Porsche Australia has released its latest SUV without safety technology that comes standard on sub-$20,000 hatchbacks.
Despite costing between $80,000 and $100,000 the updated Porsche Macan SUV does not come with autonomous emergency braking as standard — even though the safety aid is fitted to budget-priced models such as the Suzuki Swift, Volkswagen Polo, Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3 and most other new cars on sale.
Porsche charges $2410 to add the safety pack, rather than making it standard as most other mainstream brands have done.
According to Porsche Australia, only 20 per cent of customers to date have paid for the AEB option on Macan.
Australia’s crash test authority ANCAP says there is no excuse for Porsche to omit what has been labelled as the biggest safety advancement since the seatbelt.
“Safety should be the priority of all brands across all segments regardless of the price point or level of prestige,” says ANCAP CEO James Goodwin.
“We now have very affordable models like the Kia Picanto and Toyota Corolla providing AEB as standard and this makes it difficult for other brands with dearer cars to justify its omission or additional cost. The Macan is a family SUV, so technology like AEB is particularly important.”
The Porsche Macan was issued a five-star safety rating when it was crash tested by EuroNCAP in 2014. However, if rated against today’s criteria the model would not get a five star rating without AEB.
Even the Suzuki Swift has AEB and radar cruise control for less than $20,000. So why is it optional on an $80,000 Porsche?
Furthermore, the 2014 five-star safety result is not recognised by Australian crash test authorities because, curiously, Porsche did not supply detailed technical information for right-hand-drive models.
In defending its decision to not include AEB as standard on the new Macan — even though countless cheaper cars have the safety tech — a statement from Porsche Australia said:
“AEB can be added as an option on the new Macan by selecting Adaptive Cruise Control with Porsche Active Safe. AEB is standard on our Panamera and Cayenne model lines, both of which were launched as all-new models in 2017 and 2018 respectively. We are confident in the safety technology in all of our models, including Macan.”
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling