The Porsche Cayenne has been around for 14 years now, yet it’s only on its second generation. The second iteration made its market debut in 2010. Signifying its midlife cycle was a facelift in late 2014. So what are the changes?
The most obvious change is the front end. The air intake is larger and more rectangular compared to the pre-facelift model, which is thinner and slanting at the ends. The intakes on the sides in turn are narrower, with new air flaps. The updated model also sports the ‘floating’ four-point LED daytime running lights, derived from the 918 Spyder. Side mirror-integrated indicators have replaced the trademark turn signals by the wheel arch—a detail that’s unmistakably Porsche that started with the Type 996 911 and the Type 986 Boxster.
The hood is wider, without gaps between the headlights and extending all the way to the sides. The bulges atop the hood look more prominent, thanks to deeper grooves. The taillights are more slender, with LED strips and four-point LED brake lights. The rear foglamps are likewise thinner and are relocated above the exhaust. Lastly, the spoiler extends further and spans from end to end without a dip in the middle.
Overall, this Cayenne looks simpler, if not slightly more generic, compared to the pre-facelifted model.
Just like other Porsches in the current range, the Cayenne’s steering wheel is based on the 918 Spyder. Along with the new wheel, the center console is slightly higher. It's typically Porsche in here, particularly the center-mounted tach. The display to the right shows various functions—including your preferred ride height. At the back, the seat has been improved for better comfort.
The Cayenne Diesel is propelled by a 3.0-liter V6 turbo that pumps out 262hp and 580Nm, with torque kicking in before 1,800rpm. Transmission is an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox, which is quick and smooth.
Driving around the metro yielded over 8km/L. It can hit 16km/L on the highway but will settle at around 14km/L at steady legal speeds (around 100-110kph). The car is already fast, but if you want to go faster still, there’s the customary Sport button.
RIDE AND HANDLING
This SUV is equipped with Porsche Active Suspension Management air suspension which includes a self-leveling control. The ride height can be adjusted via a rocker switch on the center console. Damping can also be selected from three modes: comfort, sport, and sport plus. The handling is impressively stable, whether in comfort or sport setting, which I shuffled between during my time with the car.
Porsche makes it a point to get their steering spot on, and there’s a sports car-like heft that makes the Cayenne such a joy to drive. Power steering is electro-hydraulic.
A nifty feature is the loading level button in the luggage compartment, making it easier to load big and heavy items.
We often dream of the Cayenne Turbo or the Cayenne S, but those variants are far more expensive and more difficult to justify. The gasoline V6, meanwhile, starts at P6.95 million, while the diesel isn’t far away at P7.5 million—both still far from being affordable. But if you want a Porsche with practicality still in play, then the Cayenne Diesel ticks the right box.
SPECS: Porsche Cayenne Diesel
Engine: 3.0-liter turbodiesel DOHC V6
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic
Power: 262hp @ 4,000rpm
Torque: 580Nm @ 1,750-2,500rpm