If you like the idea of the smarter fuel economy of electric cars but can’t yet abandon the power and convenience of a combustion engine, you should look at a hybrid.
The name Porsche doesn’t immediately call-to-mind rugged and dependable sport utility vehicles, but perhaps it should. For more than a decade, the company best known for its iconic touring cars entered the SUV market and proved that no matter what kind of automobile it is, they do it well. For those drivers who care about the rise of the luxury electric car, Porsche is looking to meet their demands as well. Their efforts culminate in the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, an SUV with an incredible amount of power and speed for a vehicle its size. Made for families and full of the latest high-tech gadgets, this is not your father’s minivan. Rather it’s a slick, sleek SUV for the person with a family or utility needs who wants to look good.
While the Cayenne has had some growing pains, specifically where aesthetic design is concerned, this vehicle suffers none of those problems. This SUV keeps a low profile, and while no one will ever mistake it for a Boxster or a 911, it will get the same envious looks as those cars as you roll by. A Porsche is a Porsche, and the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is no different. In this guide, we’ll examine what’s under the hood, in the cab, and what it feels like on the open road. Whether you like speed, power, or smart fuel economy, this vehicle is one that you will want to put in your garage.
A Little About the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid
Before we get into the specific features and benefits of this model, we should learn more about the automaker. We will also discuss Porsche’s foray into the sport utility arena, and who will get the best use out of one of these vehicles. Follow along below.
History of Porsche
The connection between Porsche and automobiles dates back to Germany before the second World War, when Ferdinand Porsche designed vehicles for Volkswagon. The iconic Beetle was one of his designs.
After the war, his son Ferry took over the company and used it to design a new car, one he would want to drive. The result was the Porsche 356, which launched this company into the stratosphere in the nascent automobile industry. A racing company at heart, their most-desired consumer model was forced to change its name because of a trademark dispute with Peugot. Thus, the Porsche 911 was born, and to this day defines the brand as one where luxury, speed, and power meet.
With the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, this tradition continues, though it took some time to get there. With Ferdinand Piëch, the founder’s nephew, at the helm, they launched their first SUV in 2002.
The Porsche SUV
In 2002, Porsche unveiled the first model of the Cayenne along with a new production facility in Leipzig, Germany. It’s appeal, at the time, was that it was the only vehicle with a V8 engine that the company even made, and the first to ever have four doors. Soon, it overtook the Boxster as the best-selling model of Porsche in the United States.
Early on in the life of this model, the company announced its plans to develop a hybrid version. By 2007, they had a working vehicle and a demonstration model to show off the drivetrain.
The 2019 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is the result of that hard work and effort. Yes, both this model and the Macan, introduced in 2010, all offer traditional combustion engines. However, the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid hangs in there with all of its gas- and diesel-powered sisters.
Is the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid the Ideal SUV for You?
Unless you are committed to going fully electric or need an outsized amount of cargo space, the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is for you. What makes this vehicle so special is both how Porsche’s engineering combines the best of both electric-powered vehicles and gasoline-powered vehicles.
Unless you’re the type of driver who likes to control every aspect of the vehicle, this vehicle will shift seamlessly between gas and electric power. If you put the pedal to the floor, this car answers. The acceleration and torque are comparable to any other high-performance SUV. This is a feat, because the electric battery and motor system adds nearly 300 pounds to the vehicle’s total weight. That it can go from a dead-stop to 60 miles-per-hour in just 4.7 seconds is all the more impressive with that in mind.
If you need to drive the family around, go off-road, or do some towing from time-to-time, the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid can handle what you throw at her.
Features and Benefits of the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid
Now that you know what you are getting into, let’s get into the specifics of the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid. We’ll break it down simply and easily, in four sections. First, we’ll cover what’s under the hood, and what you can expect from the driving and user experience. Then we’ll talk both about safety systems and how the vehicle handles.
1. Under the Hood
The Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is a masterful piece of automobile engineering. It starts with a turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine with a true automatic transmission, the kind you find in the model’s gas-guzzling counterparts. The only change from those to this particular model is the elimination of a second serpentine belt. The battery for the electric motor is located in the rear of the car, adding significant weight but also bringing 136-hp along for the ride.
In hybrid mode, with an optional sports package, you can go from zero to sixty in four-point-seven seconds and reach speeds of 157 miles-per-hour. The battery in the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is capable of recharging itself or holding a charge when the electric motor is not in use. In full-electric mode, you can make it more than 20 miles on a single charge. Shifting into hybrid mode or combustion engine mode is seamless and doesn’t affect the car’s performance.
2. The Dashboard
The highlight of the interior of the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is the 12-inch-by-3-inch screen planted in the middle of the dashboard. One look at this, and you’ll be ruined for other car’s interface screens. It’s sort of like how once you’ve seen a movie in IMAX, standard-size movie screens look laughably small. The screen shows you visualizations when you switch into different performance modes.
The car comes equipped with a digital package, allowing the vehicle to connect to LTE networks. You will get real-time weather and traffic updates, and you can stream your iTunes collection from the cloud. There is no Android option, but you can connect via Bluetooth. The center console’s buttons have been replaced by glass-covered touchscreens. The rest of the interior is bathed in comfort and luxury. Once you get in, you won’t mind taking long road trips just for the heck of it.
3. Comfort, Security and Safety
This is a heavy vehicle, so safety is always a concern. Any driver should spring for the optional air suspension system and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, which will help stabilize the tires on sharp turns. Even without it, every Porsche Cayenne Hybrid comes with a 48-volt subsystem with active front and rear anti roll bars.
The car also comes with four LED headlights and automatic activation of your high-beams. Adaptive cruise control uses radar sensors to maintain the flow of traffic based on the position of vehicles, including slowing to a stop. There are also systems in place to ensure you stay in your lane and will assist with braking in order to prevent collisions. This works especially well at night, where infrared sensors can detect pedestrians or animals before the lights see them. The car doesn’t steer itself, but that option can’t be too far off.
4. Handling and Fuel Economy
Thanks to the electric part of the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, this heavy SUV gets around 25 miles-per-gallon. When driving, you are aware of the weight of the car, feeling it especially in turns or sudden stops. However, when your lane is obstacle free, you can open it up with ease.
In hybrid mode, just a touch of the pedal and the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid will shift between electric and gas power. You feel the light G-force pushing you back in your seat as you accelerate. This is a utility vehicle, capable of towing over 7500 pounds, and a hybrid, but it’s still a Porsche, after all. For short trips or even your commute, you can go full-electric and you always have the gas engine to rely on if you’re on a holiday road trip. There are many reasons this SUV is the best in its class, and how it handles is definitely one of them.
What People Are Saying About the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid
It’s difficult to find a review of the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid that doesn’t sing its praises. Sure, there are faster SUVs and ones that are full-electric. However, neither of its competitors in those classes surpass the quality and sustained performance of the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid. Drivers also enjoy the screens and the handy interface on the steering wheel. It makes distraction-free driving that much easier, without sacrificing being connected. You can switch from the ACC to taking a call and back to listening to your favorite songs on iTunes without taking your eyes off of the road. Not many people are using the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid for serious utility work. However, drivers that have had to use the towing capabilities are consistently impressed. This is a luxury vehicle as fun to drive as any Porsche, but it’s ready to do the work of an SUV when you need it to.
- plus Excellent fuel economy
- plus Good electric-only range
- plusTop-of-the-line safety and comfort features
- close Less cargo space than a traditional SUV
- Glass-surfaces in center console magnet for dirt
- High base price
The Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is one of those vehicles about which it is difficult to find any serious complaints. This isn’t all that surprising, as Porsche is known for quality and luxury at every turn. Still, no vehicle is perfect. If cargo space is a big reason you want an SUV, then compare the Cayenne to others carefully. The sleek profile of the vehicle means less space inside. Also, the addition of glass touchscreens in the center console over buttons can be a pain to keep look clean and smudge-free. Though, honestly, these are simply nit-picky complaints. The biggest prohibitive factor to you picking up a Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is the price. It has a very high base price and add-ons like the air suspension and chassis systems are must-haves. So, if cost is a factor, the high price point is something you have to contend with.
Alternatives to the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid to Consider
As well-reviewed as this car might be, there is no accounting for personal taste. It’s possible that the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is just not for you. It might be the high-price-point, lack of cargo space, or just that you can’t bring yourself to buy an SUV of any kind. Whatever the reason, you deserve a car that makes you happy and gets you where you need to go. Here are some alternatives.
1. Porsche Cayman 718
Perhaps you just can’t bring yourself to buy an SUV, but you definitely still want a Porsche. In that case, look no further than the Porsche Cayman 718. A fast, sleek cousin to the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, this touring car is both eye-catching and unmistakably a Porsche. If you want to tempt fate on the open highway (or the Autobahn), you can push this car to reach a top speed of 170 miles-per-hour. This also comes with a full suite of Porsche’s safety systems, both to protect you and your passengers in a crash and prevent the accident in the first place. There is absolutely no back seat to speak of, so if your main reason for buying a vehicle is to cart the two kids and the dog around, check out our next two choices.
2. Maserati Levante
Perhaps you want a luxury SUV, but also want it to be fully electric. If this is the case, check out the Maserati Levante. What this sporty SUV lacks in cargo space it makes up for in luxury amenities and comfort. While the Levante isn’t the fastest SUV on the market, Maserati uses Ferrari engines, providing excellent speed for the class. They are also very fun to drive and pack more power than you might expect from an electric car. Unfortunately, the fuel economy on this isn’t that great as you do have to recharge often. Because it’s a sleeker profile vehicle, like the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, it suffers from the same dearth of cargo space. So, if you have big stuff to haul, you will want to check out our next option.
3. Acura MDX
Perhaps it is the lack of cargo space the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid offers that has you looking elsewhere. If that’s the case, consider the Acura MDX. This vehicle has excellent performance, and the fuel economy is on par with the Cayenne’s, though it’s tough to directly compare hybrid and fully-electric systems. The Acura MDX interior comes with considerable flash, offering a high-tech and luxury experience. With touch controls, you can switch between your tunes and navigation effortlessly. There is even a unique center compartment designed to maximize storage. Acura’s proprietary navigation system comes installed, with special screens to guide through confusing intersections or on and off ramps. It also has a real-time traffic monitor, so you can adjust your route if you need to.
The Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is everything you love about an SUV but with the power and efficiency the brand is known for.
There is no doubt that this is one of the best luxury SUVs on the market, regardless of what is under the hood. Of course, the high base price and costly options mean you are paying for that premium. Whether or not it is worth the cost is up to the individual driver. How can you put a dollar value on the feeling of being out on the open road, driving towards the horizon? When doing that, what is it worth to be in a vehicle that’s a blast to drive, safe, and comfortable? Only you can answer that question, but if you test drive a Porsche Cayenne Hybrid you’ll have some much-needed information when it comes time to make that decision.
What do you think about the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid? Anything we missed? Share your thoughts, reactions, and experiences in the comments below. Don’t forget to share the article on social media if you liked it, so your friends can get in on the discussion.
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