When Porsche makes something new, it makes sure it handles like a Porsche should. Although the midsize Cayenne SUV has been around for some time now, it's held on to that brilliance in the bends and is undeniably quick, especially when in Turbo guise. Thanks to a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that powers all four wheels with the aid of an eight-speed automatic, this 541-horsepower, 567 lb-ft of torque SUV is something truly special. Sharing a platform with the likes of the Bentley Bentayga and the Lamborghini Urus, this is the perfect antidote to the BMW X5 M Competition. Still, as much as Porsches have improved, so has the competition. Is the Cayenne Turbo still the boss?
A more comprehensive mid-cycle facelift is expected for the 2023 model, so for the 2022 model, very few changes are made to the Cayenne lineup after last year's introduction of the GTS model (reviewed separately). In terms of the Turbo, the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system's software is upgraded to the latest version that finally includes Android Auto, even though it's wired, as opposed to the wireless Apple CarPlay. There have also been minor changes to the paint palette.
The 2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo's price starts at $129,900 before you factor in $1,350 for delivery, processing, and handling. Fully loaded, the options list can be a dangerous thing for your account balance, with us being able to easily exceed an MSRP $200,000 when clicking through the configurator.
See trim levels and configurations:
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
Porsche has fitted the Cayenne Turbo with a system called 4D-Chassis Control. Along with adaptive air suspension, this means that the large SUV is remarkably good around corners, and goes through them with more speed and composure than anything else that weighs this much has the right to. It's sharp, direct, and yet still comfortable, cosseting, and luxurious, but at the expense of involvement, often feeling highly competent but completely anesthetized. The steering is an absolute delight, and if you opt for rear-axle steering, turning the wheel results in even quicker reactions when you're changing direction. Even without it, the grip is incredible and the hulking SUV stays flatter than you'd expect. Essentially, it drives like a much smaller car.
Still, as we hinted at above, it manages to be smooth and soft over pockmarked asphalt and soaks up bumps big and small alike without a hint of complaint. The brakes are also astonishing, with 10-piston calipers up front joined by four-piston calipers at the rear. The size of the calipers isn't the only factor, however, as the discs are coated in a tungsten-carbide film that improves their lifespan. This means that you can push harder for longer. Despite such sharp stoppers, they're not too aggressive for daily driving and can be easily modulated in traffic.
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
If you value space and standard features, then buying a Cayenne Turbo may not be for you. Then again, if those are the qualities you're looking for in your next car, you probably shouldn't be looking at anything with a Porsche badge in the first place. Porsche builds cars that drive beautifully. That is, first and foremost, what people expect of the brand and what the brand expects of itself. So yes, a BMW X5 or a Mercedes GLE will carry more stuff, but it's the Cayenne that will make the trip more exciting. There's no disputing that the Cayenne's rivals are fast, but this Porsche handles as they can only dream to. It's simply the best in its class, and with infotainment and luxury systems in the Cayenne Turbo better than ever, it's pretty close to being the perfect family car. Should you buy one? That's not a question for those who doubt themselves. Do it.
The Porsche car configurator's options list can be an absolute minefield, filled with unnecessary upholstery options and details that seem cool when you're clicking but add a lot of excess weight to your final build cost if you're not careful. We'd keep things relatively simple. We'd opt for the Sport Chrono package to unlock the Turbo's maximum potential and we'd also maximize safety by speccing the Assistance Package. Ventilated and massaging seats are also tempting, as is quad-zone climate control, but we wouldn't go much further than this. Bear in mind that the Porsche Cayenne Turbo's cost will jump considerably with even the smallest of packages added.
In order for this to be a fair fight, this comparison is with the SVR variant of the Land Rover Range Rover Sport. With a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 under the hood, this British brute produces 575 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Much like the Cayenne Turbo, it comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive. However, despite the extra power, the Range Rover Sport SVR takes 4.3 seconds to gallop from zero to sixty, while even the regular Cayenne Turbo without launch control can do it almost half a second quicker. Nevertheless, it's worth noting that while Porsche was honing the ultimate on-road SUV for driving when creating the Cayenne, the Range Rover Sport is bred from the desire to be brilliantly capable off-road, and this is where the Porker stands no chance. If you're going to go trailblazing pretty often, then, we'd have the SVR. If not, the Turbo seems like a lot more fun.
BMW also has a reputation for astonishing on-road dynamics, and although the average Bimmer may not be quite as crisp as your average Porsche, the X5 M is no slouch. It's 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 produces as much as 617 hp in the Competition model and will be right alongside the Cayenne Turbo in the dash from 0-60 mph. Top speed is the same too, with the limit arriving at 177 mph. In addition to being a cheaper alternative with similar performance credentials, the BMW X5 M also features a larger cargo area of 33.9 cubic feet and more standard features that include a surround-view camera, quad-zone climate control, a head-up display, and BMW's own version of lane change assist - all as standard, while the Porsche charges extra for each and every one. On paper, the X5 M is a better deal in every way, but you may want to test drive them back to back to be sure.
The most popular competitors of 2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo: