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Porsche Cayenne


Porsche Macan

Summary

Porsche Cayenne

Since the Porsche Cayenne turned the automotive world upside down in the early noughties, it has continued to evolve and has grown to become one of the brand's biggest sellers.

One size up from the mid-size Macan, it's problematic for hardcore Porsche-philes, but there's no doubting this five-seat SUV's success, or the fact that it helps keep the famous German sports car maker well and truly in the black.

And this is the new, third-generation version, with an all-new chassis, fresh engines, and a bunch of dynamic, safety and multimedia tech enhancements.

Safety rating
Engine Type4.1L turbo
Fuel TypeDiesel
Fuel Efficiency8L/100km
Seating5 seats

Porsche Macan

When Kenny Rogers gets a facelift, he does the term justice. Have you seen him lately? He’s barely recognisable. It’s probably not often that Kenny and Porsche get mentioned in the same sentence, with the legendary Country singer and iconic sports car brand sharing few parallels.  

Particularly when it comes to visual enhancements, that is, with the updated Porsche Macan barely qualifying for a lunchtime Botox analogy, let alone the standard facelift jargon we use to describe a mid-life refresh.

It’s been to the gym and sharpened up its wellbeing though, in an effort to keep what’s now the Porsche brand’s most popular model competitive among a whole host of other SUV rivals that have appeared in the 4.5 years since the Macan first hit down under.

Six months after it was revealed at the Paris motor show, the new Macan and Macan S arrive in Australia this week.

Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency7.4L/100km
Seating5 seats

Verdict

Porsche Cayenne7.5/10

The Cayenne may be the Porsche of SUVs, but you can't have family car size and practicality without a few concessions.

It's fast, beautifully built, and engineered with a special eye for detail, and the well specced Cayenne S is the pick of the bunch for performance and value.

But it's worth remembering the SUV bit. This Porsche is more everyday enjoyment than track day excitement.

Is the Cayenne your kind of premium family truckster? Tell us in the comments below.


Porsche Macan7.6/10

The new Macan is only a smidge better in most areas, but it’s brought it up to date in most ways, but make sure you tick the option box for active cruise and AEB. That aside, it’s an astounding driver’s car for an SUV.

Given we haven’t driven the base Macan or any of the future variants yet, it’s impossible to nominate the sweet spot of the range, but the Macan S is a very good option.

Note: CarsGuide attended this event as a guest of the manufacturer, with travel and meals provided.

Do you wish Porsche had done more to the Macan? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Design

Porsche Cayenne

The design is new yet familiar. Longer (+63mm), wider (+44mm), lower to the ground, and lower overall (-9mm), yet the wheelbase is unchanged at just under 2.9m.

All models feature LED headlights, and the Cayenne and Cayenne S are identified by their silver grille slats, with the Turbo featuring matt and high-gloss black surfaces plus larger air intakes at the front.

Car-spotters will also notice narrower side windows with a sharper decline at rear (Porsche calls it the Flyline) and the C-pillars tilting forward for a racier look.

A full width horizontal light strip across the tail sits under a clear covering above a three-dimensional version of the Porsche logo.

And wheels now range in size from 19-inch on the Cayenne, 20-inch on the Cayenne S, to 21s on the Turbo, plus optional 22s, presumably for those who drive on billiard table smooth freeways at all times.

And the Cayenne now features staggered or mixed tyres for the first time, that is fatter rubber on the back than the front.

Inside, the biggest change is the adoption of the Panamera's 'Advanced Cockpit', with the central tachometer in the iconic five-gauge instrument cluster flanked by twin 7.0-inch screens to create a blended analogue/digital version of the classic Porsche five dial layout.

Plus, there's the sleek 12.3-inch screen in the centre running everything from nav and vehicle settings to audio control and phone calls, through touch and voice.

Again, it's a direct lift from the Panamera, and the screen layout can be customised to personal preference, with Apple CarPlay standard (but no Android Auto).


Porsche Macan7/10

If you’re wanting to pick the updated Macan from the old one, it’s the full width tail-light that’s you’re biggest clue, with Porsche giving the typical “if it ain’t broke” approach to the rest of the exterior styling, despite a whole bunch of other changes under the skin and on the inside.

Aside from the rear light treatment which brings the Macan into line with Porsche’s more recent Panamera, 718 Boxster and Cayman, Cayenne and 992 911 designs, there’s also new LED headlights, subtle tweaks to the lower body details and some new wheel options rounding out the exterior differences.

But most importantly, the Macan still has that low, broad, squat stance that looks like a proper Porsche performance machine.

The biggest change in the interior is the upgrade to a 10.9-inch version of the latest multimedia screen from the Panamera and Cayenne, which is really nice to use with beautiful displays.

The Macan also now gets the same steering wheel as the 911, which is about as nice as steering wheels get, with a nice size, round shape and sexy knurled control wheels for the volume and menu controls.

There’s a whole bunch of other improvements you’d probably only notice back to back with the old car, including more aluminium in the suspension to reduce unsprung weight, completely new engine platforms and improved sound deadening for a quieter drive.

Kerb weight figures are hardly lithe though, at 1797kg and 1865kg between Macan and S.

Practicality

Porsche Cayenne

Practicality highlights are more storage around the cabin, and a slide and recline adjustable rear seat.

Up front, the glove box is cooled, there are storage compartments under both seats, plus two cupholders, decent bottle holders in the doors, a 12-volt outlet (under the glove box), as well as two USB charge and connectivity ports in a generous console storage box.

Jump in the back and you'll find door bins with space for bottles, map pockets on the front seat backrests, a pair of cupholders in the fold-down centre armrest, plus two USB charge ports and a 12-volt socket in the centre console.

The rear seat's tilt and slide party trick means there's plenty of leg and headroom in the rearmost, fully reclined position. But tweak a lever on the side and a pull handle under the cushion and you can move forward (in stages) to liberate as much as 100 litres of extra cargo space over the outgoing model, while maintaining seating for five (three without legs in the extreme forward position).

Porsche's official description of the rear bench offering “two comfortable seats outside left and right and one centre seat” accurately sums up the relatively squeezy plight of the centre rear passenger.

Cargo capacity is 770 litres with the 40/20/40 rear seat upright, and a handy 1710 with it folded forward. There are four tie-down anchor points, plus a netted storage area on the passenger side, two lights and yet another 12-volt power point.

An auto tailgate is standard on all models, and a 20-inch collapsible spare (with inflator kit) sits under the rear floor.

If towing is your thing the Cayenne's weight ceiling is 3.5-tonne for a braked trailer, and 750kg unbraked. Porsche's 'Trailer Stability Management' system is standard.


Porsche Macan7/10

There’s nothing new of note on the practicality front, with the usual dual cup holders front and rear, bottle holders in each door (although the rears are a bit shallow), and a useful, array of 12V and USB points scattered throughout.

The back seat is the same as before, with enough headroom and rear legroom for shorter adults like my 172cm size, and therefore plenty of room for two kids, but the sloping roofline is probably a pain for taller parents loading child seats. Speaking of which, there’s two ISOFIX mounts back there for mounting baby seats as securely as possible.

The boot space is unchanged with a pretty decent 500 litre luggage capacity, with a spacesaver spare tyre under the floor, but in my experience the sloping tailgate that gives the Macan that sexy coupe shape can make it a bit difficult to load beyond cargo cover height.

Price and features

Porsche Cayenne

There are three models offered initially, starting with the Cayenne, powered by a 3.0-litre single turbo-petrol V6 for $116,300 before on-road costs. Then the 2.9-litre V6 Cayenne S adds a second turbo and around $40k to the price tag, coming in at $155,100.

The powerhouse Turbo tops the line-up with a 4.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V8 under the bonnet, and cost of entry sitting at $239,400.

Not a diesel in sight (for Australia) for the time being, with an E-Hybrid variant due here closer to the end of this year.

As you'd expect in this part of the market the standard equipment list is solid, with the Cayenne featuring partial leather trim, cruise control, LED headlights, daytime running lights and tail-lights, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, privacy glass, front seats with 14-way electric adjustment and memory settings, remote central locking with 'Keyless Go', the twin digital instrument displays, multi-function sports steering wheel (with gearshift paddles), auto tailgate, 'Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM - with adaptive dampers), 19-inch alloy wheels, and 'Porsche Communication Management' (PCM) with the 12.3-inch screen controlling nav, phone and audio (10-speaker, 150 watt and digital radio).

As well as it's more powerful twin-turbo V6 engine, the Cayenne S adds 'Adaptive PASM' (with air suspension), 20-inch alloy rims, twin dual-tube tailpipes, dynamic (directional) LED headlights, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, pedal faces in stainless steel, a 710-watt Bose 'Surround Sound System' with 14 speakers (including subwoofer), and metallic paint in any one of seven colours.

Then the Cayenne Turbo piles on the power and luxury with the twin-turbo V8 joined by 21-inch alloys (in dark titanium with highly polished surfaces) including wheel arch extensions in the exterior colour, 'Porsche Active Aero' (with adaptive roof spoiler), scrolling LED indicators, 'LED Matrix' headlights, 'smooth finish' leather upholstery, 18-way electronically-adjustable 'Adaptive Sports' front seats with unique trim and fatter side bolsters, front and rear seat heating (and ventilated/cooled front seats), exterior mirrors with kerb-view parking aid, a heated steering wheel, 'cross-brushed' aluminium interior highlights, and Alcantara roof lining (cloth on base and S).

If you're ready to stump up the big bucks, that's a heap of fruit to go with this car's comfort and performance potential.


Porsche Macan7/10

Pricing has also been discretely modified, with the base Macan now starting $1690 higher at $81,400, and the next rung Macan S shifting $2000 upwards to $97,500. You can calculate a drive away price here.

These are the only two updated models on the price list for now, with the range-topping Turbo tipped to arrive in 2020, and the GTS that sits between it and the S due in 2021.

Both trim levels are now in line with the Panamera and Cayenne the latest version of the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) multimedia/infotainment tech with a 10.9-inch touch screen display. This includes Apple CarPlay for iPhone users, but there’s still no Android Auto.

Both Macan and Macan S standard features also include leather trim, three-zone climate control air conditioning, GPS navigation system, Bluetooth, 14-way power adjustable seats, auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors, Park Assist with surround-view monitors and a power tailgate.

The Macan S adds piano black interior details, aluminium scuff plates, aluminium window trims, a silver tachometer, and a digital boost pressure gauge.

Aside from its stronger engine, mechanical Macan S upgrades include bigger front brakes with an extra two pistons to total six, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) adaptive dampers, silver dual exhaust outlets on either side and one inch larger 20-inch ten spoke alloys.

Seat heaters and active cruise control will still cost you more on either Macan, but one omission I find quite surprising is that they still don’t get much in the way of active safety gear as standard. Unlike pretty much every other premium SUV on the market, you’ve got to pay extra to get AEB with the active cruise control pack.

The car we spent most of our time in, which is not the Mamba Green car pictured here, was optioned with Miami Blue paint ($5,800), panoramic sunroof ($3,790), tinted headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus ($3,410), black 21-inch Sport Classic rims ($3,330), carbon interior package ($3,080), Sport Chrono Package with mode switch ($2,790), Bose surround sound system ($2,650), black exhaust tips ($1,890), Porsche Entry & Drive ($1,690), Lane Change Assist ($1,390), tinted full width tail-lights ($1,340), and gloss black roof rails and window trims ($1,260), heated front seats ($990), Light Comfort Package ($720) and Power Steering Plus ($650). This $34,780 worth of accessories brings its total RRP to $132,280, before on-road costs.

Engine & trans

Porsche Cayenne

The new car's engines are lifted from the Panamera, and not only feature more power than the outgoing Cayenne, but Porsche claims improved fuel economy and lower emissions.

All feature an alloy block and heads, the Cayenne's 3.0-litre, single turbo V6 delivering 250kW from 5300-6400rpm, and 450Nm from just 1340rpm all the way to 5300rpm.

This 'base' engine features direct fuel-injection, 'VarioCam Plus' (variable cam control on the inlet and outlet side, and valve-lift adjustment on the inlet side), as well as the turbo located in the engine's vee to help minimise lag.

The Cayenne S's 2.9-litre V6 adds a second turbo to deliver 324kW from 5700-6600rpm, and 550Nm between 1800rpm and 5500rpm. It's shorter stroke design helps lift the rev ceiling by 300rpm (to 6800rpm).

Then the Cayenne Turbo adds two more cylinders to pump out no less than 404kW (542hp) across a narrow plateau from 5750-6000rpm, and 770Nm between 1960rpm and 4500rpm. The V8 also locates the turbos in the 'hot vee', but drops back to 'VarioCam' (variable cam control on the inlet and outlet side) without valve-lift adjustment on the inlet side.

All models now feature an eight-speed 'shift-by-wire' 'Tiptronic S' auto transmission, with drive going to all four wheels courtesy of Porsche's Active Traction Management system. The gear set in the Turbo (including the final drive) is slightly taller, although the seventh and eighth ratios are overdriven on all models to maximise fuel economy.

Claimed 0-100km/h times (with optional Sport Chrono package numbers in brackets) are: Cayenne – 6.2sec (5.9s), Cayenne S – 5.2sec (4.9s), Cayenne Turbo - 4.1sec (3.9s).

And if you have a very long driveway, leading up to your (presumably) very large house, you'll be pleased to know maximum velocity for the Cayenne is 245km/h, rising to 265km/h for the S, and a stonking 286km/h for the Turbo.


Porsche Macan8/10

The biggest mechanical news so far is that there’s no more diesel, along with all Porsche models, and the Macan S’s 3.0-litre petrol V6 loses one turbo in favour of a single, but more high tech, twin scroll unit.

This engine is already found in the Panamera, Cayenne and several Audi models.

For Macan S it means an extra 10kW more power and 20Nm more torque over the old version to now total 260kW between 5400-6400rpm, and 480Nm available between an impressively broad 1360-4800rpm.

This has knocked just a tenth off the 0-100km/h claim, which is now 5.1s in Sport Plus mode with the Sport Chrono Package optioned.

The base Macan’s 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine specs are unchanged, with 185kW available from 5000-6800rpm  and 370Nm between 1600-4500rpm, with it’s 0-100km/h 6.7s 0-100km/h claim remaining.

The seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission continues as the sole transmission available with either Macan, but has been recalibrated to suit the new engine in the Macan S.

The Porsche Traction Management (PTM) active all-wheel drive system continues to send power to all four wheels in either Macan grade.

Both versions have been prepared for towbar fitment, and carry maximum braked towing capacity of 2000kg and 2400kg for the Macan and Macan S respectively.

There’s still no sign of a plug-in hybrid or EV Macan, with the second-generation Macan set to at least offer an all-electric version in around 2023.

Fuel consumption

Porsche Cayenne

Claimed fuel economy for the combined (ADR 81/02 - urban, extra-urban) cycle ranges from 9.2L/100 km for the Cayenne (emitting 209g/km of C02 in the process), to 9.4L/100 km for the Cayenne S (213g/km), and 11.9L/100 km for the Cayenne Turbo (272g/km).

All models feature auto start-stop (with coasting), your only fuel option is 98 RON premium unleaded, and you'll need 90 litres of it to fill the tank.


Porsche Macan8/10

With the diesel gone, you shouldn’t expect the Macan to set any benchmarks here, but the base Macan still carries a reasonable 7.4L/100km official combined fuel economy claim. The Macan S’s 8.9L figure is even more impressive given its performance advantage, however.

Both engines require top-shelf 98 RON Premium Unleaded to do their best, and their 75-litre fuel tank capacity suggests theoretical ranges between fills of 1013km and 842km for the Macan and S respectively.

Driving

Porsche Cayenne

The new Cayenne sits on the VW Group MLB Evo platform, which also underpins the Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, and the soon-to-arrive new generation VW Touareg.

It uses a lot of aluminium and lightweight high-strength steel which, in concert with the alloy body panels, makes the car not only stiffer, but lighter by up to 65kg.

We've driven each model over a two-day launch program in The Barossa Valley in South Australia, and can confirm the base Cayenne is quick, the S is properly fast, and the Turbo is ballistic.

The transmission is a conventional eight-speed auto, rather than Porsche's PDK dual-clutch, and shifts are quick but smooth in normal mode, transitioning to a sharper, even more precise response in Sport or Sport Plus.

Porsche stands proudly on its reputation as a great sports car maker and says the Cayenne fits easily into that context. But let's face it, this is a two tonne SUV, and while it's dynamically outstanding, it's no 911.

All models feature multi-link suspension front and rear including active dampers, with varying levels of suspension sophistication as you walk up the range, to three chamber air suspension on the Turbo.

On quick twisting B-roads it's fast, in the case of the Turbo, bloody fast. It grips hard thanks to fat Z-rated rubber and active drive distribution makes sure it puts its power down perfectly. But no matter how sophisticated the suspension tech, it still feels large and relatively top heavy.

The electromechanical steering is light, and while it's accurate, no matter which mode you're in road feel is modest.

Not surprisingly, the ride firms up in tune with sportier drive modes, but in Comfort, even the Turbo on 21-inch rims, soaked up the irregularities of at times choppy rural roads with surprising ease.

Given the car's mass and performance potential braking is an understandable priority, with even the base model featuring big ventilated rotors all around with four piston calipers at the front and two at the back.

The S ups that to six piston front and four at the rear, while the Turbo debuts Porsche's 'Surface Coated Brake' a Tungsten-Carbide coating on the discs and special pads for longer life and less dust. Of course, the front calipers are 10-piston with four at the rear (and they're white just to prove brake dust isn't a problem).

In typical Aussie conditions these monster brakes are like cracking a walnut with a sledgehammer. Stopping power (on all models) is immense, and pedal feel is agreeably progressive.

We also headed off-road through rutted dirt and rocky climbs, and with five drive and chassis modes at its disposal the Cayenne ate it up.

The different off-highway modes ('Gravel', 'Mud' and 'Rock') will lock and unlock the centre and rear diff as required and the adjustable hill descent control made crawling down steep slopes a breeze. You can even option up an 'Offroad Package' bringing extra protection for vital components, as well as off-road specific info in the PCM and a compass display on the dash.

If you need to think about the dips and climbs on your country retreat, or maybe just the pitch of your driveway, the Cayenne and Cayenne S's approach and (with the Turbo in brackets) is 25.2degrees (23.3), ramp over is 18.7degrees (16.7), departure is 22.1degrees (20.4), ground clearance measures 210mm (190mm), and fording depth is 500mm (475mm).


Porsche Macan10/10

This is where it gets good. I’m yet to meet a performance SUV that surpasses the need for a qualifier at the end of every element of praise for its driving attributes to the tune of “for an SUV.”

But in my opinion, the Macan is the closest, with its relatively low body and broad stance bringing the driver closer to the centre of gravity (and action) than any I recall. 

We’ve only driven the updated Macan S so far, but any Macan is likely to share the fundamentals that give it incredible stability at speed and make it genuinely good fun to drive fast. 

The steering has nice feel, the wall of acceleration from the turbo engine is really good and the seven-speed PDK transmission is beautifully calibrated, particularly in the sport modes - I didn’t reach for the paddle shifters once. 

If there’s one criticism of the drivetrain it’s a lack of aural theatre. Surely any Porsche with an S badge should be capable of roaring when asked, but the standard Macan S delivers little more than a muted growl. There is a sports exhaust system on the options list, but you’ll have to shell out $5,390 for it. 

There was one particular run along a river bed on our drive route that strung dozens of varying radius bends together, with a mix of cambers that enabled the Macan S to truly shine. Aside from slightly accentuated fore and aft movement because of its short, but still tall body, it was almost as planted as an Audi RS 4, but with a more lively feel than I recall. 

And when you’re not driving it like a Porsche, as most of us spend about 99 per cent of out time on the road, it’s still a really comfortable car. I had to look under the guards to make sure our particular example wasn’t fitted with the optional air suspension, even though it was riding on the bigger 21-inch wheels. Why can’t everyone do suspension like this?

Safety

Porsche Cayenne

Active safety systems include the usual suspects like ABS, ESC, and traction control (ASR), with the addition of other features under the 'Porsche Stability Management' umbrella, including ABD (torque vectoring by braking), and MSR (prevents slip on the drive wheels produced under engine braking)
There's also AEB (although the Porsche system doesn't bring the car to a complete stop), 'Park Assist' (front and rear) including 'Surround View', 'Lane Keeping Assist', 'Lane Change Assist', and tyre pressure monitoring.

But if all else fails passive features include an active bonnet (activated by pedestrians, cyclists, etc detected by the front camera), driver and front passenger airbag, knee airbags for the driver and front passenger, front side airbags, rear side airbags and full-length curtain bags.

There are three top tether points across the back seat with ISOFIX anchors on the two outer positions. ANCAP hasn't assessed the third generation Cayenne so far, but its Euro NCAP affiliate awarded a left-hand drive, 3.0-litre diesel model a maximum five stars in 2017.


Porsche Macan7/10

The Macan is an excellent example of why it’s important to look past a maximum five star safety rating. It carries no safety rating from ANCAP, but five stars from Euro NCAP based on a 2014 test.

Since that test, the Macan has introduced side and curtain airbags for rear passengers, so it’s in fact safer, but the test criteria has changed significantly in the past five years.

Australian versions of the new Macan come with dual front airbags, chest side and curtain airbags for all outboard passengers, reversing cameras covering 360 degrees with Park Assist front and rear, parking sensors and lane departure warning.

As mentioned above, they’re surprisingly lacking active safety features as standard. Unlike pretty much every other premium SUV on the market, you’ve got to pay an extra $2410 to get AEB with the active cruise control pack, and a further $1390 to get Lane Change Assist as two key examples.

Ownership

Porsche Cayenne

The Cayenne is covered by Porsche's three year/unlimited km warranty, with paint covered for the same period, and a 12-year (unlimited km) anti-corrosion warranty also included.

Porsche Roadside Assist provides 24/7/365 coverage for the life of the warranty, and after the warranty runs out is renewed for 12 months every time the vehicle is serviced at an authorised Porsche dealer, and the main service interval is 12 months/15,000km.

No capped price servicing is available, with final costs determined at the dealer level (in line with variable labour costs by state/territory). Indicative scheduled costs for the first four years/60,000km line up as: 12 months/15,000km (annual) - $695, 24 months/30,000km (intermediate) - $695, 36 months/45,000km (annual) - $695, and 48 months/60,000km (major) - $1300, for a total of $3385.


Porsche Macan7/10

The Macan is covered by Porsche's standard three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, which is par for the course among premium brands, but lags behind the five-year-plus terms offered by most mainstream manufacturers these days. An extended warranty of up to 15 years can be arranged through Porsche, at a price. 

Service intervals are a generous 12 months or 15,000 kilometres, but Porsche does not offer capped-price servicing to take the guesswork out of service costs or maintenance costs.

If there are any common problems or complaints, reliability issues or faults, they’ll likely appear on our Porsche Macan problems page.

You can calculate the Macan’s projected resale value via our Price and Specs page.