2020 Porsche Cayenne

Performance


MSRP
$66,800
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Porsche Cayenne Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 9.0

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne has incredible overall performance, with three thrilling engine choices and dynamic handling. Fuel economy is about average for the segment.

  • "It's a grin-inducing thing to hustle along a twisting two-lane, lunging from apex to apex, accompanied by a growling rumble from the exhaust." -- Motor Trend
  • "Slinging the Turbo from apex to apex on serpentine Austrian roads, submitting to the hammering violence of its V-8, it was easy to forget that this was an SUV by any definition. … This SUV's class-topping agility, steering and braking are as compelling as any straight-line feats." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The crisp steering, just-right throttle calibration and the driving position that places every major control exactly where they should be are readily evident when dawdling around town. If you're inclined to performance-oriented, driver-focused vehicles, the Cayenne feels exactly like you think it should. It makes the driving experience that much more interesting regardless of how and where you're driving." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The Porsche Cayenne comes standard with a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine that produces 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. The Porsche Cayenne S has a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that produces 434 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo boasts a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 541 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard.

All of the Cayenne's engines have plenty of power and provide thrilling acceleration. The S and Turbo models are extremely muscular. The automatic transmission provides sharp gear shifts.

The base model gets an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, which is about average for the luxury midsize SUV class. The Cayenne S gets 18 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, while the Cayenne Turbo gets 15/19 mpg city/highway.

  • "That Coupe never felt remotely underpowered … and it is said to return a 5.7-second dash to 60 mph and a 151-mph top speed. But speed junkies should find that S marks the lineup's sweet spot. … Its dual-turbo V-6 responds to throttle more alertly than does its single-turbo cousin. It sounds crisper, and its muscular powerband brings out the best of the Coupe's remarkably athletic chassis." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Regardless of engine, power channels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, though the Turbo has different gear ratios, and on to all four wheels. As a result, acceleration starts at darn decent and ends at damn impressive." -- Autoweek
  • "The … standard 3.0-liter V6 moves the base model without complaint. It goes about its business in a workaday manner, never feeling overstressed nor especially sporty. The S model's twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 … has noticeably more punch when you give it the spurs. This zestier engine better matches the chassis. No such ambiguity exists with the Turbo. With prodigious power and an exhaust note that announces attitude, the Turbo means business. There's effortless thrust available at all revs." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

The all-wheel-drive Cayenne handles with enthusiasm and drives like a smaller sports car. Steering is sharp and direct, and body motions are well-controlled. Critics are split on ride quality, with some saying that it feels a little stiff, and others noting that it's comfortable.

  • "… [The Cayenne] can keep up with supercars on winding roads. Punch the throttle mid-way through a hairpin turn and the Cayenne won't flinch, the rear end rotating around with immediacy before the car shoots forward down the next straightaway. A big SUV it might be, but the Cayenne is still a formidable driver's car. … The one caveat is that the 22-inch wheels, which are unique to the Coupe, hamper the ride quality somewhat." -- CNET
  • "Yes, this is a full-size SUV. But also, yes, the Cayenne tries to deliver competent, even lively, driving dynamics on any and all curvy country roads. And, I almost hate to say it, but the Cayenne also succeeds." -- Autoweek
  • "We'll reserve final judgement until we've sampled similarly equipped Coupes on roads and freeways we know well … but in conjunction with the air suspension, the setup appears to offer extraordinarily taut body control without an unduly jittery ride." -- Motor Trend
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2020 Porsche Cayenne

MSRP: $66,800 - $130,100

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