While it may share its basic layout with the Audi Q5, Porsche has developed the Macan from the ground up, so it gets bodywork inspired by Porsche’s sports cars, while everything under the skin is designed with performance in mind. The flagship Macan GTS gets a 434bhp twin-turbo V6, and variable valve timing and direct injection mean there’s plenty of power across the rev range.

It’s mated to a seven-speed PDK automatic gearbox, which delivers smooth, rapid shifts even at full throttle, while the four-wheel-drive system, standard adaptive dampers and clever Porsche Traction Management electronics mean the Macan GTS is able to put a smile on your face on roads where normal SUVs would be a real handful.

As with other Porsche models, there are some performance enhancing options for the Macan GTS. Torque vectoring takes handling to another level, while the Sport Chrono package adds launch control, which makes the most of the SUV’s explosive performance off the line.

1. BMW M3 Touring 

Since it was first unveiled in 1985, the BMW M3 has cemented itself as a usable performance icon with stunning pace and minimal compromises over a standard 3 Series in terms of practicality. It’s a surprise that BMW has waited so long to produce a more practical estate version, but having driven the G81-generation M3 Touring, it has been well worth the wait. 

The turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six engine delivers thunderous performance but it’s slightly lacking in terms of the sound it generates. This can be forgiven in an estate car which has a cavernous 500-litre boot and some of the best in-car tech currently available on the market. 

Thanks to its 503bhp output and standard-fit four wheel drive system, the M3 Touring hurls itself from 0-62mph in just 3.6 seconds, but it doesn’t top this list due to the quantity of performance on offer. Rather, it’s the approachable, hugely capable chassis that defines the car – it bleeds with genuine sports car DNA, and the crisp dynamics give no hint of the Touring’s sensible body style.

It’s well made too, and if the mood takes you, the M3 Touring can pull-off spectacular powerslides slides thanks to its 2WD mode, which is wonderfully incongruous with its practical brief.

Best fast family cars to buy now

  1. BMW M3 Touring
  2. Porsche Macan GTS
  3. Alpina D3 S
  4. Cupra Formentor
  5. Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo
  6. Audi RS6 Avant
  7. Tesla Model 3
  8. Skoda Octavia vRS
  9. Volkswagen Golf R
  10. Mercedes-AMG GLB 35

Is space more important to you than speed? Check out the list of the best family cars…

Previous article150-strong Mini tour raises vital funds
Next article2025 Toyota Crown gets blacked-out Nightshade Edition


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here