Driven - September 2018

We Drive the New Porsche Cayenne in South Africa

New Porsche Cayenne Driven Review

Porsche. It’s a  name that is synonymous with racing, hard-core stripped out road vehicles and daily drivers that many a stockbroker have or are in the process of ordering. It’s a name that carries heritage and a history in motorsport that many manufacturers would love to call their own. For any petrol head, it’s been a brand that most aspire to, but come 2003, Porsche decided to branch out and for good reason. They decided that the clients who already own their sports cars needed something that they could drive daily, with spouse and children in tow. They gave us the Porsche Cayenne.

New Porsche Cayenne South Africa

Porsche Cayenne Side Shot

Yes, at first glance it wasn’t the most handsome sibling but for Porsche clients and anyone who could afford the price tag, it didn’t matter. The Porsche Cayenne was bought by the trendy, wealthy families in your estate. You know the family, the Khumalo’s and the Smiths. The family with the toned, gym focussed mother who can whip up a gourmet meal for her family. The tall and chiselled father who is not only the CEO of his international company but also coaches his daughter’s soccer team. Yes, those families. It’s because of them, that the Cayenne brand has gone from strength to strength and what we have now, in 2018 is the most one of the best looking SUVs in the market, and it’s the Cayenne.

The launch of the new Porsche Cayenne.

We all met up in rainy and very windy Cape Town for the launch of the new Cayenne. At first glance, and from a distance, you see the design team went in for a nip and tuck. In its third rendition, you would be hard pressed to see where improvements could be made as I thought the previous model was a particularly handsome vehicle – that is why I’m writing an article on the new Cayenne and not in Stuttgart, in a Porsche lab coat, submitting design drawings.

From the rear, with its Tron like LED spanning the entire boot length, along with the coupe-like roofline and front end that looks more like 911.2 that a regular SUV, I’m left with much want for this car. Inside you are greeted by a cabin that would be a technophobe’s nightmare. It’s all electric with buttons and switchgear for everything. It’s very much tuned for the iPad generation, something that I will not tire of.

Three engines are available from launch and we first sampled the “baby” Cayenne with its 3.0L V6 petrol motor producing 250kW and 450Nm. It’s crazy to think that some flagship vehicles churn out those kinds of numbers. Out into Capetonian traffic, something that the whole of South Africa could do without, we head out into the wine country. In front, we are led by the flagship Cayenne Turbo variant and I don’t know if it’s my Gauteng aggressiveness in my driving style, but the Turbo wasn’t able to show me up in the corners and sweeping mountain passes, however, he did show me what the rear of the car looked like on the straights.

Tech

The ride on the “entry level” Cayenne was plush, feedback from the front axle and steering was more than adequate and you find yourself pushing much harder than your skill set normally lets you, such is the confidence that the Cayenne gives you. What impressed me was the standard equipment that’s offered on the entry-level model and with a base of R1 142 000, it’s square in line with its counterparts from Germany and the United Kingdom.

New Porsche Cayenne South Africa

New Porsche Cayenne Interior South Africa

After reaching our coffee stop, I was now a passenger and could play with the digital driving display and all the settings that could be personalised. To say that I got lost in the varies menus is an understatement. I just love interiors that I can really make my own and in this vehicle, you can do just that. Very soon, I found myself driving what I would say is the pick of the bunch, the Cayenne S.

New Porsche Cayenne S

Powered by a 2.9 V6 Motor, punching out 324kW, 550Nm and a standing 0-100kph time of 4,9 seconds, you instantly fall in love with this variant. I was commending the normal Cayenne on its power delivery and the fact that you never really lacked for power,  this motor, however, gives you that little extra you didn’t know that you needed. Overtaking is done before you know it and if you find yourself alone, on a familiar stretch of road, the Cayenne S will stop its gallop at 265 kph, 20 kph more than its sibling. Standard options fitted to the Cayenne S are just too many to number, but the major reason for the S is the motor, and at this pricing range, you can justify the R154 000 price jump.

New Porsche Cayenne S South Africa

Porsche Cayenne S Driving

New Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

Now for the “Maneer”, the General, the Turbo S. We live in an age where Turbo motors are the way to get around emissions issues, while bringing consumption figures and down to reasonable levels. Sadly, the engine note from the exhaust is normally then lost and sacrificed.  You see, turbos swallow up the naughty noise that would make even the sharpest accountant giggle like a five-year-old, but not in the case of the Turbo S. From startup, the mightly 4.0 V8 motor, producing 404kW and 770Nm lets you know that it means business and that you should strap in, tight!

New Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

I’ve always maintained that high-performance SUVs are not practical and offer performance that you don’t need as no sane parent would drive “that way” with their kids staring at them in the rear-view mirror. But and this is a big BUT, this is the second SUV that would make me go against my cardinal rule. To say that the Cayenne Turbo is fast is like saying that an NBA player is tall. It’s a fact known by all but there is so much depth to that statement that you would need to be in the vehicle, better yet, the driver’s seat to fully comprehend the thought that I’m trying to get across here.

New Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

Gone are the days of struggling to keep up with traffic on rural roads. The string of trucks that are blocking the traffic from flowing? Gone. That “special” mountain pass that you are trying to carve and get rid of small cars and delivery vans? Gone. The Turbo S delivers power in waves that would make any sane driver a favourite paying member of the JMPD, and it’s also done without your passengers being hurled from side to side. The Turbo S is so well sorted suspension-wise that you end up feeling that you are in Panamera, rather than an SUV in the clouds.

What would I buy?

So there you have it. The new Porsche Cayenne is a fantastic vehicle. The Khumalo’s and Smiths have already ordered theirs but what about the Nwamba’s?  I have driven a diesel SUV for the last couple of years and have become very fond of driving a tank to 700 km plus between fill-ups. Interestingly, the new Cayenne isn’t available in a diesel, and with petrol being a cleaner burning fuel, you can see the reason for this. Diesel is expected to be phased out in the next decade with emission standards being strict and Porsche has now jumped ahead of everyone with this decision.

New Porsche Cayenne S South Africa

Rear of Porsche Cayenne S

So the only vehicle that would be under my consideration would be my pick of the bunch – the Cayenne S. It’s in the same ballpark in terms of pricing with the Mercedes GLE 350 AMG, the BMW X5 30d M Sport and the Range Rover TdV6 SE and to play devil’s advocate, the Touareg 3.0 V6 TDI. You can see that these are vehicles that have been giving my wife and I a headache and the introduction of the new Cayenne to further complicated this decision, a decision that we’ve decided to park till next year when we will need to play ching Chong cha! If I were to make that decision now though, I would be writing this from the seat of a Cayenne S.

Learn More here: https://www.porsche.com/middle-east/_capetown_/models/cayenne/