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2019 Porsche Cayenne Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 9.3

The Porsche Cayenne is more powerful after its redesign for 2019, and it still delivers thrilling performance. All three available engines make this SUV feel fast, and it delivers a smooth ride. When it comes to cornering, few rivals can hope to match the Cayenne, and it can even hold its own away from the pavement.

  • "Every version of the new Cayenne we drove felt more capable than its predecessor, with better performance, increased comfort, and less body roll than expected for such a tall vehicle." -- Road and Track
  • "The new engine completely changes the character of the base model, delivering a strong punch off the line (Porsche conservatively estimates a 0-60 mph sprint of 5.9 seconds) and power to pass on the highway." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "On the narrow mountain roads the Cayenne S does a good impression of smaller crossovers, offering confident cornering when pushed beyond its comfort zone and beyond." -- Autoweek

Acceleration and Power

The Cayenne features a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 base engine that puts out 335 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard. Even though it's the base engine, this V6 puts out plenty of power for most driving situations and makes the Cayenne feel quick for an SUV. According to Porsche estimates, it will go zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.

Cayenne S models come with a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 that produces 434 horsepower. You'll certainly feel the extra power, and the 99 extra horses make the Cayenne more fun to drive. Acceleration improves noticeably as well, as the Cayenne S goes zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds.

Cayenne Turbo models feature a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that puts out 541 horsepower. This is the fastest Cayenne, making the dash from zero to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds – a sprint time that puts this SUV in Porsche 911 territory.

Fuel economy estimates for the 2019 Cayenne are not yet available. When properly equipped, the Cayenne can tow up to 7,700 pounds, which is good for the class.

  • "Responsive and quiet, the single-turbo 3.0-liter has 40 more horsepower than the outgoing Cayenne and moves the approximately 4500-pound SUV with satisfying ease. It pulls smoothly, never calls much attention to itself, and feels appropriately powerful. … The base engine's biggest problem is that two stronger options exist." -- Car and Driver
  • "Our hands-down favorite is the S model. Its twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-6 has ample shove …, but at 4500 pounds, it feels noticeably more nimble than the Turbo. It is also the model in which we most appreciated the optional rear-axle steering, which until now has not been available on the Cayenne." -- Road and Track
  • "All three models are fast enough for day-to-day use. The standard Cayenne gets to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. The Cayenne S gets there a full second quicker, while the Turbo beats even the entry-level 911 on acceleration. It is truly remarkable to feel a car of this weight accelerate this fast, but the Cayenne delivers that 0-60 thrill in spades." -- CNET

Handling and Braking

Few rivals can match the Cayenne on a winding road. This Porsche handles curves and corners without breaking a sweat thanks to its sharp steering and minimal body lean. Some say this midsize SUV feels almost like a sports car. The handling doesn't come at the expense of ride quality, either. The Cayenne even has decent off-road capability, though it's no Land Rover.

There are multiple suspension and brake upgrades available to further improve ride comfort, handling, and stopping power. All-wheel drive comes standard with the Cayenne.

  • "The sum total of these updates is a ride that was able to handle twisty mountain roads with ease. Where the previous Cayenne would have to be somewhat nursed through tight sequences of corners, this new generation handles even the most violent turn-ins like a champ. The lack of roll gives you more confidence to push, and I found it easy to maintain speed through tight bends without the risk of understeer. It's easy to get right back on the power again on exit, too. The holy grail of an SUV made by a sports car manufacturer is to deliver the same handling characteristics as the rest of the stable, and the new Cayenne comes dangerously close to it." -- CNET
  • "Without question, the Cayenne is engineered with on-road driving dynamics as its primary mission. Independent suspension is complemented with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), which is a three-mode (Normal, Sport, or Sport plus) active damping system designed to optimize the on-road ride. Working with PASM is Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC). The innovative 48-volt active stabilization system helps to prevent body roll in corners. With an available rear-axle steering system that turns the rear wheels up to three degrees in either direction, and aggressive wheels of up to 21-inches in diameter, the Cayenne corners better than most sports cars." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "What we noticed first was the exceptional steering. The Cayenne has electrically assisted power steering, but unlike many other automakers, Porsche has figured out how to do it right. Direct and with the right amount of weighting as the front tires press into a corner, the steering is quick, positive, and helps make the Cayenne feel smaller than its two-plus-ton mass and 193-plus-inch length suggest." -- Car and Driver
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