up, in spite of being a petrol, is blistering. There’s no discernable turbo lag from the pair of turbos strapped to the 3 litre V6 and it goes away like a scalded cat. With so many reasons to be sensible and say no, I was grinning like a Cheshire Cat. I turned to my girlfriend and she nodded. That was it, deal done! J At that point, the Salesman directed us to the local Shell garage where he brimmed it with V-Power Unleaded (without me even asking) and we went back to the showroom. We were then whisked into a room off the showroom and the great presentation began. Out of a big fancy Porsche bag came a long wooden box – this was slid open to reveal the spare key on one side (nestling in high density foam) and a Porsche keyring the opposite side. In the middle a booklet, underneath a handwritten card from our Salesman “Dear Duncan, Congratulations on your first Porsche, welcome to the Porsche Family, Best regards, James” and underneath a picture of my Macan sitting in the showroom before I collected in a beautiful glass Porsche engraved frame. J Not content with bowling me over with that, I was then presented with two Porcelain Porsche mugs with gold leaf rims. I honestly felt like their best customer and like I’d bought a brand new car. During this period each person I’d had something to do with on the phone swung by and introduced themselves and said hi. We felt like royalty and I’ve got to say that Porsche know how to make the car purchase feel like you’ve bought something special. Unbelievable when the car speaks for itself. So that was it – I was handed the keys to my car – a quick stop for photos outside the dealership and a drive back along the A414 from Hatfield back to Woodford to my parents and the silliest grin from not only myself but my girlfriend and daughter. It’s such a special car that it can’t fail to get under everyone’s skin. So what is it? 2014 Porsche Macan S with a 3litre twin turbo V6 pushing 340bhp - four-wheel drive system which defaults to 95% RWD in normal driving but can push up to 90% of its drive to the front wheels; - 0-60mph in 5.2secs (I have the optional Sports Chrono pack which takes off 0.2secs) - PDK 7-speed gearbox with flappy paddles - Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (sends up to 90% of torque to one single wheel if needed to increase cornering yaw which makes it feel like it’s on rails!) In terms of options (some 15k’s worth): - Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM – adaptive dampers) - 75 litre fuel tank (standard is 60litres) - 18-way Adaptive Sports Seats (way firmer than BMW Comfort Seats but more adjustable and sooo comfy) inc.Comfort Memory Package; - BOSE Surround Sound - Panoramic Sunroof - Porsche PCM 2.1 Nav & Telephone - 20” SportDesign Wheels - Bi-Xenon headlights inc. Porsche Dynamic Light System (like BMW’s Adaptive system) - Heated Front Seats - Manual Roll-Up Sunblinds – rear - PTV Plus (see above) - Reversing Camera inc. ParkAssist front & rear - Speed Limit Indicator - Sports Chrono Pack - Sideblades in Carbon - Roof Rails in Gloss Black - Spoiler in Gloss Black - Window Surrounds in Gloss Black - Brushed Aluminium Interior Trim - Wheel Centres with full-colour Porsche Crest The car cost me 41k which I’m financing by way of PCP with 8k down and 480pcm over 48months which I don’t think is too bad given that’s way less than to get into a G31. It’s relatively cheap on monthlies as the residual values are so good. It’s covered by Porsche’s 2-year warranty & roadside rescue which is almost as good as new car one and extendable at 1.8k for two years (which I think is good value and I will certainly do upon expiry). Before collection it had new discs & pads up front, new rear tyres and its 4yr 40k mile service which is a big one and includes spark plugs. So I’ve two years before it needs any further service work or consumables (ideally). And that was really what sealed the deal for me. So that’s the car – I’ll do a write-up of my first couple of weeks with it later on today or tomorrow.