With hotter S and Turbo variations of the 2019 Porsche Cayenne on provide, the thought of saddling up within the base mannequin may be a bit unappealing to some. On paper, the Cayenne’s 335-horsepower V6 appears downright pedestrian to the 434-horsepower S and ridiculous 541-horsepower Turbo.

However exit and drive the bottom Cayenne, and any unfavourable preconceived ideas will probably evaporate after only a few minutes behind the wheel. The third-generation Cayenne’s rock-solid efficiency chops, contemporary styling and nice tech are discovered at each single value level.

Higher pores and skin and bones

On the basis of the brand new Cayenne is a stronger platform, and the SUV is 2.four inches longer and practically an inch wider than its predecessor. Extra aluminum is sprinkled in all through the body-in-white with a purpose to enhance rigidity, whereas additionally serving to to shave 120 kilos in comparison with the outgoing mannequin.

From the entrance, the brand new Cayenne’s design would not excite or disappoint, with a trio of horizontal chrome air dam slates that remind me of a Gillette Mach Three Turbo razor head. There’s, nonetheless, rather more styling persona on the rear with slimmer, full-width LED lights, bringing the Cayenne in step with the remainder of the Porsche lineup. It is probably the most enticing side of the outside that, together with the built-in tailgate spoiler and dual-exhaust retailers, have the Cayenne strike its sportiest pose from a rear three-quarter view.

Probably the most noteworthy Cayenne styling alteration occurs inside, the place you will observe the a lot cleaner look. Porsche’s Direct Contact controls on the middle console remove the visible litter attributable to the bombardment of particular person buttons within the earlier mannequin. The flat floor panel delivers a smooth look with backlit buttons and haptic suggestions to manage car, local weather and infotainment capabilities, however the shiny panel does get smudgy and dusty in a rush. Mercifully, Porsche did not go overboard with the flat buttons, leaving very important issues like audio quantity, local weather temperature and fan speeds to bodily knobs and rocker switches — similar to they need to be.

Total consolation is on level with high quality supplies akin to tender, stitched black leather-based masking the sprint, heart console, door panels and seats. The heated entrance buckets are comfortable with simply the correct quantity of aspect assist, and maintain me toasty on brutal, single-digit-temperature winter days. House in each rows is sufficiently snug, even with three adults throughout the again.

The Cayenne’s cabin will get upgraded with a clear and intuitive structure.

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There’s additionally a beneficiant 27.2 cubic ft of cargo house within the trunk space that expands to 60.Three with the rear seats folded. That is not as spectacular because the BMW X5 (72.Three cubic ft), however betters the Land Rover Vary Rover Sport (56.Eight). I did not get an opportunity to stuff the Porsche to the gills with cargo, however I did simply transport a pile of Eight-foot-long lumber from House Depot.

Spectacular tech

One other huge inside enchancment comes by way of the 12.Three-inch Porsche Communication Administration infotainment display screen — each Cayenne will get this tech. PCM comes normal with navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot and the Join Plus package deal letting you utilize apps akin to Amazon Music and even Nest to regulate local weather settings at house. PCM additionally gives Apple CarPlay, however frustratingly nonetheless would not assist Android Auto.

Picture high quality on the massive heart display screen is crisp and vibrant, making it simple to learn when rolling down the street. The system boots up in brief order, responds immediately to instructions and by no means journeys up whereas switching between totally different menus. Getting the dangle of every part would not take lengthy with probably the most generally used screens at all times simply accessible on the shortcut bar to the left of the show or via heart console Direct Contact Management buttons. You possibly can even customise the house display screen structure to point out the stuff you use most frequently.

The Porsche Communication Administration system is responsive and straightforward to navigate via.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

To cost telephones and tablets, passengers will discover two USB ports and a 12-volt outlet out there in each the back and front. If in some way all of these aren’t sufficient, there’s a further 12-volt provide within the trunk.

Whereas entrance and rear parking sensors and a backup digicam are normal difficulty gadgets on all Cayennes, issues like adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep help, a 360-degree digicam, night time imaginative and prescient and head-up show are nearly all out there individually. Every merchandise tacks a further $1,000 to $2,000 onto a Cayenne’s backside line that may probably inflate the value to alarming heights should you get carried away. Par for the course with Porsche’s choices checklist, after all.

Stable base performer

Security options aren’t the one expensive piecemeal choices supplied on the Cayenne. Efficiency add-ons are additionally plentiful together with an air suspension, rear axle steering, adaptive anti-roll bars and brake upgrades. Little question, issues like that can create a extra tenacious dealing with SUV, however they arrive at a hefty value. For anybody fearful about lacking out should you do not spring for any of these gadgets, don’t fret, as a result of even probably the most fundamental Cayenne with a metal suspension, normal brakes and 19-inch wheels remains to be a powerful driver.

The Cayenne would not want any optionally available efficiency options to be succesful and enjoyable.

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On clear roads the Cayenne shows an almost good mixture of trip consolation and dealing with reflexes. Consolation mode options mild on-center steering really feel earlier than tightening and offering good suggestions in turns. The suspension provides solution to some managed roll that’s magnified by the softer sidewalls of the Michelin Pilot Alpin winter tires put in on my tester. Round expressway interchanges it nonetheless hangs on properly, solely being restricted by the gummier rubber. A high quality all-season or efficiency tire will certainly go a good distance towards enhancing dealing with prowess.

The Pilot Alpins do find yourself paying off in spades throughout a snowstorm that brings Eight inches of winter slop to the Midwest. Winter tires, all-wheel drive and a well-tuned stability management system make the Cayenne unstoppable, plowing via the white stuff with ease and staying surefooted round corners with out annoying abrupt energy cuts.

In all conditions, the brand new Three.Zero-liter turbocharged V6 is a sweetheart. It is punchy off the road with 332 pound-feet of torque out there from simply 1,340 to five,300 rpm, and pulls laborious all the best way to the 6,500-rpm redline. It really works with an improved, eight-speed automated gearbox that goes about its enterprise imperceptibly, finishing up easy, well-timed shifts. In the event you’re a fan of adjusting your personal gears, I am pleased to report that the Cayenne’s paddle shifters are glorious.

The bottom Three.Zero-liter turbo V6 isn’t any slouch with 335 horses and 332 pound-feet of torque.

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Porsche says this base drivetrain will get the four,377-pound Cayenne to 60 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds and returns an EPA estimated 19 miles per gallon within the metropolis and 23 mpg on the freeway. Prolonged warm-up intervals and slow-going via dangerous climate solely bought me an noticed 17.7 mpg, although.

How I might spec it

For a Porsche, my check automobile’s $80,500 price ticket, together with $1,250 for vacation spot, is not too obscene of a bounce from the $65,700 base value. That is nonetheless slightly wealthy for my blood, which is why my splendid 2019 Cayenne undercuts it some.

My automobile will start with an $800 Moonlight Blue Metallic paint job and the $600 19-inch Cayenne S wheels, solely as a result of the bottom wheels are means too boring. Since I am a fan of the leather-wrapped sprint, I would like so as to add the full-leather inside for $Three,750 and heated entrance seats for $530… as a result of winter. And at last for tech, I am going to pony up for the $1,200 Bose audio setup and $950 blind-spot monitoring system. That brings the entire price of my Cayenne to $74,780, once more together with vacation spot.

An affordable checklist of choices brings the value tag of this 2019 Cayenne to $80,500.

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Shameless base

Given the selection, I am going to take the Cayenne over the aforementioned X5 and Vary Rover Sport based mostly totally on the truth that the Porsche is a significantly better driver and boasts a nicer cabin. The Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class are different noteworthy opponents, however once more the Cayenne outshines each behind the wheel.

Whereas I am certain the Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo are hoots with their stronger engines, the truth is that their $82,900 and $124,600 base costs respectively merely might not be within the playing cards for some of us. Nonetheless, if a base Cayenne can work for somebody’s price range, there’s completely zero disgrace in it. It is nonetheless a stellar automobile that sits on the entrance of the category dynamically and is close to the entrance in relation to tech.

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