Porsche Cayenne 2008 review

Sporty SUV gets a host of high performance tweaks that boost performance and presence.

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

With its immense performance and practicality, the Cayenne is difficult to match. The trouble is, the overall package doesn’t quite live up to Porsche’s sports car heritage. Nevertheless, the new GTS is arguably the best spec choice for the German super-SUV. While it’s far from subtle, the beefy styling will allow you to turn heads wherever you go. What’s more, the newcomer makes the range-topping turbo variant appear rather pricey.

Since the Cayenne arrived, its ‘911 on steroids’ styling has divided opinion. While some love its brutal lines, others wince at the garish details.

If you fall into the latter group, the GTS edition is unlikely to top your wish list. Combining the styling cues of the facelifted Cayenne with a raft of bodykit extras, this is an SUV for drivers who want to get noticed.

Behind the wheel, the GTS provides the Porsche’s usual mix of physics-defying performance and cornering grip. The steering is reasonably weighted considering the car’s enormous dimensions, and the handling is still impressive for an SUV.

It’s not quite as fast as the turbocharged flagship, but the naturally aspirated V8 propels the huge manual 4x4 from 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds – that’s four-tenths-of-a-second quicker than the automatic car.

The trade-off for this performance advantage, though, comes in fuel economy and CO2 output – the manual model returns 18.7mpg and emits 361g/km to the self-shifter’s 20.3mpg and 332g/km figures.

Weighing in at £54,350, the GTS is a very expensive style statement – it costs £7,740 more than a standard Cayenne. Next to the £74,650 range-topping Turbo, the GTS looks like a bargain. But only those who fall for its brutish charm will think it’s worth the extra over the V8.

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