Premium midsize SUV; Built in Slovakia
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $26,500 – $77,000*

2009 Porsche Cayenne Front

2009 Porsche Cayenne Rear

2009 Porsche Cayenne Interior

2008 Porsche Cayenne Front

  • Acceleration
  • Handling
  • Interior materials
  • Front-seat comfort
  • Control layout
  • Fuel economy

Cayenne amounts to a unique take on the SUV formula, emphasizing sport way more than utility. What else might be expected from Porsche? However, the price for Porsche’s virtues-thoroughbred handling, blazing acceleration, and nameplate prestige-will be too high for all but an appreciative few, even as a secondhand model. Cost may become higher still if costly options have been added.


Reworked for 2008, Porsche’s midsize Cayenne received more power, revised front-end styling, and a new performance-oriented model. Cayenne was Porsche’s sport-utility vehicle and shared its basic design with the Volkswagen Touareg. Porsche’s version differed in styling and powertrains. Potential competitors included the Acura MDX, BMW X5, and Mercedes-Benz M-Class.

Base, S, GTS, and Turbo models were available. The GTS was new for 2008. Base Cayennes held a 290-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine. S, GTS, and Turbo versions used 4.8-liter V8s of 385, 405, and 500 horsepower, respectively. V6 models and the GTS came with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic; the V8 S and Turbo were automatic only. Maximum towing capacity was 7,716 pounds.

All Cayennes had all-wheel drive with low-range gearing and a locking center differential. Standard safety features included antilock brakes, traction control, an antiskid system with rollover sensors, front side airbags, and curtain side airbags. A “Sport Button” that altered engine, transmission, and suspension settings for high-performance driving was standard. A driver-adjustable air suspension was standard on GTS and Turbo models, and optional otherwise. A navigation system was available, too. The GTS, which was designed for on-highway performance, added 21-inch wheels and an air suspension with Porsche’s Active Suspension Management system, which allowed adjustment through normal, sport, and comfort settings. GTS seats were upholstered in Alcantara fabric.

Yearly Updates

2009 Cayenne
A new Turbo S flagship model, with a 550-horsepower engine, debuted this year. The Porsche Communication Management System, standard in Turbo models, now used a touchscreen and had fewer keys and menus. Porsche’s navigation system now was based upon a 40-gigabyte hard drive. For the first time, Porsche adapted the company’s Ceramic Composite Brake system to Cayennes as an option on V8 models. Sport seats with Alcantara upholstery could now be installed in any model.
2010 Cayenne
The 2010 Porsche Cayenne lineup gained a limited edition S Transsyberia model. S Transsyberia used the GTS’ 405-horsepower V8. The S Transsyberia added four new exterior color combination and a standard air suspension.


longitudinal front-engine/all-wheel drive

In the base Cayenne, a 3.6-liter V6 engine mates with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The Cayenne S uses a 385-horsepower, 4.8-liter V8 with only a six-speed automatic transmission offered. In the GTS, the 4.8-liter V8 generates 405 horsepower, with either a manual or automatic transmission. Also automatic-only is the Cayenne Turbo, which contains a turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 that delivers 500 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. All Cayennes have all-wheel drive. In the Turbo S added for 2009, the V8 engine develops 550 horsepower.

dohc V61
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/219
Engine HP 290
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 273
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
dohc V82
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.8/293
Engine HP 385
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 369
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic


dohc V83
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.8/293
Engine HP 405
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 369
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
6-speed manual
Turbocharged dohc V84
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.8/293
Engine HP 500
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 516
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic


Turbocharged dohc V85
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.8/293
Engine HP 550
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 553
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic


1. Base. 2. S. 3. GTS. 4. Turbo. 5. Turbo S.

Road Test

Installed in a manual-transmission GTS, Porsche’s muscular V8 delivers smooth, strong acceleration in most any situation. Some testers declared shifter/clutch action less than ideal-perhaps a good reason to search for one with the optional automatic transmission.

Cayennes are thirsty, even by V8-powered SUV standards. A test GTS with manual shift averaged a mere 12.3 mpg. Another reason to opt for the automatic is its higher projected fuel economy. All Cayenne models require premium-grade gasoline.

Ride comfort is good overall, despite standard 21-inch wheels and high-performance tires. As is typical of adjustable suspensions, the “Sport” setting proves too firm on all but glass-smooth roads, while “Comfort” is too soft. “Normal” provides the best balance of comfort and control.

Porsche’s Cayenne is as nimble as can be expected of a tall, relatively heavy SUV. Cayenne corners with good grip and balance, with direct steering and modest cornering lean. Strong brakes are more than up to any stopping task.

The GTS’s V8 makes a great performance growl during fast acceleration but is reasonably quiet otherwise. Wind noise is low and tire noise modest, even with the performance treads.

Cayenne’s dashboard has plenty of buttons and conveys plenty of information, but requires pre-drive familiarization-especially with the navigation system. Small audio buttons contrast with large, simple toggles for climate, suspension, and transfer-case adjustments. Some testers have complained of the left-mounted ignition switch-a Porsche tradition that others find unobjectionable. As expected at this price level, Cayenne’s interior is impeccably assembled using top-notch materials. GTS models contain Alcantara upholstery that looks and feels especially rich.

Front-seat occupants can expect ample headroom and generous seat travel. Excellent lateral support also is welcome, though seat bottoms may pinch some physiques. Cayenne’s tall build makes for good forward visibility. Large outside mirrors help, but headrests and a narrow rear window obstruct the view aft. Cayennes require slight step-up into the cabin, but no-fuss entry/exit is the rule.

Rear seats provide sufficient space for three but a center rider will be shortchanged on legroom, seat cushioning, and shape. Adequate headroom is accompanied by good legroom and foot space. Cushions are supportive but may be too firm to suit for some riders. Back doors open wide, but passengers need to twist ankles to clear the door frames on exit.

Cargo space is good with the rear seat up, but not expansive for an SUV. That seat splits 60/40 and folds flat for plenty of space, but you must first flip the bottom cushions, then remove and stow the headrests. Center-console storage is generous, but there’s not much other room for small items.


Model Tested: 2008 Porsche Cayenne GTS w/manual

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 8
Fuel Economy - 1
Ride Quality - 5
Steering/Handling - 7
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
Cargo Room - 8


Value - 2

Total: 55


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.4 188.9 75.9 66.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
62.5 26.4 5.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.6 38.8 40.6 35.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A Not tested. 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Description: A rumbling or clicking noise from the area near the right front door is caused by the active chassis control system and is considered normal. (2008-09)
Oil leak
Description: Oil may leak from the pressure hose on turbocharged engines although the turbo is not the source of the oil requiring a new hose. (2008-09)
Entertainment problems
Description: The sound may be distorted when viewing movies and improved monitors for both the passenger and driver seatbacks have been released. (2008)

Recall History

2008 V6
Description: Fuel line may contact rear engine-compartment cover; could cause knocking noises and chafing of fuel line, possibly resulting in fuel leakage.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.