This Porsche Cayenne video review includes information about its many versions: Cayenne S, Diesel, Turbo, Turbo S and E-Hybrid. We discuss performance, interior space and quality, what it's like to drive and how it compares to other midsize luxury SUVs. For more information, read the 2015 Porsche Cayenne review.
The Cayenne featured in this video is very similar mechanically to the one that debuted as the second-generation model back in 2011. However, there were key changes made for 2015 to keep it fresh and make sure it remains a step above the cheaper Macan.
The styling was tweaked to make it look a little lower and wider, there are more standard features, and the suspension has been enhanced. There are also new and improved engines. The base V6 will technically return unchanged for 2016, but the new Cayenne S engine is the same twin-turbo, 420-horsepower V6 introduced in the Macan Turbo.
Then there's the revised 520-hp Turbo and, for 2016, it's joined by the 570-hp Turbo S. On the other end of the spectrum, there's a Cayenne Diesel good for 23 mpg combined and the Cayenne plug-in hybrid that nearly matches the acceleration of the Cayenne S, but can run purely on electricity for up to 14 miles.
The Cayenne S is bound to be the most popular, and that new turbo V6 brings it from zero to 60 mph in about 5 seconds. Unfortunately, its eight-speed automatic doesn't have the crisp, rapid-fire shifts of the PDK transmission found in the Macan and all of Porsche's sports cars.
And really, that's just one of the ways the Cayenne doesn't quite feel like a proper Porsche. It feels more like a regular SUV that Porsche's engineering wizards took apart and then re-constructed. Its handling is extremely sharp for a big, heavy SUV and there's definitely a level of engagement here you don't get in other luxury SUVs. It just doesn't have that true Porsche feel that the Macan does.
However, even if the Macan is better to drive, the Cayenne still has a leg up inside. For one, it's considerably bigger. It has far more cargo capacity, although at around 60 cubic feet, it's fairly modest for a midsize luxury SUV. There's definitely more "sport" here than "utility."
Like other Porsches, the Cayenne's high center console is covered in many buttons. Some people like that, since once you know where everything is, it's a lot quicker to press a single button than weed your way through menus on a touchscreen or by clicking and twirling a control knob. On the other hand, there's, well, a lot of buttons...and still a touchscreen to weed through.
The Cayenne also stands above the Macan in terms of interior design and ambiance. Yes, there is an endless options list of extra leather and different trim types, but in general, this does feel like a higher-end model that stands right alongside luxury SUVs like the BMW X5 and Range Rover Sport.