Porsche Cayenne Overall Rating - 8.2 / 10
- Cost Of Ownership: 7.0 / 10
- Ride Comfort: 8.5 / 10
- Fit For Purpose: 9.0 / 10
- Handling Dynamics: 9.0 / 10
- Interior: 8.0 / 10
- Fuel Efficiency: 7.5 / 10
- Value For Money: 7.7 / 10
- Performance: 8.5 / 10
- Tech Infotainment: 8.5 / 10
Porsche Cayenne Pros
- The V8 is back in the Cayenne S
- Improved interior technology
- Turbo GT is a certified weapon
Porsche Cayenne Cons
- Prices are up for 2024
- Base Cayenne is very quiet
- V8 engines enjoy a drink
The world has changed since the first Porsche Cayenne debuted in 2002.
It was received… harshly by the world's motoring press, and Porsche purists. Buyers didn't care.
In 2023, there's no question about its place in the Porsche line-up. Close to 75 per cent of the brand's sales so far this year in Australia have been SUVs, despite the Cayenne you see here going through a full model change.
Although there's no question what Porsche considers its hero car, the legendary 911 accounts for less than 10 per cent of all deliveries in Australia at the moment.
All of which is a long-winded way of saying the average Porsche owner looks a bit different in 2023 to what it did in 2002. Come 2033 it'll no doubt look very different again, as the world transitions to electric power.
Rather than launching the Cayenne in Australia on a racetrack in a bid to show it is too a real Porsche, or taking us off-road to demonstrate its credentials as a proper SUV, we hit the road from Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula for a glimpse into what a big part of the brand is all about.
How much does the Porsche Cayenne cost?
- 2024 Porsche Cayenne: $140,200
- 2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid: $155,900
- 2024 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid: $178,300
- 2024 Porsche Cayenne S: $181,000
- 2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid: $288,400
- 2024 Porsche Cayenne Coupe: $148,300
- 2024 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe: $161,600
- 2024 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid Coupe: $185,100
- 2024 Porsche Cayenne S Coupe: $190,000
- 2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid Coupe: $297,200
- 2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT: $366,200
Prices exclude on-road costs
To see how the Porsche Cayenne compares with its rivals, line it up side-by-side with any car you want using our comparison tool.
What is the Porsche Cayenne like on the inside?
Porsche has put a real focus on improving its interior technology lately, and it's paid off in the new Cayenne.
The last model was already a spacious, luxurious place to spend time, but the overhaul has brought a new touchscreen and a fresh driver display that makes it feel modern. You can even get a third screen in front of the passenger.
Throw in swathes of waxy leather, a range of interesting finishes, and a typically lovely steering wheel, and you've got one of the nicest luxury SUV interiors out there.
The fundamentals are excellent, too. The front seats are generously padded units with a huge range of adjustment on offer for awkwardly proportioned drivers, and the view out over the bonnet is suitably commanding.
The Cayenne Coupe gets sporty looking fixed headrests on the front seats, but there are no bad options here.
Porsche's latest touchscreen technology is excellent. With big, colourful icons and super slick responses, it looks and feels properly modern, and will immediately make anyone who spends their life pinching, scrolling, and texting on an iPhone feel right at home straight away.
Wireless smartphone mirroring connects quickly, and didn't drop out through the toll gantries littering our drive route. There's a Bose or a Burmester sound system available as an option, although the latter will set you back more than $12,000.
Points also go to Porsche for remembering where it came from with the three- and five-dial options on the digital dash. They might not mean much to someone upgrading their X5 for a Cayenne, but Porsche purists will appreciate the nod.
As for the practical stuff? There wasn't much wrong with that in the last Cayenne, and there's not much wrong with it here.
Rear legroom and headroom are excellent, even in the Coupe with its sloping roof line, and rear occupants are looked after with air vents, charge points, and a fold-down central armrest. ISOFIX points feature on the outboard rear seats, and there's a trio of top-tether points.
Claimed boot space in the Cayenne Coupe is 565 litres, expanding to 1475 litres with the rear seats folded flat. The standard Cayenne packs 772 litres and 1702 litres respectively.
What's under the bonnet?
The entry-level engine is up 10kW and 50Nm on its predecessor.
Porsche has actually subbed the 2.9-litre V6 engine from the pre-update Cayenne S for a burbling, barking bi-turbo V8. Not only does it pack 25kW and 50Nm more than before, it makes a much nicer noise.
Finally, the Turbo GT has 14kW more than the model it replaces. We didn't drive the E-Hybrid, which is due to touch down locally early in 2024, nor its more powerful Turbo E-Hybrid sibling.
How does the Porsche Cayenne drive?
There's nothing quite like a V8, which makes the Cayenne S pretty damn appealing.
Prod the start button to the right of the steering wheel – the little faux key has been axed – and it fires with a crackle, even if you haven't turned on the sports exhaust.
It's a torquey, easygoing engine when you aren't in a hurry, burbling away as the eight-speed automatic shuffles unobtrusively through the gears. Although the base Cayenne has enough performance to out-drag most hot hatches away from the traffic lights, its V6 lacks the character of the bigger V8 on offer in the S.
You don't really get any meaningful exhaust or intake noise in the cabin when you opt for the V6, which does rip some of the emotion out of things… and if you want the quietest Cayenne possible, the E-Hybrid offers electric motoring for around 50km.
With light steering, solid visibility, and high-resolution cameras, the Cayenne is completely at home on the school run.
Ride quality is excellent across the range, even in the wild Turbo GT, although the adaptive air suspension (optional on Cayenne, standard on S and Turbo GT) does give the car a few extra tricks.
On the highway, it's impressively refined. The Cayenne and Cayenne S do a good job keeping road roar at bay despite their massive tyres, and even the Turbo GT is quiet when you consider how sticky its rubber is.
Porsche's adaptive cruise control system is smooth and smart, and its lane-keeping aids only kick in when you actually need them. Rather than trying to wrestle the wheel out of your hands, it's pretty subtle with how it kicks in.
That comes in handy when you've dropped the kids off at school, or the family off at the beach house (we're living like Porsche owners, remember), and want to have some fun.
Clicking the drive mode dial on the steering wheel into Sport Plus firms up the suspension, sharpens up the throttle, and frees up more noise from the engine in the Cayenne S, allowing you to push harder.
Even the base Cayenne hides its weight well, but the standout is the Turbo GT. Porsche doesn't throw the GT badge around lightly, but even with that in mind it takes some adjusting to the idea of slapping it on the back of an SUV.
Don't be fooled, it defies physics like the best sports cars on stilts.
What do you get?
- Porsche Communication Management (PCM)12.3-inch HD touchscreenOnline satellite navigationMulti-touch gesture controlPorsche ConnectWireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto10-speaker sound system
- 12.6-inch digital instrument cluster
- Fixed glass roof (Coupe)
- Head-up display
- Automatic LED headlights
- LED daytime running lights
- 20-inch alloy wheels
- Four-piston front brakes and two-piston rear brakes
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Power tailgate
- Dual-zone climate control
- 360-degree cameras
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Proximity entry
- Push-button start
- Paddle shifters
- Auto stop/start
- Leather seats
- 8-way power front sports seats with driver memory
- Lane change assist
- Tyre pressure monitoring
Cayenne S adds:
- Adaptive air suspension
- 20-inch alloy wheels (Cayenne)
- 21-inch alloy wheels (Cayenne Coupe)
- Porsche Dynamic Light System incl. dynamic cornering headlights
- 14-speaker Bose premium sound system
- Heated front seats
- Panoramic roof
Cayenne Turbo GT adds:
- Lowered adaptive air suspension (-15mm)
- Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM)
- Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC)
- Rear axle steering
- Titanium exhaust system, central tailpipes
- Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB)441mm front discs, 10-piston aluminium monobloc calipers, Yellow410mm rear discs, four-piston aluminium monobloc calipers, Yellow
- 285/40 R22 front, 315/35 R22 rear tyres
- HD Matrix LED headlights, tinted finish
- Metallic paint
Is the Porsche Cayenne safe?
The latest Porsche Cayenne update hasn't been crash tested by an NCAP body, although the pre-facelift earned a five-star rating based on tests carried out by Euro NCAP in 2017.
Standard safety features include:
- Warn and brake assist (AEB)Vehicle-to-vehiclePedestrian, Cyclist detection
- Adaptive cruise control incl. stop/go
- Emergency Assist
- Lane keep assist incl. centring
- Lane Change Assist (blind spot)
How much does the Porsche Cayenne cost to run?
Porsche offers a three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty in Australia, despite most luxury rivals having moved to five years of coverage.
Scheduled servicing is required every 12 months or 15,000 kilometres. Porsche Australia says service pricing "varies from state to state due to different labour rates at Official Porsche Centres".
You can get an indication of service pricing through your local Porsche Centre.
CarExpert's Take on the Porsche Cayenne
What does the new Cayenne say about Porsche in 2023?
Before we start on that, the car itself is every bit as excellent as you'd expect. Regardless of which model you opt for it's impressively comfortable and refined on the open road, offers a properly modern interior, and handles like you'd expect a car wearing the Porsche badge on its nose should given its size and weight.
The fact Porsche has brought back the V8 engine is a nod to enthusiasts. It's rare a new car is more characterful than the one it replaces, but the new Cayenne S has the ability to make you smile in a way the V6 before just couldn't.
From the second it fires into its frenetic, angry idle, it makes you feel all the right things as someone who likes driving. The Turbo GT is faster and more furious, but the balance between head and heart on offer in the Cayenne S is hard to look past.
It also neatly sums up the tightrope Porsche has managed to walk recently, pressing all the right emotional buttons without alienating people chasing a luxury SUV with serious badge credibility for the school run.
On the one hand, the brand keeps pushing the 911 formula miles beyond what Ferry Porsche could have imagined with cars like the GT3 RS… and on the other it's rapidly electrifying, with an electric version of its best-selling car set to debut next year.
That would have been unthinkable when the first Cayenne hit showrooms.
Content originally sourced from: CarExpert.com.au