Saturday 22 October 2016
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Test Drive: 2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Review

Test Drive: 2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Review

This week I bring you one of the most recognizable SUVs on the road today, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne.  From just about any angle, you know this is a Porsche.

The 2015 Cayenne was refreshed with an updated front fascia, and some new styling cues to the rear end also.  Porsche also re-did the suspension system to give it more of a ride and drive that is similar to the 911.  When you are behind the wheel, putting the Cayenne through its paces, it is hard to believe you are actually in an SUV.

This is the Turbo model, which means that under the hood you get a 4.8-liter V8 with a pair of turbos that produce 520-horses.  The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and together they produce some impressive stats for a 4700-pound SUV.  For instance, 0-to-60 time is a mere 4.1 seconds, and it tops out at 173-miles per hour.  The all-wheel drive system insures traction and superb handling.

If you want to move down from the turbo there is a base model, a diesel, the S, and a hybrid.  There is one step up from my review vehicle, and that is the 570-horse Turbo S.  Base prices on the different models range from $58,000 on the low side, to $157,500 depending on which one you choose.

While this is a super-fast hot rod of an SUV, as soon as you sit down behind the wheel, you know it is also a true luxury SUV with soft comfortable seats, a suede headliner, and a nice mix of wood and chrome throughout the interior.

The gauge cluster is easy to read and the multi-function steering wheel is soft to the touch and easy to operate.  The center console can seem intimidating at first with a ton of buttons, but the more time you spend in the driver seat, the more you’ll appreciate the layout. As in every Porsche these days, that center console rises dramatically to meet the dash, creating a snug, cockpit-like driving environment that emphasizes the Cayenne’s sporty nature.

As you can imagine, the Cayenne Turbo comes with an impressive list of standard features that you would expect on an SUV in this price range, but it also has over $17,000 in optional equipment including almost $3000 worth of 21” wheels, which look great.

Other notable options on my tester are adaptive cruise control for $2300, almost $3000 in natural olive wood including grab handles, and the Premium Package gets you extended LED accent lighting, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, auto-dimming mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and 14-way power heated and air conditioned front seats with memory functions.

My favorite option?  For $365, you can get the key fob painted to match the vehicle. 

No charge options include blind spot monitoring, a terrific sound system, and power liftgate.

Everything runs from the Porsche Communication Management system.  The high-resolution touchscreen display is operated from the graphic interface or using the rotary push-button controls. The radio has an FM twin tuner with RDS frequency diversity, which continuously searches the airwaves for the best possible signal from the selected radio station.

You control the navigation system from there too, and I must say it is one of the best I have ever seen, and quite easy to operate.

Vehicle settings all happen from the right side of the dash when you are in the driver’s seat, and are controlled from the steering wheel.  You can configure it any way you choose to including fuel economy stats, a map, audio, and much more just using your right thumb.

If there is a down side to the Cayenne, it is that rear cargo area is pretty limited.  It doesn’t help that the back seats do not fold very flat.  If you carry a lot of cargo, you might want to consider the Range Rover Sport or HSE.

Fuel economy is 14 in town and 21 on the highway, about what you’d expect for a heavy SUV with 520 horses.

Finally, price comes in at just over $132,000 and that is not out of line with other competitors in this class.

The Porsche Cayenne Turbo is fun to drive, it is super fast, and it handles like a dream.  If you are going to spend north of a hundred grand on an SUV, this one deserves a look… it truly is a sports car wrapped up in an SUV body.

I had one disappointing issue, and it was a software issue that kept the Cayenne from holding settings.  Every time I got in the vehicle, the seat and mirrors were in the wrong place, and everything on the dash was written in German.  I am sure it would be a minor issue, but nonetheless, it was irritating on a $132,000 vehicle.

What I liked most:  The power and handling are exceptional. 

What I would change:  Of course the software glitch, but the lack of cargo area.

MSRP: Base price $113,600, as equipped $132,185.

Fuel Economy:  EPA rated at 14 city, 21 highway, 17 combined.

Fuel Tank:  26.4 gallons of premium fuel.

Dimensions:  191” long/85” wide/67” high.

Weight: 4717 Pounds  

2015 Cayenne Turbo in a few words:  It is an SUV in a car’s body! 

Trailer Towing:  7716 pounds

Warranty:  4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance. 

Miles When Tested:  4300

Manufacturer’s Website:  Porsche

Photo Credit: Porsche