One of the few dedicated performance crossovers, the five-passenger Cayenne offers all-weather capability along with thrilling handling and potent acceleration on dry pavement. The uninitiated will be amazed at how well a vehicle with four doors and cargo space can deliver genuine sports car excitement.
What's New for 2016
All models receive new nose and tail treatments, and the Turbo S returns with even more power.
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.
Performance really takes off with the optional twin-turbo 4.8-liter V8, which lays down 520 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. So equipped, the Cayenne hits 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and tops out at 176 mph. In top Turbo S trim, the V8's output increases to 570 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, and the sprint to 60 mph shrinks to just 3.8 seconds.
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 and Turbo S'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 with this package, 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 and Turbo S are altogether more exclusive and priced accordingly.