The Cayenne has become one of the most recognizable luxury SUVs on the market, and with good reason: not only does it carry the hallowed Porsche badge, but it offers class-leading performance and luxury, all packaged in an attractive design that makes competitors such as the Land Rover Range Rover look ancient. Powering the base model is a 335-hp turbocharged V6, while Cayenne S models get a twin-turbo 2.9-liter engine producing 434 hp. Across the range, the Cayenne offers brisk performance, excellent handling, and a luxurious interior that is up there with the best of them. The standard feature list might seem short, but the Cayenne makes up for it with its uncanny ability to make the driver feel part of the car, something that's noticeably missing in competitors such as the capable, but disconnected BMW X5. After a recent redesign, the Cayenne remains at the top, or at least close to the top of the luxury SUV market.
The Porsche Cayenne received a total reworking for 2019 that saw no body panel left untouched, which means the 2020 car is still relatively new and Porsche didn't think it worth the time to carry out any significant updates for 2020. What new owners can look forward to is a wireless phone charger as part of the Smartphone Compartment option, and the Sport Design package is now available in high-gloss black. Buyers also have the option of having the Porsche and Cayenne logos painted onto the body.
See trim levels and configurations:
If it has a Porsche logo on the front, then you can be assured that it will handle with poise and composure, and at the very least you will get a stable and predictable driving experience. As with the rest of their 2020 lineup, the Cayenne feels like a driver's car through and through, which is impressive for a car of its size and weight. At speed, or while cruising along city streets, the steering wheel is beautifully weighted, and there's reasonably good feedback from the wheel as well. Cutting through a set of corners shows the weight beautifully transitioning from one side to the other without upsetting the overall balance, and there's grip for days. Ride quality on the 19-inch wheels is good, but is notably harder than rivals such as the Range Rover. With the optional 22-inch wheels, things get rough. Optional adaptive suspension and four-wheel steering make things even more stable, perfect for snowy conditions. Porsche's new tungsten-coated iron rotors are an optional extra and see the already excellent braking improve by a notable margin.
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
The Cayenne has been around long enough to cement itself as one of the go-to luxury SUVs in a market that offers it all and has come a long way since its inception. The 2020 car signals a continuation of what we've come to love so much about the Cayenne: it offers a driving experience that remains true to Porsche's ethos of building performance cars and connects the driver with the rest of the car, unlike any other SUV on offer today. Not only does it drive well, but it is powerful enough to keep most people happy, and in S trim, you'll be embarrassing many a sports car from the lights. The interior is typically Porsche, well planned, and executed with the finest materials on offer in its price category. We wish that Porsche included more standard features, especially when you consider its higher-than-average asking price. It's more capable than ever, and will still cut it as a practical daily driver and off-roader if you so choose. Bravo Porsche, bravo.
You know Porsche has entered the SUV market head-on when it offers a compact five-door crossover SUV. Yes, the Macan is the smaller sibling, and unlike the Cayenne, which can still tackle a serious dirt trail, prefers to plant its feet on the tarmac. In base form, the 2020 Macan is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, but the Macan S gets some extra sauce in the form of a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 producing 348 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. We think the Macan fits in perfectly below the Cayenne by offering proper practicality and useful off-road capability, but also providing a dynamic driving experience. The Macan surely feels more composed in the corners. Inside, the same level of built quality permeates the cabin, which in this case, is tighter than what is on offer in the Cayenne. We love how agile it is, its general level of comfort, and its accessible starting price, but its expensive options and tight rear seat are sour points. We'd still go with the original Porsche SUV.
The BMW X5 is a household name for those in the luxury SUV market, and the 2020 car sure is a sweet driving thing. For 2020, BMW offers the X5 with a turbocharged six-cylinder producing 335 hp or a massively powerful V8 option kicking out 456 hp, slightly more than what's on offer in the Cayenne S. You can also opt for the M Performance variant that produces 523 hp. Power is sent to either the rear or all four wheels via an eight-speed transmission. We think the Porsche looks better from the outside, but that's just our humble opinion. It's under the skin that the BMW shows its true mettle. Its suspension and chassis setup are right on the ball: it's athletic enough to entertain, but composed and comfortable enough for the daily grind. The interior is typically premium, and the X5 offers more interior and cargo space. The optional third-row seating takes it too far and is seriously cramped, and we were disappointed to find out that Apple CarPlay is only available on subscription. We'll have the Porsche, thanks.
The most popular competitors of 2020 Porsche Cayenne: