Porsche Cayenne Review & Features

First Look

2019 Porsche Cayenne First Look

To say the Porsche Cayenne has been a success would be a massive understatement. Porsche's first SUV, which debuted 15 years ago amid cries of "heresy," has helped the brand immeasurably. For one, it brought a huge number of new buyers into the Porsche orbit, the sorts of people who admired the 911 from afar because they could never shoehorn one into their lifestyle. And with them came a vast infusion of cash that Porsche was able to reinvest in its core sports car products to make them that much more exciting and desirable. Instead of watering the brand down, the Cayenne — and the Macan that came later — have proven to be a potent corporate elixir.

Porsche pulled the wraps off the third-generation redesign of the Cayenne in a rooftop ceremony at its museum in Stuttgart, Germany, and it was abundantly clear that a good deal of that elixir has been drizzled directly onto this latest iteration of Porsche's flagship SUV. Available first in Europe, the North American version will see the light of day next summer as the 2019 Porsche Cayenne.

2019 Porsche Cayenne

A Hotter-Looking Cayenne
The design team at Porsche has always been adept at modernizing its products without diverging much from the established template. Any new 911 still looks like a 911, and this fully redesigned Cayenne indeed looks unmistakably like a Cayenne. But this time a bit of the secret sauce from the brand's sportier products has been stirred into the mix.

Though it rides on the same 114-inch wheelbase as before, the 2019 Cayenne's body is 2.5 inches longer and its roof stands six-tenths of an inch lower. The combination allowed the designers to stretch the familiar shape into something sleeker and more fluid. The lower and wider look is further enhanced by a full-width front grille and a reflector element that connects the two taillights.

The Cayenne also manages a subtle whiff of 911 haunchiness because, even though the bodywork isn't technically wider, the chassis underneath brings with it a considerably more wide-set stance where the rubber meets the road. The effect is more pronounced at the rear, where for the first time a Cayenne's rear wheels are wider than its fronts — and by a full inch. Nineteen-inch wheels with 255/55R19 front and 275/50R19 rear tires are now standard, with 20- and 21-inch wheels available as options, the latter wearing massive 285/40ZR21 front and 315/35ZR21 rear rubber.

2019 Porsche Cayenne

Efficiently Quick
The 2019 Cayenne will launch with two models, the base Cayenne and the Cayenne S. A plug-in hybrid Cayenne S E-Hybrid will follow some months later, and a Porsche executive we spoke to said that Turbo and Turbo S models will come after that.

If emotion could be set aside, we could easily argue that the base model's 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine provides more thrust than a Cayenne buyer could ever need. It makes 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, which represents a 39-hp increase and a 37-lb-ft lift in torque over the outgoing base model's 3.6-liter V6. And the fact that it's now turbocharged means that those heading for the mountains will no longer notice an appreciable loss of oomph as the air thins.

What's more, the new Cayenne is a lighter machine despite bigger wheels and more standard equipment. With its aluminum skin and optimized body structure, the base model shed about 125 pounds of weight. Combine that with the extra grunt and the thoroughly reworked eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission and it's easy to understand why Porsche says the base Cayenne will now reach 60 mph in 5.8 seconds (5.6 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono Package in S+ mode), a feat that took a leisurely 7.4 seconds before.

Not enough for you? The Cayenne S is powered by a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 434 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. The S is 140 pounds lighter than its predecessor, and it's good for 4.9 seconds to 60 mph, with 4.6 seconds possible in S+ mode. Specs for the E-Hybrid, the Turbo and the Turbo S were not released, but they should closely mimic what's on offer in the Panamera lineup.

U.S. fuel economy ratings were not revealed, but European ones were released. To a certain extent, any attempt at conversion is an apples and oranges exercise, but we did some back-of-envelope math anyway and came up with a conservative guess of 21 mpg combined for the both of them, which represents an improvement of 1 mpg apiece — not too shabby considering the extra performance.

2019 Porsche Cayenne

Foundational Changes
Under the skin, several foundational changes are worth noting. Chief among these is the move away from the 12-volt electrical system and starter battery we've known all our lives (unless, of course, you are experienced enough to remember 6-volt systems.) The new Cayenne instead uses a 48-volt system with a lithium-ion polymer battery. Such batteries are usually of lead-acid composition, but a 48-volt version would be extremely heavy. In this case, the new 48-volt lithium-ion polymer battery is 10 pounds lighter than last year's conventional 12-volt battery.

This change brings many benefits, the most obvious being added support for the ever-increasing network of onboard electrical systems. A 48-volt system also has the potential to make a fuel-saving stop-start system — which the new Cayenne has — much more immediate and seamless. It can make an electric power steering system more powerful yet easier to tune for delicate feel. And Porsche has used this change to improve the PDCC (Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control) body roll control system, replacing last year's hydraulic active stabilizer bars with electronically adjustable ones.

Less directly related to the 48-volt system is a change to a three-chambered design in the air suspension system. Previously a simple single-chamber design, the new system promises a much wider range of difference between the Sport, Normal and Comfort settings. The new Cayenne can also be equipped with rear-axle steering, which both increases the performance envelope and decreases the U-turn radius. And while we're quite keen to try out the new Porsche carbon-ceramic brake (PCCB) option — which now comes with truly massive 10-piston brake calipers — we're especially intrigued by the more conventional optional brake system that slots in just below. These feature tungsten-carbide-coated rotors with a mirror finish that should have at least double the life while producing far less brake dust.

2019 Porsche Cayenne

Advanced Cockpit Interior
Inside, the scene is dominated by a truly massive landscape-oriented 12.3-inch HD touchscreen audio and navigation interface that was first introduced in the Panamera. Dubbed the Porsche Advanced Cockpit, the other thing you notice is the relative lack of switchgear on the center console, which instead features touch-sensitive regions with haptic feedback hidden within a broad piano-black surface. An electronic toggle shifter sprouts from the center. If there's one aspect of the new Cayenne that has us sucking air through our teeth, this cabin environment may be it.

While we're not sure if the U.S. sales strategy matches that of Europe, standard tech includes an automatic emergency braking system with pedestrian prediction, and a sonar-based park assist system. Options include lane-keeping assistance, lane change assistance and a night-vision system. Further options include enhanced park assistance, a drowsy driver warning system, and Porsche InnoDrive (PID), a full-speed adaptive cruise control system that can talk to the navigation system to adjust speed based on curve radius and road gradient. At speeds up to 37 mph, PID also has traffic jam assist capability to prevent rear-end or side-to-side collisions if your mind wanders from the task at hand.

But Porsche was careful not to label this as any sort of semi-autonomous system akin to Tesla's Autopilot, and we can see why. We didn't get to drive the Cayenne, but we did drive an InnoDrive-equipped Panamera. Think of it as a better cruise control system, one that knows a little something about the road ahead because it's incorporating the road profile (and speed limit data) to a certain degree. This aspect only works if you are following a navigation route, and to our mind its best pairing will be with the plug-in hybrid model, where it can decide when to use gasoline and when to use electricity based on what it knows about the ups and downs of the road ahead.

2019 Porsche Cayenne

About 9 Months Away
The 2019 Porsche Panamera isn't scheduled to reach our shores until June 2018 at the earliest. But Porsche assures us we will have a chance to drive and evaluate test samples before 2017 is over. And we still do not know how much it will cost or how fuel-efficient it will be in U.S. trim.

But all indications suggest the 2019 Porsche Cayenne will be the best Cayenne to date. As far as SUVs go, it's got the look and the performance to uphold the Porsche name and keep those development dollars pouring in.

Porsche Cayenne Review

Porsche raised the public's collective eyebrow when it decided to enter the sport-utility vehicle business in 2003 with the midsize Cayenne. However, despite the grumblings of purists, this luxury SUV has proven itself worthy of the vaunted Porsche name over the course of two generations.

With a lineup that stretches into six-digit pricing territory when new and engines that range from a hybrid V6 to a twin-turbo V8, the Porsche Cayenne isn't your typical midsize SUV. It also isn't the most practical or family-friendly. Indeed, the Cayenne's relatively small cargo area, high load floor, and lack of a third-row seat option limit its real-world functionality.

But in terms of spirited driving, there are few better. Thanks to its all-wheel-drive system, razor-sharp steering and superb brakes, the Porsche Cayenne demonstrates surprising dexterity. The current generation isn't quite as adept off-road as the original Cayenne, but it's also lighter and more nimble, a trade-off that most shoppers will likely appreciate. New or used, a Cayenne is one of the best luxury SUVs on the market today.

Current Porsche Cayenne
The Porsche Cayenne is a five-seat midsize luxury SUV with numerous trims that correspond to engine choice. The base Cayenne features a 3.6-liter turbocharged V6 that produces 300 horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard, as it is on all Cayenne models. Stepping up to the Cayenne S gets you a 3.6-liter V6 with 420 horses, while the Cayenne GTS increases output to 440 hp. The Cayenne Turbo gets a 4.8-liter V8 rated at 520 hp, while the Turbo S ups the ante to 570 hp. Should you care more about efficiency than performance, the Cayenne S E-Hybrid produces 333 hp but beats the base V6's fuel economy.

Most Cayenne models are sold in a single trim level; however, the base model and S E-Hybrid are both available in a Platinum Edition that adds special exterior trim and a few comfort and convenience features. Like other Porsche models, the Cayenne is offered with a dizzying array of stand-alone options; indeed, this is one of the most customizable SUVs you can buy, but bear in mind that the options can just about double the price of some models.

Inside, the Cayenne employs an enveloping, cockpit-style layout reminiscent of the Porsche Panamera sedan, with ample standard features and as many options as your bank account can handle. The center console, adorned with upward of 50 buttons, rises rakishly to meet the dashboard and its large touchscreen display. As with other Porsches, the Cayenne's interior boasts sumptuous materials and excellent build quality. The sculpted rear seats not only recline but slide fore and aft as well. Maximum cargo capacity, however, is more in line with compact crossovers at just 62.9 cubic feet.

In reviews, we've been astonished by the current Porsche Cayenne's athleticism. It can be hustled along a curving road with gusto, yet the ride manages to stay supple, even with the optional active dampers in their most aggressive setting. And although this Cayenne isn't meant for serious off-road use, it can still hold its own in light-duty applications. If we were making a list of the most capable vehicles across all driving scenarios, the Cayenne would be right there at the top.

Used Porsche Cayenne Models
The current, second-generation Porsche Cayenne was introduced for 2011. It may look smaller than the SUV it replaced, but this is an optical illusion created by the new model's lower nose and raked roof pillars. In reality, this Cayenne is fractionally longer, wider and taller. Pleasingly, though, it's about 400 pounds lighter thanks to the deletion of the dual-range transfer case (meant to permit serious off-roading) and the use of lighter-weight body panels. Besides the weight loss, the second-generation Cayenne benefits from sharper driving reflexes, invigorated engines, and a new interior with better materials and more luxury features.

The current Cayenne has received a few notable updates during its run. The 550-hp Turbo S model didn't arrive until 2014, but from 2012-'13 a power kit was offered for the regular Turbo that increased output to 540 hp. Also, the diesel and GTS models weren't introduced until 2013, and a Platinum Edition package (including special silver exterior accents and added luxury features) was unveiled for base and diesel models in 2014.

A plethora of notable changes came in 2015: The V8 in the Cayenne S was replaced by a turbocharged V6, the Hybrid was replaced by a plug-in hybrid, and the Cayenne Turbo got a 20-horsepower boost. The suspension was also retuned for better ride comfort. The Turbo S and GTS took a year off, returning in 2016 with more power. The diesel was discontinued for 2017.

The first-generation Porsche Cayenne was produced from 2003 to 2010 and came equipped with a heavy-duty all-wheel-drive system that included low-range gearing. At heart, though, the original Cayenne was all about on-road performance, just like the current model. It was considered one of the best-handling SUVs of its time — not to mention one of the fastest in S, GTS and Turbo guises.

Inside, the driver sat high above traffic in comfortable bucket seats, facing a three-spoke steering wheel and a center-mounted tachometer that paid homage to Porsche's sports cars. The ignition was even mounted on the left side of the dash in classic Porsche style. Materials quality was generally very good throughout the cabin, but the advanced electronics controls weren't especially user-friendly. The original Cayenne wasn't the most spacious midsize SUV either, lacking the cargo and rear seat space of some similarly priced competitors.

Originally, there were only the Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo styles. The S model's 4.5-liter V8 produced 340 hp, while the turbocharged version of the same engine pumped out 450 horses. A six-speed automatic transmission was standard. A base model with a 247-hp 3.2-liter V6 arrived in 2004, and its standard transmission became a six-speed manual for 2005 (the rest of the Cayenne line stuck with the automatic). That year also brought the addition of a few options, such as a panoramic sunroof and a turbo power kit that boosted output to 500 hp and upgraded the brakes. For 2006, the range-topping Cayenne Turbo S debuted, producing a monstrous 520 hp that whisked the Cayenne to 60 mph as quickly as a 911 Carrera of the same era.

The Cayenne was not produced for the 2007 model year, but the following year brought major changes. The styling was given a welcome face-lift, the suspension was revised for sharper handling, and every engine gained more power. The base V6 produced 290 hp, the Cayenne S' V8 385 hp and the Turbo an even 500 hp. The Turbo S was put on hiatus. The Cayenne GTS model also arrived for '08, featuring a 405-hp version of the S model's V8, along with a six-speed manual transmission, 21-inch wheels, an active air suspension and a lower ride height. The Turbo S made its return for 2009 packing 550 hp.

Porsche Cayenne Cars for Sale

2016 Porsche Cayenne Base
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Dealer Notes

Black w/Partial Leather Seat Trim, 10 Speakers, 3.27 Axle Ratio, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, 8-Way Power Front Seats, ABS brakes, Air Conditioning, Alloy wheels, AM/FM radio, Automatic temperature control, Brake assist, Bumpers: body-color, CD player, Delay-off headlights, Driver door bin, Driver vanity mirror, Dual front impact airbags, Dual front side impact airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Four wheel independent suspension, Front anti-roll bar, Front Bucket Seats, Front Center Armrest, Front dual zone A/C, Front fog lights, Front reading lights, Fully automatic headlights, Garage door transmitter: HomeLink, Heated door mirrors, High intensity discharge headlights: Bi-Xenon, Illuminated entry, Knee airbag, Leather Shift Knob, Low tire pressure warning, MP3 decoder, Navigation System, Occupant sensing airbag, Outside temperature display, Overhead airbag, Overhead console, Panic alarm, Partial Leather Seat Trim, Passenger door bin, Passenger vanity mirror, Power door mirrors, Power driver seat, Power passenger seat, Power steering, Power windows, Radio: AM/FM/CD/DVD w/PCM & Navigation, Rain sensing wipers, Rear anti-roll bar, Rear fog lights, Rear reading lights, Rear seat center armrest, Rear side impact airbag, Rear window defroster, Rear window wiper, Remote keyless entry, Security system, Speed control, Split folding rear seat, Spoiler, Sport steering wheel, Steering wheel mounted audio controls, Tachometer, Telescoping steering wheel, Tilt steering wheel, Traction control, Trip computer, and Variably intermittent wipers. *Your additional costs are sales tax, tag and title fees for the state in which the vehicle will be registered, any dealer-installed options (if applicable) and a $299 dealer processing fee. Pricing and incentives may vary if vehicle is leased. Prices are subject to change, and prior sales are excluded from these offers. While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with the dealer.

2016 Porsche Cayenne GTS
NEW 2016 Porsche Cayenne GTS
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Dealer Notes

Navigation, Leather Interior, iPod/MP3 Input, Bluetooth, Dual Zone A/C, BLACK, LEATHER SEAT TRIM W/ALCANTARA, INFOTAINMENT BOSE PACKAGE W/HD RADIO, BLACK, Aluminum Wheels. Black exterior and Black interior, GTS trim SEE MORE! KEY FEATURES INCLUDE Navigation, All Wheel Drive, Power Liftgate, Turbocharged, iPod/MP3 Input, Bluetooth, Aluminum Wheels, Dual Zone A/C Rear Spoiler, MP3 Player, Keyless Entry, Remote Trunk Release, Privacy Glass. OPTION PACKAGES INFOTAINMENT BOSE PACKAGE W/HD RADIO: Online Services, BOSE Surround Sound System, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, BLACK, LEATHER SEAT TRIM W/ALCANTARA, BLACK. Porsche GTS with Black exterior and Black interior features a V6 Cylinder Engine with 440 HP at 6000 RPM*. Serviced here. EXPERTS CONCLUDE Regardless of engine choice, the unflappable handling and sublime steering make the Cayenne an excellent sport SUV. The PDCC system has the Cayenne cornering flat through the twisty bits, making it a must-have for buyers looking to maximize their fun quotient. -Edmunds.com. MORE ABOUT US Buy with confidence knowing Len Stoler Porsche has been exceeding customer expectations for many years and will always provide customers with a great value! Horsepower calculations based on trim engine configuration. Please confirm the accuracy of the included equipment by calling us prior to purchase.

2017 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
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2016 Porsche Cayenne Base
NEW 2016 Porsche Cayenne Base
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