Ownership Diary - Porsche Macan S

Discussion in 'Others' started by Spuffington, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. Madmoggy
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    cracking write up, lovely motor and it sounds like a really positive experience with the dealership too.
    I can relate to the bit about options, my Cayman was great for many things (the cupholders were a work of art) but the headlights were woeful and the sun visors felt awful.
    Wishing you lots of happy motoring (y)
     
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  2. Spuffington
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    Spuffington Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    So, it's been two months now with the Macan and probably time for a brief update:

    I've covered around 1,800miles in the Macan and pretty much every single one of those has been fun-filled. Not because I've been driving the Evo Triangle or my favourite Highland roads; many of them have been trogging through urban traffic, up and down the M11. But because every single drive is an event and something I look forward to. And this is in spite of the fact the car is far from perfect - either ergonomically or mechanically. But it remains my most exciting and happy motoring experience ever. I think if I'd have experienced the same issues with other cars, I'd certainly have been somewhat put off by now, but there's something about the DNA of a Porsche which you can't help let under your skin. Before I launch into the bad news - some good news - I've moved. I was living with my parents and initially registered the Macan there. Insurance was horrific being inside the M25 (980quid) but moving back out to the sticks into my new rented flat, I reregistered the car and the insurance - 380quid refund. Enough to kit out my flat with the Bose Soundtouch 30 I'd been wanting but struggled to justify! :)

    Anyway - so to the problems - mechanicals first. About 4-6wks ago, the front parking sensors decided to give up the ghost. First off it was a particularly oversensitive sensor on the nearside, but within an hour or so there was no signal at all from the whole lot. This was both annoying due to the fault code it through up when starting (and a rather loud beep of an alarm from the dashboard when the ignition was turned on) but more annoyingly, the front of the car is so difficult to judge, it has made parking and maneuvering in tight spaces somewhat awkard. This was made worse by the fact Porsche Hatfield (where I bought it from) were unable to book me in for an appointment with anything other than a 2wk wait. And when I had to cancel the appointment, the earliest they could offer me at the end of November was an appt after Christmas!!! Thankfully my more local dealer - Porsche Cambridge - took me in and booked the car in with a 7-day wait. I dropped it off there on Tuesday before flying to Frankfurt and collect it next Weds when I return.

    But that's not all. As I dropped it off, I mentioned that when reversing out of my parking space and pulling onto the main road, I could feel the wheels slipping and sometimes it would feel as if I was reversing over pine cones - it had been getting steadily worse. This and some low-speed shunting when coming to a halt. I knew in the back of my mind that my Macan was the latest of many of the cars to succumb to a well-known issue on the forums and this was confirmed on Wednesday when I received a call from Porsche Cambridge to tell me that a testdrive and diagnostics had shown the Transfer Box for the 4WD system was on the way out. Thankfully a replacement box is in stock at Porsche UK and this will also be fitted, together with the required front sensor and everything will be ready for me when I collect next Wednesday.

    That's the warranty picking up the cost for 3.5k before I've even had it 3months. However, I'm relatively lucky - there are stories of very new (1-3yr old cars) with very low mileages suffering the dreaded Transfer Box issue, so the fact mine has made it to 4yrs, 34k and been through the hands of multiple journalists is quite remarkable.

    So much for the mechanicals - now to the ergonomics:

    Touchscreen Nav - truly appalling. No other words for it. The graphics are low-rent compared to BMWs high res display and maps (I believe this has been addressed in the latest Apple Car version of the Nav for >MY2018) but the touchscreen interface is far poorer than BMW in every single way. It's downright dangerous to use on the move and I really only ever use the satnav if I have no idea where I'm going, whereas previously in the BMW, I'd use it all the time so I had an ETA on screen and had the TMC going. But this one is so clunky that I just don't bother. It's easy enough to save destinations and input addresses when stationary, but it's worlds behind BMWs system in every way.

    Media - I still haven't got the iPod to be recognized from the AUX input so only listen to DAB and/my iPhone through the Bluetooth but even with the Bluetooth interface, I seem unable to actually choose tracks or playlists from the headunit, instead having to use the phone, which kinda is against the point.

    Mirrors - I think I mentioned in another post - the lack of light-sensitive, auto-dimming mirrors is now becoming obvious due to the dark mornings and evenings. It's not the most horrific thing in the world, but sometimes you have the impression that everyone behind you is driving with their lights on main beam. I frequently flick the tilt button on the rearview mirror, which I haven't done since I owned my Focus ST back in 2008! I think it's outrageous that in 2014, when parting with 65k, it was expected that you had to tick a box for interior and exterior dimming mirrors.

    Switchgear - I previously complained about how poor the damping to the switchgear was in comparison to BMW. I still think it's a bit "clicky" but it does feel robust and in some ways also feels well part of the car - it has such pin-point accurate responses to throttle, brakes, steering etc. that actually the same application of precision to the switchgear actually feels appropriate to the car. But the layout of said switches is a little bewildering and whilst I'm getting used to where everything is, it's very difficult to "feel" where things are and I still need to take a quick glance to ensure I'm pressing heat seating and not toggling the auto climate control on or off or setting up Sports Plus mode!!!!

    So. That's the negatives. Sounds horrific, doesn't it? On the face of it, yeah. What a pup, I hear you say. Not at all. It's simply the most fabulous car I've ever owned. It's a masterpiece of soul and considering it is an SUV, it somehow feels like a thoroughbred racing car on the right road. It's clear to me that its skill and capability far outweigh anything I am capable of doing with it. At times it's laugh-out-loud quick, but composed, focused and the only car which I've ever driven on a road, which seems to be able to yaw on its axis with a prod of the throttle and PTV mode doing its thing. It's astonishing. But you don't have to be hammering at 9/10ths to enjoy the drive - cruising up and down motorways, it's very composed, quiet and comfortable. And even when you're not driving it, there's a feel-good factor which is difficult to describe. Even my daughter appreciates that it's something different from the norm. She loves it - she loves the interior, how cool it looks and she loves the cold start-up. My girlfriend who is certainly no car-nut, occasionally laughs when I prod the accelerator for a swift-ish get-away and can occasionally be caught coo-ing as the twin-turbo'd V6 burbles its tune during a light-touch acceleration.

    I have a feeling of pride every time I approach it. A sense of achievement but also a very distinct sense of appreciation for how lucky I am to be owning such a vehicle. I know deep down that as much as I want to say I'm going to always have a Porsche in my life, I have to be realistic and this may just be a short period in my life where I get to do so. So I am enjoying every second and counting every one of the lucky stars which are currently shining upon me.

    For anyone who's interested in the fuel consumption - it's currently settled at 21.5mpg - it's been as high as 21.8mpg but I've been a bit more urban focused recently. I regularly see up to 27mpg on the trips backwards and forwards on the M11 and a longer trip I did down to Maidstone a few weeks back. But I can easily see 15-18mpg when I'm booting it around the country roads en-route to pick up my daughter from her Mum's. The biggest issue isn't the fuel economy, but the 75litre tank which can appear very small when you've had a few days of averaging 18mpg. The range shows just 200-odd miles to a tank on the dashboard. Much nicer when I've put in a few motorway trips and can squeeze 400miles from the range. Even my daughter has got used to calling out the range frequently and marvels sometimes at how quickly it drops! :lol:

    So, all in all, I'm loving it as you can probably tell. I'm so excited about picking it up from the dealer next week, not least since it will have been valeted (something I haven't yet got around to!) and I'm hoping that the new transfer box will make it once again the precise and wonderful machine I've been used to. Porsche Cambridge will also be making up and fitting my personal plates - the final touch which has been missing. I'll try and get some more photos when I pick it up, unless it's too dark.

    Next stop, Need to sort out some winter tyres. But even for a secondhand wheelset and some new tyres (on 18s), I'm looking at >1.1k. Together with having recently furnished a flat from scratch, that's not money that I have lying around, but I am worried about going into winter in the sticks without a set of winter rubber. Watch this space.
     
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  3. rigeng
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    Excellent and interesting update, Spuff. I'm a bit surprised at the negatives you mention, but seems like you have no hassle getting things fixed under warranty, so that's a big positive! Good luck with it...(y)
     
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  4. K777
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    Good write up again Dunc.
    First thing that came to mind with reversing out of drive, I thought of the ackermann effect ( slow speeds wide tyres scrubbing/slipping), which mine (and previous one) suffers from badly on a cold morning. - but not at all when over maybe 10degrees

    Winter tyres, shop around, for our first Pan we got some for £800+vat (20"), cant get them for my current car that are N rated, no one makes them.
    I just sold others for £300 after two winters and 4/5mm remaining.
    Make sure you check with Porsche too, I've just had 4 new tyres at £230 / 330 + vat and Porsche matched the best price I could find.

    Finally, prob you know, but you can turn off the proximity beep with a switch up above near interior light switch. Something my business partner pointed out two years into my first Porsche whilst queueing next to a roadside hedge for ten minutes.
     
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  5. The CO
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    Good write up mate, I'll get round to posting up my ownership diary shortly but as a taster, Land Rover's InControl Pro isn't a patch on BMW's iDrive..
     
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  6. Cooky
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    Excellent write up (as usual) Dunc.(y)

    Does the transfer box issue have anything to do with the tyres that are fitted? I know that the BNW xdrives are very sensitive to the type of tyres that are fitted and BMW star rated tyres should always be fitted and the tread depth should be within a couple of mm on all tyres. There are many cases of transfer boxes failing and BMW warranty not paying out as star rated tyres have not been fitted.
    When searching for tyres on various sites I know that there are tyres specific to Porsches.
     
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  7. kleynie
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    kleynie WARLORD Site Supporter

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    A good read Dunc, the thing that I noticed is how many times you mention your daughter, she is obviously a big part of your life, which is excellent considering what you've both been through.
     
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  8. Mieke
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    Mieke WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Great writeup and an enjoyable read as always, Duncan. (y)

    What a relief that you have a warranty. A clear illustration of how things can come out of the blue, with an eye watering bill for the repairs.
    So pleased that you're still enjoying it despite the problems. You deserve it after all that's happened recently.
     
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  9. zarnd
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    Looking forward to this


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  10. isleaiw
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    isleaiw

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    I know it’s a Porsche but if I had suffered those issues with a car that cost over £40k I think I would be hacked off. Maybe it’s less of a concern as you can leave it and get it fixed rather than needing it daily.

    Not read anything yet that makes me regret cancelling the GTS for the SQ5 I have instead - especially given most of my driving is on motorways.

    Hope you continue to enjoy and reliability (and fuel consumption) improve!
     
  11. Harry
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    Nice one Dunc. Thank you for sharing.

    When a car gets under your skin so much that you can forgive its foibles, you've got yourself a really good car. Congratulations and best wishes with it.

    I had a Kia hire car last month when travelling. No dipping mirrors. I soon got used to it despite the occasional distraction and I ended up leaving the interior mirror set to dip all the time. Such are hire cars. But on a car costing what yours did....! That really isn't good enough.
     
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  12. Douglas W
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    Your write up has really given a real flavour of the Porche Macan experience in a way that a lot of media car tests miss. My neighbour bought a Macan S on a 16 plate in the Summer to replace a similar sized diesel Audi. He has had a very similar experience to yours. I have noticed him going for quick pleasure runs which I never saw him doing in the Audi. Living opposite him I can only endorse what you say about the great noise the petrol makes on start up. :) He does have the same gripes as you about some missing essentials which the first owner failed to spec. His transfer box was also replaced under warranty.

    I wish you much joy in the Macan.

    Douglas
     
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  13. idrussell
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    As others have said a great write up, keep them coming! While no personal experience of the touch screen in the Macan I suspect it is similar to the touch screen efforts in the latest VW's. I can only echo the comments from you and @The CO about them being downright dangerous compared to the idrive system.
     
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  14. K777
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    Dunc, if you want to see your estimated time of arrival, press the journey time. Its a button and switches from one to the other. Assuming yours is the same as mine.

    You will get used to the touch screen (i have) , its like when windows changes, your brain has a wobble for a bit, but eventually you find the new version is actually better.
    Hopefully you will.

    IMG_1651.JPG IMG_1652.JPG
     
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  15. Spuffington
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    Spuffington Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Thanks for all the kind comments, guys.

    Yes, as batty as it may seem, I love my car and that shows no sign of waning. Today, just pulling into the forecourt at Porsche Cambridge and seeing my car parked proudly out front, valeted beautifully, even in the dusk I was smug with pride. :)

    A quick update - I picked up the Macan this evening. Unfortunately the transfer box has been on back order and due in early next week so in spite of them having had it a week, only the parking sensors were sorted. Although annoying that I've got to go back, the customer service is second to none with not only politeness (which should be a given anyway, granted but so often was not at BMW) but also a sense that nothing is too much trouble. I like that - might sound poncy, but I really feel like I've bought into a quality product and even though it's gone wrong, when you're treated well, it's all more or less forgotten. So far so good with Porsche Cambridge and I'll be booking the car in for next week when I head back to Frankfurt.

    Minus points for Porsche Hatfield though - seems that in addition to not being able to squeeze me in with any urgency, or following through on a number of post-sales promises, they also didn't register the OPC two-year warranty on the system so unless it's sorted before the car next goes in, I'll be left with a big bill. Hopefully should just be a phonecall, but I shouldn't have to do it.

    Some good points about the car which I didn't quite get around to writing last time though:

    - folding mirrors - the BMW used to annoy me. Unlock the car and the first thing which happened was the mirrors folding out. Still the same issue with passing traffic which you're still trying to prevent hitting you. Maybe you just went into the car to grab something and then the mechanism has to be worked again just to fold them in again once the door is locked..... (n) Well, with the Porsche, the mirrors don't fold out until you turn the key and start the ignition! Much better!! It's probably a VAG thing as I remember my Yeti doing it, but it's a much better thing than BMW setup IMO.
    - comfort entry and access - in the BMW, the steering wheel used to move away when turning off the ignition with Comfort or Elec Memory seats, but in the Porsche the seat moves back AND the steering wheel moves away from you and up. Really helps entry and egress. (y)
    - the multi-function mini-dial in the instrument cluster. It's an LCD screen which can pull up all kinds of info from tyre pressures to oil temps, trip computer, moving map, entertainment info and service stuff. It's pretty intuitive from the thumbwheel on the steering wheel.
    - the heated seats - no nuclear fusion seats. It's actually possible to have the seats set to number 2 without turning yourself sterile or blistering your backside. :)

    Anyway, to some of the comments:

    Seems not. Although a few people report Porsche pointing them in the direction of worn tyres, it was explained to me this evening that the issue is with oil starvation. Under acceleration, oil washes backwards and away from the gears and that causes them to skip. My car evidently had a new transfer box a couple of years ago and now needs its second. Turns out that the new transfer boxes being fitted now have baffles inside in order to prevent the oil starvation. But you're right on the tyres - Porsche do maintain you need to run "N" rated tyres or you invalidate your warranty. TBH, they're not that much more expensive than equivalent sizes which are non-N rated.

    Thanks Rich. I've got my eye on a set of 18's which although they will look rubbish, do seem to come with a brand new set of Conti winters (N rated) which I may be able to pick up for £1k. But I am pretty skint at the moment and storing them is problematic so I need to get my ducks in a row financially and logistics. Seems to be the story of my life at the moment, but we'll see. I'll kick myself if it snows and/or I end up binning it. :rolleyes:

    Yeah, I found the on/off switch for the proximity warning just before I took it into the dealer. Seems a bit of an odd place for it, but just completes the "fighter plane cockpit" feel! :D

    I sort of agree, but can't completely. Yeah, for £40k it should be perfect. But then again, I've also owned BMWs which have cost the same new and been complete lemons or had issue upon issue. I think you've got to accept that cars are going to have issues. Depending on how much you've gelled with the car (or not) is where your tolerance level is set. I'm really pleased you're happy with the SQ5. I did look at them and frequently see them around in Frankfurt. But for me, they just don't hit the same buttons emotionally and nor do the test-drive reports I've read make enough of a case for it against the Macan dynamically. Fingers crossed you have as much fun with yours though as I do mine - I know you've had a tough time of it and you deserve yours as much as I do mine. :beers:

    That's hit the nail on the head for me, thanks Harry.

    And finally, this one:
    As I know any other parent would say - I can't imagine my life without my little girl. :love: She's been through so much (and continues to adjust to the setup) and I am absolutely there for her as much as she needs me. It's down to her that I now have a flat I'm renting (totally wasn't in the game plan!) and I try and spend as much time with her as possible when I'm not in Germany. I'd say we're closer than we've ever been and she's absolutely aware that if she ever decides she wants to live with me, that door will always be open.
     
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  16. K777
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    Dunc, probably the mirrors are set that way in the set up, interestingly I have mine set to open out immediately, but only close on a long press.
    With the heated seats, you might (depending on the version) be able to alter the bias too, so more heat on back than seat, or vice versa.

    Mine have issues, but they pale when compared to the sheer overall pleasure of the car.:driving:
    The guy that sold me my first Porsche said, once you have owned one, you will always have one, and if you don't, you will come back. I have to say, I think he is right.
     
  17. Mieke
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    I like the way the mirrors work on my F30. They only open automatically if they've been closed using they key fob. If you operate them from the button on the driver's door, they stay in that position. I also like the fact that they will open automatically when the car reaches 30 mph from first starting off.
     
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  18. isleaiw
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    I agree - some of best cars I have had for reliability have been the cheapest....

    I do really like the SQ5, the dynamics wont be at Porsche levels, but I will bet at 75mph on a motorway its quieter.... I do alot of 75mph on a motorway these days! Andf emotionally, I struggled with the image of the Porsche, I am quite an introvert and dont like attention, the SQ5 gets away with being a Q5 on big wheels whilst it is debadged...

    But maybe next time. I still reckon I deserve at least one more treat, although for now I am thinking of channeling all spare cash to getting out of the corporate rate race....
     

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