The updates to the newest Cayenne mirror the changes Porsche has made across its range in recent years. The 2019 Cayenne is slightly larger and slightly lighter, and it uses smaller but more powerful engines.
This being a Porsche, the big news is how much work has gone into making the Cayenne an even more potent performer. At launch, the Cayenne will be available in either base or S trims, both with smaller-displacement engines that rely on turbocharging to produce more power than the previous engines, with gains of 40 horsepower for the base model and 20 horsepower for the S.
To manage this extra power, all Porsche Cayennes will now come standard with all-wheel drive and make use of a new eight-speed gearbox. A tall eighth gear promises relaxed freeway cruising characteristics, and improved low-gear response time and locking differentials will help in off-road situations.
Weight loss and additional frame stiffness also feature prominently, with the use of more high-strength materials throughout the vehicle along with extensive use of aluminum in the body. Overall, the new Cayenne weighs up to 143 pounds less than the outgoing model while growing very slightly in overall length and width. Added cargo space is a bonus of this growth, with 27 cubic feet of space available behind the back seats.
The weight loss and added power have made the biggest difference for the base trim, which drops 1.4 seconds from its zero-to-60-mph time, now making that run in just 5.9 seconds. The S shaves just three-tenths from its time, which is down to 4.9 seconds.
Inside, the Cayenne benefits from a sleek, new redesign that dramatically increases the total amount of screen space in the cabin. The gauge cluster now features two 7-inch screens that can display various outputs based on driver preferences. The centerpiece, though, is the redesigned center stack that does away with quite a few physical buttons in favor of the 12.3-inch touchscreen premiered in the Panamera. It's a sleek setup that mirrors trends across the industry, and it makes the new Cayenne look thoroughly modern.
The Cayenne is already an Edmunds favorite when it comes to luxury performance SUVs, and this new generation promises more of everything that makes us like the current model.
models and features
At launch, the 2019 Cayenne will only be available in two trim levels: base and S. However, this being Porsche, we expect an extensive range of trims to arrive in the coming years.
On top of the standard all-wheel-drive system and eight-speed automatic, the base Cayenne comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, good for 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the Cayenne S receives a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6, making 440 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque.
Infotainment duties will be handled by an impressive 12.3-inch touchscreen mounted on the dash. This system includes Bluetooth, navigation, Apple CarPlay and a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot on the Panamera, so we expect to see those features carry over. The gauge cluster will present a large central tachometer flanked by two 7-inch HD screens with customizable information displays.
Several suspension setups will be available as optional add-ons for the Cayenne. Porsche Active Suspension Management, an active suspension setup with driver-adjustable settings, is now standard equipment on the S and optional on the base. There's a new air suspension available that uses a greater volume of air to allow for finer control over damper response. The 2019 Cayenne will also premiere an all-new electrically actuated stabilizer bar system that should improve body control even more. Finally, rear-axle steering is available, improving maneuverability at low speed and stability at high speed.
To bring this fast SUV to a stop, Porsche is offering a new kind of optional brakes with tungsten-carbide-coated cast iron rotors along with Porsche's previously available carbon-ceramic brakes.
The 2019 Cayenne also gets a new version of Porsche's Sports Chrono package. This Cayenne knocks 0.3 second off both the base and S trims' 0-60-mph times, adds a special Mode button to the steering wheel and an analog stopwatch to the dash, and allows for personalization of the SUV's dynamic settings.
Additional options include LED headlights, night vision and upgraded sound systems from Bose and Burmeister. A suite of active safety and convenience features — including adaptive cruise control with stop and go, a 360-degree camera, lane keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring — is also available.
There's no shortage of high-performance luxury SUVs following the trail Porsche blazed with the original Cayenne. The Land Rover Range Rover Sport has plenty of luxury on tap, as well as significantly more off-road cred than its cross-channel rival. It also comes with a range of powerful engines, culminating in the SVR trim's 550-horsepower supercharged V8.
The Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class and the BMW X5 will both give the Cayenne a run for its money thanks to high-performance versions from AMG and BMW's M division, respectively. Rounding out the German three is the Audi Q7, which is based on the same platform as the Cayenne but dressed in Audi comfort and tech.
Buyers looking for more exclusivity might consider the Maserati Levante, which, if nothing else, offers a thoroughly intoxicating exhaust note. On the other hand, if luxury and brand exclusivity don't feature high on your list of priorities but blistering acceleration and horsepower bragging rights do, Jeep will happily sell you a 707-horsepower Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
Porsche is promising that the 2019 Cayenne will hit dealerships in mid-2018. A full configurator is already live on Porsche's website for those who want to be prepared, or just indulge in a little fantasy.
The base Cayenne will be priced at $66,750 while the Cayenne S will be $83,950. Start adding options, though, and the price can easily break $100,000.
Those prices are a significant increase over the outgoing model. That extra money does get you more features and technology, however. For example, all-wheel drive is now standard on the base model, and the active suspension is standard on the S.
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.