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2019 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.8

The 2019 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid feels almost like a sports car when you climb behind the wheel. The energetic powertrain ensures that you have power on tap when you need it, and the sharp handling will make you smile as you zoom down winding roads. This Porsche also rides smoothly most of the time.

  • "There's a sharpness and directness to the Cayenne E-Hybrid that you can't find outside the Porsche lineup. In terms of driving dynamics, it blows most other hybrid SUVs out of the water. No competitor rides or handles well as the Cayenne, since most are preoccupied with maximizing efficiency. The Porsche does those things with a sub-five second 0-60 mph time and 27 miles of electric range. Few vehicles at any price can offer a more well-rounded package." -- Autoblog
  • "Off the brakes, the hybrid Cayenne is every bit a Porsche, solid and unflappable on the smooth asphalt of our drive route." -- Autoweek
  • "Despite a curb weight exceeding 5,000 pounds, the Cayenne transforms into a viable sports car. Handling is downright agile, making easy work of the meandering roads off the highway without noticeable body roll, or squealing tires (for the first time ever, Porsche will offer 22-inch wheels on the E-Hybrid). A commanding ride height makes it easy to see around slower vehicles on the straights, too, and the combined torque -- all 516 lb-ft -- make passing stress-free. Porsche calls this unexpected demeanor "E-Performance," and they appear to be taking it seriously." -- Autotrader

Acceleration and Power

The Cayenne E-Hybrid features a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and an electric motor that combine to produce 455 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard. The powertrain feels strong and delivers ample power when the gas engine is running. Reviewers offer mixed opinions on its electric-only power. Some find it has ample power, while others think the vehicle feels sluggish without the gas engine running.

According to Porsche, this hybrid SUV sprints from zero to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds, and it can tow up to 7,700 pounds when properly equipped. Fuel economy and electric-only range estimates are not available as of this writing.

  • "However, in those joyous few moments free of traffic, it didn't take long to appreciate the Cayenne E-Hybrid's urgency. While not as ballistic as the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid I recently had the pleasure of reviewing, the new Cayenne is quicker than any 5,000-pound SUV has any right to be. And, while you won't be fooled into thinking it's a 911, it will keep up with most anything else in the twisties, too." -- CNET
  • "In nearly any drive mode, power comes on quickly and smoothly, especially off the line. The engine is responsive, and the transmission never has to hunt; there's ample power when you need it. It's only in pure-EV driving that things feel sluggish. Without any gas assistance, it takes the Cayenne E-Hybrid nearly 7 seconds to hit just 40 mph (no 0-60 mph time is available). That's fine in a city, but it's not enough for highway merging or passing. Luckily, even in E-Power mode, pressing the accelerator past the kickdown point will automatically kick on the gas engine for maximum acceleration." -- Autoblog
  • While the Cayenne E-Hybrid is a near-silent runner while in 'E-Power,' effortlessly keeping up with traffic and never feeling lethargic, those who seek a bit more excitement need only to twist the Sport Chrono dial on the steering wheel to 'Sport Plus' mode. The combustion engine immediately springs to life, throttle response becomes more aggressive and the suspension firms up (vehicles equipped with air suspension also lower, to reduce the center of gravity)." -- Autotrader

Handling and Braking

The Cayenne Hybrid moves a bit less fluidly than its nonhybrid counterpart, but this Porsche still delivers an exciting driving experience. It provides plenty of road grip and lets you tackle corners without worrying about excessive body lean. The ride generally feels smooth, but it can occasionally get a little rough. The regenerative brakes take some getting used to, and they feel a bit grabby at times, but those complaints apply to many hybrid vehicles.

You can select from multiple driving modes to alter the Cayenne Hybrid's dynamics to your liking, and an adaptive air suspension is available. All-wheel drive comes standard.

  • Despite weighing 600 pounds more than a Cayenne S, at 5,060 pounds total, the E-Hybrid's Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) do a wonderful job of keeping the Cayenne flat and composed in a corner. There's no mid-corner wallowing or awkward floating. There's ample grip, too, thanks to staggered front and rear rubber. It's not quite as precise or nimble as the regular Cayenne, but it's still a joy to drive. … The firm suspension and enhanced chassis management are great when moving through corners, but the ride quality can be a bit harsh when just cruising." -- Autoblog
  • "Between the standard adaptive dampers and the optional air springs ($2170), PDCC, and rear-axle steering ($1620), the Cayenne E-Hybrid does an amazing impression of a sporty wagon by nullifying body roll without making the ride harsh. The E-Hybrid also is a nice place to spend extended periods of time as road noise is well hushed, even on the optional 21-inch wheels." -- Car and Driver
  • The brakes generally seem to provide too little deceleration for the first portion of pedal travel, then too much, making it difficult to approach stop signs or traffic roundabouts smoothly. The truth is all hybrids and EVs suffer from this effect to some extent, and additional drive time would have familiarized this particular setup -- still, the learning curve is something to be aware of for drivers considering a Cayenne E-Hybrid as their first electrified vehicle." -- Autoweek
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