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Expert Rating

Porsche Cayenne

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Expert Rating

Summary


The Porsche Cayenne SUV was first launched in 2002 and shocked many as Porsche in those days was only known for various versions of the 911 sports car – but very soon it was selling more Cayennes than anything else.

The third generation was launched in late 2017 before arriving in the UK in Spring 2018. It was a total redesign that includes a body that looks a bit more related to the 911. The Cayenne has maintained its popularity, Evo stating in 2021 “if you’ve got to go SUV, this is the one.” Many testers see the car as defining the premium SUV. As of August 2021, the Cayenne holds an Expert Rating of 71% based on 34 UK reviews.

In 2019 the Cayenne range gained a coupe sister with a more rakish roofline. Some reviewers struggle to see the point of this version, while others rate it more highly than the original version. Also added in recent times have been hybrid models, again to mixed reviews, Auto Express finding such versions “hard to justify”, inferior to both Porsche’s combustion-engined and fully electric cars.

Cayenne engines are all petrol – diesel offerings were dropped with the third generation, as the Volkswagen Group continues to hope that you’ve all forgotten its Dieselgate disgrace. The three options are a 3.0-litre V6, a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 and a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, the first and last also available with hybrids. Power and resultant pace ranges from 340 to a remarkable 680hp.

Petrol models earn praise for their on-road refinement, typical of the comments “it’s not just good to drive for an SUV, it’s good to drive full stop.” But compared to their petrol siblings, the heavier hybrids feel more cumbersome.

The interior is adapted from the latest Panamera saloon and reviewers love its combination of technology and exceptional build. “The materials, quality and attention to detail are almost beyond reproach,” says Top Gear. Technology available impresses but choosing much of it adds quite a lot to the purchase bill.

Cayenne highlights

  • Exceptional build quality
  • Plenty of engine options
  • Petrol versions handle very well
  • Top-quality interior in design and equipment

Cayenne lowlights

  • Hybrid versions heavier and cumbersome
  • Coupe costs more for less practicality
  • Technology options add a lot of cost
  • There are better-looking rivals

Key specifications


Body style: Large SUV/crossover
Powertrain: petrol, petrol-electric hybrid
Price: From £60,930 on-road

Launched: Spring 2018
Last updated: Summer 2019
Update due: TBA


Media reviews


Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

The Car Expert

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Auto Express

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Auto Trader

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Autocar

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Car

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Carbuyer

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Carwow

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Eurekar

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Evo

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Honest John

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Parkers

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The Sunday Times

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The Telegraph

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Top Gear

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What Car?

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Safety rating


Overall rating: 5 stars
Date tested: November 2017

95%

ADULT OCCUPANT

80%

CHILD OCCUPANT

73%

VULNERABLE ROAD USERS

62%

SAFETY ASSIST

Notes on safety
The Porsche Cayenne was last tested by Euro NCAP in 2017, gaining a top-level five-star rating. Autonomous emergency braking is standard, as is an active bonnet that cushions a pedestrian’s head in a collision.

The Cayenne’s safety rating does not apply to the Cayenne Coupé. The Coupé version was launched more than a year after the original Cayenne SUV was tested, and the rating is not automatically extended. Either the Cayenne Coupé would have to be tested separately or Porsche would have to supply proof to Euro NCAP that shows the Coupé would behave identically to the original SUV in the same situations.

As of June 2021, it appears that neither of these things have happened. So while the Cayenne Coupé is probably just as safe as the Cayenne SUV, it hasn’t been confirmed.

Eco rating


No eco rating

The Porsche Cayenne has not yet been lab tested by Green NCAP. This is a new initiative, launched in 2018 as a sister organisation to Euro NCAP. As yet, very few new cars have been tested for environmental impact by Green NCAP, and inevitably the testing programme was halted in early 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic before resuming later in the year.

Given that the Cayenne is a high-performance, petrol-engined SUV that weighs in excess of two tonnes before adding any passengers or luggage, it’s pretty safe to assume that it won’t be winning any environmental awards…

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the Porsche Cayenne, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Aston Martin DBX | Audi Q7 | Audi Q8 | Bentley Bentayga | BMW X5 | BMW X6 | Lamborghini UrusMaserati Levante | Mercedes-Benz GLE | Range Rover Sport

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Best car rankings

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Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites