What Car? says...
Buying a coupé used to get you two doors, a low-slung driving position and tiny rear seats. Not any more. The Porsche Cayenne Coupé and its rivals now deliver SUV practicality to go with their swoopy rooflines and pace.
The Cayenne Coupé fits into the coupé SUV and sports SUV categories, and is based on the regular Porsche Cayenne – but just how different is the Coupé to that slightly more sensible-looking car? Well, it has a lower roofline, a more steeply angled rear window and narrower rear side windows, so you lose some practicality. But this is still a big car.
As with the regular Cayenne, Porsche has given the Coupé a massive overhaul for 2023, mildly updating the exterior looks, completely redoing the interior, making various chassis tweaks and upgrading the engines. The plug-in-hybrid (PHEV) models – called the E-Hybrids – were given better batteries and motors.
There's also a new range-topping model – the Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid Coupé with GT Package. That has the sort of performance designed to worry two of the hottest rivals, the Audi RS Q8 and the Lamborghini Urus.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
All versions of the Porsche Cayenne Coupé are quick, starting with the entry-level turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine that produces 349bhp and accelerates this hefty SUV from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds. It begins to feel a little strained at the top of the rev range, though, so if you can afford it, the Cayenne Coupé S is well worth the extra.
The S has a 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 engine with a colossal 468bhp, so it's much faster, with 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds. The V8 also sounds much more intoxicating than the V6 – especially at higher revs and with the sports exhaust switched to its Loud mode.
What if you fancy something even more mind-bending? You could try the range-topping Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid Coupé with GT Package that will rocket you from rest to 62mph in an organ-pummelling 3.6 seconds. As a PHEV, it harnesses the power of both a petrol engine and an electric motor to deliver that extraordinary pace.
If that sounds a bit over the top but you like the idea of a plug-in hybrid Cayenne, the Cayenne E-Hybrid or S E-Hybrid are well worth considering.
Both pair a 3.0-litre V6 engine with an electric motor, producing 464bhp and 512bhp respectively. The S E-Hybrid would be our choice because it's almost as rapid as the V8-engined Cayenne S, and can officially manage up to 48 miles on battery power alone (although the real-world range is likely to be shorter).
Suspension and ride comfort
Cayenne S E-Hybrid Coupé and Turbo E-Hybrid Coupé models come as standard with adaptive air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). PASM comprises two-valve adaptive dampers designed to give the car brilliant handling at one end of the scale and good ride comfort at the other.
Around town, the ride is not the best in class, but it never crashes or jars. You'll actually hear impacts more than feel them. On country roads, body control is exceptional, with no float, even at speed. Any bounce from going over undulating surfaces is dealt with in no time.
We’ve yet to experience the Cayenne Coupé’s standard set-up of steel springs, but considering the reasonable outlay for air suspension on the Cayenne Coupé, Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupé and Cayenne Coupé S, we’d recommend you specify it.
The behaviour of the regular Cayenne S suggests the Cayenne S Coupé will be top of its class for handling. With the Coupé's lower centre of gravity, we anticipate an even sharper driving experience than the non-Coupé model.
The E-Hybrid models feel a touch more cumbersome in bends than the non-plug-in hybrid models because of the weight of the battery pack. If you’ve forked out for the eye-wateringly expensive Turbo, that might be something of a disappointment, which is why we recommend stepping up to the Turbo E-Hybrid Coupé with GT Package if you can.
The GT Package adds enhanced aerodynamics, a lightweight carbon-fibre roof, stiffer air suspension, custom geometry and wider front wheels, with spectacular results. For such a heavy car, it turns into corners beautifully, and unlike the regular Turbo, it feels interactive and playful mid-corner.
It’s worth noting that adding optional four-wheel steering to any Cayenne brings even greater agility in corners along with improved high-speed stability.
Noise and vibration
The V8 rumble in the Cayenne S fades to a barely perceptible background hum at motorway speeds (as long as you've switched off the sports exhaust, of course). Meanwhile, the 3.0 V6 in the entry-level Cayenne Coupé and the E-Hybrid is also respectable subdued at a steady cruise.
All E-hybrid models (including the Turbo) are fairly hushed when running in electric mode, with just a bit of tyre roar and suspension patter, but also suffer from an inconsistent brake pedal, due to the regenerative braking system. Non-PHEV versions have much more predictable braking.
All Cayennes come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox that glides between ratios smoothly in normal driving, and is pretty responsive when you decide to take control using paddles behind the steering wheel.
Strengths Brilliant handling; bombastic performance; E-Hybrid models have an impressive electric range
Weaknesses The brakes on E-Hybrid models could be more progressive; it’s a shame air suspension isn’t standard on lesser models
The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
The Porsche Cayenne Coupé's eight-way electrically adjustable driver's seat doesn't have lumbar adjustment, so it's worth upgrading to at least the optional 14-way seats, or the 18-way sports seats, which have extra bolstering to hold you in place better during cornering.
The steering wheel has plenty of adjustment, and you should have few problems seeing the curved digital driver's display behind the steering wheel.
The air-conditioning controls are unhelpfully low down on the dashboard, and some functions are accessed using touch-sensitive pads rather than proper buttons. You do get proper switches for changing the interior temperature.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
Your view forwards is good, but the Cayenne's Coupé's swoopy roofline means your view to the rear is less clear. Fortunately, you get front and rear sensors, and a rear-view camera as standard.
If you want a bit more assistance, there's an optional 360-degree camera available.
Bright LED headlights are standard and help to make driving at night less stressful. They can be upgraded to matrix adaptive LED headlights (standard on Turbo GT), which can maintain a main beam even when there are cars in front, automatically shaping their light pattern to avoid dazzling other drivers.
Sat nav and infotainment
The 12.3in infotainment touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard has sharp graphics and is responsive when you touch it. The icons are mostly a good size, although the sheer number of them means the system can be a bit distracting to use when you're driving.
We prefer the iDrive infotainment in the BMW X6, which includes a dial you twist and push to control the system.
The Cayenne Coupé has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, and the 10-speaker stereo can be upgraded to either a 710W 14-speaker Bose system, or a 21-speaker Burmester set-up with 1455 watts.
The Cayenne Coupé's interior is, as we've come to expect from Porsche, really plush and impressive. It features dense, squidgy plastics, supple leather and switches that operate with slick precision.
You can add an extended leather pack for the dashboard and doors, and chose from a variety of colour schemes and dashboard finishes.
It could be argued that you get more glitz with the Mercedes GLE Coupé and more wow factor with the Lamborghini Urus, but in terms of perceived quality, the Cayenne Coupé is up there with the best.
Strengths Good infotainment system; comfortable seats and driving position; great build quality
Weaknesses Some functions are accessed via touch-sensitive pads; interior can be a bit bland without options
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
The Porsche Cayenne Coupé is big, and no matter how tall you are, you should have plenty of head and leg room in the front. Shoulder room is generous too, and there’s no risk of you and your front passenger banging elbows.
Wide door bins add to the car's practicality, as do the selection of other cubbies, which include a good-sized storage space under the front armrest.
Head room is one area where there’s a noticeable difference between the regular Porsche Cayenne and this coupé SUV version. That's because of the Coupé's swooping roofline and standard panoramic glass roof (except in the Turbo E-Hybrid Coupé with GT Pack, with its carbon-fibre roof). The seat bases are mounted slightly lower to compensate, so there's still enough room for six-footers.
Leg room remains generous. A long-legged adult can fit easily behind a similarly tall driver, and while you get four rather than five seats as standard (with a storage tray running between the rear two), you can swap that set-up for a five-seat layout at no extra cost.
The rear door bins are not as big as the ones in the front, but you can fit a 500ml bottle of water in each. There’s an armrest with two cupholders that folds down out of the rear bench.
Seat folding and flexibility
The four and five-seat arrangements both offer rear seats that can be slid forwards and backwards to prioritise rear leg room or boot volume. You can vary the angle of the backrests to improve comfort, and the seats split and fold 40/20/40.
As is the case with the driver’s seat, the front passenger’s seat is electrically adjustable but doesn't have lumbar support adjustment unless you upgrade to the 14-way powered seats.
This is another area in which there's a dramatic difference between the Cayenne Coupé and other coupé and luxury SUVs such as the Audi Q7 and the BMW X5 (or the regular Cayenne for that matter).
The boot is 100 litres shy of the standard Cayenne's, which has 698 litres below the parcel shelf, or 545 litres in the plug-in hybrid models. That still leaves plenty of room for suitcases or flatpack furniture.
The boot also scores well for being usefully square, although there's a bit of a load lip at its entrance for you to lift heavy luggage over.
Strengths Plenty of space; rear seat backs fold 40/20/40; big boot
Weaknesses E-hybrid PHEV models lose around 150 litres of storage; regular Cayenne has more head room
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The entry-level V6 Porsche Cayenne Coupé and the V8 Cayenne S are in the top bracket for benefit-in-kind tax, so both will be astronomically expensive to run as a company car. The E-Hybrid versions are far more attractive on this front thanks to their relatively low CO2 emissions and impressive electric-only ranges.
If you're buying privately, the pure petrol versions make far more sense and should hold on to their value well. This helps make monthly PCP repayments a little more palatable. Just don't expect cheap fuel bills – you'll be lucky to average much more than 20mpg in the V8 Cayenne S Coupé.
All E-Hybrid models feature the same sizeable 25.9kWh battery. From a regular 7kW home wall box charger it will take just under four hours to charge up.
Equipment, options and extras
Beyond the infotainment system and visibility aids (parking sensors, LED headlights etc), you don’t get a huge amount of standard equipment.
For example, while you get some luxuries, including cruise control, heated front seats, two-zone climate control, keyless start, power-folding door mirrors, 19in or 20in alloy wheels and a powered tailgate, that's not an overwhelming tally relative to the competition – or the price. In fact, it leaves you paying extra for many niceties, such as adaptive cruise control and keyless entry.
The Turbo adds 21in alloy wheels (22in come as standard on Turbo S E-Hybrid and Turbo GT models), a sports exhaust, lowered sports suspension, and heated front and rear seats with full leather or Alcantara. If you want lots more toys for your money, look instead at the Audi Q8 or the Range Rover Sport.
The Cayenne Coupé comes with a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, which is par for the course in the coupé SUV class. You also get European breakdown cover for the first three years of ownership.
Safety and security
The Cayenne received a full five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP in 2017, but dropped quite a few points for child occupant crash protection section compared with the safest rivals.
All versions comes with automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection as standard, as well as traffic-sign recognition and lane-keep assist, but you have to pay extra for blind-spot monitoring.
All Cayennes come with an alarm, and the security experts at Thatcham Research awarded it five stars out of five for its resistance to being stolen and four stars for guarding against being broken into.
Strengths Cayenne S Coupé is surprisingly good value; slower predicted depreciation than rivals; E-Hybrid models have an impressive electric range
Weaknesses You’ll want to add options to all versions
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The Coupé has a lower roofline, a more steeply angled rear window and narrower rear side windows, all of which give it a sleeker appearance than the regular Porsche Cayenne. Only the Cayenne Turbo Coupé is available with Porsche's GT Package, which includes enhanced aerodynamics, a carbon-fibre roof, a more aggressive suspension set-up and wider front wheels.
The Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid Coupé with GT Package has an official 0-62mph time of just 3.6 seconds and will go on to a top speed of 190mph. The fastest regular Porsche Cayenne is the Turbo and it's a tenth slower to 62mph with a top speed of 183mph. So yes, the Coupé is faster.
|RRP price range
|£75,575 - £154,055
|Number of trims (see all)
|Number of engines (see all)
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)
|petrol, petrol parallel phev
|MPG range across all versions
|156.9 - 25.9
|Available doors options
|3 years / No mileage cap
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)
|£5,424 / £6,519
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)
|£10,848 / £13,039