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The new Cayenne underlines its status as a sports car among suvs

Porsche Cayenne Diesel review

What is it?

The expected best-seller of the face-lifted, second-generation Porsche Cayenne SUV.

On top of exterior styling tweaks, this revised Cayenne Diesel boasts more power (258bhp), yet the economy (42.8mpg) and CO2 emissions (173g/km) are improved over the outgoing car.

What’s hot?

  • Although still no beauty, could the revised Cayenne be the best-looking version of Porsche’s off-roader yet? Porsche claim the only unchanged panels are the roof and doors; at the front, there’s a larger bonnet, smaller but slightly squarer grille and larger vents to funnel more air to the intercooler and new headlights with LED running lights. Move to the back, there are new tail lights, a new rear bumper and boot design. All of which I think make for a sleeker look, one which also clearly defines it from its baby brother the Macan.
  • Changes are harder to spot inside, but the most obvious difference over the outgoing Cayenne has to be the fitment of the 918-like three-spoke multi-function steering wheel which is nice to hold. The rest of the Cayenne’s interior feels spacious and impeccably made. The 618-litres of boot space is practically-shaped too.
  • Performance-wise, the Cayenne Diesel’s new 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel feels decidedly undiesel-like in the way it performs. Quick off the mark, this engine is happy to be revved right through the mid range and is so refined you actually question whether it’s a diesel at all. The new engine is well-matched to the slick eight-speed Tiptronic transmission, acceleration to 62mph takes 7.3 seconds and the top speed is 137mph.
  • Considering the performance, the diesel version of the Cayenne is capable of 42.8mpg on the Combined Cycle, with Co2 emissions of just 173g/km.
  • It might be the entry-level Porsche, but the Cayenne Diesel is well-equipped, with standard equipment including eight-way power seats, dual-zone climate control, and bi-xenon lights as standard.
  • Our test car was fitted with the optional 20-inch alloys and the optional (£1,052) adaptive Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). Despite these big wheels, the Cayenne’s ride is composed, comfortable and still feels dynamic when the right road conditions allow.
  • The Cayenne is a Porsche first and foremost and SUV or not, it’s underpinned by a great chassis. This equals the expected sharp drive and keen dynamics. The way this Cayenne carves a sharp line through corners belying its size and weight is particularly impressive.
  • Despite this car costing nearly £50,000, I thought it competitive against rivals, for example a BMW X5 3.0d SE is only around £1,800 less.
  • Though most owners will never use the Cayenne’s off-road potential, how far this Porsche can go off the beaten track is pretty remarkable.

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