The Porsche of SUVs is a Porsche — the new 2019 Cayenne
Are you a 52-year-old woman with an income of $350,000? Then you’re a potential customer for the redesigned 2019 Cayenne, according to Porsche. Of course, even if you’re not a 52-year-old woman with an income of $350,000, who could blame you for lusting after one?
OK, most likely what you really want is a Porsche 911, Boxster or Cayman, and that’s understandable. They’re a blast to drive — automotive therapy of the finest variety. But they’re not terribly handy if you have a family and actually want to transport them all at once, rather than one at a time.
Porsche knows this, of course, and it’s why it created the Cayenne in the first place. It allows you to carve through corners with your family and their lifestyle debris along for the ride. And for 2019, Porsche has launched the third generation of this fun family-hauler with a base price of $65,700.
They started by making it 120 pounds lighter than the previous model thanks to greater use of aluminum. Next, they made it more efficient by replacing its 3.5-liter six-cylinder with a smaller, more powerful 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 and new eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission. Generating 35 horsepower more than the outgoing driveline, the 2019 Cayenne runs 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 156 mph with the optional Sport Chrono Package. That’s 1.6 seconds faster than before.
Porsche did this by placing the turbocharger inside the engine’s V, allowing for more compact dimensions, which in turn allowed engineers to lower the Cayenne’s center of gravity.
It also allowed for shorter exhaust paths between the engine’s combustion chambers and the turbocharger for quicker engine response.
Ordering the Sport Chrono Package brings with it Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual modes, along with a Performance Start mode for quick acceleration from a standstill. Similarly, a Sport Response button enhances responsiveness for 20 seconds.
Not fast enough for you? Try the new 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid. By adding a 134-horsepower electric motor, output increases to 455 horsepower, while 0-60 mph runs decrease to 4.7 seconds. It will also run up to 27 miles on electricity at speeds up to 83 mph.
If you’re wondering how the 2019 Porsche Cayenne drives, well, it drives like a Porsche Cayenne, which is to say it’s quite accomplished. Yes, this is easily the most fun-to-drive SUV, with the athletic poise and agility you’ve come to expect from a Porsche.
It stops, steers and brakes with incredible precision, making it the perfect driving tool. Credit should go to the rear-axle steering that provides quicker turn-in, as well as the electromechanical anti-roll bars and optional three-chamber air suspension that maintains the vehicle’s poise.
It gets better once you head off-road, as there’s 9.4 inches of ground clearance. You can even ford 20.6 inches of water. Of course, if you’re going to do it, you should opt for the optional Off-road Package. It adds rock rails with integrated skid plates and reinforced protection for the engine and the rear axle.
Of course, the farthest off-road most Cayennes will ever go is when the driver runs over the bush at the end of the driveway. The only jungle most Cayennes encounter is the urban one, which is why it keeps you connected, with real-time traffic information, a Wi-Fi hotspot, four USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and the Porsche Connect App.
Stylistically, the Cayenne pulls styling cues from Porsche’s car lineup, incorporating the 911’s wide shoulders, the Panamera’s rear tail lamp treatment. Up front, a large grille helps disguise the Cayenne’s significant hood height.
Its short overhangs help give it a tough stance. Inside, the driver faces an instrument cluster dominated by an analog tachometer flanked by a pair of 7-inch digital displays.
A 12.3-inch high-definition touchscreen anchors the center of the instrument panel and uses Porsche Communication Management software to manage infotainment and navigation.
It truly makes for a sporty yet practical package, one that could almost make you forget about dreams of owning a 911, Boxster, or Cayman. Well, almost.