2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS new car reviews

The historic sporting brand caught a lot of flak when they succumbed to the call of high profit margins and sales volume offered by the SUV market. Their all-wheel-drive rocketship earned some respect for its peppered name, though, and certainly didn't drive away buyers.

It's seen updates over the years, and they've trimmed the fat, too: Its curb weight of 4553 lbs. is 396 lbs. less than the previous generation. The 4.8-liter quad-cam V8 pushes 420 horsepower, but it's no grunting stump-puller: Peak torque is a "mere" 369 ft.-lbs., and it comes in at a relatively lofty 3500 rpm. Nonetheless, it carries a 7700-lb. tow rating.

It's easy to option any Porsche into the stratosphere, and this is no exception. What starts as an $82,000 truck becomes $125,000 with the addition of several options that cost more than $3400 each, including the nav system and the interior package, a $2500 adaptive cruise control, and a $5600 sound system.

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Other staff views

Marjorie Suddard Marjorie Suddard
General Manager

I expected this to be fast for an SUV, and it was, but I was still really impressed at the speed at which it goes from base price to sticker. With separate additional charges for everything from the sueded steering wheel to the red seat belts and contrast stitching on the upholstery (which themselves were added to the already-expensive price of the GTS interior package), this one added a new dimension to the concept of "nickel and dime." Only in this case, "nickel" means "hundreds of dollars" and "dime" means "thousands." Shop wisely if you're interested.

Alan Cesar FartSmeller69
SuperDork

Pardon my lack of imagination, but this doesn't make any sense. A buck and a quarter for a fast SUV? Sure, it's classy and comfortable and so on, but it's not really sporty. The paddle shifters are kind of slow and ultimate grip isn't very high. Besides, who's gonna drive this like a sports car?

It works as a practical answer if you absolutely must tow your Porsche race car with another Porsche. But the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 costs just $60,000—that's half this Cayenne as tested, and twenty grand below its base price—and delivers more horsepower and torque. Never mind the inevitably much lower repair bills.

And a Grand Cherokee beat a BMW X5M in the 2012 One Lap of America. Just sayin'.

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

I drove my Porsche to work today, so I need to stand up for this one. Yes, the SRT8 Cherokee offers more power for less money. Also, have you driven the two back-to-back? The Jeep is a fast truck—add enough horsepower, and anything will hit 60 in just a few seconds. The Porsche, though, is refined, something that goes beyond horsepower and torque.

I wish Porsche sent us a base Cayenne, though. I'm at their site right now. Looks like it starts at $48k and does zero to 60 in 7.1 seconds. That would smoke my old Sentra SE-R. Heck, it would probably smoke my 911, too.

J.G. Pasterjak JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

Driving the Cayenne GTS is like driving no other SUV on the road. it's fast, responsive, sporty, makes all the right noises, and has fantastic presence. As a sports sedan, it's utterly fantastic, even without the asterisk of being a truck. Unfortunately, it barely upholds the "utility" part of the sport utility promise. It's not really it's own fault I suppose. It's just that the whole car is so utterly Germanically passive aggressive that it becomes frustrating after a fashion. For example, lifting the rear hatch. Press the proper combination of buttons on the doubtlessly expensive key fob, and the hatch opens automatically. Likewise if you hit the release button on the hatch itself. But hit that hatch release button and be so bold as to try and pull the hatch upwards and it snatches itself out of your hand, closes and locks. What, I'm too stupid to open a hatch by myself? Want to remove the cargo cover from the rear cargo area? Sure, you can do that, provided you decipher the exact sequence of contortions and slide it out one of the side doors while trying not to gouge any of the leather. Look, i know I'm the last one that usually gripes about stuff like this because I typically like technology and convenience and don't see it as a detriment to me enjoying a car. But I don't like it when instead of helping me, that technology is a dick to me and makes me feel like I'm doing it wrong all the time.

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Comments

View comments on the GRM forums
pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
2/24/13 3:59 p.m.

Modern Porsche interiors make me want to jump in and drive around the world. Maybe naked.

Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar Dork
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

The historic sporting brand caught a lot of flak when they succumbed to the call of high profit margins and sales volume offered by the SUV market. Their all-wheel-drive rocketship earned some respect for its peppered name, though, and certainly didn't drive away buyers.

It's seen updates over the years, and they've trimmed the fat, too: Its curb weight of 4553 lbs. is 396 lbs. less than the previous generation. The 4.8-liter quad-cam V8 pushes 420 horsepower, but it's no grunting stump-puller: Peak torque is a "mere" 369 ft.-lbs., and it comes in at a relatively lofty 3500 rpm. Nonetheless, it carries a 7700-lb. tow rating.

It's easy to option any Porsche into the stratosphere, and this is no exception. What starts as an $82,000 truck becomes $125,000 with the addition of several options that cost more than $3400 each, including the nav system and the interior package, a $2500 adaptive cruise control, and a $5600 sound system.

Like what you read here? You can get a whole magazine full of these types of articles delivered to your home or shop 8 times a year. Subscribe now or visit the Grassroots Motorsports online store for back issues.
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