2019 Porsche Cayenne
Porsche’s Cayenne is all-new where it counts
Posted on March 18, 2019
Following a morning of copious notes from Porsche’s Cayenne product presentation, and a full day of driving through Napa and Mendocino counties, I had just one question about the brand-new Cayenne: Why didn’t the exterior, especially up front, look different than past models?
The urge to change a vehicle’s styling is powerful. After all, if you’ve made almost every part new, including body panels, why not modify its look? The Porsche executive reminded me of the 911 Carrera, the iconic sports car that had just been unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It’s also brand new, but no one will be puzzled about what make and model it is when they confront it on the show stand or highway.
For buyers who want their vehicles to look entirely different than the previous models, there are plenty of makes to choose from. But Porsche stays steadfastly true to its sports car heritage and has built the world’s strongest luxury brand. Owners may not get a keen new grille every few years, but they do get top resale value.
While there’s little drama outside, it’s inside where drivers spend quality time and that’s where the new Cayenne really delivers. The new cabin layout is driver-focused, comfortable, and very contemporary. The instruments display in analog style, but possess new digital technology so that important data is instantly in view. A new 12.3-inch high-resolution display can be owner-configured with widgets, and Apple CarPlay is easily integrated into the system. The center console sweeps up for easy driver access to new switchgear that’s remarkably intuitive, and frequently used controls populate the steering wheel. All touch surfaces are leather upholstered and for sonic amusement, both a 14-speaker Bose system and a Burmester surround with 21 speakers are options over the Cayenne’s 10-speaker setup.
In ordinary circumstances, adding a long list of luxury amenities to any new vehicle would add weight and subtract from sporting fun, but Porsche engineers not only met the challenge, they removed nearly 300 pounds through the strategic use of aluminum and a new lithium ion battery system. The result is crisp handling and, for those who venture off the pavement, more off-road confidence.
A new three-chamber air suspension system is a worthwhile feature to add for every type of driving and light towing, and the new rear axle steering, which works magic at either high speed or rock crawling, is another to add to the list. Whatever Cayenne you choose (Cayenne S, Hybrid, or Turbo) there’s not really a base model. Brian Douglas
2019 Porsche Cayenne
Type: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive
Engine: 2.9-liter Turbo V6
Horsepower: 434 @ 5,700 RPM
Torque: 406 lb.ft. @ 1,800-4,500 RPM
Base Price: $66,750
Turbo Price: $125,650
Fuel Consumption: 18 city, 24 highway, 20 combined
Photography courtesy of Porsche