Home / Reviews / First Drive / Porsche Cayenne First Drive Review – The Sport Utility Vehicle

 

With their proclivity for purist performance, the new Porsche Cayenne emphatically puts the “sport” in “sport utility vehicle”. We head to the high North-east to sample the new SUV and Coupé models in entry V6 guise.

Porsche Cayenne and Cayenne Coupe

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Porsche India

 

Let’s start with the fact that “entry” is a relative term. The bare-bones Porsche Cayenne still gets a slew of premium equipment and feels refined and tastefully posh no matter which of the six senses is given priority. The reason for it being classified the entry model is, of course, the 3.0-litre V6 turbo-petrol powertrain; which, on paper, is the same as an Audi S5 TFSI—minus one solitary horsepower. That’s all secondary. We have an SUV that drives like a sports car despite its two-tonne-plus weight. And we’re in a new part of the country—one I’ve never set foot in before—the mountainous North-east. Our drive would take us from Guwahati on the edge of the Assam border, into Cherrapunji in Meghalaya, which is so close to the international border with Bangladesh, I had to disable my phone network to prevent two things: the 30-minute time-difference display and to nip any chance of international roaming charges in the bud. Right, then, here’s how things went.

The starting point was our hotel in Dispur, and the route was about 160 kilometres one-way to the former “rainiest place on Earth”—an honour that is now held by Māwsynrām, which lies just about 20 kilometres west of Cherrapunji as the crow flies, but more than 80 km and nearly three hours away by road.

Porsche Cayenne

The new Porsche Cayenne has seen some subtle tweaks outside, with sharper new LED headlights, revised bumpers and air-intakes, and new, narrower tail-light clusters and light strip across the rear. The number-plate location has moved lower down, too. The car is now 12 millimetres longer than the previous model. The Coupé is also 20 mm lower than the SUV model. With air suspension, the ride height is between 192 and 237 mm for the Coupé, with the SUV sitting one millimetre higher. There are new colours and wheels with Porsche India offering 20-inch wheels as standard kit, with larger diameter options available. Our cars—both the Cayenne and Cayenne Coupé, had 21-inch wheels (a Rs 5.82-lakh option) with mixed rubber: 285/45 front and 315/40 rear ZR21s. Further notable options on the car were the HD Matrix LED headlamps (Rs 4.69 lakh) and the 90-litre fuel-tank (Rs 24,700) up from the standard 75-litre one.

Porsche Cayenne

I’d be starting off in the new Porsche Cayenne Coupé. The interior looks refreshingly new and brings several changes to make it cleaner and more intuitive than the last model. The seats are eight-way powered as standard and offer superb support. It even has optional soft-close doors (Rs 1.46 lakh); something I believe will be ticked on the list for most orders. There’s more. The Coupé I was at the wheel of has the Sport Chrono package as standard (an option of Rs 2.22 lakh in the SUV) but also included the Bose Surround Sound (Rs 2.81 lakh) and the Porsche crest on headrests (Rs 94k) besides the cool 3D Surround View function (Rs 2.98 lakh) on the centre touchscreen.

The new Porsche Cayenne Coupé looks sportier, more so because of the sloping roof-line, panoramic glass roof, and contrast colour. It looks—and feels—taut and eager. I was about to find out just how much.

Porsche Cayenne Coupe

More on page 2 >

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez

 

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