2019 Porsche Cayenne review

Porsche Cayenne
The 2019 Porsche Cayenne is powered by a 335-horsepower, turbocharged, 3.0-litre, V6 engine capable of up to 332 lb.-ft. of torque.

When Porsche announced it was going to produce an SUV, the cries of protest were heard around the world. “How could they betray us? This is the end of the company. Is nothing sacred any more?”

There were some, this scribe included, who ventured that those who were complaining the loudest, had probably never owned a Porsche. They were fans who would someday love to get one. In the meantime, existing and new Porsche owners were flocking to dealers to put a deposit on a new Cayenne. Those who already owned a Porsche sports car were tired of having to go elsewhere for a family conveyance. Newcomers were delighted at the chance to get a family vehicle wearing the Porsche badge.
It took 53 years for Porsche to sell one million vehicles. Porsche has sold almost 800,000 Cayennes. The first, known internally as E1, was launched 15 years ago. Within its first year, Porsche sales doubled. The hugely profitable Cayenne allows Porsche to remain what is widely believed to be the most profitable car company in the world.  

Cayenne and Macaan profits fuel the sports car side of the business.

Cayenne started a trend among high-end luxury and sports car makers that continues to this day, Everyone from Rolls Royce and Bentley to Maserati has a jacked up four-door utility vehicle in its arsenal. The mid-size luxury utility vehicle segment where the Cayenne does battle has grown 43 per cent in the last five years.That growth is expected to continue into the 2020s.

Porsche definitely started something.

The third-generation Cayenne, the E3 looks familiar. After all, this is the company that has whittled away at the 911 profile for half a decade. The most recent version looks a lot like the original — albeit having bulked up somewhat.

The conservative redesign includes new LED headlights at both ends, and an elegant light strip across the rear. Every body panel in between, is new and made of aluminum. The 2019 Cayenne is slightly longer, taller and wider than the old. It boasts an extra 100 litres of cargo space. Yet it is the 125 kilos lighter than the outgoing model and 215 kilos less than the first generation.

Don’t let the familiar look fool you. The 2019 Cayenne is completely new. It has a new chassis, new engine, new transmission and a new suspension. The interior has been heavily remodelled.

This latest Cayenne boasts five fundamental changes:

  1. Double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension
  2. Mostly-aluminum body
  3. New base engine
  4. Different transmission
  5. Unique wheels

New wheels, and tire sizes were chosen to work in tandem with the new suspension, and lower overall weight. The first impression is of a much sharper turn-in, and greater agility. That matches up well with the additional performance afforded by the new 3.0-litre turbo V6, which chops a remarkable 1.7 seconds from the 0-100 time. The base V6 Cayenne now accelerates from rest to 100 in the same time as the first generation equipped with a turbocharged V8.

The eight-speed automatic transmission is sourced from ZF, replacing the Aisin unit used previously. 

The front seats are power adjustable and the rears can be manually adjusted in 10 ways.

Inside, in addition to a new look, you’ll find a new PCM (Porsche communication management) system starting with a much larger high-res haptic screen. The redesign has resulted in the removal of 18 buttons from the previously crowded centre console. A pair of 20-cm displays flank the centrally-positioned speedometer.

The 2019 Porsche Cayenne continues at or near the head of the pack it helped create.

The specs

  • Model: 2019 Porsche Cayenne
  • Engine: turbocharged, 3.0-litre V6, 335 horsepower, 332 lb.-ft. of torque, regular fuel, all-wheel-drive
  • Transmission: eight speed Tiptronic
  • NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway): NA
  • Length: 4,918 mm
  • Width: 2,194 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2,895 mm
  • Weight: 1,985 kg
  • Price: $75,500 base, $88,930 as tested, including freight
  • Competition: Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes GLE
  • Standard equipment: 150-watt, 10-speaker Bose audio system with satellite radio, rear view camera, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, partial leather seats, heated steering wheel, eight-way power-operated heated front seats
  • Options on test vehicle: Premium package (dynamic LED headlights, panoramic sunroof, power steering plus, lane change assist, automatic dimming mirrors), $7,110; 20-inch Cayenne design wheels, $1,970; heated rear seats, $600; front and rear park assist, $1,360; brushed aluminum interior package, $1,140

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click here for my review of the Porsche Macan turbo

About Richard 166 Articles
At the age of five I was already obsessed with all things automotive being able to identify the make and model of car by just the sound of its engine going down the street in front of our house in the small town on the south shore of Nova Scotia. Although I have been covering and writing about the automotive scene for more than 40 years and the light still grows brightly.