Finally feels like a Porsche.
For those who still need convincing that the Cayenne is a “real” Porsche, look no further than the proliferation of variants: there are now six of them using five different engines. The newest member is a diesel. Its downright decent fuel economy — 29 mpg on the highway — combines with still snappy performance to make it a more appealing green option than the more expensive, less efficient Cayenne S Hybrid. The Hybrid achieves 20/23 mpg, thanks to the 47-hp electric motor paired with its Audi-sourced 3.0-liter V-6, but suffers from the dynamic pitfalls typical of this technology, including strange-feeling brakes. Those who’d rather not save the planet in their German luxury crossover can opt for the Cayenne Turbo and its 4.8-liter twin-turbo V-8, which feels much more agile than its predecessor. In fact, all Cayennes are slimmer than they once were, owing to an aluminum-intensive structure and a revised all-wheel-drive system that shaves up to 400 pounds from the previous generation, depending on options. There are, of course, lots of options, from carbon-ceramic brakes to $2330 painted air-conditioning vents. The interior, even without those fancy A/C vents, will please even the pickiest luxury customers. The cornucopia of buttons on the center console will confound drivers at first, but it becomes rather intuitive over time.
Range Rover Sport
new for 2013
The Cayenne Diesel finally comes to the U.S. and beats its Hybrid counterpart by 6 mpg on the highway.
Front, front side, driver’s knee, and side curtain air bags are standard, as are traction and stability control and ABS.
Sports car acceleration
Comfortable, well-appointed interior
Diesel is genuinely efficient
Still a big, heavy vehicle
Exorbitant prices for some options
Base Price Range: $49,825–$109,725
TRIM LEVELS: Cayenne, Cayenne Diesel, Cayenne S, Cayenne S Hybrid, Cayenne Turbo
BODY STYLE: SUV/crossover, 5-passenger
ENGINES: 3.0L diesel V-6, 240 hp, 406 lb-ft
3.0L V-6/electric hybrid, 380 hp, 428 lb-ft
3.6L V-6, 300 hp, 295 lb-ft
4.8L V-8, 400 hp, 369 lb-ft
4.8L twin-turbo V-8, 500 hp, 516 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 8-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: 95.0 cu ft
CAPACITIES: Towing 7716 pounds; cargo (rear seats up/down) 20.5–23.7/59.7–62.9 cu ft