2015 Porsche Cayenne

Pros: One of the sharpest-handling midsize SUVs around; spectacular acceleration in Turbo models; impeccably finished interior; lots of high-tech features

Cons: Stiff ride gets worse with the available 21-inch wheels; copious fuel thirst in Turbo models; complicated, button-heavy control layout; sky-high prices

CG Says: For 2015, the Porsche Cayenne gets a significant refresh that includes updated styling, a plug-in “E-Hybrid” model, and a 420-horsepower 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 in the S model (which replaces the previous 4.8-liter V8). The base model, the high-performance GTS, and the line-topping Turbo S model have been pared from the Cayenne lineup for now, but are likely to be reintroduced soon. Not surprisingly, the literal “Porsche of SUVs” goes, stops, and handles more like a welterweight sports sedan than a burly wagon. But though few rivals come close to matching Cayenne’s on-road abilities, many offer superior ride comfort and/or off-road prowess and at least as much in the way of luxury features. Porsches appeal to serious drivers, so those folks will be most attracted to the rapid, tautly sprung V8 models (the top-engine choice–not listed below–is a 520-hp turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 rated at 14 mpg city/21 highway). Other Cayennes are less awe-inspiring, but are still plenty quick and rather more frugal to own and operate. The E-Hybrid is one of the most refined gas/electric vehicles of any kind. As with other Porsches, though, top-flight engineering and a platinum-grade brand image carry a high price–too high, in our view, unless you understand and value the “Porsche Way.” But if you can afford to indulge, Cayenne is a compelling alternative to usual-suspect premium SUVs, and more exclusive with it. We’d opt for a modestly equipped S or Hybrid as the best blend of practicality and performance.

The Facts
Class Premium Midsize SUV
Body Style(s) 4-door wagon
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels all-wheel drive
Manufacturer Porsche
Nation of Manufacture Germany
Base Prices Diesel: $61,700
S: $74,100
E-Hybrid: $76,400
Turbo: $113,600

Base Engine
turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6
Horsepower
240
Std. Transmission
8-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
20
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
29

Optional Engine
turbocharged 3.6-liter V6
Horsepower
420
Std. Transmission
8-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
17
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
24

Optional Engine
supercharged 3.0-liter V6/plug-in electric
Horsepower
416
Std. Transmission
8-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
21
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
24

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2015 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
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2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo