Test drive: Porsche Cayenne Diesel

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Max power: 236 (bhp)
Torque: 405 (lb/ft)
Acceleration: 7.6 (secs)
Transmission: FWD, 8 speed tiptronic

The Porsche Cayenne has always been a slight mystery to me. Not really what I always think of when someone mentions the brand name, and also their most popular selling model, especially over in the far east. It’s a car of paradoxes – pretty quick and pretty big too. Not really attractive, but you’re strangely comfortable with it very quickly as your vehicle. This review explores a little more about the car and it’s ups and downs. This is the updated model (since 2010).

Performance & Handling

Porsche Cayenne Diesel front

Aggressive looking

This is not a ‘performance’ car in the true sense of this blog’s title. It’s big, heavy, rolls around a bit and generally isn’t a honed performance machine. With that out the way though, it’s a surprisingly good drive. It’s never going to win any awards but the monster torque figure (compared to overall BHP) means it picks up and shifts along very nicely and feels like it has a good chunk of ‘shove’.

Overtaking is straightforward because of this and with the 8 gears, cruising is very comfortable and refined, but it can drop it (normally three) notches to get the power on. Overall it’s not a master piece in dynamics but does a really good job for what is, after all, the entry level Cayenne engine. It hides it’s ‘dieselness’ very well too never feeling too clattery or tractor like.

The driving position is of course high and makes you feel imposing on other traffic and with a great view of the road. The seat and steering wheel’s level of adjustability is very good allowing a comfortable position to be found with ease. The only slightly niggly aspect for me was the start/stop system on the car. Due to it’s automatic nature, it would stop if you came to a complete stop for more than a second (at a guess). At times, in queuing traffic this could be a little grating as you just used the brake to make progress.

Interior & Equipment

Porsche Cayenne Diesel Interior


As you would expect, this is where the Cayenne really shines. This particular model had a tan interior to go with it’s white exterior and as the wife rightly said ‘I thought I’d hate it but it’s really nice’ – the hue is really nice and it feels very comfortable and cosy inside. My wife was heavily pregnant at the time and loved the adjustability and heat from the seats and it’s one of the only cars she has felt fully comfortable in (my Cayman didn’t pass!) which is a testament to the interior.

The equipment level was great (unsure what trim level I was given) with good seats, navigation, sound system and so on. The boot is huge as well with plenty of luggage space.

Final thoughts

Parking may not be as easy with a ‘normal’ car (one client’s car park felt ridiculous!) but this is a fantastic machine. A huge comfortable chariot of a machine that carries enough performance even in this lowly diesel guise. Whether they are worth the money? I’d have to experience some similar specced Landies and maybe a few higher specced Tourags and A5/A7’s to find that out.


About Rob

I'm an average petrolhead - I love cars and get as much driving experiences as I can out in the world from test drives to track days.