The 2018 Porsche Cayenne is one of a rare breed of performance-focused SUVs. At the same time, it also provides a wealth of luxury and everyday conveniences to broaden its appeal. Furthering its cause is a deep lineup of engine choices and trim levels that start around $60,000 all the way to almost triple that for the top-of-the-line model. With the exception of the unimpressive E-Hybrid version, we heartily recommend checking out the entire Cayenne family.
Of the few complaints we have, the rear seat and cargo spaces top the list. Most shoppers will find them adequate, but rivals are more accommodating. We also expect more standard features at this price level and options are expensive, but this is a Porsche, after all.
There are six trim levels to choose from: the Cayenne, S, S E-Hybrid, GTS, Turbo and Turbo S. The main difference between them are the engines, with some additional feature content along the way. Standard feature highlights for the base Cayenne include xenon headlights, a power tailgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, partial leather upholstery, a navigation system and a 10-speaker audio system with satellite radio. The Cayenne S adds items such as bigger wheels, a sunroof, and front and rear parking sensors. The Cayenne S E-Hybrid includes adaptive suspension dampers, 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.
The Cayenne GTS gets you 20-inch wheels, an adjustable air suspension, high-performance brakes, a sport exhaust system, front sport seats, a simulated-suede headliner and seat inserts, and unique exterior styling elements. Adding to that, the Cayenne Turbo includes adaptive LED headlights, a heated steering wheel, a full leather interior, heated front and rear seats and a Bose surround-sound audio system. Finally, the Cayenne Turbo S comes with 21-inch wheels, suspension and brake upgrades, two-tone leather upholstery, carbon-fiber interior trim and the Sport Chrono package.
As unique as the 2018 Porsche Cayenne is, it's not the only performance-minded luxury SUV in the class. The Maserati Levante is also noteworthy, though there are fewer models to choose from that range from $70,000 to $80,000. Land Rover's Range Rover Sport and the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe are also worthy of consideration and are priced between $65,000 and $111,000. There's really not a bad choice in the group, and you'd do well to check them all out on Edmunds.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.