2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo delivers the intangibles, but be prepared to pay for them

2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo delivers the intangibles, but be prepared to pay for them


The third-generation 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

What is it: The Cayenne Turbo is a premium SUV with more power than a Ford Mustang GT350 and a price tag that would buy you two of them. The Turbo is the top of the Cayenne line, above the base, e-hybrid, and S. If you think about it more broadly, it does come underneath the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus, both of which are built on the same platform.

Key Competitors: BMW X5 M Competition, Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR, Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S

Base Price: $125,850 As-Tested Price: $135,700

Highlights: 2019 model years are the first of the third generation Porsche Cayenne. Now all Cayennes come with turbocharged engines. This one in particular displaces 4.0-liters, uses two turbochargers and has eight cylinders in a V configuration. Peak power comes to 541 hp between 5,750 – 6,000 rpm and peak torque at 567 lb-ft between 1,960 – 4,500 rpm. Additionally, Porsche redesigned the front subframe to improve wheel control and reduce weight.

Looking inside the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Our Opinion: Porsches are expensive. All of them. But, darn it, they’re all just so good to drive. After all, this is a plenty large SUV that weighs 4,795 pounds yet still engages with the driver and feels relatively light on its feet. More than any other carmaker, Porsche manages to integrate all the various components such that everything works well together.

The Cayenne’s suspension reacts well to inputs from the steering, whether you’re thinking in terms of ride or handling. Braking feel always lines up nicely as well. Of course, all of this complements the power, and the Turbo has a lot. Peak outputs are high and midrange grunt impresses as well. Additionally, the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission (PDK) does a good job selecting the right gear to keep everything on the move. And all Cayennes are all-wheel-drive, so putting the power down is easy.

Part of the sportiness comes from some trick equipment installed in this particular Turbo, like rear-axle steering, adaptive anti-roll bars, torque vectoring and 21-inch summer tires. The first three are very sports car, the last one, admittedly, is very SUV. Obviously, this is not a substitute for a sports car. But it fools you into thinking it’s one every once in a while, which is nice.

Take a look at the third-generation 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

When the time does come to just calm down and commute, the Cayenne plays the role of luxury cruiser. Road noise is appropriately muffled in the cabin and the engine rumbles in the distance, not screaming for attention, but reminding the driver it’s on the ready to pounce when needed. The ride is supple. The seats are comfortable and supportive, with well laid out switches to keep everything as you wish — climate controls, music volume, or whatever.  

Again, Porsches are expensive. Lots of good cars are out there for less money. But driving feel? That intangible, x-factor quantity of feeling connected to the car, of building the bond between man and machine? That’s where Porsche stands out. This is a full-size SUV we’re talking about here, for crying out loud, and it still has that touch. Expensive. Worth it.

On Sale: now

Base Price: $125,850

As-Tested Price: $135,700

Powertrain: twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, AWD

Output: 541 hp between 5,750-6,000 rpm, 567 lb-ft @ 1,960-4,500 rpm

Wheelbase: 113.9 in

Length/width/height: 193.9 in/78.0 in/65.8 in

Curb Weight: 4,795 lbs

Fuel Economy: 15/19/17 mpg city/highway/combined

Pros: Driving feel belies size and shape

Cons: Buy a 911 and a used first-generation Cayenne and be much happier

Options: PDCC Sport, $3,590; Rear-axle steering, $1,620; Porsche Torque Vectoring +, $1,500; Sport Chrono Package, $1,130; Lane-Change Assist, $950; Seatbelts in chalk, $660; Ambient lighting, $400

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