Porsche Cayenne GTS SUV (4.8L 8-cyl. AWD 8-speed Automatic)
Driven On 10/16/2012
This rating has been carried forward from a prior year because the newer model has no substantial differences.
With its impeccable build quality, astonishing handling, invigorating V8 performance and a company pedigree few SUVs can touch, the Porsche Cayenne GTS may be expensive, but it's one of the best sporty SUVs on the planet. Only the Cayenne Turbo can outshine the GTS.
PerformanceDownright quick with sports-car handling, and can even do a little bit of soft-roading. The Cayenne GTS encompasses overall performance like very few vehicles on the planet can.
Although it's not the quickest version of the Cayenne, the GTS is near the top of the tree and certainly way ahead of most SUVs.
Powerful, fade-free, and always trustworthy brakes. The Cayenne GTS was very stable during panic stops at the test track.
Communicative, responsive and unquestionably a benchmark for its class.
SUVs should not not be able to grip this well, nor be as nimble. Standard computer-controlled suspension, telepathic steering and enormous tire contact patches work in harmony.
Despite all of its performance credentials, the Cayenne GTS remains an easy-to-use daily driver.
When adequately equipped, the Cayenne GTS can tow up to 7,716 pounds. That's more than most will ever require.
There are other Cayennes with more off-road-dedicated hardware, but the GTS is still an excellent soft-roader and certainly more than equipped to get you to the ski slopes.
ComfortOf course Porsche offers a vast array of available equipment to make the Cayenne GTS even more luxurious, but this SUV is remarkably comfortable right out of the box.
Front seats are highly adjustable, supportive and extremely comfortable. Rear seats (40/20/40 split) slide, recline and fold.
The softest of several computer-controlled, driver-selectable suspension modes offers a remarkably gentle and highly controlled ride regardless of surface.
Even at full acceleration, the Cayenne GTS is remarkably quiet. Cruising at freeway speeds, it's as hushed as a luxury sedan.
InteriorThis is an impressively high-tech and high-function cabin. But the Cayenne's interior does have less passenger and cargo room than other SUVs in its class. Visibility can be a challenge as well.
At first the Cayenne's vast array of buttons is intimidating. But you soon come to realize the groupings are very logical and the controls work smoothly.
While the Cayenne doesn't sit as high off the ground as some SUVs, its step-in height, seat height and deep seat bolsters might be challenging for some.
There's enough room to comfortably accommodate four adults (five is tight), but the lack of a third row limits its appeal.
Challenging visibility is augmented by the optional rearview camera, parking sonar and lane-departure warning. Active bi-xenon headlamps come standard.
At 24 cu-ft with all seats occupied and up to 63 cu-ft with the rear seat folded, the Cayenne GTS comes up a little short compared to some of its competitors.
ValueIt's hard to call an SUV with a pricetag of more than $100K a good value, but the Cayenne's build quality, top-shelf materials and performance go a long way toward offsetting its merely adequate warranty and V8 thirst.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Exceedingly well engineered and constructed, few manufacturers are capable of attaining the build quality of Porsche.
The Cayenne GTS arrives with a long list of standard features above the already well-equipped S model on which it's based. As with any Porsche, superfluous options add up quickly.
At about $82,000 to start, the Cayenne GTS is no bargain, but it is still a competitive price within its Super-SUV peer group.
EPA-rated at 15 city/21 highway/17 mpg combined, the Cayenne GTS is respectably fuel efficient considering the 5,000-lb SUV can hit 60 mph in 6 seconds.
With so many manufacturers offering up to 100,000-mile warranties, Porsche's 4-year 50,000-mile (albeit with Roadside Assistance) New Car Limited Warranty seems rather weak.
The Porsche ownership experience is one of the best. Many ways to stay engaged with the brand, including clubs, sporting events, driving schools, race events and travel.
Fun To DriveThe Cayenne GTS's performance capabilities seem to defy some laws of physics. This SUV goes, stops and corners like a sport sedan, and that's big fun to us. Only the Cayenne Turbo performs better.
In normal driving, the Cayenne GTS feels like any other SUV. Lean on it in the corners or step on the throttle, and it transforms into something much more special.
What once looked like an oddity (a Porsche SUV!) has become more commonplace and now the sinister GTS version adds a dash of mystery and attitude to the mix.