Porsche Cayenne

The Essentials

  • Price from £42,990
  • What Car? says: 4 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 39.0mpg
  • What is it? It's a 4x4, and it's a Porsche, so it's fabulous to drive, has room for five and will cost a fortune to run.

Great

  • Driving it will put a huge smile on your face
  • Interior styling is nothing short of five-star luxury
  • Lots of room for five and their luggage

Gripes

  • Hybrid model is frugal but not such fun to drive
  • There's no seven-seat option
  • Running costs will make your eyes water
  • Drive

    Wild horses won't catch you thanks to the Cayenne's powerful engines and agile handling

  • Inside

    Am I inside a racing car or a 4x4? Either way there's no mistaking it's a Porsche

  • Safety

    Plenty of safety aids as standard, while higher-spec models have a built-in tracker to deter light-fingered Porsche-fanciers

  • Reliability

    Everything is beautifully put together and Porsche has a fine reputation

  • Space

    Only available with five seats, but they are all spacious and the boot is big too, although the rear seats don't fold completely flat

  • Standard and extras

    Every model is well equipped

  • What's it like to drive?

    There are five engines, ranging from the fast to the downright furious. The entry-level Cayenne uses a 295bhp 3.6-litre V6, while the S model has a 395bhp 4.8-litre V8 and the Turbo version raises power to a staggering 493bhp. Diesel buyers can have a 242bhp 3.0-litre V6 and a storming 377bhp 4.2-litre V8. Finally, there's a hybrid model which combines a supercharged 3.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to deliver 375bhp.
    The low-speed ride is jiggly, but things improve with speed, and most versions of the Cayenne are almost unbelievably extremely agile. The Hybrid is disappointing, though: its electrically assisted steering feels light and artificial, while the weight distribution of the electric motor and its ancillaries upsets the overall balance and ride quality of the car.

  • What's it like inside?

    The Cayenne is perfect for those wanting a touch of race-car styling in their 4x4, thanks to the muscular raised front wings and the central rev counter. Swanky though the dashboard looks, the dazzling array of buttons isn't that intuitive to navigate.
    The Cayenne is the most practical Porsche (which isn't difficult), and offers masses of room for five and their luggage. The rear seats slide back and forth to swap legroom for luggage space, but folding them doesn't leave a completely flat loadbay.
    You're in the lap of luxury with electrically adjustable leather seats, climate control, all-round parking sensors and cruise control as standard. However, metallic paint and sat-nav cost extra unless you're buying the top-spec Turbo model, which seems a little mean.

  • How reliable is it?

    The Cayenne doesnt feature in any ownership satisfaction surveys, but Porsche managed an average score in the latest What Car? Reliability Survey.
    The Cayenne hasn't been crash tested, either, but safety kit includes six airbags, stability control and a roll-over detection system. Isofix child seat mountings are fitted in both outer rear seats and the front passenger seat.

  • Should I buy one?

    Prices range from just over 40,000 to more than double that  so you can pick the Cayenne to suit your budget. Whichever model you choose, running costs will be high, with fuel and company car tax bills for the petrol models enough to make your eyes water. The diesel is the best bet for fuel economy, emissions and resale values. All buyers get a course at the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone, too.