One the few dedicated performance crossovers, the five-passenger Cayenne offers all-weather capability along with thrilling handling and potent acceleration on dry pavement. Now that Porsche also offers the smaller Macan, the Cayenne has been strengthened to solidify its position as the brand's top crossover.
What's New for 2015
A redesigned suspension system delivers improved ride and handling, and a subtle facelift yields a more aggressive look. New options include an air suspension and ventilated rear seats. The base V6 model has been dropped.
Choosing Your Porsche Cayenne
With the departure of the non-turbo V6 engine, the 3-liter turbo-diesel V6 becomes the Cayenne's new base engine. It's good for 240 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, and achieves 23 mpg in combined driving. The available turbocharged 3.6-liter produces the same amount of torque, but horsepower leaps to 420. The top choice is a twin-turbo 4.8-liter V8 that lays down 520 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is used with all engines.
With the diesel, you get a single-mode all-wheel drive system. The other engines are paired with a more sophisticated setup that includes two off-road modes and a locking rear differential. All Cayennes can tow up to 7,716 pounds, a good deal more than you would expect from a performance crossover.
There's a separate trim level for each available engine:
The Turbo's sound system and apps can be added to the lesser models with the optional Infotainment package. Available on all models, the Premium package adds several features (if they're not already standard), including 14-way heated and ventilated front seats with memory, extended LED accent lighting, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, auto-dimming mirrors, front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. The Diesel gets a single-panel sunroof, while the others upgrade to a panoramic one.
The Premium Plus package throws in even more goodies (again, if not standard), including adaptive LED headlamps, keyless access and ignition, heated rear seats, power rear sunshades and blind spot monitoring. Enthusiasts will like the Sport Chrono package, which adds a Sport Plus driving mode with launch control and in-dash analog and digital stopwatches.
The Diesel and S are very competitively priced for performance-luxury crossovers of this capability. The V8-powered Turbo, which is just about the best-performing crossover you can buy, is altogether more exclusive and priced accordingly.