The Porsche Cayenne has long been a luxury SUV that’s something a little different from what the other big luxury brands offer. While most of its competitors primarily focus on comfort, Porsche puts a bigger priority on performance. However, as the 2020 Cayenne proves, strong performance doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort. Ever since the Cayenne first came out, it’s been searching for that perfect balance of luxury and performance in a midsize SUV and with this all-new third-generation model, it gets a step closer to that perfect recipe.
What’s New for 2020?
The Cayenne was all-new for the 2019 model year and doesn’t add any significant updates for 2020 other than a new “coupe” body style with a sloping rear roofline that looks cool but cuts into cargo space. See the 2020 Porsche Cayenne models for sale near you
What We Like
Excellent standard infotainment system
Standard all-wheel drive
Strong turbocharged engines, even at the base level
Agile handling for an SUV
Roomy, comfortable interior
What We Don’t
Expensive compared to most competitors
Subpar cargo capacity, albeit more than the previous generation
Coupe variants are more expensive and less practical
The 2020 Porsche Cayenne has four different powertrain options available. The base 3.0-liter turbo flat-six produces 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque while returning 19 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Upgrading to the S model gets you a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 434 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque without much of a fuel economy penalty. It returns 18 mpg city/22 mpg hwy. The high-performance Cayenne Turbo with a turbocharged V8 makes 541 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque and returns 15 mpg city/19 mpg hwy.
There’s also a Cayenne E-Hybrid model with a hybrid turbo V6 that delivers impressive performance of 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately, as of this writing, there are no Environmental Protection Agency ratings for fuel economy on the hybrid model.
Standard Features & Options
There’s quite a bit of variety in the Porsche Cayenne lineup, with each iteration offering its own satisfying blend of performance and luxury. Every Cayenne is a 2-row SUV with five seats with no third row available. A few nice perks that come standard on every trim include AWD, a very customizable 12.3-in infotainment system with navigation, leather seats and much more. The coupe body style is available for every trim except the E-Hybrid.
The base Cayenne ($66,800, Coupe: $75,300) is no slouch. It has a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-six engine, which makes 335 hp, achieves 0-to-60 mph in 5.9 seconds, and gives the Cayenne a top speed of 152 mph. Standard equipment includes AWD, 19-in wheels, a 12.3-in infotainment system with navigation, a 10-speaker premium audio system, four USB charging ports, LED exterior lighting, two high-resolution displays in the instrument cluster and more.
The Cayenne S ($84,150, Coupe: $88,600) upgrades this SUV with a more powerful 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 434 hp, hustles from 0-to-60 mph in 4.9 seconds and has a top speed of 164 mph. As for creature comforts, standard equipment is similar to the base model.
The name of the Cayenne Turbo ($125,850, Coupe: $130,100) might sound redundant considering all Cayennes are turbocharged, but in this case, “Turbo” means a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine under the hood packing 541 hp, a 0-to-60 time of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 177 mph. This performance model gets upgrades including 21-in wheels, Porsche Surface Coated Brakes, which are optional on the lower trims, a panoramic roof, a Bose 14-speaker surround sound system, a heated steering wheel with paddle shifters, an Alcantara headliner, front and rear heated leather seats and more.
The Cayenne E-Hybrid ($81,100) comes with a hybrid 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that makes 455 hp, achieves 0-to-60 mph in 4.7 seconds and has a top speed of 157 mph. That means the hybrid is quicker and more powerful than the Cayenne S at a more affordable starting price. We can also pretty safely assume it’s more efficient, but as of this writing, EPA fuel economy estimates are not available for the Cayenne E-Hybrid. The E-Hybrid model comes standard with the Sport Chrono package, which gives you a mode switch on the steering wheel allowing you to select from Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual drive modes. The Sport Chrono package is optional on the base Cayenne.
As of this writing, crash test ratings are not available for the 2020 Porsche Cayenne. What we do know is that every 2020 Cayenne comes standard with anti-lock brakes, stability control, side-impact airbags, overhead airbags and knee airbags.
Behind the Wheel
The new Porsche Cayenne does an excellent job delivering on its promises of being a luxury SUV that is exciting to drive. It offers a driving experience not quite like anything else in this segment. It has a distinctly performance-oriented character in the way it looks and drives from its engaging performance to the driver-centric cockpit that never lets the driver forget you’re in a Porsche.
On the more luxurious side of things, we love the huge 12.3-in infotainment system, which is extremely customizable, allowing you to see everything you want and nothing you don’t. Adding to that is the analog tachometer in the middle of the gauge cluster flanked by two screens that are also customizable so you can tailor the driving experience to be exactly what you want.
The further you move up the Cayenne food chain, the more fun the drive is going to be. If you want an especially enjoyable drive without spending too much, the base model with the Sport Chrono package is a strong value. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with the Cayenne S or Cayenne Turbo models that really crank up the performance without sacrificing comfort and practicality.
Other Cars to Consider
2020 Audi Q7 — The Audi Q7 is built on the same platform as the Porsche Cayenne. The big differences are that the Q7 is a little less performance-oriented, has different engines, there’s no coupe option and it’s a bit more affordable. If you prioritize comfort over performance and want to save a few bucks, the Q7 is a good choice.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class — The GLE-Class is a great, well-rounded midsize luxury SUV which, like the Cayenne, offers a coupe body style. The GLE has a lower starting price than the Cayenne, outstanding AMG performance variants and an available third row of seats.
2020 BMW X5 or X6 — The BMW X5 is a bit more affordable than the Cayenne and is also a very driver-focused luxury SUV. However, it can’t quite match the performance potential of the Porsche, even with the enticing X5 M50i. If you like the idea of a coupe SUV, consider the BMW X6.
Used Land Rover Range Rover Sport — If you want a high-end luxury SUV that’s big on performance but also want or need a third row of seats, the Land Rover Range Rover Sport might be perfect for you. It has a premium cabin, available high-performance variants and is also a capable off-roader.
The higher-performance variants of the Cayenne are tempting, but it’s hard not to recommend the base model of the Cayenne, which we think offers the best value. For most drivers, the turbocharged flat-six engine in the base model is more than sufficient, but if you really crave stronger performance from your SUV, the S and Turbo models are always there if you have the budget for them. No matter which Cayenne you go with, you’re getting one of the sportier offerings in midsize luxury SUVs that’s just as at home on a winding canyon road as it is on your everyday commute. Find a Porsche Cayenne for sale