It would be easy to dismiss the 2017 Porsche Cayenne as just an SUV with a fancy sports car badge. After all, do you really expect it to drive like a 911 and still carry a family, as well as a 50-inch television in the cargo area? Well, you shouldn't. But the Cayenne is nevertheless one of the best SUVs to drive and actually one of the most well-rounded luxury models, offering a little something for everyone. Well, everyone with an ample enough budget.
If you want the closest thing possible to a sports car SUV, order up the GTS or Turbo model, or at least specify an upgraded suspension or brake package. If you're after a winter sports-mobile, the Cayenne has standard all-wheel drive and plenty of roof space for racks — that should do the trick. Looking for a luxurious suburban runabout? It can be that, too, as a properly provisioned Cayenne with leather-wrapped everything and a liberal sampling of the options list will comfort and cosset you whether you're driving to work or to the dog park.
But, with so many variations, it can be difficult to figure out which is best for you. For the most part, each of the Cayenne models is tied to a different engine. There's the base Cayenne (300-horsepower V6, 20 mpg combined); the Cayenne S (420-hp turbocharged V6, 20 mpg combined); the Cayenne GTS (440-hp turbocharged V6, 20 mpg combined); Cayenne Turbo (520-hp turbocharged V8, 17 mpg combined); and Cayenne Turbo S (570-hp turbo V8, 17 mpg combined). The diesel-powered Cayenne has been discontinued, thanks to the Volkswagen Group's emissions cheating scandal. That means there really isn't an appealing fuel-saving version anymore. (We don't recommend the unrefined and irritating-to-drive Cayenne S E-Hybrid.)
There are changes for 2017, the most notable being the new PCM 4.0 touchscreen interface that boasts improved functionality as well as the ability to add optional Apple CarPlay functionality. There are also two new Platinum Edition models, which add a selection of popular options plus exclusive trim and 20-inch wheels to the base Cayenne and the E-Hybrid.
The Cayenne is not perfect, however. Its cargo capacity is small for its segment and there are a variety of optional features that should probably be standard, given its price point. That said, the Cayenne is one of our top recommended luxury SUVs. Let us help you find the one that's perfect for you.