An SUV is a purely practical car right? And it prioritises space and comfort over white-knuckle driving thrills? Wrong, says Porsche, because it’s Cayenne can do both.
The first two generations were really successful, the first one was launched in 2002. Since then, everyone from Jaguar to Lamborghini has launched an SUV!
So, this third generation faces some stiff competition, and has the hardest job it’s had to date. In this video review, we’ll tell you what it’s like to drive, how
easy it is to live with, and which version you should buy, and remember we can help save you money on your next new car. Just visit our New Car Buying
section on whatcar.com. First of all though, let’s take it for a drive! There’s no slow version of the Cayenne. Kicking off the range is a three-litre
V6 turbocharged petrol which has 335 brake horsepower. It’s plenty quick, but it does feel slightly strained when you get to the end of its rev range.
Then, there’s the plug-in ‘E-Hybrid’ which does 27 miles on electric power alone. It’s perfect if you’re driving around town, but don’t expect the same fuel
economy as a Toyota Prius! Then, there’s the ’S’, which we’re driving today, which also has a V6 petrol engine but is twin-turbocharged, and you can
definitely feel the difference lower down the rev range. It is much quicker. After that, is the frankly bonkers ‘Cayenne Turbo’, which has a V8 under
the bonnet, and impressive performance – as much as you would expect from a modern supercar! It also has running costs to match.
You’ll notice that there aren’t any diesels on that list, and there won’t be for a long time, so if it’s a long distance cruiser that you’re looking for, you may
wish to look elsewhere. As standard the Cayenne, E-Hybrid, and S models, come on steel springs. But air suspension is available as an option, and it comes as standard on
the Turbo. You can set the air suspension to three levels of stiffness, but even in comfort mode the ride has a firm edge without being harsh. In fact, we’d
recommend opting for the air suspension if you can, because steel springs can be too firm for some. The Cayenne is big and bulky, but it hides its size well through the corners. It has plenty of grip and
there’s plenty of feedback through the steering wheel, so keen drivers will not Be disappointed. Although most owners won’t venture off-road, it’s good to know that the odd
muddy track or field will not present itself to be a problem. No matter your size or shape, you should find a comfortable driving position.
Posher versions get a plethora of adjustment in the steering wheel and also in the seat. Be warned, the standard seats don’t come with lumbar support, so
it is worth specifying those more expensive seats. Forward visibility, and visibility out of the back, is excellent, thanks to a high seating position. If you do need
extra help for parking though, you can spec a reversing camera. In terms of material quality, it’s excellent, and there isn’t any hard scratchy plastic in sight,
which is fantastic. All the major controls are easy to get to, some of the minor controls, however, are hidden in this touch menu – which is a little slow
to respond. What is quick to respond however, is this 12.3-inch touchscreen, which comes with many different functions, some of the smaller
icons are quite hard to hit whilst you’re driving along. There’s smartphone mirroring for Apple CarPlay, but I’m afraid Android users there is no Android
Auto. What you can do however is download the Porsche app, find a destination, and you can send that to the car. If that’s a compromise enough for you. The Cayenne is a large luxury SUV, so it’s no surprise
that it’s spacious, even if you’re really tall and you spec the panoramic sunroof. You will still find that there’s plenty of headroom.
Also, being a wide car, it means you’re not rubbing elbows with the person next to you. There’s also plenty of storage spaces, so there’s two cupholders here,
there’s large door bins, and more storage underneath the armrest, and a decent sized glovebox, no banana this time though!
Move into these rear seats and you’ll Find that there’s plenty of head and legroom, especially if you’re only five foot four and a half, like me. All jokes
aside, six-footers will also be fine, although you do get more room in an Audi Q7. However, you can sit three people side-by-side – although the person sitting
in the middle seat does sit a little taller than the two either side – and if you’re not using the middle seat, you’ve got two cupholders here, and again you’ve
got some decent sized door bins! As for boot size, well that is a match for
Audi Q7, and if you fold down the rear eats it creates even more space. There is a small load lip, however, it’s a really wide opening and a very usable space.
A word of warning though, if you go for the ‘E-Hybrid’ you do lose a hundred litres of boot space. The cleanest version of the Cayenne, is the ‘E-Hybrid’ but don’t expect to
see any better than 35 miles per gallon in real-world conditions. You will however, pay less company car tax, thanks to the lower CO2 emissions. Thankfully
the Cayenne is predicted to hold onto its value well, which is great news if you’re thinking about buying with cash, or on a PCP deal. Even the standard Cayenne gets a
decent haul of kit, sat-nav, Apple CarPlay, LED headlights, dual zone climate control, an electric tailgate, all come as standard. You’ll probably want to add a few
options so we’d recommend full leather seats, and air suspension too.
Our recommended ’S’ models get a bit more kit, as well as large alloy wheels, and a meatier exhaust. Every Cayenne comes with automatic emergency braking – with
pedestrian detection – as standard. If you’d like to spec it up further witH
safety equipment, you can pick technology such as Lane Keeping Assistance, and
nighttime vision camera. The Cayenne is a big SUV that’s both rapid and luxurious. Sure some of its rivals are more comfortable, however, its powerful engines and sharp
handling give plenty for keen drivers to love about Porsche’s