Mar 14, 2019
By Glen Konorowski
My history with the Cayenne goes back many years, as I was at the launch of the original vehicle back in 2003. It was a big departure from the norm, as the Porsche cars we were used to at the time were all sports cars.
My test vehicle was the Cayenne S, which is the middle model of the regular conventional Cayenne line. The S I had was powered by the 2.9L Bi-Turbo V6 that produces a neck snapping 434Hp. and 406 lb/ft of torque which gives this vehicle a 0 to 100 kph time of just 4.2 seconds, just about half the time of the original model I tested. To say the least I was very impressed with this kind of power in a vehicle of this size and mass. Transmission on the S is an impressive 8-speed automatic or as Porsche refers to it as the Tiptronic S which shifts flawlessly. Towing capacity is not bad at 7,700lbs, which easily handles a wakeboard boat or a J70, for example.
On the outside the Cayenne has made subtle improvements to the styling of the Cayenne over the years, not varying from its original shape, but improving in aerodynamics and styling. Comparing the old and new versions, I do much prefer the newer lines of today’s Cayenne.
Inside the vehicle is up to date and modern dash with all the amities you might expect from a high end SUV like this. The sport seats are comfortable and will adjust for all sized people making the vehicle very easy to get used to. Due to the high tech nature of this vehicle getting accustomed with the operation of all the features with take a little time. But, once you mastered the controls, like Apple Car Play, and Porsche Connect will all come fairly quickly.
On the practical side of things, there is plenty of room in the back seat area with comfortable sport type seats that adjust for added comfort. Seating in the rear is setup for three, but much better for two. The rear seats will fold in three sections allowing for a much better combination of storage when carrying the family or boating gear. Adding to the comfort of everyone, the Cayenne has 4-zone climate control and heated seats not just in the front, but the rear as well.
Since we are on the topic of comfort the Cayenne S rides on an air suspension system that allows a smooth or firm ride depending on the driver’s wishes. The vehicle will lower at higher speeds and increase in height in instances where off-road conditions need arise. Being an all-wheel-drive vehicle, I can attest to the Cayenne’s off-road ability, something most people would not expect on a luxury vehicle like this. Great for showing up in style at an out of town marina this spring.
Any vehicle that has such a wide array of abilities on and off road has to have brakes up to the job. The Cayenne S has large 6-piston callipers in the front and 4-piston units in the rear making this all disc brake vehicle stop second to none. To be honest there isn’t much better stopping power short of a racing car. Putting this stopping power to the pavement are the optional 21inch wheels front and rear on our test S model.
Something very special and worth noting are the Cayenne’s LED-Matrix Headlights. 84 individual LED controlled light units are controlled to give the driver supreme light while driving down the road while sensing oncoming traffic and when you are turning or on the open road.
As you may have suspected, I do have an affinity for German cars like the Porsche. They offer high quality, performance, comfort and great braking, a real driver’s car. Base price of our test vehicle was $92,600 with an as tested price of $121,300. Is it worth it you ask? Considering the engineering that has gone into this car I have to say yes it is worth the investment.
Glen Konorowski is a life long automotive enthusiast and automotive journalist for 35-years. He also claims to be former Commodore of the Monty Carlo Yacht Club!