By KBB.com Editors
When in 1998 Porsche announced it was going to build an SUV, the proclamation was greeted with scoffs and pure horror. How could Porsche turn its back on its heritage by introducing a lumbering sport utility vehicle, many asked. But days after the vehicle, called Cayenne, came to market in 2002, it was clearly a success. It didn't so much change Porsche's basic character as extend it, because the Cayenne quickly became renowned as the sports car of the SUV set – a vehicle with off-road credentials that was also a fulfilling to drive. Never one to rest on its laurels, Porsche has expanded the lineup to include the Cayenne Turbo S, Transsyberia and GTS models.You'll Like This Car If...
If you like the command-position of a taller vehicle and off-highway capability combined with an uncommon level of performance and handling, we think you'll like the Porsche Cayenne.You May Not Like This Car If...
If you seek an SUV for the ability to tote and tow giant loads while feeling like a rec room on wheels, you may not find all you seek in the Cayenne.What's New for 2010
For 2010, two new models join the lineup: The Cayenne S Transsyberia and the limited edition Cayenne GTS Porsche Design Edition 3.Driving It Driving Impressions
While we expected the 2010 Porsche Cayenne to excel in spirited on-road driving, it was the extensive off-road driving we did in the Cayenne that was a revelation to us. Thanks largely to its very sophisticated systems like the optional air suspension system, traction management and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, the Cayenne is a superior off-highway performer, making quick work of imposing grades. As you'd guess, the 550-horsepower Cayenne Turbo S is an exciting performer, but buyers with smaller checking accounts (or perhaps simply more conservative with their auto expenditures) will find satisfaction in the V6-powered Cayenne and the V8-powered Cayenne S. In back-to-back comparison, the optional active Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control offers advantages in counteracting body roll but at a stiff price versus the already exemplary Cayenne suspension. For a vehicle with such a wide variety of capabilities, ride quality is excellent and attention to detail borders on sublime.Favorite Features
The Sport Button
There is something appealingly cartoon-like about a button on the dash that, when pushed, offers, as Porsche describes it, "extra dynamism." Who doesn't want that?
Real Off-Road Capabilities
It would have been simple for Porsche to go light on the all-terrain capabilities of its SUV, since it is likely many of its drivers will never venture off asphalt, so it is more than reassuring to know that Porsche engineers took their rough-country mandate seriously and created a vehicle that can slog through slime.