The 2018 Porsche Cayenne is one of those vehicles that has a broad range of appeal. On one hand, it's an SUV that is focused on performance, yet it's very luxurious and easy to live with on an everyday basis. There's also a wide breadth of powerplants, from a base V6 to a hybrid model, all the way up to a stout V8. Likewise, the price varies wildly from the $60,000 range to almost triple that for the top-of-the-line Cayenne Turbo S.
Throughout the Cayenne lineup, there are plenty of personalization options to suit your particular tastes. You can choose from a dizzying array of colors, wheels, interior materials, trim elements and performance-related upgrades. Since it's a Porsche, these options will send the price skyrocketing, so be warned.
As good as the Porsche Cayenne is, there are some drawbacks to keep in mind. We consider the rear seat and cargo area adequate, but other SUVs in the class are more spacious. For the money, we also expect more standard features. Our biggest complaint, however, is with the E-Hybrid model, which remains one of the least impressive hybrids we've evaluated. Otherwise, we're fans of the 2018 Porsche Cayenne and we're confident you will be, too.
The 2018 Porsche Cayenne is a five-passenger midsize SUV available in six levels of trim: Cayenne, S, S E-Hybrid, GTS, Turbo and Turbo S. Each has a different engine and a consequent increase in performance, although they do typically include a few extra features with each step up. All come with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Within these trim levels are two more generously equipped submodels: the Cayenne Platinum and Cayenne S E-Hybrid Platinum.
Standard feature highlights for the base Cayenne include a 3.6-liter V6 (300 horsepower, 295 pound-feet of torque), 18-inch wheels, xenon headlights, power-folding heated mirrors, a power tailgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, partial leather upholstery, 40/20/40-split folding rear seats (with slide and recline), Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, a 7-inch central touchscreen, a navigation system and a 10-speaker audio system with satellite radio and auxiliary/USB input.
The Cayenne S gets a more powerful turbocharged version of the 3.6-liter V6 (420 hp, 406 lb-ft) plus 19-inch wheels, a sunroof, speed-sensitive variable steering effort (Power Steering Plus), front and rear parking sensors and driver-seat memory functions.
The Cayenne S E-Hybrid has a special hybrid-electric powertrain that features a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 and an electric motor (416 hp and 435 lb-ft of torque combined). It also includes adaptive suspension dampers (PASM), Porsche Car Connect with E-Mobility (provides remote access to important hybrid features via a smartphone app), a 3.6-kilowatt onboard charger (a 7.2-kW charger is available) and an energy management display in the instrument cluster.
Stepping up to the Cayenne GTS gets you a more powerful version of the S engine good for 440 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. It also offers a variety of additional performance enhancements that include 20-inch wheels, a specially tuned adjustable air suspension, larger high-performance brakes, a sport exhaust system, front sport seats, a simulated-suede headliner and seat inserts, and unique exterior styling elements.
The Cayenne Turbo adds to the Cayenne S equipment a twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 (520 hp, 553 lb-ft), adaptive LED headlights, a heated steering wheel, a full leather interior, 18-way adaptive power-adjustable front sport seats, heated front and rear outboard seats, and a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system.
The range-topping Cayenne Turbo S adds an even more powerful version of the Turbo V8 (570 hp, 590 lb-ft) plus 21-inch wheels, two-tone leather upholstery, carbon-fiber interior trim and the Sport Chrono package with a dash-mounted timer. It also includes handling upgrades such as active anti-roll bars (PDCC), brake torque-vectoring and electronic-locking rear differential (PTV Plus) and ultra high-performance carbon-ceramic brakes.
The two Platinum Edition models adds a selection of popular options plus exclusive 20-inch wheels and special exterior trim. The E-Hybrid version also includes an auxiliary climate system that allows preheating or precooling of the cabin.
Many features that come standard on upper trim levels can be ordered as stand-alone options. Indeed, like other Porsches, the Cayenne is one of the most customizable vehicles you can buy.
Then you've got even more choices from a dizzying options list. It starts with four main packages — Sport, Porsche Connect Plus, Premium and Premium Package Plus — and then goes to a huge list of stand-alone choices. All serve to enhance the Cayenne's performance, technology and audio, comfort, safety, and exterior and interior style. All for a price, of course.