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2018 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid was new.


Performance: 9.3

The 2018 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid has standard all-wheel drive and provides a smooth ride. The engine has plenty of power for all driving situations, and – as you might expect from a Porsche – the Cayenne Hybrid handles well on winding roads. Fuel economy is good under electric power, but it’s not impressive with the gas engine.

  • "The Cayenne's handling is impressive in a vehicle of this size. Although it had a nose-heavy attitude around the long, sustained arc of our skidpad test, the Cayenne S handles real-world driving situations amazingly well." -- Edmunds
  • "In fact, even the Cayenne S E-Hybrid is a bona fide blast to drive, zipping to 60 mph in only 5.4 seconds, but still returning an estimated 47 mpge in hybrid electric mode." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "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)

Acceleration and Power

The Cayenne E-Hybrid features a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and an electric motor that combine to produce 416 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. This luxury midsize SUV can really move. It has plenty of high-end power and it’ll throw you back in the seat when you take off from a stoplight. Porsche claims the Cayenne Hybrid will go from zero to 60 mph in under 5.5 seconds.

The Cayenne E-Hybrid gets 47 mpg-e combined in electric-only mode, according to the EPA. With just its gas engine, it gets a combined 22 mpg city/highway, which is a bit low compared to rivals’ estimates.

  • "For those who want the best of both worlds, and are willing to pay a small premium over the S, the plug-in S E-Hybrid provides as much punch as the S with the benefits of better combined fuel economy and 14 miles of electric-only propulsion." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The Cayenne E-Hybrid even has some tricks when you drive around in default mode. When you step deep into the drive-by-wire throttle pedal for maximum acceleration, you can feel a detent in the pedal travel that engages EV power for an added burst of acceleration." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)
  • "… 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 (2015)

Alternative Fuels/Charging

With the Porsche Universal Charger, you can charge the Cayenne E-Hybrid using a conventional household or industrial electrical outlet. With the standard 3.6-kilowatt on-board charger, the E-Hybrid will charge in 2.7 hours. With the optional 7.2-kilowatt onboard charger, the battery fully charges in 1.3 hours. On a full charge, it has an EPA estimated electric driving range of 14 miles.

Handling and Braking

All-wheel drive is standard in the Cayenne Hybrid. This is a heavy vehicle, but it still handles well whether under electric or gasoline power. The Cayenne feels planted around turns, and ride quality is generally good. Hybrids typically feature regenerative braking systems that can feel rough or jarring as they transition from regenerative to traditional braking, but the Cayenne Hybrid’s regenerative brakes are smooth.

  • "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)
  • "We even got to like the way that 2015 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid sails along occasionally with the engine at rest. 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)

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