The refreshed 2024 Porsche Cayenne showed its face in April, and though it didn’t look that much different than the current 2023 vehicle on which it’s based, it has a few tricks up its sleeve: First, the interior is updated, and second, there’s now V8 power for (relatively) cheap. Yes, that’s right, it’s 2023 and Porsche wants to give V8s to the masses. It’s a beautiful thing, as I found out on a trip during which I drove three Porsche Cayennes through some of the most beautiful canyon roads in the country. It was on those roads that it became clear that Porsche engineers have truly dialed in what a sporty SUV can be — and I left genuinely impressed.
[Full Disclosure: Porsche bought me lunch and let me drive three brand new Cayennes along the Pacific ocean and through gorgeous canyon roads in the Santa Monica Mountains near the town of Ojai. -DT].
You may be wondering why you should care at all about a review of a ridiculously expensive SUV, and to be honest, I myself was wondering the same as I drove The Cheapest BMW i3 In America to The Motoring Club near Santa Monica. The Cayenne starts at almost $80,000, as Porsche showed journalists in a presentation meant to demonstrate how, even though prices are up for 2024, the added content means the customer is actually getting more for their money:
Look at that span — a Base Cayenne costs $79,100 and a Turbo GT is almost $200,000! Check out the demographics of a typical Cayenne owner; average household income is almost $700,000, and median household income is $550 large. And it looks like owners — mostly married guys over 55 who like to travel — tend to be doctors, hedge fund managers, and real estate brokers:
In other words, I am not the customer for this car, and yet, despite my initial misgivings, six hours of driving had me falling hard for the Cayenne for the same reason that I fell in love with my BMW i3: It’s just so incredibly well engineered. The 2024 Porsche Cayenne feels so beautifully dialed-in that I consider it a picture of what an SUV can possibly be if you amass a group of smart engineers and ask them to wring every single drop of potential out of a heavy, wagon-shaped, high-riding people-hauler.
The Porsche Cayenne is such a competent and expertly-executed crossover that I — a renowned cheap bastard — actually think it’s probably worth its lofty asking price. More on the drive that led me to that conclusion in a second, but let’s talk about what’s new, and about some of the vehicle’s mechanical bits.
The Porsche Cayenne has been doing its thing since 2002, when it debuted to loud jeers among the Porsche faithful, who can still buy Porsche 911 GT3s nowadays thanks in part to the checks the Cayenne has been writing since that debut over two decades ago. Yes, the Cayenne has been the hottest Porsche on the market for many years, with over 1.25 million sold since day one, and with volumes representing 30 percent of Porsche’s total sales last year; as such, it’s a vehicle that Porsche has been keen to keep fresh.
In 2007, that first-gen Cayenne got an update before getting a new generation in 2010. Then 2014 introduced the second generation Cayenne’s refresh before, in 2017, we saw the current-generation car for the first time. Now in 2023 we’re seeing the 2024 refresh of the third-gen car, and sometime later in 2025 a fully-electric Cayenne will join the party in parallel to its gasoline sibling:
The 2024 model-year refresh brings with it a bunch of tweaks to interior and exterior styling, as well as a few chassis updates.
The cabin updates are significant. The whole dash is new, with a revised, wider center display and the inclusion of an available passenger-side touchscreen designed to only be viewable from the passenger’s seat (so the driver doesn’t get distracted). The vehicle’s shifter goes from an old-school floor-shift to a dash-mounted lever like that of the Porsche Taycan, the gauge cluster is different (curved like the Taycan’s), the vents are different — it’s all familiar, but all elegantly tweaked from the outgoing vehicle.
It’s out with the old:
And in with the new:
The space formerly taken up by the shifter is now used for HVAC and heated seat switches. Here’s a look at the old switchgear:
And here’s the new. You’ll notice a (cooled) wireless charging cubby towards the center stack (it’s closed in the image below), and a little cubby aft of the switchgear. Good; what a waste of space that old shift lever was:
Porsche, at the Motoring Club, described the changes to the 2024 Cayenne’s cabin in these slides, noting the new start button, updated steering wheel controls, updated curved gauge cluster screen, and on and on:
As for the outside, you’ll have to look closely at the hood, headlights, and fenders to see the changes for 2024. Here’s the outgoing model:
And here’s the 2024:
Out back, the changes are a little less subtle, especially when looking at the license plate mounting location, which on the old car was on the rear hatch:
On 2024 Cayennes, the license plate is down below — a significant improvement in my eyes.
Porsche describes the styling changes in this slide:
There are also some chassis and powertrain changes for 2024, but let’s dive into that in the next section, which discusses the Cayenne’s tech.
What’s Under The Skin?
If you want to know all about how the third-generation Porsche Cayenne is constructed, read my deep-dive from 2017. I go into the four-wheel steering, the special air springs (watch this YouTube video for some nerdy talk about that) for the front and rear multilink suspension, I talk about the mixed metal matrix body construction (see above), I show off the 48-volt electric sway bar, and I talk about the optional Porsche Surface Coated Brake system.
I even discuss the three basic engine options at the time – a 335 horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, a 440 horsepower twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6, and a 550 horsepower 4.0-liter V8. The 3.0-liter was standard on Base trims and also the basis of the E-Hybrid Cayenne powertrain; the 2.9-liter twin-turbo was under the Cayenne S’s hood; and Cayenne Turbo models got the 4.0-liter V8 (Turbo GTS got a brawnier 631 horsepower version of that V8):
Things have changed a bit for 2024, with the base vehicle now making 13 more horsepower at 348, the E-Hybrid now combining a 300 horsepower version of that 3.0-liter V6 with a 173 horsepower electric motor for a total of 463 (the previous 2023 model melded a 335 horsepower 3.0-liter V6 with a 134 horsepower electric motor for a total of 455 ponies), the Cayenne S replacing that 440 horsepower 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 with a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 making 468 horsepower, and finally the Cayenne Turbo GT bringing the heat with a version of that V8 that makes 650 horses (up 19 horsepower) and does 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds. Here’s a breakdown of the new Cayenne’s trims at launch (more will be coming later):
In short, every trim gets more power, but the most exciting thing is that the S boots the 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 for a roaring turbocharged V8. Here’s a rendering of that motor, along with its torque curve:
And here’s info on the E-Hybrid, which is not only more powerful, but includes a larger 25.9 kWh battery — that’s up from 17.9, which the EPA rated as able to propel the big Cayenne under 20 miles on a single charge. I’ll bet the 2024 model will do around 30 when the EPA figures come out, maybe a bit under.
It wouldn’t be a Porsche presentation if there weren’t some strange plots about suspensions, so here’s a look at how the new “two valve” dampers in the coil spring-equipped Cayenne and the “two valve” dampers in the air suspension-equipped Cayenne offer various improvements over their single-valve predecessors:
Anyway, while at the press drive, I snapped a few photos of some hardware, though there’s not a ton to see, since Porsche has done a great job aerodynamically optimizing the underbelly via belly pans. Here you can see the front suspension, which includes little air deflectors on the control arms, perhaps for brake cooling:
Here’s a look at the underbelly aerodynamic shielding:
And here’s the rear multilink suspension; you’ll notice more aerodynamic enablers on that rear lower control arm, plus you can see the air springs:
Up front, the grille is wide, with outboard openings there to feed intercoolers. Grille shutters close to improve aerodynamics when cooling isn’t needed:
Anyway, it’s time to talk about what the Cayenne is like to drive.
What’s It Like To Drive?
The first vehicle I piloted was a 468 horsepower twin-turbo V8 Cayenne S — the one everyone wants to know about, since it’s the cheapest V8 in the lineup. Specifically, I got behind the third one from the right in the image above. This one:
It’s a gorgeous Montego Blue Cayenne S Coupe, and yes, I said Coupe, as there are two available body styles, though the difference is rather subtle. Have a peek:
If that doesn’t show it, perhaps you’ll see the difference here:
It’s worth noting that the coupe had sufficient headroom for my gargantuan five-foot-eight-inch frame, thanks in large part to the big divots in the headliner:
Speaking of the cabin, this beautiful blue Cayenne’s was fantastic. My S didn’t even come with the passenger’s side screen, but that didn’t matter; the fit and finish were A+, the colors — black, tan, and silver — were blended in just the right way, the material choice was elite, and the overall design made the interior about as perfect as I’ve ever seen in a modern car. It’s not too flashy, it’s not too dreary; build quality is tops; the lighter brown really gives the interior an airy feel, the three-spoke steering wheel looks great, and then there’s the shifter.
I have for years been complaining about floor/center tunnel-mounted shifters like the one in the outgoing Cayenne. Shifters are electronic these days anyway, meaning they don’t actually feature mechanical linkages that go to the transmission below, so why do those shifters have to be that big and in that location; why not just move them out of the way? The reality is that the center console/tunnel area is an ideal place to either give the driver some extra room to stretch out or give them more space to store things. A big chunky shifter is wasteful; instead, I think shifters should go onto steering columns, which aren’t used to store anything else, anyway.
Porsche didn’t quite give us a column-mounted shifter, but the new Cayenne’s lever on the dashboard just to the right of the column is the next best thing. There’s a button for park, and then a lever that one pushes down for drive, then, from there, up once to neutral or up twice for reverse. There are detents to tell you when you’re at a certain position in the shift process, and you can simply push through the neutral detent to quickly get to either drive or reverse. Yes, this shifter looks dainty, but the knurled aluminum feels stout, and I welcome the extra storage space just to the right of the driver’s seat.
Once I’d popped my blue-on-tan Cayenne into drive, I began following Porsche’s drive-route:
This began with a cruise up the Pacific Coast Highway, where I witnessed the ocean’s vastness off to my left as I headed north:
One of the first things I did was let that 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 sing from a stop light. I stomped the accelerator pedal and enjoyed as the throaty V8 goodness bounced through my inner ear, vibrating the fluid in my cochleas, sending tens of thousands of electrical signals to my brain, which responded by sending signals to muscles in my face to grin and in my legs to do it all over again.
As the next stop light came into the picture, I got on the brakes and listened to that V8 bark as the transmission downshifted; at first, I thought the engine sounded a bit odd burbling while decelerating, though in the end I was into it — though not into it like I was into the sound of that motor increasing revs under load. Here I am punching it in a tunnel:
The sound was nice. It wasn’t a “powerful” or raw V8 sound, but rather a symphonic one; it was far from violent or coarse, it was a gentler version of a V8’s fury, and it fit Cayenne S’s demeanor nicely. Here’s a listen without any load:
Not bad, right?
With my tests of the car’s claimed 4.7-second 0-60 time out of my system, what became immediately clear to me was how the Cayenne seemingly shrinks once you’re behind the wheel, especially on tight roads like the ones I drove through the Santa Monica Mountains. The driver’s H-point (seating position), along with the car’s excellent forward visibility combine with its absurdly sharp handling to make the Cayenne feel much, much smaller than it really is.
At over 193-inches, the Cayenne is the size of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but it really feels like a Jeep Compass once you’re behind the wheel (and of course I mean that only in terms of size; all comparisons to the Compass stop here). The view of the road ahead, and of the hood just below, and the way my steering input darted the nose where I wanted it to go — it all made me forget I was in a 4,900 pound machine. I was honestly having a great time in this thing.
The brakes were exceptional, the steering was beautifully precise, the ride was smooth, body roll was pretty much nonexistent, and the car took heed of my requests, spending very little time processing them, and instead just doing them. It was hard for me not to grow a deep appreciation for the Cayenne during this canyon romp. It’s elegant and comfortable enough for daily commuting, it’s a canyon crusher when you want to have fun on the weekend, and somehow it can off-road and also tow over 7,700 pounds for when you want to put it to work.
The Cayenne’s versatility is remarkable, and though I didn’t test the vehicle’s towing or off-road capabilities, I have been in a third-gen Cayenne off-road, and it’s more impressive than you’d think.
The Cayenne is obviously not perfect; I witnessed the SUV botch a start-stop operation by cutting the engine just as I needed it (the 4.0-liter V8 clumsily popped back to life). The eight-speed automatic shifts quickly, but I felt that sometimes it didn’t hold gears long enough. Otherwise, I don’t have a lot of complaints about the Cayenne S; it’s really well executed.
Next, I got behind the wheel of the Cayenne E-Hybrid, which mixes a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 with an electric motor to create 463 horsepower of plug-in hybrid grunt. Right away, the E-Hybrid — despite its 5,300+ pound heft — felt a little quicker than the V8-powered Cayenne S; I was unsurprised to learn that its 0-60 time is a tenth quicker than the Cayenne S’s according to Porsche; that’s the power of electrification — near-instant response.
I didn’t spend enough time in the canyons to tell you how much of an effect the E-Hybrid’s extra chunk had on its handling, but I will say that the V6’s sound was a lot of fun when hammering the accelerator pedal through those canyon roads, even if I knew that sound had been at least partially synthesized; that turbo V6 doesn’t sound that good.
Unfortunately, while pressing down on the brake pedal I felt the Cayenne struggle to blend regenerative braking with the friction braking of those big calipers squeezing pads against giant carbon ceramic rotors. There was a distinct delineation between when the regen stopped and friction braking began, and it was not subtle; as far as I’m concerned, carbon ceramic brakes have no place on a plug-in hybrid outside of, say, a track. Yes, the hybrid is heavier and could use more stopping power, but regenerative braking is there to assist those disks, and I get the feeling that a traditional steel rotor would have led to a significantly more harmonious braking exchange between regen and friction.
The E-Hybrid I drove was, unlike the Cayenne S, not a coupe, so I noticed the rear visibility was a bit better. I also had a chance to play with some of the Cayenne’s new switchgear, which was quite weird at first. The toggles up top apply only to what’s shown in the slim screen above, which is so dark that it blends in with the rest of the panel. The functions below the toggles, just above the volume knob, are actuated via a touch and a press:
Yes, I said touch and press. And lest you think each individual function squishes down a bit, actually the way it works is even stranger: the whole panel moves down:
Unfortunately, the E-Hybrid was out of juice by the time I got to it, but I was able to set it to a mode (E-Charge) that actually used the gasoline engine to charge the battery. This is great if you know you’re headed on a road trip to a big city, where electric driving would be much more efficient than gas driving.
By the time I’d driven a few miles, I had four miles of EV-only range:
Another thing I noticed while in the E-Hybrid was that the armrest kept sliding; I’m not sure if there’s something broken on the test vehicle, but my right elbow was all over the place (I only noticed this on the E-Hybrid vehicle, though I didn’t check the others):
The final thing I noticed in the E-Hybrid were the vents in the top of the dash. Those small slots force air at such a steep angle relative to the front passengers that you’d never expect them to be that useful, but actually, those dash-vents are game changers in the hot California sun. The amount of airflow coming from them, and blowing directly onto your face — it’s absolutely lovely. They’re only second to the coveted crotch-vent (which neither the Cayenne nor pretty much any other car has these days).
Here’s a wider shot of the E-Hybrid’s interior. It’s a bit dark and boring for my tastes, but materials and workmanship were excellent:
Speaking of the cabin, the Cayenne Turbo GT — the 650 horsepower 4.0-liter twin-turbo monster – switched things up a bit, with damn near every surface now being covered by Alcantara:
I only had 20 minutes to drive the Turbo S after Porsche’s spokesperson took over the E-Hybrid’s driver’s seat and brought me southbound down the PCH to The Motoring Club (I was a bit tired). While I was just able to whip the Cayenne Turbo S around the streets near Santa Monica, I did get to witness that sweet overpowered V8’s thrilling acceleration.
My gray-on-black-on-gold Cayenne absolutely terrorized those roads, blasting out twin-turbocharger whines and ferocious V8 growls. Even when slowing down to a crawl and idling, the $200,000 Cayenne made it clear to everyone: This thing is a menace, and it isn’t even slightly ashamed of it. Here’s a look at the Turbo GT’s engine bay, along with those of the other Cayenne trims:
But what you really want is to hear this thing roar:
The Cayenne Turbo GT reminded me a bit of the 707 horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk in that, despite having ridiculous power, one could mash the pedal all the way to the floor from a standstill and safely launch out of the hole thanks to absurd amounts of traction. Having lots of power is one thing, having lots of usable power is an absolute thrill.
What’s The Verdict?
This all brings us back to my initial question: Why should I care about a vehicle that starts at $80,000 and climbs to $200,000 (before options, which, Porsche told us, its owners tend to buy many of)? What it comes down to is a respect for engineering. For Porsche to build three rather different vehicles — a daily-drivable, 468 horsepower twin-turbo V8 SUV with a warm and supple brown interior, great handling, a great ride, but a totally manageable and far-from-ostentatious demeanor; an efficient plug-in hybrid with an understated black interior for the more practical among us; and a 650 horsepower neighborhood-terrorizing jackhammer called a Turbo GT — and to execute them all so well is just remarkable. And it’s even more remarkable when you consider the range of skills these vehicles have, between genuinely fun canyon-carving abilities, decent off-road capabilities (the air suspension allows for an approach angle above 27 degrees, departure angle above 24, breakover angle above 20, and nearly 10 inches of ground clearance — decent), and 7,700 pound trailer towing ability. And then if you factor in the quality of the workmanship and design, it’s hard not to respect the Cayenne.
It’s heavy, in most trims it’s not that efficient, and I’ll only be able to afford a beat-up one in 30 years, but I still have to admit: The Cayenne is legit.
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It seems to me that if you’re not getting the top of the line, the e-hybrid is probably the one to have, but not for efficiency.
I recently bought a Honda Clarity PHEV. Since I’ve had my Clarity, I’ve had much more fun driving, because I know that when I make that silly jackrabbit start, it’s the electric motor throwing down the torque, and not my gas engine taking all the abuse.
The electric motor isn’t going to wear out. And as long as I keep the power meter in the blue, the engine never fires up. I find myself racing away from stoplights more often not because it’s necessary, but because it’s extremely low cost fun.
181 hp from the electric motor isn’t as good as the 212 hp combined total, and even that is not as much as some similar sized gas cars, but it’s actually quite a lot if you’re using almost all of it so much of the time.
So my next car will be sportier than the Clarity, but either full electric, or an electric hybrid.
Dave you need to test drive these so those of us who cant can learn. But that first picture of you looks like you got picked up by the mob and they are about to wack you. Otherwise it really sounds fake noise as you are clearly going 40mph but sound says 80mph. Hey for $100,000 less I can tape a fast car and play it as i accelerate.
wait for it
wait for it
you know this is coming
hold on, let me get my coffee and hunker down a little
get my Puffalumps to let them see this monumental occasion in Posting ™
getting comfy, one sec
fine, I’ll write the line
Unrelated, sorta: I don’t know why the Autogefühl guy’s voice is so calming, but gosh, that’s one of my favorite channels. All the weird details on new cars, calmly presented for the nerding out. I would listen to that guy gently narrate buttering a slice of toast, and then subtly, savagely rip the toaster for having a fake exhaust pipe.
I think they look great, but the rear end has some major “fat wrinkle on the back of the neck” vibes I can’t unsee.
I kinda want parsh to go back to softer lines again. Porsches have always just been friendly lil’ guys. The sharper lines on the 992 look pretty good, but I think the exterior of the new Cayenne might just be a bit too much on the extra creases side. I need to see it in person before I make a judgement, but yeah. The second-gen really is the best looking Cayenne version to me. No vestigial eggs, no extraneous creases. Just a big, happy bean that could tow my parsh. (I need a job first, but WTB in Mahogany Metallic, with a tow package. Someone’s gotta skew those Cayenne owner stats down, haha.)
The interior’s a massive enough upgrade that it’s unreal, though. I got bored and messed with the configurator the other day, and like, there are default leather options that are purple and green. I love that. Those are the kinds of options I lose my mind over when I see them come up on like, a 993 that got Sonderwunsch’d to heck by some glorious madman of a buyer. I still hate the everything-moves panel that lacks individually differentiated buttons, but at least it’s easier to see and more intuitively laid out this time as opposed to the first third-gens.
“ We here at Porsche heard you love our driving experience. So we listened and installed three screens in the front row. Now while you effortlessly commit numerous traffic offenses, Your passenger can post negative Yelp reviews of an overcooked steak from the Cheesecake Factory.” Seriously, in what situation would having two large screens improve your existence. Why does every fancy car need to feel like the command post of the Mars Rover. Just give me one working screen. It’s fine if my passenger has to bend over 4 inches to the left to check their twitter or whatever. Maybe they could use all the extra space to install some sort of wheel or knob, that makes it hotter or cooler. That way, I wouldn’t have to interrupt the new episode of Love Island: Belarus, while I’m doing 98 down I-95 and freezing my bawls off.
Maybe the designers were hoping the front passengers would be navigators like the good old days of rally navigators?
I wonder how similar these engines are to the 2.9/3.0TFSI in the S5/RS5, the 4.0TT in the (older) S7 and the 4.0TT in the RS6/7.
I unabashedly love Porsche. All their weird models.
I cannot afford a Porsche, and probably never will, unless a used 944 or something falls into my lap.
It’s cool that these cars exist. It blows that I will never, ever, in my lifetime, be in the demographic for one.
*end obligatory ‘Jesus That’s Steep’ comment*
Porsche just loves their consistent lines from decade to decade, and I think that’s one of the best part about ’em. I don’t know why a person would hop between year to year within a generation, but this is a pretty good example of why, while the outside might not change much, the inside is just as important in styling and function. It’s something US manufacturers are so damn slow to adapt. “Change the nose! Change the tail! Make a different little swoop here! It’s the outside that counts!” while GM and Ford and Chrysler had the same damn interior in almost every car in their respective lineups for almost 30 years.
Make ’em look good on the outside to start with, keep that machining capital cost low, and let the soft parts sell the new models.
That interior change is HUGE for this car. I love it so much.
I also highly recommend used 944 life. JOIN US. 😀
Or a used first-gen Boxster. Just have it inspected first, but they are still fairly cheap.
I nearly bought a used Cayenne for my wife, but the thought of Porsche maintenance was more than I could bear..
did love the way it drove tho.
I love how David (a man who worked as a literal automotive engineer) is seemingly just now in the year of 2023 discovering the fact that German vehicles are engineered to a high degree of quality. (Germany also being a country that he has lived in and visited on many occasions.) Jeep madness is a hell of an affliction!
DT is a mopar guy, a brand whose engineering tradition only bests Yugo.
Here’s the thing, as someone who knows a German automotive engineer (working in Germany) the engineering is great… there’s just too much of it.
The cultue there is that when something goes sideways, you get a fully trained specialty tech to set it straight, and right away. It part of the maintenance experience and culture. They have no concept that you’d simply prefer to have it not break in the first place, or that the first line of repair would involve a hammer and zip ties.
The income demographics are curious. You could easily spend more than the base model costs on… a domestic truck. I _know_ all of those people underwater on their 7+ year loans don’t make anywhere near the median or mean income mentioned.
So, you really like the Corvair automatic trans. shifter? It’s ok I suppose but I would still feel a little self conscience having driven such a Corvair for several years back in the early 70’s.
Wanted to say this – 1962 Corvair powerglide I’m working on for a friend has this exact shifter.
Man would love to drive this thing. I currently DD a 2008 Cayenne S that I’d made fun of for years but when my dad offered me it to me at the insulting amount the dealer was going to give him for trade in value I took the plunge. Damn I had waaaay underestimated this thing. Total Jekyll and Hyde car, under normal driving around conditions feels like a lifted luxury sedan-admittedly a bit too heavy and clunky for my taste, but the way it comes alive when you have it at 6/10 or more can only be believed if experienced. It transforms from feeling sleep and dull witted and big to small and playful. The v8 bellow is fantastic, the 6 speed auto is so well programmed I don’t even bother manually shifting, it’s the only SUV with enough balance you can not only get the tail out a little on a hard corner but it feels good doing it-and that’s with 130K miles on it. Can only imagine how good this new one is after another 15 years of evolution. Now I need to figure out how to get into a 911 or Cayman, the Cayenne has utterly sold me on the cult of Porsche, if they can do this with a 5200 lb off road capable SUV, what is one of their actual sports cars like?
I love everything about this so much. The Cayenne is cool and I’m glad I’m no longer yelling into the void about it being cool, haha.
The demographics are interesting. If you consider that the median price on these is probably around $110k with options, etc. and that equates to a median income of $700k, what does that say about the average new car price of ~$50k.
That’s the equivalent of an annual income of $315k affording a $50k new car.
Yeah that caught my eye too.
Maybe I just don’t travel in the right circles enough, but I figured the $700K+ household is leasing a Bentayga, not a Cayenne.
The median income listed is $550k which seems more in line vs the 700k average, which obviously skews higher due to how averages are computed vs mean.
This seems to fall in line in my area, around Boston. $300k household income, 2 adults, 2 kids, will be stretched thin especially once you consider cost of housing, daycare/activities, private school, etc, would be “struggling” to get into 2x $40- $50k cars for the adults. Keeping all things equal as the $300k family chase the $550k family, the extra cash becomes available as the “basics” listed above are covered. You can then move into a few $80k-$100k vehicles for the household, plus maybe add a vacation place. But at that income, likely not enough to be ballsy and go for a Bentley – those are for the folks with double to triple digit million net worth, in my opinion.
The Bentayga is nice, but the Porsche’s also nice, and it just works without being too flashy about it. I think that’s key for a lot of better-off folks: you want nice things, but you may not want to advertise that too much. Maybe you’ve been told over the years that being too flashy with your wealth is tacky, or you just don’t wanna be That Guy who attracts too much undue attention and the potentially toxic hangers-on that come with it.
A Porsche is just nice enough, and often doesn’t attract too much extra attention unless you encounter that one fangirl who knows what a Turbo GT is and wants to talk about hilarious ‘Ring records. Then, ohhh no, run away. Especially if you see a Puffalump around. Hahahahahaha.
Perhaps my opinion is skewed from my formative years being pre-Cayenne, but trying to be low key with your wealth doesn’t jive with driving a Porsche for me.
Quite honestly, the Bentley is *more* understated to my eyes. A non car person might not even recognize it as anything special.
Stealth wealth would be driving an LX600, a Yukon Denali, or a GLS.
But I also live in the Midwest, so none of these cars (except the GMC) are dime a dozen like I presume they are in warmer climes. Probably the private school pickup line pecking order influences sales more than anything.
Eh, rap vids kinda blew up Bentley’s spot in popular culture as early as the ’90s. Plus, there’s the gigantic price jump. It’s that next class of vehicle up, even though the Bentayga shares a platform with the parsh.
Meanwhile, “my dentist also has one of these” is…less conspicuous, unless you spec’d out an orange GT3 for track days or whatever. Cayennes are kind of everywhere now, and do a good job of being nice, but not ostentatious about it. Maybe not as much as a Land Cruiser or a Yukon, but yeah.
In my neck of the woods, 700-1m income is not uncommon, but these folks aren’t dropping 200k+ on a car. Taxes and cost of living are no joke. That 700k around here lives like 200k in Mississippi. Good money, not Bentley money.
I know you’re right, but part of me remains flabbergasted that in an age of remote work people are still willing to spend the better part of a 7 figure income on housing.
When you have a $1M+ house and pay for 2 kids’ daycare/private school, $700K is not Bentley money.
Is the VPN for your spell check routed through West Verginia, or is that how Torch invites people over for a BBQ? While I am at it, what the hell kinda seat did you get for the presentation? Did they put you over behind the nametag table next to the coffee machine?
Great review, btw! They all look like cars you can’t really go wrong with. Every trim is niiiice. That grey on gold wheels one is certainly a choice color-wise, but otherwise…
Well I’ll be!
I grew up in West BY GOD Virginia. It’s holler, thankyouverymuch.
Gosh, if those Turbo GT wheels got spec’d with like, a metallic forest green…yes.
All I’ll say there is yes. (And please let me drive it.)
I’m actually not surprised that the Cayenne is good. It’s been good for a long time. Porsche takes this and the Macan very seriously because they’re volume sellers in key parts of the luxury market. If I was some asshat corporate attorney who needed to haul a family around this would be near the top of my list…although I’d probably go Panamera over it for reasons that I don’t need to elaborate on with this audience.
I’m glad they’re saying “fuck it” and replacing the V6 with a V8. Who’s doing that in 2023?! Porsche knows what enthusiasts want. I think the S is very clearly the sweet spot here. The Turbo variants and the ultra high performance SUV segment are patently absurd to me and always will be. For $200,000 you can have a Cayenne S AND 718 GTS. Or one ridiculous SUV that tries to split the difference. I’m not sure why this is even a question but the type of people that am afford to incinerate 200 grand on cars aren’t normal, reasonable human beings. They’re various lizard people and the name of the game is making sure everyone can see you consume.
Also Porsche’s certified program is the best out of all the German luxury manufacturers’. Their certification process is rigorous and you get a full 2 year warranty. I think buying a certified Cayenne could be a really solid move under the right circumstances…although I’d spring for more warranty and a maintenance plan because as soon as those run out whoaaaaa buddy. You’re in for pain. I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a certified Porsche as a stretch purchase and the entry price is only the tip of the iceberg.
Also-are these still PDK or are they all ZF8s now? They introduced the ZF in the Turbo a while back, and based on your minor transmission complaints and the fact that it’s an 8 speed I’m wondering if it’s across the lineup at this point. As far as longevity and smoothness go the ZF is better, but it can’t keep up with a good DCT as far as shift speed and engagement go. I’d rather have a PDK, although if your PDK goes bad you may be looking at a totaled car…because I’ve read that you’re in 5 figure territory if something goes wrong with that amazing but ludicrously complicated transmission.
I like it, covers all the bases from basic to actual V8 to E hybrid. I have heard plenty of negatives over the years on the Cayenne, but I would still go for this over the fugly Beemer buck tooth thing or the Merc EQ things
Did you meet the Bionic Woman in Ojai?
Did they put back the physical buttons HVAC they took away in 2018?
No, it’s the same faux-haptic crap?
Then it’s poorly-engineered junk. I asked my tech about those buttons. Let’s just say the failure rate ensures Cayenne will retain it’s class-leading depreciation cliff as well.
It’s German! They’ve gotta (over) engineer some problems in so your local dealership can collect 4-5 figure checks from you every year once it’s off warranty. Then when the enthusiast who bought it certified runs out of patience for it it’ll begin its slow hooptification descent on the way to buy here pay here lots.
In 10 years it’ll be seen speeding away from a crime scene on 5 out of 8 cylinders. Or abandoned on the side of the highway with temporary tags that expired 9 months ago.
Eh…I probably should’ve have thought a little more before I posted that comment. I was more or less going for the Big Altima Energy vibe but I think it kinda fell flat and had some unkind undertones. My B.
I understand touch sensitive buttons on an arm resting panel might not work, but the HVAC panel reminds me of the Blackberry Storm 2 from 2009. They couldn’t figure out touchscreens that everyone else was using, so they made a weird mashable screen that tended to wear out and get grime trapped under the edges. I hope Porsche has done a better job, but it’s a strange solution in 2023.
I’m not happy it’s back, either, but it still looks like a big upgrade over the first third-gens. There’s less of that panel now, and the crucial HVAC controls (fan and temp) look like they’re physical toggles.
I guess we just need to keep roasting parsh until they put the real, separated buttons back. Haha.