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#6

in Luxury Midsize SUVs

MSRP: $49,600 - $146,000
Invoice: N/A
MPG: 15 City / 22 Hwy
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Porsche Cayenne Performance

The 2014 Porsche Cayenne earns one of the highest performance scores in the class, as reviewers love its range of strong gas-powered engines, its fuel-efficient turbodiesel option and its responsive eight-speed automatic transmission. They also report that the Cayenne offers athletic handling and responsive steering, which makes it exceptionally fun to drive.

  • "It's still one of the best-driving luxury SUVs on the block, and there's an incredible variety of engines to choose from, including an efficient turbodiesel V6 and a few different versions of Porsche's stellar 4.8-liter V8." -- Edmunds
  • "Quick acceleration, lively handling and lots of pure driving pleasure characterize this family hauler." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Cayenne has been such a success because it retains the automaker's basic DNA; all of its countless variants have been inherently enjoyable to drive." -- Autoblog (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Porsche Cayenne has a standard 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 300 horsepower The Cayenne Diesel features a 240-horsepower, 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 and the Cayenne S features a 400-horsepower, 4.8-liter V8. The Cayenne GTS has a 420-horsepower, 4.8-liter V8, while the Cayenne Turbo and Cayenne Turbo S are the most powerful models in the lineup, with twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 engines that produce 500 and 550 horsepower, respectively. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and an eight-speed automatic is optional on the base model and standard on higher trims. The base Cayenne achieves up to 17/23 mpg city/highway with the automatic transmission, which is on par for the class. The diesel model achieves 20/29 mpg, which is fairly good for the class. All other models achieve lower fuel economy estimates.

Reviewers say the base Cayenne has adequate power, and that the diesel model impresses with its torque and fuel economy. Additionally, test drivers note that more powerful trims give the Cayenne incredible acceleration that few SUVs can match. The Cayenne’s automatic transmission also garners praise for its smooth, quick shifts.

See full 2014 Porsche Cayenne specs »

  • "Few luxury SUVs come with such a wide variety of powertrain options. The base V6 delivers merely average acceleration, but the turbodiesel V6 adds a satisfying slab of low-end torque, while the Cayenne S Hybrid is downright quick off the line. Still, the Cayenne feels best with one of the four available V8s under the hood." -- Edmunds
  • "Its ability to leap from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 175 mph puts the Cayenne Turbo S at the top of the performance-SUV heap. But even in base form, the Cayenne outfitted with a manual transmission is hardly a performance slouch." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Merging onto a freeway or overtaking another vehicle can often be accomplished by just squeezing the throttle a little harder -- without the need for the velvety smooth, quick-shifting 8-speed automatic to downshift." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
  • "As much as we love the insane level of launch offered in the upper-end Cayenne Turbo, and even the hybrid model, the V6 turbodiesel may be the perfect engine for the Cayenne. It offers great pull off the line, feeling almost turbine-like in delivery." -- AutoWeek (2013)

Handling and Braking

The Cayenne impresses reviewers with its agile handling, its composure through turns and its communicative steering. One test driver says the Cayenne's all-wheel drive system improves traction and enables the Cayenne to be driven like a sport sedan.

  • "Unlike many performance-oriented luxury SUVs, the Porsche Cayenne is also a highly proficient off-roader, and it can tow as much as 7,716 pounds." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Even on less performance-oriented Porsche Cayennes, handling is impressive by crossover standards. The steering deserves special praise for its precision and sporty feel. In addition, the Cayenne maintains a high level of composure when you're going around turns at speed (all the more so with PDCC aboard) and can generally be driven like a sport sedan whenever the mood strikes. The rear-biased AWD system helps out here, as it delivers 60 percent of engine power to the rear wheels under normal conditions." -- Edmunds
  • "The Cayenne Diesel's hydraulic-boosted variable-rate steering is wonderfully communicative with just the right effort and precision for good lane control." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
  • "Show me another SUV than can handle like a Cayenne. You won't." -- Jalopnik (2013)
Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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