Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
The 2016 Porsche Cayenne SUV continues its genre-defying ways this year, with two new models to further make drivers believe they bought a sports car, and not a practically designed family hauler. The new Porsche Cayenne Turbo S packs even more horsepower than before, and the Porsche Cayenne GTS returns to the lineup, now with a turbocharged V6 engine.
You'll Like The 2016 Porsche Cayenne If...
For 2016 Porsche’s Cayenne combines performance, style, luxury and cutting-edge technology in an SUV that’s simultaneously exclusive and functional. The S E-Hybrid and diesel will burnish your green credentials, while the new Cayenne Turbo S and Cayenne GTS will blow your neighbors into the weeds.
You May Not Like The 2016 Porsche Cayenne If...
Part of the reason the Porsche Cayenne SUV remains exclusive is because of its price, high even by well-to-do standards. The Acura MDX and Infiniti QX60 can coddle your family for half the price, or get an Audi Q7 or Mercedes-Benz GL-Class if you need an impressive badge.
This year sees an upgraded Porsche Cayenne Turbo S with more horsepower, and a new Cayenne GTS, now sporting a turbocharged V6 engine.
Porsche’s interior design aesthetic is, simply put, beautiful. There’s sumptuous, finely stitched leather mixed with real wood and metal accents. It’s what you’ll find in newer 911s, as well as the Panamera sedan. Rear passengers aren’t forgotten, with a sliding and reclining seat and a pair of LCD screens in the front headrests. However, while the interior’s pretty, the numerous buttons, switches and knobs can be confusing, and not all of that confusion evaporates with familiarity, especially when it comes to using the navigation system. Regardless, there are few nicer interiors, and fewer still with this much cargo room.
One glance, and you immediately notice two things about the 2016 Porsche Cayenne. First is the abundance of muscular curves hinting at the Cayenne’s speed-and-performance mission. Second, those curves all blend into an unmistakably Porsche brand identity. A quick field guide to identifying Cayenne models focuses on the brakes: black calipers denote the Diesel model, silver the Cayenne S and Cayenne S E-Hybrid, and red the high-performance Turbo and GTS models. Turbo S models get the yellow ceramic brake option standard; it’s available elsewhere in the lineup. Turbo models get four exhaust pipes and a large trapezoidal grille.
We haven’t driven the new Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, but with a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds, the word "slow" wasn’t anywhere near our impression of last year’s model. In fact, even the Cayenne S E-Hybrid is a bona fide blast to drive, zipping to 60 mph in only 5.4 seconds, but still returning an estimated 47 mpge in hybrid electric mode. The new Porsche Cayenne GTS, with its turbocharged V6 engine, splits the difference with a 0-60-mph time of about 4.4 seconds. However, keep in mind that there’s more to the Cayenne than outright speed. Cornering precision is beyond what you should rightfully expect from any SUV. The 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission fires off shifts in milliseconds, obviating the need for any manual option. Then there’s the Cayenne Diesel, with its copious torque and near 30 mpg on the highway, making it the most livable of the Cayenne family.
Add in the $995 destination charge, and the base 2016 Porsche Cayenne starts with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) a bit over $59,000; diesels a bit above $63,000, and the Cayenne S just under the $76,000 mark. Cayenne S E-Hybrid models are a bit more at just above $78,000. The three high-performance models up the price considerably, with the new Cayenne GTS starting at about $96,500, the Cayenne Turbo a bit under $115,000, and the new Cayenne Turbo S at about $158,200. Those prices are higher than BMW and Mercedes-Benz rivals, but slightly less than the Land Rover Range Rover Sport, at least at the low end. Be sure to check KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price below to see what others in your area are currently paying, and at resale time, the Cayenne should do well, but not quite as well as the BMW X5 and the 7-Passenger Audi Q7.
You can have your 2016 Porsche Cayenne in seven ways: There’s the base Cayenne, then the Diesel, S, S E-Hybrid, GTS, Turbo and Turbo S models. All Cayenne models come with all-wheel drive (AWD), water-repellent front side windows, a height-adjustable power liftgate, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a 10-speaker audio system with a 7-inch touch screen. All Cayenne models come with a fuel-saving start/stop function that shuts off the engine at a stop and restarts it when the brake pedal is released. On the safety side, there are six airbags, a full suite of electronic stability aids, and roadside assistance while under warranty.
The Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control lets Porsche Cayenne owners take their SUV’s handling to the next level. It adjusts the anti-roll bars in real time to add stiffness to the suspension in response to conditions and whatever drive mode you have selected. A 1,000-watt, 16-speaker Burmester audio system is available for audiophiles, and in-vehicle connectivity includes an Aha Radio smartphone application, which offers a variety of customizable news, music and social networking services. Of course, there’s also that $9,000 brake system.
PORSCHE TORQUE VECTORING PLUSPart of the reason the Porsche Cayenne doesn’t feel like a ponderous SUV is the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) system. By sending more power to the outside wheel when rounding turns, PTV Plus helps the Cayenne around corners, and helps you forget that you’re driving an SUV.CERAMIC COMPOSITE BRAKESIf you plan on driving your Cayenne as hard as Porsche expects you to, then you’ll want the better stopping power, less fade and longer rotor life…not to mention the bright yellow brake hardware. Besides, what’s an extra $9,000 at this point, right?
Under the Hood
All 2016 Porsche Cayenne models come standard with an 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. However, there are seven distinct engines to choose from. The standard Cayenne comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine offering 300 horsepower; we think it’s worth the extra money to make the stretch to the turbocharged versions, either the 420-horsepower Cayenne S or the 440-horsepower Cayenne GTS. The Cayenne Diesel offers a highly efficient, torque-rich turbocharged V6, while the Cayenne S E-Hybrid employs a 333-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V6 coupled to a synchronous electric motor, which adds another 95 horsepower to the total. At the top of the line are the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Turbo S delivering a whopping 520 and 570 horsepower, respectively, from a twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8.3.6-liter V6300 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm295 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/24 mpg3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (Cayenne S)420 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm406 lb-ft of torque @ 1,350-4,500 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (Cayenne GTS)440 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm442 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-5,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6 (Cayenne Diesel)240 horsepower @ 3,500-4,000 rpm406 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-2,500 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 mpg3.0-liter supercharged V6 + electric motor (Cayenne S E-Hybrid)416 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm (net system horsepower)435 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250-4,000 rpm (net system torque)EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22 mpg (combined), 47 mpge in pure electric mode4.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (Cayenne Turbo)520 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm553 lb-ft of torque @ 2,250-4,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/21 mpg4.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (Cayenne Turbo S)570 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm590 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-4,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/21
The 2016 Porsche Cayenne leaves no doubt that anything wearing a Porsche badge lives up to the brand’s dominating performance capabilities. After introducing the eco-friendly Cayenne S E- Hybrid plug-in last year, Porsche introduces two new performance versions of the Cayenne. The new Cayenne Turbo S offers up 570 horsepower from its twin-turbo V8, giving it performance well beyond what you’d expect for a vehicle its size and weight. The new Porsche Cayenne GTS uses a new turbocharged V6 engine, but don’t worry, it too can keep up with the big boys. Add to the mix tons of luxury features and enviable curbside cachet, and the Porsche Cayenne is easily a match for competitors like the Land Rover Range Rover Sport, BMW X5 and Mercedes M-Class.