What It’s Like to Drive a Porsche SUV Around Fukushima’s Countryside

When Porsche recently asked Weekender if we would be interested in test driving four of their brand-new SUVs around the beautiful Fukushima countryside, we of course graciously accepted. We spent a couple of days putting the Porsches through their paces, while enjoying the stunning landscape. Here’s a quick look at the snazzy SUVs we tried out.

Porsche Macan

First up was the Macan, Porsches’s base level SUV. The Macan is a compact luxury SUV that makes you feel like you’re behind the wheel of a sports car. The handling is razor sharp and with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces an impressive 252 horsepower, there is plenty of power under the bonnet.

Although the Macan has a top speed of 262km/h, we decided to take our time along the winding roads through the rolling hills leading up to the luxury onsen where we were staying overnight. And yes, all those adjectives are necessary.

Porsche Cayenne GTS

After checking into our hotel, there was still enough time to get back out on the road before dinner was served, so we switched up and climbed into the Cayenne GTS. The GTS is distinguished by a standard Sport Design package and Porsche’s Active Suspension Management (PASM) system, which lowers the ride height for an even sportier setup.

The Cayenne GTS is a joy to drive and the handling was especially rewarding when we took it around the sweeping turns of the Fukushima coastline. We could have quite happily continued driving for another few hours, but the call of dinner and a relaxing onsen back at the hotel was just alluring enough to convince us to hand back the keys.

Porsche Macan Turbo with Performance Package

The next morning, feeling fully refreshed, it was time to take a spin in the Macan with Performance Package. As the name suggests, the Macan Turbo with Performance Package is not your average SUV. Equipped with performance-optimized engine electronics, air suspension, 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 engine and a sport exhaust system, this vehicle is truly something to behold.

As we set off for the beach, the weather took a nasty turn and the heavens opened. Fortunately the PASM adaptive dampers ensured that the Macan handled immaculately, gripping the wet, winding roads. We took the opportunity to go off road on to the beach for a photo opportunity, and the Macan shifted seamlessly between tar and sand.

Porsche Macan GTS

The final part of the journey saw us revving things up in the Macan GTS. After two days of driving top-end, luxury Porsche SUVs, even the Shinkansen, which we were scheduled to take home, was losing its appeal. After a bit of persuasion over lunch, the chaps at Porsche kindly agreed to let us drive the Macan all the way back to Tokyo.

One of the most impressive aspects of the entire Porsche SUV range is that all models combine the power and performance of a top-end sports car with the comfort of a luxury SUV. The Macan GTS is a perfect example, with the Bose surround sound speaker system featuring 14 individual speakers, and the Porsche Communication Management system seamlessly connecting with your smartphone. Add to this the stylish interiors and the comfort of the adaptive sports seats (with 18-way adjustment), and you get one of the best driving experiences ever.

For more information visit www.porsche.com

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