By on July 25, 2018

When you think about Porsche, you’re probably thinking of the 911. However, you really should be thinking about the Macan. It may have started out as a supplementary model for families interested in the Cayenne SUV but who found it beyond their means, but it’s quickly become the company’s best-selling vehicle. You now see them in every neighborhood where status is the deciding factor in automobile purchases.

Fortunately, the Macan also drives better than any compact crossover has a right to — further helping its popularity. But, with more competition within the premium utility segment than ever before, Porsche can’t leave the model to rest on its laurels. The manufacturer has updated the model for 2019 with loads of changes, but spotting them is a little like tackling the Double Check in a Highlights magazine under the influence of a rather severe childhood learning disability.

However, a good facelift should be seamless. When your wealthy — but aging — trophy wife or husband (since it’s 2018) goes under the surgeon’s knife, you want them to leave the operating table without having to get a new photo for their drivers license. The goal is to become understatedly more attractive, which Porsche seems to have managed with the Macan.

This isn’t surprising. German manufacturers are, for the most part, incredibly timid when it comes to making drastic alterations to existing models. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that and it helps when examining the lineage of a vehicle, but it does make breakdowns like this rather difficult.

With the exception of the tail lamps, which now includes an LED strip that matches the Cayenne and Panamera, nothing looks terribly drastic. However, the Macan has also received a new front bumper.

“No it hasn’t,” we hear you say to yourself out loud.

Take another look. But this time pull up a comparative photo of last year’s model. Okay, now zoom in on the air inlets and notice how they are integrated into the rest of the bumper. Also note the absence of fog lamps at new positioning of the ultra slim running lights. See? It’s different!

Other changes on the outside include the predictable wheel updates, which can now be had in 20- and 21-inch varieties, and some new paint colors. Miami Blue is the star hue but Porsche is also adding Dolomite Silver and Mamba Green Metallic — which looks pretty wild on the Panamera.

Inside, Porsche has upsized the center display to 11 inches and done some repositioning of the air vents. While the rejiggering leaves a small blank space next to the steering wheel, it looks better overall. New standard features include intelligent voice control and real-time traffic info. There’s also the Connect Plus module, which makes vehicle fully networked. New options include a heated windshield and an on-board ioniser to improve the air quality in the cabin.

Additional interior changes come via one of Porsche’s package options. The Offroad Precision App allows drivers to record and analyze their off-road driving excursions, while the Sports Chrono Package nets you different data-logging software, a sport response button, and the GT sports steering wheel from the 911 (which can also be optioned separately).

While the automaker has not specified any engine changes, it did say the chassis has been optimized and fitted, once again, with tires of different widths on the front and rear axles — permitting the all-wheel drive Porsche Traction Management to work its magic. Since the company didn’t mention them, we’re not expecting any major changes to the base powertrain.

The 2.0-liter Turbo is likely to persist as the standard unit, possibly tuned up past its current 252 horsepower. Meanwhile, the Macan S and GTS are likely to stick with the 3.0-liter V6 TT. However, reports suggest the 3.6-liter motor in the Macan Turbo will be replaced by the 2.9-liter currently used in the new Panamera 4S. The seven-speed PDK should see use throughout the lineup.

[Images: Porsche AG]

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