One of the few dedicated performance crossover models, the five-passenger Cayenne offers all-weather capability along with exhilarating 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. Cayennes come in a broad range of performance levels, with turbocharged V6 and V8 engines that range from 300 to 570 horsepower.
What's New for 2017
A new Platinum Edition model has joined the Cayenne lineup, with a sportier appearance that includes 20-inch RS Spyder wheels. All Cayenne models get the latest update of the Porsche Communication Management system. In the wake of the falsified-emissions scandal at Volkswagen, Porsche’s parent company, a diesel engine is no longer available.
Choosing Your Porsche Cayenne
With the departure of the diesel engine, the base Cayenne engine is a 3.6-liter gasoline V6 that develops 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg in city driving and 24 mpg on the highway.
The Cayenne S steps way up to a 420-horsepower twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6, generating 406 pound-feet. Fuel economy is estimated at 17/24 mpg (city/highway). In the GTS edition, V6 output rises to 440 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, with a 16/23 mpg gas-mileage estimate.
Performance really takes off in the Turbo model, with its twin-turbo 4.8-liter V8 whipping up 520 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. So equipped, the Cayenne can hit 60 mph in as little as 4.1 seconds and reach a track speed of 173 mph. In top Turbo S trim, the V8's output increases to 570 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, shrinking the sprint to 60 mph to just 3.8 seconds.
An eight-speed automatic transmission mates with each engine.
Porsche’s sophisticated all-wheel-drive system includes two off-road modes and a locking rear differential. Cayennes can tow up to 7,716 pounds, which is a lot more than you’d expect from a performance crossover.
A separate trim level corresponds to each available engine:
Available options range from high-end sound systems and rear-seat entertainment to sport exhaust systems, to such performance extras as Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus and ceramic composite brakes. Premium and Premium Plus option packages add various convenience features, such as front/rear parking sensors, auto-dimming mirrors, and comfort lighting. Enthusiasts should appreciate the Sport Chrono package, which adds a Sport Plus driving mode with launch control, along with in-dash analog and digital stopwatches.
Because the price difference between most models is substantial, some careful thought is needed making a decision—which is made even harder with the many available options The Cayenne S is very competitively priced for a performance-luxury crossover of this capability. The V8-powered Turbo and Turbo S are emphatically more exclusive, and priced accordingly.