2008 Porsche Cayenne SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Porsche Cayenne SUV

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Porsche Cayenne Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.8 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 405 hp @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/18 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Porsche Cayenne

  • While the 2008 Porsche Cayenne only receives subtle exterior styling changes, the significant upgrades to the engines and suspension produce dramatic performance improvements. If you want the best luxury SUV in terms of all-around on-road performance, this is the one to get.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Brisk performance, sports car handling, comfortable cabin, solid towing capacity.

  • Cons

    Options are pricey, cargo capacity falls short of rivals.

  • What's New for 2008

    After skipping a year, the Porsche Cayenne returns and is revamped for 2008. All engines receive more power this year. There's also a revised suspension for even sharper handling, a new GTS trim level and a few new luxury and convenience features in the form of an optional power liftgate, adjustable cargo tie-downs and adaptive headlights. Except for a mild face-lift and new taillights, the body and interior are carried over.

Full 2008 Porsche Cayenne Review

What's New for 2008

After skipping a year, the Porsche Cayenne returns and is revamped for 2008. All engines receive more power this year. There's also a revised suspension for even sharper handling, a new GTS trim level and a few new luxury and convenience features in the form of an optional power liftgate, adjustable cargo tie-downs and adaptive headlights. Except for a mild face-lift and new taillights, the body and interior are carried over.


Although it initially raised more than a few eyebrows and drew many a scowl from die-hard sports car enthusiasts, Porsche's first and only SUV has proven to be a big success. Since its introduction five years ago, the Cayenne crossover SUV has provided sports car fanciers with their own ute that combines athletic moves with a measure of utility. It also allowed the company to survive, as Porsche needed something of a volume seller to remain independent. Although many car buffs were initially disgruntled at the thought of this great sports car company jumping on the SUV bandwagon, the Cayenne has proven to be both a savior and a damn fine vehicle.

For 2008, the Porsche Cayenne enters its second generation. Most of the changes are under the skin, and indeed the body shell and interior are mostly untouched. Wider headlights, a reshaped hood and front fenders and a deeper chin spoiler give the 2008 Cayenne a slightly more aggressive stance than last year's model. More energetic power plants mean even the V6-equipped Cayenne can wear its Porsche crest with pride. The V6's output now stands at 290 horsepower (an increase of 43 hp). The V8-powered Cayenne S makes 385 hp (an increase of 45 hp), while the new GTS model has an enhanced version of that V8 that pumps out 405 hp.

The top-shelf Cayenne Turbo continues to be available, and it kicks out an astounding 500 hp (an increase of 50 hp). Zero-to-60-mph times range from around 8 seconds flat for the V6 to around 5 seconds flat for the Turbo. Handling, always a forte of the Cayenne, is even better now thanks to optional Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC). This system uses automatically adjusting stabilizer bars to do an amazing job of virtually eliminating body roll when the SUV is driven hard on a winding road.

Is all of this enough to keep the 2008 Porsche Cayenne on top of its game? When it debuted, the Cayenne essentially had the BMW X5 as its lone rival in the high-performance crossover SUV segment. Now it must also contend with the Land Rover Range Rover Sport and revised Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG. For maximum performance, we still think the Porsche earns the podium as its acceleration, braking and handling can't be beat. But it's not without fault. Foremost, it follows Porsche tradition of being expensive, particularly when fitted with options. It's also somewhat lacking in utility, while fussy controls and a small backseat detract from its luxury ambience. So if performance is a secondary concern for you, one of the Cayenne's competitors might suit you better.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Porsche Cayenne midsize luxury crossover SUV comes in five trim levels, which are essentially defined by the powertrain fitted to each. The base Cayenne comes with a V6, along with 17-inch wheels, automatic climate control, a 12-speaker CD audio system, foglamps, full power accessories (including front seats), leather seating, a trip computer and a power liftgate. This base model comes with a manual transmission, but most buyers will select the Cayenne Tiptronic, which has the same equipment but adds the six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission.

The automatic-only Cayenne S is similarly equipped, but is V8-powered and comes with 18-inch alloy wheels. The Cayenne GTS adds a more powerful V8 and a sport exhaust system as well as a standard six-speed manual transmission, 21-inch alloy wheels, an active air suspension and a 20mm-lower ride height than other Cayennes. The top-of-the-line Cayenne Turbo comes with a turbocharged V8, active air suspension, specialized front and rear styling, brushed aluminum body accents, a Bose audio system, a navigation system, front and rear park assist, heated seats (front and rear), bi-xenon adaptive headlights, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel and an Alcantara headliner.

Many of the Turbo's features are available as options on the lesser trims. Other option highlights include various wheels (ranging up to 21 inches in size), a large four-section panoramic moonroof, insulated glass, the PDCC active antiroll bar system, various wood and aluminum interior accents, rearview camera, satellite radio, CD changer and the Off-Road Technology Package, which provides a locking rear differential and skid plates.

Powertrains and Performance

The Cayenne and Cayenne Tiptronic both come with a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 290 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The Cayenne S packs a 4.8-liter V8 with 385 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. In the Cayenne GTS, this engine produces 405 hp. The Cayenne Turbo has a twin-turbocharged version of the V8 that makes a mighty 500 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. All have a six-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission (except the base Cayenne and GTS with the six-speed manual) and all have all-wheel drive. A low-range gear is provided for off-roading, but buyers should note that all Cayennes come with street-biased, all-season tires. Anyone planning to do serious off-highway work in Porsche's SUV should invest in a set of all-terrain tires.

The base Porsche Cayenne is suitably quick: The six-speed manual runs zero to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, according to Porsche, while the Tiptronic version takes 7.9 ticks. The Cayenne S hits 60 in 6.4 seconds, while the Cayenne GTS should get the job done in either the high 5s (manual transmission) or low 6s (automatic). We're told that the Turbo stampedes to 60 in just 4.9 seconds. Top speeds range from 141 mph for the V6 versions to 171 mph for the Turbo. Towing capacity for all Cayennes is 7,700 pounds.


Antilock disc brakes are standard on the 2008 Porsche Cayenne, as are front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Stability control is standard as well, and the system now features a rollover sensor. Active bi-xenon headlights and front and rear park assist are standard on the Turbo, and available on all other trims.

Interior Design and Special Features

With a 911-style instrument cluster (meaning large, clear gauges) and left-side ignition switch, the Cayenne's interior is all Porsche. Sadly, this means that the climate and audio controls are comprised of many small, look-alike buttons that take some getting used to. Otherwise, materials quality is superb, as every major surface feels worthy of a vehicle with such a large price tag, right down to the richly carpeted footwells. Fit and finish, especially with the optional wood or metallic accent packages, is excellent, and the front seats are firmly supportive. Rear-seat comfort is mediocre, however, and cargo capacity, at 62.5 cubic feet, is on the small side for a midsize luxury SUV.

Driving Impressions

In terms of performance and handling, the 2008 Cayenne fully lives up to its Porsche heritage. The new GTS model is a particularly sporting drive thanks to its lower ride height, standard manual transmission and downright bawdy sport exhaust. Swift acceleration from nearly any speed is always at hand, even in the V6 models, while cornering is flat and confident, especially if the Cayenne is equipped with the new PDCC option. The ride is firm but never harsh and the brakes are strong and linear. The Cayenne can also be a capable SUV when it comes to off-road work, but only if you specify the optional off-road package.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Great suv with one major

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Porsche Cayenne S 4dr SUV AWD (4.8L 8cyl 6A)

I bought a used Cayenned S with 50k miles on it. It is a great vehicle as most of the reviewers have noted. However, there is one major flaw which no one has pointed to in their reviews. The front buckets seats are extremely uncomfortable, probably the worst I've ever sat on. The middle section is only about 16" wide and go up sharply from there to provide support, but it is extremely firm. My bottom side and hamstrings are literally sore after driving for an extended period of time. I am now driving with a pillow. A quick note, I am averaging about 15 MPG in mixed driving and the vehilce is solid. No other complaints other than those seats. C'mon Porsche, you can do better!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

More than i expected in

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Porsche Cayenne Tiptronic 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

You wonder how they do it, other than you being high off of the ground you hardly notice the weight and size of this car. No it doesn't have Porsche speed, but it's plenty quick for any base luxury SUV. I had a Discovery 2 and a 540i. It really drives a like the 540i, but not as quick, it's very similar to a 528i or an Audi A6 3.0. As to the Disco, the Cayenne is far more nimbler and much more responsive. It's a European sports sedan that's tall, big, and can go off-road (if that's important to you, check out videos on Youtube).

I'll wait for the porsche

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Porsche Cayenne GTS Tiptronic 4dr SUV AWD (4.8L 8cyl 6A)

This is a great car! Just not what I needed it to be, which was something that was more comfortable for a small family. It's not Porsche' fault, I've just changed.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

This car rocks!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Porsche Cayenne Tiptronic 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I've owned a BMW M Roadster, 4 Audi's & 3 Porsches including Audi "S4's as well as Carrera CR4's, and I can tell you I love my Cayenne. Heavy and not so fast, but all Porsche. Stock, the suspension feels as refined as any SUV on the planet and better than most cars including my wife's Audi A4. Built like a rock solid as one too, comfortable, luxurious and a good compromise between speed and economy. We just traveled across country as a family (6,000 miles) and we all still love this car. Can you say that!

Good value

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Porsche Cayenne Tiptronic 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I have been very pleased overall with this car. Best handling SUV out there (after driving all of them). Comfortable for me (I'm 6'5") but not for anyone behind me. Not a real good family car. Just not enough room for any length of time with kids or stuff. But the only Porsche you can take the family of 5 in. Could use more power and the mileage is not great for a V6.


by on
Vehicle: 2008 Porsche Cayenne S 4dr SUV AWD (4.8L 8cyl 6A)

The only vehicle I've liked better is the Cayman. I love when I ask the car for power it responds, "Yes, sir! Right away, sir!" and we're gone.

Talk About The 2008 Cayenne

2008 Porsche Cayenne Discussions See all Started By

"Porsche's redder, hotter chili pepper"...sounds like our editors like the Cayenne's changes for 2008. Read the article and then tell us what you think....

Some advice please on tires for an Cayenne S non turbo with 20" Techno wheels. I currently have Diamaris tires which have only a few thousand more miles to go. Can anyone give me their experien...

I am also looking at some used (new leftover?) Cayennes....

Read more about the 2008 Porsche Cayenne

Gas Mileage


  • 13
  • cty
  • 18
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411