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. For diesel buyers there’s a 259bhp 3.0-litre V6 and a 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 to deliver 410bhp; it has more than enough shove for all but the most optimistic overtaking manoeuvres.
Ride & Handling
We’ve tried Cayennes only with air suspension (this is standard on the Turbo, but a pricey option on cheaper versions). It has three settings, and in the softest of these and with the standard-size wheels, the Cayenne feels beautifully supple. The sportier the setting, the firmer the ride becomes and the more you feel bumps in the road; this is more prominent on cars with 21-inch wheels. The Cayenne feels impressively agile for such a large SUV, helped by accurate, nicely weighted steering.
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 also sit in the top company car tax bracket and drink petrol like it’s going out of style. However, the S Hybrid and diesels all average over 30mpg, and offer slightly lower ownership costs.
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.