2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel Track Test

Can an Oil-Burning SUV Drive Like a Porsche?


  • 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel - Action Front 3/4 - 2

    2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel - Action Front 3/4 - 2

    A diesel SUV. Has Porsche gone too far? | March 12, 2013

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Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Edmunds Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

Porsche purists must be spinning in their air-cooled graves over the 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel. While the heretic idea of a Porsche SUV has been beaten to death, customers have been lining up from all corners of the globe to make the Cayenne the best-selling model in Porsche's lineup.

But this one is different. In traditional Porsche fashion, there are six cylinders. But they're arranged in a V. This Cayenne is turbocharged, too, though the turbos are spooled from the spent gases of diesel fuel. So in other words, the 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel is one of the least traditional Porsches of all time.

During our Porsche Cayenne Diesel First Drive we were taken by the 240-horsepower 3.0-liter V6's drivability and smoothness. So much so that we thought Porsche's 7.2-second estimated 0-60 run was a little conservative.

The time for guessing is over. We've finally got the 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel on our track. Did it live up to our expectations? Did it live up to Porsche's reputation? See the numbers below and decide for yourself.

Vehicle:
Odometer: 6,957
Date: 1/29/2013
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $56,725 (base)

Specifications:
Drive Type: Front engine, all-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Eight-speed automatic
Engine Type: Turbocharged V6, diesel
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 2,967/181
Redline (rpm): 4,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 240 @ 3,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 406 @ 1,750
Brake Type (front): 13.7-inch ventilated discs with six-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 13-inch ventilated discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent double wishbones with high-mount upper arm, self-leveling pneumatic springs, self-adjusting variable dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, self-leveling pneumatic springs, self-adjusting variable dampers, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 295/35ZR21 (107Y)
Tire Size (rear): 295/35ZR21 (107Y)
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Latitude Sport
Tire Type: Summer
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 5,100 (52.6 percent front)

Test Results:

Acceleration
0-30 (sec): 2.5 (3.0 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 4.6 (5.1 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 7.2 (7.8 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.9 (7.4 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 10.9 (11.4 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.3 @ 88.3 (15.7 @ 884 w/ TC on)

Braking
30-0 (ft): 26
60-0 (ft): 109

Handling
Slalom (mph): 67.1
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.90 (0.89 w/ TC off)
Db @ Idle: 45.8
Db @ Full Throttle: 65.1
Db @ 70-mph Cruise: 61.4

RPM @ 70: 1,750

 

Comments:

Acceleration: Definite hesitation off the line without power braking. Starts to run out of steam in 3rd gear. Nearly hits 6th gear in the quarter, due to eight speeds and a low redline. Power braking made a big difference because of turbo spool-up, gave quickest run. Manual shifting via console lever (pull back for downshifts) or nonintuitive steering wheel buttons. Blips throttle on manual downshifts.

Braking: Nice, firm pedal, the travel of which got slightly longer from fifth stop on. Almost no ABS or tire noise. Very secure stops with just a bit of nosedive. First and second stops were longest at 113 feet. Sixth stop (of seven) was shortest at 109 feet.

Handling:

Skid pad: Interesting in that it was actually easier to dial out understeer when the Cayenne had stability control on. It adds just the right amount of brakes to the appropriate wheels. Varying the throttle with ESC off did not have as much of an effect and it was harder to keep the front tires from howling.

Slalom: Extremely lenient stability control system. It felt like it was adding some brakes on occasion, but not cutting the throttle. This helped to keep the front end tucking back in around each cone. Precise steering, stiff suspension. Ran it in the stiffest of three settings. Very impressive that the big and heavy diesel Cayenne can get around the cones so adroitly.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

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