Porsche Cayenne 4x4 full 9 point review
Even the entry-level model has a 295bhp 3.6-litre V6, while the S has a turbocharged version of the engine that produces 414bhp. There’s also a faster GTS, or the staggeringly quick V8 Turbo and lunatic Turbo S. The diesels are our favourites - either the base 259bhp 3.0-litre V6 for great value and smooth, punchy pace, or the storming 380bhp 4.2-litre V8 S. Finally, there’s the S E-Hybrid model, which combines a supercharged 3.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor.
Ride & Handling
We’ve tried Cayennes only with air suspension (a pricey option on all but the Turbo). Ride comfort is good in Comfort setting and on standard wheels, though there’s lots of body float over undulations. Bigger wheels make the ride more unsettled, so they’re best avoided. The sportier the setting, the firmer the ride becomes, though body control improves with it. The Cayenne is the best handling big SUV, and is great fun if you balance the weight properly on the brakes as you turn into corners.
All the engines are quiet at a steady cruise, although some wind noise builds up around the door mirrors at motorway speeds. Additionally, those fat tyres generate a fair amount of drone and there’s some supplementary whine from the axles and differentials.
Buying & Owning
There’s no getting away from it: the Cayenne is very expensive to buy, lease and insure. The V6, S and Turbo models might have good efficiency given their performance, but in short, you’re still going to spend a fortune on fuel. However, the S Hybrid and diesels all average over 30mpg, and will hold their value much better than the petrol models. Tyres will be expensive on all models.
Quality & Reliability
The materials in the Cayenne’s cabin look absolutely gorgeous. What’s more, the fit and finish is superb and all of the controls work with slick precision. The Cayenne didn’t feature in the most recent JD Power ownership satisfaction survey, although Porsche performed disappointingly in the latest What Car? Reliability Survey.
Safety & Security
All Cayennes come with a host of driver aids, including a stability control system that helps prevent skids. If an accident still proves unavoidable, front, side and curtain airbags will deploy to minimise injuries. Most models also come with a sophisticated vehicle tracking system as standard. Security experts Thatcham awarded the Cayenne five out of five for its resistance to theft, and four out of five for its resistance to being broken into.
Behind The Wheel
The view from the driver’s seat is pure Porsche: the front wings are higher than the bonnet and the rev counter is positioned in the centre of the dials to evoke that desirable, classic race-car styling. It’s easy to make yourself comfortable, too, because there’s a huge range of adjustment. However, the swish-looking dashboard is covered in buttons, so it can be difficult to find the one you want at a glance.
Space & Practicality
The Cayenne is the only Porsche with space for five (and plenty of it), but there’s no seven-seat version. The boot is large and well shaped, and you can change the balance between cabin and luggage space, because the 60/40-split rear seats slide back and forth. They don’t fold completely flat, though.
Every Cayenne has electrically adjustable front seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and cruise control. However, you might be surprised that sat-nav, heated seats, privacy glass and even Bluetooth cost extra on most versions.