Porsche Cayenne review - Remarkably capable, the Cayenne is still the benchmark SUV - Ride and handling

It might be big and ugly, but the Cayenne is amazingly agile and truly involving to drive

Evo rating
Price
from £53,875
  • Incredible poise across the entire range, blistering performance from the powerful petrol models
  • Interior and structure feels dated, not a looker

Ride and handling

The Cayenne’s handling is scarily, almost inexplicably good – especially with the higher-powered models. Porsche’s PDCC active chassis control does a phenomenal job of keeping the car’s high centre of gravity and vast mass in check, with minimal body roll even at very high speed. Torque vectoring plays its part, too, allowing improbable cornering speed.

And it isn’t a case simply of monstering bends into submission with a generous acreage of planted rubber. There’s real involvement and finesse, too, with good weight and feel from the hydraulically power assisted steering and a surprising degree of adjustability on the exit of corners, especially if you turn the stability and traction electronics off.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Subscribe now and get your first 5 issues for £5 or buy the latest issue in all good newsagents!

The GTS gets PASM adaptive dampers as standard. Air suspension is available as an option, which lowers the car by 20mm. Go with the steel springs and the GTS sits 24mm closer to the ground than a regular Cayenne S and, not surprisingly, ride comfort does suffer to a degree. But that sacrifice in ride quality is compensated by an even greater involvement, and the GTS is truly entertaining to drive.

The Turbo and Turbo S have such an abundance of performance, you can really exploit the chassis’ abilities. In fact, all but the diesel models have the grunt to actually have the Cayenne squirming on the exit of a bend and needing a touch of corrective lock to keep you pointing in the right direction.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The diesel models, with their narrow powerband, don’t allow you to indulge in the Cayenne’s talents quite so frequently. Yet, they still turn-in and flow down a road with the competence of a much smaller and lighter car, just like the rest of the range.

The Cayenne’s structure is starting to feel old now, even with its dampers set to its softest mode pot holes and ruts send shudders through the body and there’s a definite sense the suspension is working very hard over rough roads. It certainly doesn’t ruin your enjoyment of the Cayenne, but it just isn’t the supreme solidity you’d expect of a modern Porsche. 

If you really intend to go off road then the adaptive air suspension as it allows you to raise the ride height for traversing rougher sections. Hill descent control and active four-wheel drive allow the Cayenne to tackle most harsh terrain without breaking sweat.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/911/201958/porsche-911-gt3-vs-gt3-rs-vs-gt2-rs-track-battle
Porsche 911

Porsche 911 GT3 vs GT3 RS vs GT2 RS - track battle

Porsche’s GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS are the most hardcore of the 911 breed, but pitched head‑to‑head which will we crown champion?
15 Nov 2019
Visit/ferrari/201950/new-ferrari-roma-612bhp-198mph-gt-car-joins-the-range
Ferrari

New Ferrari Roma: 612bhp, 198mph GT car joins the range

Ferrari has expanded its GT car range with the V8 powered Ferrari Roma
14 Nov 2019
Visit/buying-advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
15 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019