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2015 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid was new.


Performance: 8.4

The Porsche Cayenne Hybrid earns praise for its authoritative power and vigorous acceleration. They report that when put in sport mode, the Cayenne Hybrid is even quicker. However, the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid's fuel economy estimates are lower than those of some hybrid and diesel-powered rivals. Test drivers are pleased with the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid's agile handling, though some wish its steering were more communicative. While a few test drivers say the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid's regenerative brakes operate seamlessly, others say they make it hard to stop the SUV smoothly.

  • "Performance varies dramatically from model to model, but the entire 2015 Porsche Cayenne lineup boasts genre-defying performance capabilities." -- AutoTrader
  • "The current Cayenne is a remarkably easy vehicle to drive, with very precise steering and a nimble, responsive character that belies its heft. That's especially true if you've got the optional PDCC system, which keeps the Cayenne eerily flat when driving through fast turns. Although the Cayenne's ride is never what we'd call plush, it's supple and sophisticated, and the air suspension improves compliance noticeably." -- Edmunds
  • The Cayenne S Hybrid also delivers impressive performance, though in normal traffic conditions, it can suffer some of the brake and throttle quirks typical of many hybrid vehicles." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014 S Hybrid)
  • "Just like the other Cayennes but with greater efficiency, V-8-like acceleration, super-smooth hybrid operation, can drive a lot using just electricity." -- Car and Driver (2012 S Hybrid)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid is equipped with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engine and an electric motor that together make 416 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. The EPA estimates that the 2015 Cayenne Hybrid gets 21/24 mpg city/highway in gas-only mode and 47 mpg-equivalent in electric-only mode. Those estimates aren't as good as those of rivals like the Lexus RX Hybrid.

Reviewers are thrilled with the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid's hearty engine power and effortless acceleration from a stop. They note that the Cayenne Hybrid's power doesn't feel far off from the gas-only Cayenne model. When in sport mode, the Cayenne Hybrid feels even peppier, they add.

  • "The diesel model feels brisk enough when summoned, but the S E-Hybrid's copious torque makes it the surprise performer of the bunch, especially when the shifter is clicked into S, sharpening throttle response and putting the transmission into a more aggressive mode of attack. The S E-Hybrid can also drive on electric-only mode at speeds up to 78 mph." -- AutoTrader
  • "If you want to thrash Ford Mustang EcoBoosts at stoplights, try Sport/Sport Plus modes, which sharpen responses from the steering, throttle, and transmission, and deliver full power from both sources. As noted above, these rips just about match those of the regular 'S' model, which seems even more improbable when you look at the spec sheet and realize that the Hybrid makes slightly less power, produces only slightly more torque, and carries nearly 600 lbs more weight." -- Yahoo Autos
  • "The throaty V6 diesel engine explodes off the line and returns great fuel economy besides, while the S trim's turbo V6 is both quicker and more fuel-efficient than the V8 it replaces. The S E-Hybrid, meanwhile, gives up almost nothing to the regular S in terms of performance, and it adds the flexibility of pure electric driving range for quick jaunts." -- Edmunds
  • "Driving in a city makes it hard to wish for more power than the electric motor produces. Maximum acceleration with all 416 gas-and-electric horses should return a zero-to-60-mph sprint well below six seconds, and a quarter-mile will pass in just over 14 ticks, according to Porsche. No too shabby for a two-and-a-half ton ute." -- Car and Driver

Alternative Fuels/Charging

Porsche says it takes about 2.7 hours to charge the Cayenne S E-Hybrid with the standard charger and about 1.3 hours with an optional charger.

Handling and Braking

Automotive journalists say that despite the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid's hefty weight, it delivers agile handling. Still, some complain that its steering feedback is light. While some reviewers say the Cayenne Hybrid's regenerative brakes operate more seamlessly than the brakes on other hybrids, others say they make it tough to stop the SUV smoothly. All-wheel drive is standard on the Cayenne Hybrid.

  • "What's more impressive is how the E-Hybrid stops, or rather how it decelerates. The regenerative braking actually has some modulation in the pedal and doesn't operate with the on/off action of some other hybrids. It's a light at the end of a long and dark tunnel of nonlinear hybrid brake feel. It isn't perfect, and what feel there is remains meager, but it's an exciting step for enthusiasts and evidence that electrification isn't the end of all things fun." -- Car and Driver
  • "On the next day's high-speed, multi-cornered Sport Plus jaunts through desolate forests, the S E-Hybrid upheld the range's reputation as an astute hustler and agile mover despite its large dimensions and heftiness. Steering feel proved lackluster in feedback; then again, this is an SUV. And it's a hybrid. The world's first luxury plug-in SUV, Porsche says, mind you." -- Motor Trend
  • "One of our few complaints about Porsche's SUV is the Cayenne S Hybrid's regenerative braking system, which although effective, makes it difficult to bring the vehicle to a stop smoothly in city traffic." -- Edmunds (2014 S Hybrid)
  • "As far as handling is concerned, the Cayenne Hybrid lives up to the Porsche name, no small deal when you factor in the weight of this vehicle, which is nearly 5,000 pounds." -- MarketWatch (2012 Hybrid)

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