Porsche Cayenne Review

Independent review by Peter Hayward from Driving Force

4-minute read

Porsche Cayenne

Porsche Cayenne (2010-2018)

A game-changer for the brand, the Cayenne was the first SUV offered by Porsche, and this second-generation model was enhanced to the next level

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  • A hugely practical Porsche
  • Attracted new customers to the brand
  • Porsche DNA
  • Arguably not the best looking SUV
  • Some models are not 'that' quick
  • No 7-seat option
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What's the Porsche Cayenne like?

Early examples of the second generation Porsche Cayenne built until 2018 are now surprisingly affordable.

The Cayenne was a model that had mixed opinion, mainly due to its somewhat controversial looks.

But it has become the company’s best-selling car ever by a long way, and has outsold other popular models such as the Cayman and Boxster.

The vast majority of Cayennes sold in this country have been diesels – something that was a dirty word for the sports car manufacturer for many years.


Those diesels are a 3.0-litre V6 borrowed from Volkswagen and suitably modified in the Porsche tradition, and a 4.2-litre V8 borrowed from Audi. Both of these units are also used in the Volkswagen Touareg and other group cars, and the Touareg is built on the same production line and shares many parts with the Cayenne.

The V6 produces between 236bhp and 258bhp and sprints from 0 to 60mph in 7.4 or 7.1 seconds while averaging about 32mpg.

The 4.2-litre boasts a stump-pulling 379bhp and vast amounts of torque, sufficient to propel it to 60mph in 5.2 seconds at an average economy of 26mpg.

Petrol engines start with a 295bhp 3.6-litre V6 that takes 7.3 seconds to get to 60mph and should do 22mpg, and there’s also a twin-turbo of this unit that makes 433bhp and brings up the sprint in 5.0 seconds flat.

A 3.0-litre V6 petrol/electric hybrid – plug-in after 2014 – pushes out 374bhp and can do 26mpg. It covers the 0 to 60mph sprint in 6.3 seconds.

Then come three versions of the mighty 4.8-litre V8, with 414bhp, 512bhp, and 562bhp respectively.

Fastest is the Turbo S. This storms to 60mph in just 4.0 seconds, but will be unlikely to better the economy of a 10-tonne wagon. All later cars come with Porsche’s excellent tiptronic automatic gearbox.

Driving Experience

So, performance is excellent, but the handling is also phenomenal, making the Cayenne the best in class.

It hardly rolls at all, the amount of grip is hard to believe and the steering feedback is top notch. It feels safe and well planted in every situation and the only slight downside is a knobbly ride over some country road surfaces at speed.
Peter Hayward

There are three settings for the adjustable suspension: normal, sport, and comfort. There's little to choose between comfort and normal, but sport firms up the settings to make the car even less comfortable, if marginally quicker through the corners.

Practicality and Equipment

Inside, the dash looks like an aircraft cockpit and can be pretty confusing. But the sat nav and audio controls are easy to use.

The seats are among the best and the electric adjustment allows anyone to find a decent driving position within seconds.

Passengers are very well insulated from wind and road noise and equipment is excellent across the range, with all having leather, climate, alarm, cruise, parking sensors, and traction control on top of those items already mentioned.

Find your Porsche Cayenne your way with CarStore

If you love the idea of a sports car, but need family practicality, then the Porsche Cayenne may be the perfect compromise. Sure, it's never going to be as fast as the 911 and other textbook sports cars in the Porsche range, but as SUVs go, the Cayenne is hugely popular and one driving enthusiasts will adore.

Here at CarStore, you're able to buy your car your way. Whether that be online, in-person, or a mix of both, the choice is yours. With an extensive variety of used cars available, we're sure to have a car that suits your lifestyle.