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2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.7

Test drivers praise the 2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid for its incredible muscle and brisk acceleration. A few say the Cayenne Hybrid feels nearly as powerful as the gas-only Cayenne, especially when in Sport mode. The Cayenne Hybrid earns lower fuel economy estimates than most rivals. The Cayenne Hybrid has agile handling, according to reviewers, and its regenerative brakes operate more smoothly than those in most hybrids.

  • "The 2016 Porsche Cayenne leaves no doubt that anything wearing a Porsche badge lives up to the brand's dominating performance capabilities." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "As a plug-in hybrid, the Cayenne delivers the assets of EV performance where and when you want them, so you don't feel tethered to an EV charger. You motor electrically in your neighborhood or in downtown, and simply let the V-6 engine do the driving in between. And when you're on the way to the lake on the weekend, EV power can also give the Cayenne a quick boost of acceleration when you want to pass that propane truck on an uphill grade." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)
  • "Performance varies dramatically from model to model, but the entire 2015 Porsche Cayenne lineup boasts genre-defying performance capabilities." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "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 (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid comes standard with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and an electric motor that together generate 416 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. According to the EPA, the Cayenne Hybrid gets up to 47 mpg-equivalent (explained here) when driving in electric-only mode and 21/24 mpg city/highway with the gas engine running. Some competitors, like the BMW X5 plug-in hybrid and Lexus RX Hybrid, earn much higher fuel economy estimates.

The Cayenne Hybrid's powertrain impresses reviewers with its outstanding power delivery and quick acceleration off the line. Some note that the Cayenne Hybrid feels nearly as muscular as the gas-only Cayenne, especially when driving in Sport mode.

  • "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 (2015)
  • "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 (2015)
  • "[T]he 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 (2015)
  • "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 (2015)

Alternative Fuels/Charging

According to Porsche, the Cayenne Hybrid can be charged with the standard 3.6-kilowatt charger and a 120-volt outlet in about nine hours, or three hours with a 240-volt outlet. With a 240-volt outlet and the optional 7.2-kilowatt charger, the Cayenne Hybrid will charge in 1.3 hours. On a full charge, it has an electric driving range of 14 miles, according to the EPA.

Handling and Braking

The Cayenne Hybrid has spry handling in spite of its heavy weight, auto journalists write. Many critics report that the regenerative brakes function more smoothly than those in most hybrids. The Cayenne Hybrid comes standard with all-wheel drive.

  • "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." -- Motor Trend (2015)
  • "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 (2015)
  • "There's not much battery regenerative deceleration in the default mode, yet the drivetrain doesn't feel disconnected and the action of the regenerative brakes is very linear." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)
  • "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)

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