The 2018 Cayenne luxury midsize sport utility vehicle offers a different engine configuration for each trim but all are paired with an eight speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive setup. The base trim has a 3.6-liter V6 with an output of 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The S trim has a 3.6-liter turbocharged V6 with an output to 420 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. The S E-Hybrid trim has a hybrid of a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 and an electric motor for a total output of 416 hp and 436 lb-ft of torque. The GTS trim has the same turbocharged V6 as the S trim but with a higher output of 440 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque is available. The Turbo trim has a 4.8-liter turbocharged V8 with an output of 520 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. The Turbo S trim has the same turbocharged V8 but with a higher output of 570 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. With the turbocharged V8 under the hood, there was no shortage of power in any situation. The power plant did not show any turbo lag and the power band was wide. Its 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds was best-in-class, considering it needs to haul more than two tons of weight. Despite its weight, it handled with confidence through twisted roads. While it tended to approach the corner nose first, it remained well composed when speed was reduced. The steering provided progressive feedback from the pavement during spirited driving. It was also responsive, which made navigating busy streets much more manageable. The brakes were exceptional, only needing 106 feet to stop the vehicle from 60 mph. The bite from the brakes was linear and there was no shakiness during heavy braking. The pedal was firm and provided a great response when modulating the brakes.
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The base trim comes standard with xenon headlights, power-folding heated mirrors, a power liftgate, automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, Bluetooth, auxiliary and USB inputs, satellite radio, navigation and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen and a 10-speaker sound system. The S trim adds speed-sensitive variable steering effort (Power Steering Plus), driver-seat memory functions, and several advanced safety and driver aids. The S E-Hybrid trim is equipped similarly as the S trim but comes with the hybrid-electric powertrain. An auxiliary climate system for preheating and precooling the cabin is an available option. The GTS trim primarily adds performance parts upgrades and upgraded interior trim appointments. The Turbo trim adds adaptive LED headlights, a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, and a 14-speaker Bose sound system. The top-of-the-line Turbo S trim adds more performance parts upgrades and a dash-mounted timer. There are numerous standalone options for the Cayenne and features that come in higher trim levels can be added to lower trim levels.
The 2018 Cayenne has no official safety ratings yet from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2018 model is based on the update from 2017 and that model year has no safety ratings from the NHTSA and the IIHS as well. Advanced safety and driver aids that come standard on the base trim include front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. Additional features that can be added are a heads-up display, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, night vision assist and a 360-degree camera.
The 2018 Cayenne has a length of 193.6 inches, a width of 78.1 inches, a height of 66.8 inches, and a wheelbase of 114 inches. Like the other long-standing models from Porsche, the silhouette of the Cayenne is a familiar one, albeit with a few changes. The headlights are inspired by the 918 Spyder supercar and the front fascia have bigger angular vents. Overall it retains the familiarity but keeps the aesthetic up-to-date. The base trim starts with 18-inch wheels and all trims have the options of up to 21-inch wheels. The sunroof is optional for the base trim while higher trim levels come standard with the sunroof.
The adjustable suspension can lower the ground clearance of the vehicle to an extent that the step-up height is reduced. The openings are large and entering the cabin was no problem at all. Roominess is not a concern for the first row and while the second row still has generous headroom, the legroom is sufficient but not the roomiest in its class. The two rows of seats can accommodate up to five passengers on board. The seats felt comforting and plush during our long drives. The leather upholstery felt premium and the range of adjustment allowed the majority of passengers to fit comfortably inside the seat. The sporty handling traits did not detract from achieving a pleasant ride. Despite the softest suspension setup in Comfort mode, road imperfections were still noticeable but the ride quality wasn’t disrupted by them. Road and wind noise was attenuated well from the cabin and contributed to the luxurious ambiance inside.
There is 27.1 cu-ft of space behind the second row of seats, and folding them down opens up 60.3 cu-ft of space available for cargo.