It seems hard to call something understated when it wears a crest from Stuttgart on its hood, but the 2018 Porsche Cayenne has defied convention ever since it arrived.
The automaker’s big SUV single-handedly makes Porsche’s sports cars possible today; the Cayenne has brought the automaker from the brink and into beaucoup profits in a single stroke.
This year’s Cayenne may be the last before a massive overhaul, but it’s still one of our favorite luxury SUVs. It earns a 7.0 on our overall scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Review continues below
The Cayenne is available in base, Cayenne S, Cayenne GTS, Cayenne S E-Hybrid, Turbo, and Turbo S configurations. Standard models start at $61,650, including destination, but reach quickly toward the sky. If you’re wondering what we mean: Top-shelf Turbo S models start at $100,000 more than the base version. Yeah, it’s possible to pay more than $200,000 for a Cayenne.
Thankfully, all models include an impressive amount of standard equipment, including a 7.0-inch touchscreen, 18-inch wheels, leather seating surfaces, and a lovely badge that says you now own a Porsche.
All engines but the base model’s 3.6-liter V-6 help the Porsche Cayenne feel up to the task its name sets for it. The standard Cayenne boasts only 300 horsepower, and a 7.3-second 0-60 mph time, but an excellent steering rack, suspension, and handling help compensate.
Pay more for a Cayenne S—or any other Cayenne model, for that matter—and Porsche force-feeds a V-6 or V-8 with predictable results.
The Cayenne S makes 420 hp from its turbo V-6 and runs up to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, while the top Turbo S feeds a 4.8-liter V-8 with more air (and magic) for a four-second run up to 60 mph.
The Cayenne S E-Hybrid is for efficiency-minded shoppers, although its neon green trim pieces and brake calipers aren’t exactly inconspicuous.
The current Cayenne is heading toward the sunset of its current generation—a new version is likely on the horizon—but it’s clearly racing to get there.