Porsche Cayenne S – 2008 Review: Maybe our expectations were too high. The Cayenne S, after all, carries a Porsche crest on its nose. Yet after a week with this SUV, we came away disappointed. Sure, the Cayenne has good power, handles well for an off-road capable machine, and has some nice luxury features. Yet not once did we feel the connection we get when driving other Porsches, and subsequently, we felt as though the Cayenne isn’t really a Porsche. It’s not that we were expecting a 5,000 pound Cayman, but we think this Porsche should outperform a BMW X5, instead of the other way around.
What We Drove
The 2008 Cayenne S starts at an almost reasonable $58,795, that is, reasonable for a Porsche. It includes the 4.8-liter V-8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, a low-range gearbox, Porsche Stability Management, and leather interior. Options included the $690 black paint job, $150 18-inch Cayenne Turbo wheels, $560 front seat and steering wheel heater, a $3,070 navigation system, $2,990 adjustable air suspension, $270 variable assist power steering, and a $1,190 moonroof. The options list also featured a $630 trailer hitch and $1,665 Bose surround sound system. Add it up and you have a $70,760 Porsche suv.
Any 4.8-liter V-8 with a 385 horsepower output is something to contend with. However, this one has 4,906 pounds of SUV to lug around. The Cayenne is quick enough to get you around town, but it’s not what we’d call fast, especially for a Porsche. The six-speed automatic shifts quickly either on its own or in Tiptronic manual mode, although the steering-wheel mounted buttons are clumsy to use. Still, we want more, and though the Turbo offers 500 horsepower, it’s at a $30,000 premium. We’d love to see a model between the S and the Turbo, or maybe just more juice for the S.