Weekend Wheels: The Porsche Cayenne Diesel
A couple of weekends ago, this media outlet got the chance to test drive the Cayenne Diesel, the newest addition to Porsche’s line of luxury SUV’s and a recent arrival to the Puerto Rico market.
Having driven essentially every Porsche model during a roadshow last year, we can say that this no-nonsense SUV has been equipped with the same acceleration, braking, steering, and efficiency of the German automaker’s famed sports cars.
During our three-day test, we took two fairly long road trips, driving some 250 miles from Carolina to Guayama and back one day, and from the same starting point to Luquillo the following day, all on a little more than a quarter of a tank of fuel. The automaker claims Cayenne Diesel has a range of up to 740 miles on a single tank.
Its efficiency — a top-of-mind consideration for most drivers these days — is directly attributed to a 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel engine that uses an advanced Direct Fuel Injection system technology called common rail direct injection. Essentially, the fuel is injected at extremely high pressure so as to help distribute the air/fuel mixture for greater performance.
“Originally launched in 2009 to the European market, where diesel cars dominate, the clean diesel technology and its many consumer benefits are now available for the first time for Porsche customers in the U.S. market,” the company said.
The engine’s force enables the Cayenne Diesel to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 7.2 seconds, whether on flat roads or hills, on which this vehicle cruises easily. This SUV is equipped with an 8-speed Tiptronic S transmission and two performance modes, “Normal” and “Sport,” which influence the car’s acceleration and “sporty” driving feel. The Cayenne Diesel also comes equipped with Porsche Traction Management permanent all-wheel drive, for a steadier ride.
All of these features combined make maneuvering Puerto Rico’s tightest curves and steepest hills a no-hassle experience.
Powerful under the hood, stylish on the outside
And while the sheer strength and fuel efficiency of the Cayenne’s engine are perhaps two of its most attractive features, it’s not surprising that many gravitate toward this vehicle just for its looks alone.
Simply put, the Cayenne is elegant. Its stylish exterior lines and interior comforts make for an all-around enjoyable ride — whether you’re going to the grocery store around the corner or somewhere across the island. Like the rest of its Porsche siblings, the Cayenne is available in a variety of solid and metallic exterior colors and leather interior trims.
Once inside, the Cayenne offers standard eight-way power front seats with driver memory and optional 14-way power seats (front) with memory offer electric adjustment of the front-seat positions (eight-way), lumbar support, seat cushion length, and steering column. The backrests of the rear seats are manually adjustable and provide a 40/20/40 split-folding feature for increased storage capacity of 62.9 cubic feet — which comes in handy when your trip requires you to fill up the trunk with bags or large items.
The vehicle comes with a CD radio, featuring an FM dual tuner, 30 memory presets, and speed-sensitive volume control, for a sound system with 10 loudspeakers and a total audio output of 100 watts. Optional features available for a better listening experience include HD Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio, which will also buy you navigation and weather apps.
Unfortunately, the vehicle we tested did not have this latter feature, and this media outlet was told by a Porsche representative on the island that the system cannot be installed in Cayenne cars sold in Puerto Rico.