Porsche Cayenne Hybrid review

We put Porsche's new electric SUV under the spotlight. Good enough to rank as a proper Porsche?

Evo rating
Price
from £57,609
  • Well integrated hybrid system
  • Not as clean as claimed

What is it?

Exactly as the name suggests, this is the electrically assisted version of Porsche’s newly revamped Cayenne SUV. It’s a standard hybrid system, in that the battery is charged under braking, then delivers power to all four wheels via an electric motor positioned between the 3.0-litre supercharged V6 and eight-speed automatic gearbox. It costs £57,609.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

>Porsche Cayenne range review

Technical highlights?

It’s got to be the touchscreen satellite navigat... Only kidding – of course it’s the power unit, which combines the Audi S4’s engine with a 47bhp (and 221lb ft) electric motor. An 80kg battery pack made up of 240 cells is mounted under the boot floor and it is theoretically possible to drive solely on electric power up to 37mph.

What’s it like to drive?

If you don’t look to closely at the attractive new switches in the Cayenne’s Panamera-inspired interior, you’d never know you were driving a hybrid – which on one level is surely the aim. So the 2240kg Cayenne drives much like any other, with faintly other-worldly cornering ability for a car of its height and weight. Despite this car featuring 21-inch wheels (a £3372 option) ride comfort has improved on the latest model, which is now markedly less jerky.

One thing to be aware of is what Porsche terms ‘Sailing’. When you lift off the throttle, a clutch disengages the engine from drivetrain, but leaves the electric motor enagaged, so speed drops only very slowly. It’s a neat trick, unnerving at first and requires anticipation in your driving but there is a certain satisfaction to be gained from watching the screen graph telling you what percentage of your time is spent at zero emissions. Not a Porsche attribute we’re familiar with.

Putting the car in Sport mode stops this happening, giving you ‘proper’ engine braking and a greater sense of control over the car.

How does it compare?

Well, it’s a damn sight better than a Lexus RX400h for a start, but ‘Sailing’ the technology isn’t really any more advanced. That’s unlikely to dissuade Porsche from doing this again, so expect a hybrid Panamera in due course, and let’s not pretend the sports car will be off limits either.

Anything else I need to know?

The Cayenne Hybrid is the cleanest car in Porsche’s model line-up, putting out 193g/km of CO2 and achieving 34.5mpg. However, I’ve just spent four days with it and the best I got was 27.6mpg, with an average of 24.4mpg. The Boxster and Cayman are way more efficient than that, so to the latest 911 and I reckon you’d have to drive the diesel Cayenne pretty hard to get it down to that level. On that subject, which is more of a Porsche the hybrid or the diesel? Your thoughts, please. 

Read the 2010 Porsche Cayenne Turbo review here

Specifications

EngineV6, 2995cc, supercharged; plus hybrid module with electric motor
Max power380bhp/5500rpm
Max torque427lb ft/1000rpm
0-606.5secs (claimed, to 62mph)
Top speed150mph
On saleNow

Recommended

Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe 2020 review - new GTS upsized to a V8
Porsche Cayenne

Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe 2020 review - new GTS upsized to a V8

30 Jun 2020

Most Popular

Aston Martin DB4: review, history and specs
Aston Martin

Aston Martin DB4: review, history and specs

1959 was a watershed year for Aston Martin. As the DBR1 swept all before it on the track, the first customers were taking deliveries of the all-new DB…
11 Oct 2020
SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car
News

SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car

Over a decade after SSC last entered the record books, its Tuatara has claimed the title of world’s fastest production car
19 Oct 2020
Hot Cupra Formentor spied testing – with a five-cylinder warble
Cupra

Hot Cupra Formentor spied testing – with a five-cylinder warble

Is Cupra about to get hold of Audi’s brilliant five-cylinder petrol engine?
19 Oct 2020
Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot
Alpine

Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot

Heated-up Renaults but no A110 replacement for Alpine as it follows in Cupra and Abarth footsteps
21 Oct 2020