Versatility is in abundance in the Porsche Cayenne range with exceptional off-roading capabilities matched only by the incredible level of equipment and specifications. The performance, safety and athletic appearance are also plus factors in this dynamic vehicle guaranteed to stand out in a crowded car park.

Porsche Cayenne side
Porsche Cayenne rear
Porsche Cayenne interior

The good

Power and versatility are an unusual mix

The bad

Owners too scared to get it dirty

Tech Specs

Price from
Combined Fuel up to
156.9mpg (hybrid)
0-62 from
3.6 seconds
max speed up to
co2 from
33-42g/km (hybrid)

Test Drive

Porsche Cayenne (2023)

When Porsche introduced the Cayenne back in 2002 it was met with gasps of dread from die-hard performance car fans – after all, how could Porsche possibly develop an SUV?

But how wrong those critics were. The Cayenne went on to become a global best-seller for the German carmaker and certainly boosted the bank balance during what were quite testing times.

Fast forward 21 years and the Cayenne is now in its third generation and recently received quite a make-over that includes a new dynamic styling edge, optimised petrol or plug-in engines that deliver extra power, plus upgrades to the on-board technology.

The Cayenne is available in SUV or Coupe design and owners have a wide selection of trims. These include the entry-level model simply called the Cayenne with a 3.0 V6 turbo petrol engine, the Cayenne S with a V8 engine and three versions of Cayenne E-Hybrid models. There is an ultra-powerful Cayenne Turbo GT, but this model is not available in European markets due to current emission regulations.

The Coupe line-up is similar although the Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid Coupe can be specified with a GT package.

But we are concentrating solely on the SUV version which is priced from £67,400 for the Cayenne, as tested, and rises to £130,200 for the top-of-the-range Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid. Our test car did include some optional extras which saw the final price creep up to £69,637.

Powering the vehicle is a turbocharged V6 3.0-litre petrol engine mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic gearbox. It delivers 353hp and 500Nm of torque and can complete the 0-62mph sprint in just 6.0 seconds with a top speed of 154mph. That’s impressive stats for a family SUV with all-wheel drive that weighs in at just over two tonnes.

There’s no denying the fact, the Cayenne has a very strong road presence stretching almost five metres in length. It boasts a new-look front end with a freshly styled bonnet, technically designed headlights and stronger wheel arches.

At the back are 3D taillights, a new bumper design and our car also featured PORSCHE lettering in the rear light strip, Matrix LED headlights, black side skirts, a rear spoiler and 20-inch Cayenne Design alloys wheels.

Moving inside, the cabin oozes class with part-leather upholstery, soft-touch surfaces and high-end fixtures and fittings throughout. The seats are powered and can be heated against the winter chill.

The main focal point is the trio of screens stretching the width of the dashboard. In the middle is the 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen that leads to the 12.6-inch high-resolution digital driver display, which is new to Cayenne. And the passenger gets their own screen too which cannot be seen by the driver to avoid any distraction. The separate control panel for all the climate settings is always appreciated rather than having to navigate fiddly drop-down menus simply to adjust the temperature.

On-board technology includes a 10-speaker sound system with digital radio, sat nav, full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a reversing camera, wireless charging and lots more besides.

So, the new Cayenne looks the business and is packed with tech, but how does it handle when put through its paces? Exceptionally well would be the answer.

It’s very sharp out the starting blocks with instant power that is unrelenting. It makes for a very confident motorway cruiser but can also tackle more demanding B roads where the grip and body control are most impressive. It does feel quite wide when fizzing down narrow lanes, but the elevated driving position offers a great view across the hedgerows.

The steering is well weighted with plenty of driver feedback and the automatic gearbox is perfectly timed for just the right amount of power without being overly aggressive. There are paddles if you want to take control of the gear shifting and, in addition, drive modes called Normal, Sport and Off-Road change the characteristics of the vehicle with Sport certainly livening up the handling.

The driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility which is especially beneficial when driving through busy city centres and the array of parking aids will help when squeezing into a tight space.

Being a full-sized SUV, the Cayenne can accommodate a family of five in absolute comfort and even a trio of adults could fit in the back and not complain about leg room.

The boot, accessed via a powered tailgate, can swallow 772 litres of kit and this capacity rises to 1,708 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. Elsewhere, there is a deep central cubby, lockable glovebox, front and rear cup holders, wide door bins, a wireless charging pad and some handy trays.

And with active families in mind, the all-wheel drive Cayenne can easily cope with holidays away and can tow a caravan or horsebox weighing up to 3.5 tonnes.

When you factor in the wealth of safety features and driver assistance aids, the latest Porsche Cayenne is an outstanding premium SUV that continues to be a powerhouse in a sector it created more than two decades ago, an arena that now sees rivals from the likes of Mercedes, Lamborghini, Audi and Aston Martin to name just a few.

Test Drive

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel

Porsche’s imposing Cayenne has always made a grand impression wherever it goes, but the latest model really ups the ante.

For the new Cayenne is fitted with a 4.2-litre twin turbocharged V8 engine delivering 382bhp and 850Nm of torque which equates to a 0-62 sprint time of 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 156mph.

It looks drop dead gorgeous from all angles thanks to its imposing stance along with twin oval tailpipes, body coloured door mirrors and door handles, sunroof, silver brake callipers, tinted windows, roof rails, rear spoiler and subtle badging.

There were a whole range of optional extras fitted to the test car which bumped up the asking price from £58,243 to £74,623.

These included 19-inch alloys with all-season tyres, air suspension with self-levelling ride height and Porsche’s off-road pack with under-body protection.

And once you take a peek inside, it’s impossible not be impressed with the car’s build-quality, the luxurious comfort throughout and the abundance of techno treats at your disposal.

For example, there is a seven-inch colour touchscreen with sat-nav, Bluetooth, a brilliant sound system compatible with all modern media devices, dual zone climate control, a sports steering wheel with paddle shifts, heated seats and lots more besides.

The spacious interior offers incredible comfort levels to all occupants and the generously-sized boot can be increased further thanks to 60:40 split-folding rear seats.

But, be warned this is not a car that will pass by unnoticed! That’s because from the second you turn on the engine, the roar is remarkably loud. Engage drive and the volume increases even further.

There is a choice of three driving modes – comfort, normal and sport – which adjust how the car handles and responds.

The Cayenne copes admirably with city centre driving and the parking sensors, rear camera and high seated driving position are all plus factors with cars and pedestrians darting out from all angles.

But in all honesty, it’s out on the faster roads that this vehicle really bursts into life. The 4.2-litre engine delivers awesome pulling power and the acceleration through the eight-speed automatic transmission is very rapid.

Road-holding is flawless and the car is hard to criticise in any aspect. In fact, my only gripe after a week behind the wheel was the poor visibility through the rear screen which is obscured slightly by the rear headrests.

But that aside, what a car and it’s packed with sophisticated safety features too including all-wheel-drive controlled via Porsche’s highly-sophisticated Traction Management System.

All in all, the Cayenne is a beautifully-crafted vehicle. It’s richly equipped with top specifications, oozes class at every turn and delivers amazing driving dynamics too.

Test Drive

Porsche Cayenne 3.0 V6 Turbodiesel

If you stood someone in front of the gorgeous Porsche Cayenne and asked them to put a price on it, I bet they would be thousands of pounds out and the real beauty is that nine times out of ten they would over-price it.

I can say that with confidence because I am always amazed when I see the asking price for the stunning Cayenne with all its classic features, massive personality and incredible off-roading capabilities.

And my latest test model – the 3.0 turbo diesel – was no exception to that rule. When I first laid eyes on it, my guesstimate was in the region of £50k, but as usual I had overestimated the price and it actually starts at £44,178.

Now I know that’s not cheap, but there are plenty of luxury models out there that have similar four-wheel-drive capabilities, but cost an awful lot more and deliver considerably less. I mention no names!

The exterior combines a beautifully-crafted body full of neat curves with rugged ready-for-action shoulders and well-defined wheel arches. And those slightly exposed twin exhausts are just a teaser of what’s to come.

From the second you take your seat – leather of course – behind the three-spoke, multi-function steering wheel, you cannot fail to be impressed with the quality of features and technical wizardry that surrounds you. The very highest standard of sports styling is perfectly complemented by the ergonomics, comfort and all-round quality.

The central console gradually rises to meet the leather dashboard and the readouts are neatly featured in a neat cluster which makes them easy to read and analyse at a glance.

Creature comforts seem endless with electric windows, a highly efficient climate control, a 4.8-inch colour screen displaying information from the on-board computer, sat nav, cruise control, a brilliant sound system which is compatible with all today’s modern devices and plenty more besides.

One factor that is apparent immediately is the amount of space passengers are treated to. Rear seat occupants can travel in absolute luxury with a massive central armrest with cup-holders for refreshments along the way.

The boot is very generously sized and can be increased further thanks to the 40/20/40 split rear seats. Elsewhere, there are plenty of other storage options.

And the drive itself is pretty impressive too. In and around town, the Cayenne is deceptively agile, but out on the open road it really comes alive. The 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine bursts into life as it cruises smoothly through the seven-speed automatic transmission.

Road-holding is exceptional at higher speeds and the cabin noise is almost non-existent.

The ride is extremely comfortable although it was a little bouncy in the back when being driven on bumpy roads in sports mode.

As one would expect from Porsche, the Cayenne boasts a very comprehensive list of safety features such as Porsche’s braking system, stability management, plenty of airbags and loads more.

For me the Porsche Cayenne has always had the wow factor and with every reincarnation it seems to go from strength to strength.