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Porsche Cayenne 2020 review: Coupe Turbo

Porsche, SUV, Coupe and Turbo, all rolled into one. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)

In culinary terms, the Cayenne Coupe is a bit like a deconstructed sandwich that’s been reconstructed, with the Turbo-badged version we’ve got here being the one doused in Sriracha sauce. 

The regular Cayenne is already pretty coupe-ish for an SUV, so do we need one that's a coupe version of it?

That probably doesn’t matter one bit if you’re looking at a Cayenne Coupe, given you’re probably more glad it looks and works like a Porsche as much as a large 4/5-seat SUV can. And this particular one with the big Turbo badge on the back? It’s blindingly fast as well, but not quite the fastest.

With a starting list price of $259,400, it kicks off $13,000 higher than the regular Cayenne Turbo, but a full $128,000 more expensive than the base Cayenne Coupe, $86,500 more than S Coupe, and $61,200 more than the GTS Coupe that sit beneath it. It’s also a full $39,100 cheaper than the range-topping Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe that combines maximum performance with plug-in hybrid tech.

My family of two adults and two toddlers spent a week on board the Cayenne Coupe Turbo, and here’s what we found.

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✅ What does it look like?

The Cayenne Coupe's 'coupe version of a coupe-styled SUV' package made no sense to me when it first appeared last year. But after having stared at it for a week on my driveway, I accept that it's the more ‘Porsche’ of the two Cayenne shapes, and is actually quite evocative of the iconic 911 from the beltline up.  

If you read between the lines it’s actually pretty much a Lamborghini Urus with Porsche details, where the regular Cayenne is more Volkswagen Touareg in its shape. The Cayenne, Urus and Touareg actually share a lot of parts under the skin, given all three brands are part of the broader Volkswagen Group.

In the optional Lava Orange, the Cayenne Coupe is simply unmissable. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) In the optional Lava Orange, the Cayenne Coupe is simply unmissable. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)

The actual differences between the Cayenne and Cayenne Coupe are more pronounced if you put them side by side, with the Coupe’s entire roof line being smoother from front to rear, while the rear hips have been pumped slightly and the simpler tailgate moving the number plate down to the bumper. 

It actually takes a few leaves out of the smaller Macan’s book, and represents a coming-of-age for the Cayenne that first appeared two generations and 17 years ago.

If you read between the lines, the Cayenne is actually a Lamborghini Urus with Porsche details. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) If you read between the lines, the Cayenne is actually a Lamborghini Urus with Porsche details. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)

In the optional Lava Orange of our test car, it brings an unintended safety benefit of being simply unmissable on the road. 

But, given the Turbo is double the price of the base model and about 50 per cent more than the S that sits between them, you might find that its subtly different front bumper, wheels, exhaust outlets and badging aren’t enough to distinguish it.

✅ How does it drive?

You simply won’t find an SUV of this size that drives as much like a sports car as the Cayenne Coupe. The Cayenne is already at the top of this list, but the Coupe’s lower centre of gravity only makes it better. 

The Turbo’s biggest difference over lesser versions is its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, stepping up from their V6 units, which puts out a massive 404kW and drops its claimed 0-100km/h acceleration time down to an astonishing 3.9 seconds. The Turbo S E-Hybrid that sits above it only drops this figure by one tenth of a second.

The Cayenne Turbo Coupe’s time is also three tenths of a second faster than a base 911, so tell that to anyone who might question whether this SUV deserves Porsche badges.

Under the bonnet is a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 producing 404kW/770Nm. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) Under the bonnet is a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 producing 404kW/770Nm. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)

It also handles corners very well for such a large car. Ours was particularly aided by the optional four-wheel steering system, which tightens the turning circle at slow speeds and improves stability at higher speeds. The Cayenne Coupe Turbo wouldn’t be as at home at a race track as Porsche’s pure sports cars like the Boxster or 911, but it’s still the Porsche of SUVs.

Unlike a lot of performance cars, the Cayenne Turbo Coupe foregoes the racy look of a flat-bottomed steering wheel for a more traditional round design. There’s a reason why flat wheels should only be on race cars, and it’s so you don’t feel like you’re steering with a 50 cent coin. 

The Turbo Coupe foregoes the racy look of a flat-bottomed steering wheel for a more traditional round design. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) The Turbo Coupe foregoes the racy look of a flat-bottomed steering wheel for a more traditional round design. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)

Despite this performance, it’s still a very luxurious drive, and will handle speed bumps better than any Mercedes-Benz SUV we’ve driven to date.  

This luxury is tempered by the growl from those four exhaust outlets, which is only louder with the optional sports exhaust fitted to our car, but its probably a tad much if you need to leave the house while others are sleeping each morning.

The optional sports exhaust system with gloss black tips costs an extra $5,970. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) The optional sports exhaust system with gloss black tips costs an extra $5,970. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)

The only other bugbear worth noting is the limited rearward visibility that comes with that sloping roof. You can easily work around it with the 360 degree camera, front and rear parking sensors and carefully adjusted door mirrors, but it will take some getting used to.

✅ How spacious is it?

Not very, for a car of this size to be honest. It will take up a lot of room in your garage, but the way the roof tapers from all angles really eats into the interior space. 

It’s still got lots of room for four adults, and Porsche has lowered the height of the back seat to give you more room under that sloping roof, but it’s hard to imagine it being much more space overall than the smaller Macan SUV. I had no trouble in the back seat behind my driving position with my 172cm height, but it might start to feel a bit claustrophobic if you’re much taller.

  • Despite the sloping roof eating into the interior space, there's still a lot of room for four adults. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) Despite the sloping roof eating into the interior space, there's still a lot of room for four adults. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)
  • The Cayenne Coupe comes with two rear seats, but there's a no-cost option for a three-position back seat. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) The Cayenne Coupe comes with two rear seats, but there's a no-cost option for a three-position back seat. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)

One important detail to be aware of is that the back seat natively comes with positions for only two passengers. This enables more supportive cushions for the two outboard positions and a handy storage console in the middle, but you’ll have to tick the no-cost optional three-position back seat if you need to carry more than two people back there. The same applies for child seats too, you only get two sets of top-tether and ISOFIX mounts if you go with the default layout.

There are two sets of top-tether and ISOFIX mounts in the back. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) There are two sets of top-tether and ISOFIX mounts in the back. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)

Despite the tapered roof, you shouldn’t have any trouble fitting three child seats across the back if you do opt for the three positions, but as always, it pays to trial fit your own seats to be sure. My two 0-4 child seats easily fit either side in their forward-facing positions.

The boot space is quite large at 600 litres, but this is 170 litres less than the regular Cayenne due to that roofline again. It still fit our full-size pram no worries, and would have no trouble fitting enough luggage for a family weekend away with a bit of planning. 

  • With the rear seats in place, boot space is rated at 600 litres. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) With the rear seats in place, boot space is rated at 600 litres. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)
  • Due to the sloping roofline, the Coupe has 170 litres less of boot space than a regular Cayenne. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) Due to the sloping roofline, the Coupe has 170 litres less of boot space than a regular Cayenne. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)
  • Even with a full-size pram in the back, there's still space to spare. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) Even with a full-size pram in the back, there's still space to spare. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)

There’s a space saver spare under the boot floor, which is more handy than an inflation kit, but not as useful as a full-size spare.

✅ How easy is it to use every day?

The interior is bursting with convenience features, from extra vents in the back of the B-pillars, to an extra two climate zones for back seat passengers, and the rear suspension can be lowered to make loading and unloading the boot easier. 

  • Back passengers score extra vents in the back of the B-pillars. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) Back passengers score extra vents in the back of the B-pillars. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)
  • Rear occupants also get their own climate controls. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) Rear occupants also get their own climate controls. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)

There’s also an electric tailgate, and the rear windows have a very dark tint to help protect those in the back from the sun.

The requisite dual cup holders in the front and back and bottle holders in each door are there too. 

That sloping window line does eat into access when loading kids or for taller passengers, but unlike plenty of other sports-styled SUVs the Cayenne Coupe keeps a flat beltline. This meant that my two toddlers still had a good view from their child seats.

The sloping window line eats into the access when loading kids into the back. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) The sloping window line eats into the access when loading kids into the back. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)

✅ How safe is it?

ANCAP is yet to rate any Porsche models, but Euro NCAP gave all regular Cayenne models a maximum five star safety rating according to 2017 standards. 

It’s yet to officially recognise the Cayenne Coupe that arrived two years later, but all features are matched across the two body styles.

These include front and knee airbags for both front occupants, side airbags front and rear and curtain airbags covering both rows of seats. 

It’s also got Lane Change Assists and forward collison warning, along with AEB with an unstated speed range, that can apply full braking but not bring the vehicle to a stop. This will cost you an extra $3570 and comes packaged with active cruise control, which should be standard at this price point, with the same true of lane-keep assist, which costs $1220.

It’s also got an active bonnet, which deploys in the event of a collision to help minimise pedestrian injuries.

✅ What’s the tech like?

The giant multimedia screen in the centre of the dash gives both front occupants a great view of what’s happening, and while the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system does incorporate Apple CarPlay, it still doesn’t manage Android Auto

The 12.3-inch touchscreen features Apple Carplay, but not Android Auto. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) The 12.3-inch touchscreen features Apple Carplay, but not Android Auto. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)

Also annoyingly for those who aren’t equipped with the very latest equipment, Porsche has upgraded all USB points to UCB-C format, you might need to go and buy new cords for everyone.

✅ How much does it cost to own?

Beyond the $259,400 list price, our Cayenne Coupe Turbo was also optioned with the sports exhaust system with gloss black tips ($5,970), Lava Orange paint ($5000), four-wheel steering ($4300), tinted LED active headlights ($3210), the Torque Vectoring Plus extension of the stability control ($3120), head-up display ($3070), tinted tail-lights and centre strip ($1750) and the Porsche crest embossed on the headrests ($950), which proves how easily you can spend an extra $27,370 on your quarter of a million dollar SUV. 

  • The tinted tail-lights and centre strip cost an extra $1750. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) The tinted tail-lights and centre strip cost an extra $1750. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)
  • The Porsche crest embossed on the headrests is a $950 optional extra. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) The Porsche crest embossed on the headrests is a $950 optional extra. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)

After those numbers, the fuel consumption may seem of little relevance, but it’s very rare to better the official combined figure during a road test. The Cayenne Coupe Turbo’s officially capable of 12.3L/100km on expensive 98 RON premium unleaded, but we saw 10.4L/100km on the dash after 200km of genuinely mixed driving. This suggests a range of around 865km between visits to the servo in the real world.

The Cayenne Turbo requires expensive 98 RON premium unleaded. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn) The Cayenne Turbo requires expensive 98 RON premium unleaded. (image credit: Malcolm Flynn)

Like all Porsches, the Turbo Coupe is covered by the brand’s three year, unlimited kilometre warranty. This is still around average for the big premium brands, but note that Genesis and Mercedes-Benz have stepped up to five-year periods. 

Service intervals are noted as a decent 12 months or 15,000km, but rather than offering a capped-price servicing plan, Porsche leaves pricing up to individual dealers.


The Wrap

The Cayenne Turbo Coupe is a pretty tricky argument on a value basis, but if you’re after near-supercar performance, unmistakably Porsche looks AND the ability to ferry your family around it’s a fine achievement. 

You can manage the same with a Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo, but it will cost almost $150,000 more and you’ll have to deal with a much bigger car. 

I would like to see all the safety gear fitted standard to the Cayenne Turbo Coupe though and as one of the majority using Android phones these days, Porsche can’t add Android Auto soon enough.  

My two and three year old kids consider the colour orange and the word Porsche pretty exciting, so put them together with a car they can see the world out of and they’re pretty stoked. 

Likes

So fast, but so comfortable
Actually a better looker than the Cayenne
Not often the kids get to go in an orange Porsche

Dislikes

Some safety gear still optional
No Android Auto
Big price jump from the lesser versions

Scores

Malcolm:

3.5

The Kids:

4.5

$246,000

Based on new car retail price

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