Ten years ago, the idea of a Porsche sport utility vehicle would have seemed absurd. And the reason is not that it lacks experience with off-road cars since their engineering have developed all-wheel-drive military vehicles. It’s more that, compared to General Motors, Toyota or Daimler-Chrysler, the automotive giants, Porsche represents a tiny fraction of the production volume.
For 50 years, the company has produced quick, nimble, small sports car, or in other words, the opposite of the SUV’s. When Porsche decided to invest in an SUV and a new factory to build it, it became clear the times, as well as our taste, have changed.
And now, after creating the most anticipated new Porsche in decades, the company is proud that its SUV is what many expected it would be: technically slick and remarkably fast, with on-road handling that belies its bulk. Also, the Cayenne delivers what most SUV buyers demand, including decent cargo space, more than enough capability for casual off-road use, and impressive towing capacity.
When it comes to pricing, Cayenne is a true Porsche. A very expensive Porsche. With tax and license, a loaded Cayenne Turbo can crack the $100,000 barrier, and that alone will knock it off most shopping lists. But for the connoisseurs, the Porsche Cayenne will be truly appreciated for its performance and driving satisfaction.
Porsche offers three versions of the four-door Cayenne: the Cayenne, The Cayenne S and the Cayenne Turbo. The standard models of the Cayenne and Cayenne S come with features such as: 18-inch alloy wheels, stability control given by the Porsche Stability Management, leather seating, power seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 350-watt, 15-speaker Bose audio system. Since it’s a true Porsche, Cayenne’s ignition switch is on the dash’s left side. The gauge cluster is nearly perfect but the climate and radio controls are indecipherable cluster of buttons and knobs. The good thing is that the satellite steering wheel controls are standard which means that they will be easier to find. The Turbo model comes not only with additional power but also with more technical and luxury features.
Among those we enumerate: an adaptive suspension with automatic ride height and damping adjustment (Porsche Active Suspension Management), bi-HID headlights, a CD-based navigation system, heated seats front and rear, seat memory, sonar front/rear parking assist and power adjustment for the steering wheel. But the options the Cayenne offers are meant to increase functionality and personality. These options are: four-zone climate control, bolstered sport seats, various wheel/tire upgrades and trailering preparation. With a maximum cargo capacity of 63 cubic feet, the Cayenne has slightly more capacity than the Range Rover but less than the Infiniti FX45.