When it comes to the off-road arena, the Cayenne is ready for almost anything, shy of a vertical cliff wall. This sport utility uses Porsche Traction Management (PTM), a full-time four-wheel-drive system that can direct all of the vehicle's traction to the front or rear wheels, depending on the conditions. It also works to provide the right amount of torque to the proper wheels when driving at high speeds. While PTM is a full-time system, the Cayenne can be switched to low-range with the flick of a switch in the cabin. Porsche Stability Management (PSM) helps keep the vehicle going in the direction the driver intended, even if the SUV is oversteering, understeering, or has lost traction. The Cayenne also comes with six-piston aluminum monoblock calipers with 13.78-inch disc brakes in the front and four-piston calipers with 13-inch discs in the rear, with standard ABS. The Cayenne comes stock with 18-inch wheels and tires, with 19- and 20-inch packages offered as options. Both Cayenne models can tow 7,716 pounds.
As would be expected in a Porsche, the interior was given luxurious textures and materials, and offers the finest appointments. The interior was done in leather, with aluminum accents throughout. While both vehicles come standard with power windows, power-adjustable steering wheel, power front seats, and a 14-speaker 350-watt Bose stereo system, the Turbo also comes with bi-xenon headlights, a heated multi-function steering wheel, front seats with memory, Porsche Communication Management, and ParkAssist as standard equipment. The Turbo's lights have sensors that adjust the headlight direction left or right, to provide the best possible visibility at night and on winding roads. The Cayenne's cargo area can be accessed by opening the tailgate or by just opening the rear window, and the rear of the vehicle can hold as much as 62.51 cubic feet when he rear seats are folded down.
After driving both models on wide open highways and curving canyon roads, taking them off-road through mud and dirt, and getting to know the Cayenne's interior amenities while stuck in Southern California traffic, we have come to the conclusion that Porsche has done its homework with this vehicle. Feeling the high-performance nature of this sport utility was not a surprise; this sport utility, like most Porsches, leaves its competition in the dust. What was truly impressive was that even though most owners wouldn't even consider taking a Cayenne through the muck and mire we subjected it to, the Porsche performed very well off-road. It handled ruts and off-camber situations with ease, and kept driver and passenger alike comfortable over nasty, unforgiving ground. It handled like a dream on paved roads, clinging to the asphalt through sharp curves like...a Porsche. The two biggest strikes against it are its polarizing love-it-or-hate-it styling, which will take some people a long time to get used to, and its pricetag, which starts at $55,900 for the S and a stunning $88,900 for the Turbo. However, this vehicle raises the bar for other luxury SUVs that are on the market, and raises it by quite a lot.