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8.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.6
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
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2009 Porsche Cayenne Review

The 2009 Porsche Cayenne is one of the sportiest SUVs you can buy, and one of the very few luxury SUVs that offers a manual transmission. But its short list of standard features, low fuel economy, harsh ride and likely high price might be enough to deter many buyers.

Pros & Cons

  • Fantastic handling
  • Lots of power
  • Sumptuous interior
  • Poor fuel economy, though similar to competitors
  • Ride may be too stiff for some
  • Price is likely higher than rivals

2009 Porsche Cayenne Overview

In general, shoppers looking for an SUV that combines the ultimate in luxury and sports-car performance will be happy with the Cayenne. However, the Cayenne has some significant downsides. No matter which trim level you choose, its fuel economy is poor, though that’s not uncommon for the class. Its suspension is tuned to be firm and sporty, which could make the ride too stiff for some. And when the Cayenne was new, it was especially expensive for an SUV, so used models may be more expensive than competitors.

The 2009 Porsche Cayenne comes in five trims: base, GTS, S, Turbo and Turbo S. The Turbo S has the most power, best handling characteristics and most standard features, but its fuel economy is just 12/19 mpg city/highway. Some models of the Cayenne come with a six-speed manual transmission. Shoppers should keep in mind that Porsches are not known for their extensive list of standard features, so you may have to search hard for a used Cayenne that has the features and options you want.

See the full 2009 Porsche Cayenne specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you like the Cayenne’s performance and luxury badge, consider the 2010 Land Rover Range Rover Sport. It’s a bit smaller than the flagship Range Rover, and since it’s newer, the Range Rover Sport may cost a bit more. The Range Rover Sport is also available in a supercharged trim that packs 390 horsepower, and it retains the legendary off-road capabilities that Land Rover is so well-known for.

The 2009 BMW X6’s utility is significantly limited by its four-passenger seating capacity, relatively poor fuel economy from most trims and fairly small cargo space, but what it lacks in practicality, it makes up for in performance. The base six-cylinder engine is powerful enough for most testers, but speed demons can upgrade to the thirsty but aggressive 400-horsepower V8.

Compare the Cayenne to the Range Rover Sport and X6 »

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