2017 Porsche Cayenne Review
The 2017 Porsche Cayenne is both sporty and indulgent, and its comprehensive lineup ranges from a green-cred plug-in hybrid to a sports-car-beating all-star with a turbo V8. Park a Cayenne in your garage and you could be convinced that it's the best all-around crossover on the market.
Regardless of where you start in the Cayenne line — be it the 300-horsepower base model or 570-hp Turbo S — there is no shortage of options to equip and customize it to your liking. You've got close to 20 wheel choices alone, plus a dozen leather interior arrangements and numerous trim accents such as aluminum, carbon fiber, imitation suede or even more leather. Porsche offers an adjustable air suspension, electronically controlled dampers and active anti-roll bars that endow the Cayenne with physics-defying levels of handling.
Now, is the Cayenne vice-free? No. There are several optional features that should probably be standard from a utility standpoint. And although there is indeed a useful amount of passenger and cargo space, most similarly priced rivals outdo it. The E-Hybrid model is also so frustrating to drive that we would not recommend it. But with so much else to like from the 2017 Cayenne lineup, it is very much worthy of your consideration.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Porsche Cayenne is a five-passenger midsize SUV available in an usually high number of trim levels: Cayenne, S, S E-Hybrid, GTS, Turbo and Turbo S. Each of these have different engines and a consequent increase in performance, although they do typically include a few extra features beyond what the trim below provides. For 2017 there are also two limited-edition models: the Cayenne Platinum and Cayenne S E-Hybrid Platinum. All come with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Standard feature highlights for the base Cayenne include a 3.6-liter V6 (300 horsepower, 295 pound-feet of torque), 18-inch wheels, xenon headlights, power-folding heated mirrors, a power tailgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats, partial leather upholstery, a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat (with slide and recline), a 7-inch central touchscreen, a navigation system, Bluetooth and a 10-speaker audio system.
The Cayenne S upgrades to a 3.6-liter turbocharged V6 (420 hp, 406 lb-ft) plus 19-inch wheels, speed-sensitive variable steering effort (Power Steering Plus), a power-adjustable steering wheel, a sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, and driver-seat memory settings.
The Cayenne S E-Hybrid has a special hybrid-electric powertrain that features a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 and an electric motor that together produce 416 hp and 435 lb-ft of torque. It also includes adaptive suspension dampers (PASM), Porsche Car Connect with E-Mobility (provides remote access to important hybrid features via a smartphone app), a 3.6-kilowatt onboard charger (a 7.2-kW charger is available) and an energy management display in the instrument cluster.
When you pick the Cayenne GTS you're back with a regular powertrain, in this case a more powerful version of the S engine good for 440 hp and 443 lb-ft. It also gets a variety of additional performance-enhancing elements that include 20-inch wheels, a specially tuned adjustable air suspension, larger high-performance brakes, front sport seats, partial simulated-suede upholstery and headliner, and unique exterior styling elements.
The Cayenne Turbo adds to the Cayenne S equipment a turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 (520 hp, 553 lb-ft), adaptive LED headlights, a heated steering wheel, a full leather interior, upgraded front seats, heated rear outboard sport seats, and a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system.
The range-topping Cayenne Turbo S adds an even more powerful version of the Turbo V8 (570 hp, 590 lb-ft) plus 21-inch wheels, two-tone leather upholstery, carbon-fiber interior trim and the Sport Chrono package with dash-mounted timer. It also includes handling upgrades such as active anti-roll bars (PDCC), brake torque-vectoring and electronic-locking rear differential (PTV Plus) and ultra high-performance carbon-ceramic brakes.
The two Platinum Edition models adds a selection of popular options plus exclusive 20-inch wheels and special exterior trim. The E-Hybrid version also includes an auxiliary climate system that allows preheating or precooling of the cabin before occupants enter
Many features that come standard on upper trim levels can be ordered as stand-alone options. Indeed, like other Porsches, the Cayenne is one of the most customizable vehicles you can buy.
Then you've got even more choice from a dizzying options list. It starts with four main packages — Sport, Porsche Connect Plus, Premium and Premium Package Plus — and then goes to a huge list of standalone choices. All serve to enhance the Cayenne's performance, technology and audio, comfort, safety, and exterior and interior style. For a price, of course.
Noise & vibration
Ease of use
Getting in/getting out
Audio & navigation
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.