Porsche Cayenne-

Used Car Review

Porsche Cayenne, front action
Porsche Cayenne, front action 2
Porsche Cayenne, rear action
Porsche Cayenne, side static
Porsche Cayenne, dashboard
Porsche Cayenne, rear seats
Porsche Cayenne, boot

THE Porsche Cayenne has always had its purist detractors and it's never going to win any beauty contests.

But it has become Porsche's best selling car ever.

Such an SUV also had to have a diesel engine option - something that would have been a dirty word for the sportscar maker for many years.

Petrol engines range up from 3.6 to 4.8-litres and power ranges from 295 to a massive 542bhp - that one giving a top speed of 174 miles an hour.

There is also a 3.0-litre petrol/electric hybrid that produces between 374 and 410bhp.

Despite the Porsche looks and the sporting heritage, perhaps the most sensible model for most people is the 3.0-litre V6 diesel borrowed from VW and suitably modified in the Porsche tradition.

This produces between 236 and 258bhp in the most recent Cayenne built since 2010 and there's also a 4.2 diesel producing 379bhp.

The latest model looks very much like the first to bear the name. That one sold so well they would have been mad to change it much.

So, it's a very sporting, high riding large SUV built for the road, with a standard tiptronic automatic gearbox.

All the engines produce excellent performance, with even the diesel 3.0-litre capable of 0 to 60 miles per hour in 7.4 seconds.

It will also do 42mpg and yet the emissions are down to just 189 grammes per kilometre. That's amazing for such a large vehicle.

The S diesel's 4.2-litre bi-turbo V8 offers a sprint from 0-60mph in five seconds and yet still manages 35-40mpg official combined economy.

There's no doubt that the Cayenne is the best handling 4x4 on the market. Competitors like the BMW X6 don't come close.

It's reasonable to expect a fair amount of roll from such a high vehicle, but it doesn't happen. The Cayenne is well-planted and corners flat even through a series of tight corners.

It feels so safe and assured and should it be pushed too hard into a bend, the steering feedback is enough to give the driver confidence.

There are three settings for the suspension: normal, sport and comfort. There's little to choose between comfort and normal but sport firms up the settings and is really only useful when you feel like pushing on.

Inside, the dash looks like an aircraft cockpit, and can be pretty confusing. But the sat nav and audio controls are easy to use.

The seats are among the best I have ever sat in and the electric adjustment allows anyone to find a decent driving position within seconds.

Passengers are very well insulated from wind and road noise, and equipment is excellent across the range, with all having leather, climate, alarm, cruise, parking sensors and traction control on top of those items already mentioned.

Pay about £22,500 for an '11 11-reg Cayenne 3.0-litre diesel S or £34,000 for a '14 14reg Platinum Edition.

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