2024 Porsche Cayenne review

14 minutes, 16 seconds Read

Performance, luxury and practicality – the new 2024 Porsche Cayenne SUV seemingly has it all. But the buying’s even better further up the range, as Tom Fraser explains.

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What we love
  • New infotainment system runs great and looks brilliant
  • Cabin quality is top-tier
  • Refined ride quality
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What we don’t
  • Finicky gear selector
  • Options cost quickly adds up
  • Turbo V6 lacks excitement

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2024 Porsche Cayenne

Porsche might be best known for its iconic 911 sports car, but really it’s the German car maker’s range of SUVs that brings home the bacon. The Porsche Cayenne is one of its best-known models, and Porsche has just seen fit to bring a raft of updates to its current model.

As a nameplate, the Porsche Cayenne is now more than 20 years old – and its introduction was a stroke of genius. Porsche as a company was on shaky ground at the turn of the new millennium, but the brand’s quick-thinking product planners broadened the range to include the smaller and cheaper Boxster sports car. That simply took off and allowed the company to leapfrog to another money maker in the Cayenne SUV.

Now in its third generation, the model has become a mainstay of the Porsche line-up, and the car maker’s introduced a midlife update to keep it fresh amid newer competition.

Has the revered manufacturer done enough to breathe new life into one of its key models? We’ve stepped behind the wheel of the entry-level Cayenne wagon (with its turbo 3.0-litre V6) to see how it shapes up.

How much does the Porsche Cayenne cost in Australia?

Key differences for the new 2024 Porsche Cayenne include the fact all variants now come with matrix LED headlamps, new bumpers, restyled wheel guards, and a slightly tweaked rear end.

Under the skin it now gets adaptive suspension, a 360-degree surround-view camera, a new dash fascia inside the cabin, and an extra 10kW and 50Nm bump from this entry-level model’s turbo engine too. That makes for 260kW and 500Nm in total, which is routed through an all-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Porsche lists a base price of $138,700 before on-road costs, but everyone knows Porsches get a wallop of options and additional extras – for which the brand charges handsomely.

For example, our Carmine Red ($5000) car comes with a smooth-finish black leather interior ($6920), black-painted Porsche logos and model designations ($980), sports tailpipes in dark bronze ($1720), heated GT leather sports steering wheel ($1140), panoramic roof system ($4070), 20-inch Cayenne S wheels ($1150), tinted HD Matrix LED headlamps ($5720), Porsche crest on headrests ($950), and a Bose surround-sound system ($2840). There’s more, but I’d quickly go over my word count.

Those additions rack up to nearly $37,000, which makes this a $175,390 car before on-road costs. Frankly, I can’t believe some of that kit is optional, but there you go. Granted, I don’t see too many Porsche buyers being upset with the amount of customisation on offer.

Overall, this car costs $200,867 if delivered in Melbourne, according to Porsche Cars Australia.

Key details 2024 Porsche Cayenne
Price $138,700 plus on-road costs
Colour of test car Carmine Red
Options Special Colour paint – $5000
Smooth finish black leather interior – $6920
Black Porsche logos – $980
Sports tailpipes in dark bronze – $1720
Heated GT steering wheel – $1140
Panoramic roof system – $4070
Black aluminium roof rails – $1220
20-inch Cayenne S wheels – $1150
Porsche crest on headrests – $950
Tinted HD Matrix LED headlights – $5720
Bose surround-sound system – $2840
Active lane keeping with intersection assist – $1560
High-gloss black interior styling – $720
Ambient lighting – $850
Porsche logo LED door lights – $600
Black brushed aluminium door sill guards – $1250
Price as tested $175,390 plus on-road costs
Drive-away price $200,867 (Melbourne)
Rivals Range Rover Sport | BMW X5 | Audi Q7

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How much space does the Porsche Cayenne have inside?

Into the cabin and it’s obvious the space has adopted many of the tricks first seen on the electric Porsche Taycan. That means a 12.6-inch curved digital instrument cluster, a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, a gear stalk up on the dashboard, and you can also get a third screen in front of the passenger if you pay more money.

But otherwise, the space for the driver is more than comfortable and the driving position is bang-on. The seats are comfortable as well, but Porsche offers several options for these too.

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Materials throughout are done to a high standard – everything feels nice to the touch – and even though there’s a dark headlining, the sunroof lets in a lot of light for a nice cabin ambience. As well, the optional ambient lighting package brightens the cabin at night in all kinds of colours.

Around the centre console there’s a shallow lidded bin, twin cupholders, a little slot for keys, two grips (a Cayenne classic) and a wireless phone charger under the screen.

In the back seats I was more than comfortable and I’m not short at 194cm. There’s great knee room to swing your legs about, good space under the seat to fit your feet, and my head tucks in nicely under the sunroof.

The second row slides forwards and back as needed, plus you can recline the backrest on longer journeys.

For amenities, you’ve got map pockets, air vents, two USB-C chargers, a 12-volt port, felt-lined door pockets and even lock/unlock buttons for the doors. Fold down the centre armrest and there’s a set of cupholders too.

One thing I do like about the Cayenne’s rear-seat space is the fact the quality of materials doesn’t seem to diminish compared to the front. There are still soft-touch materials covering important areas like the door cards and nice trim inlays too.

The electric-opening tailgate paves way to a 772-litre boot that does not have a chunky load lip – this makes it easy to slide bigger items inside. If that’s not enough space, fold the rear seats down to expand the cavity to a full 1708L.

Under the boot floor is a temporary inflatable spare wheel.

2024 Porsche Cayenne
Seats Five
Boot volume 772L seats up
1708L seats folded
Length 4930mm
Width 1983mm
Height 1698mm
Wheelbase 2895mm

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Does the Porsche Cayenne have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Porsche’s 12.6-inch infotainment system is simple to operate thanks to a content-rich home page with laid-out icons for things like navigation, radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and car settings. There are shortcut buttons alongside the bezel to easily skip between screens, while the home button is placed right at the top to jump back to the main screen.

As well, it’s super-high resolution, which is especially noticeable when using the reversing camera.

The Porsche Cayenne’s infotainment software can connect wirelessly to the Porsche Connect smartphone app to remotely control service appointments, fuel level, navigation forwarding, and lock/unlock your doors.

Wireless connection for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is available, which is what I’ve been doing while I’ve had the car.

The 12.3-inch instrument cluster can be configured with different read-outs for vehicle speed, rev counting, tyre pressures, navigation, or even song information.

I love the sexy curved screen – it just looks so nice. It pairs well with the minimalist centre console and unfussy screen mounted in the dash. Overall, the tech front is very impressive.

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Is the Porsche Cayenne a safe car?

Porsche’s super SUV has not been crash-tested by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program.

The last time the Cayenne was tested by Europe’s equivalent safety body, Euro NCAP, was in 2017 where it achieved a full five-star result. However, this test is now six years old and out of date in 2023.

2024 Porsche Cayenne
ANCAP rating Untested

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What safety technology does the Porsche Cayenne have?

The Porsche Cayenne still comes packed with a slew of active and passive crash-protection systems, including 10 airbags.

Safety technology includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors, a 360-degree surround-view camera, and our car came with an optional ($1560) lane-centring function for the adaptive cruise-control system.

All safety systems functioned without noticeable faults in my time with the car. I want to mention the adaptive cruise control and lane-centring systems for their abilities to easily follow lanes and traffic ahead. You’d hate for it to not work well considering it comes at an extra cost.

How much does the Porsche Cayenne cost to maintain?

All Porsches come with a standard three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty for mechanical components and paint defects. A rust warranty extends a full 12 years after purchase.

Porsche’s three-year warranty is well below the expected industry standard of five years, especially considering the price you pay for the car. Warranty extensions are available at additional cost.

Services are recommended every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever is sooner. According to a Porsche dealer website, annual oil maintenance and general inspections cost $895 and $1500 respectively. 

This doesn’t include individual service items such as brake fluid every two years ($350), spark plugs every four years ($830), air cleaner filter every four years ($245) etc.

As for insuring the Porsche Cayenne, our go-to insurer quoted $4298 based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates will vary based on your location, driving history and personal circumstances.

At a glance 2024 Porsche Cayenne
Warranty Three years, unlimited kilometres
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000km
Servicing costs $7185 (3 years)
$11,975 (5 years)
*excluding additional as-needed service items

Is the Porsche Cayenne fuel-efficient?

During my time with the car, the Porsche Cayenne showed a whopping 900km cruising range from a full 90-litre fuel tank. That’s based on a fuel consumption figure of 10.4 litres per 100 kilometres on a combined cycle.

My fuel use matched Porsche’s estimate – 10.4L/100km from country roads and freeway runs.

It is eye-watering and expensive to refill the big petrol tank – it cost me just over $180 to fill the tank with 98-octane fuel.

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Fuel Useage Fuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed) 10.4L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 10.4L/100km
Fuel type 95-octane premium unleaded
Fuel tank size 90L

What is the Porsche Cayenne like to drive?

The way I see it, this Porsche Cayenne has two distinct disciplines to master. Obviously it is a large SUV, so it has to be comfortable every day, it has to be easy to drive around town, and it has to offer all that space that you need for your family, their luggage, and everything else that you’ll find in your daily life.

The other part of it is the fact this car does wear a Porsche badge on its bonnet. So it does need to be dynamic when called upon, and you do have a series of driving modes to aid in that effort.

But Porsche doesn’t make it too complicated either: there’s an off-road mode for use off the beaten track, a normal mode for comfort-biased everyday driving, and a sport mode. Cycling through these modes changes the parameters of the adaptive suspension system, steering weights, and primes the all-wheel-drive system for specific scenarios.

In the sport driving mode, the computers sharpen up the throttle response, the gearbox is more eager to change down gears and give you that ultimate acceleration, and it does firm up that suspension, so it keeps body roll to a minimum in the corners.

The performance from the turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine is better characterised as a surge rather than an explosion, but even still the amount of oomph is impressive.

It’s not accompanied by the aural drama of the Cayenne S’s V8, and unfortunately the six-cylinder engine under this Porsche’s bonnet is not the same as other six-cylinder engines within the wider Porsche line-up. The sound that you get out of this Cayenne is not the same as the one you’ll find in a 911.

That said, the Cayenne is a spacious daily driver – you can’t expect it to offer the same experience as a 911 sports car. Though, there’s no doubt the overtaking ability is rapid and it’s dead easy to shoot up to the speed limit.

Even when roads turn squiggly, despite the fact the car weighs just over two tonnes, it manages to feel relatively lithe and composed around corners. There’s no overt sense of body roll going around roundabouts or through sharp back-to-back corners, and the ability to iron out mid-corner bumps is impressive. 

The 260kW/500Nm outputs do a great job of propelling the Cayenne out of a corner, while the eight-speed automatic transmission is adept to changing speeds on the move. However, there remain shift paddles on the back of the steering wheel to take matters into your own hands.

One minor aspect that annoyed me in my time with the car is the throttle response. When you’re in the normal mode, you put your foot on the throttle and it takes just a moment for the car to recognise what you’re asking of it. The throttle response isn’t that exact, so you do need to plan your overtakes and when you’re getting up to speed in traffic.

When it’s not being flung around a series of corners, the Cayenne remains brilliantly quiet and comfortable around town. Speed humps, road joins, potholes, cobblestones – all kinds of road imperfections are simply eaten up and don’t faze the car at all.

The cabin feels refined and quiet – there’s minimal road noise experienced on the freeway and tyre noise is kept low. In suburbia, the 12.2m turning circle isn’t the friendliest for U-turns or sneaking the car into parking spots, plus I found the gear selector position up on the dashboard particularly frustrating for quick changes in direction. Owners will likely get used to it with time, but it was tricky to perform quick three-point turns in our time with the car.

What I love about the Porsche Cayenne experience is it is proper luxury. Cabin vibrations are kept down to a hushed quiet, the engine is refined, and there were no instances of creaky materials or panels. That is considered engineering from Porsche, so it is very comfortable for the everyday commute.

In terms of the driver’s cabin comfort, I was able to get myself a nice driving position for a good view out over the bonnet and behind the car as well.

Key details 2024 Porsche Cayenne
Engine 3.0-litre V6 turbo petrol
Power 260kW @ 5400–6400rpm
Torque 500Nm @ 1450–4500rpm
Drive type All-wheel drive
Transmission Eight-speed automatic
Power-to-weight ratio 126.5kW/t
Weight (kerb) 2055kg
Spare tyre type Temporary
Tow rating 3500kg braked
750kg unbraked
Turning circle 12.2m

Should I buy a Porsche Cayenne?

At the end of the day, in the base Cayenne, it doesn’t feel like it offers that ultimate Porsche experience. It does feel far more attuned to around-town use and a daily-driver set-up.

So if you are after a car that’ll just suit you fine on everyday duty, this is the specification to get. But if you want a bit more of a hot experience, I’d suggest going higher up the range for a Cayenne S or even a Cayenne Turbo GT, if you have the means.

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How do I buy a Porsche Cayenne – next steps?

I’ve driven the entry-level Porsche Cayenne that delivers solidly on its high-end, luxury promises as well as the dynamic angle that you expect from the Porsche badge.

However, despite ample outputs from the turbo V6 engine, there’s just not much special about the powertrain under the bonnet. Buyers looking for a more Porsche-like punch will be better served by the Cayenne S and its V8 engine – likely to be the last of its kind.

In any case, Porsche told us dealers are “currently taking February orders for April build slots. However, dealers also have stock vehicles available.”

To get in touch with Porsche dealerships near you, visit the site to find your closest Porsche Centre to start the conversation.

Ratings Breakdown

2023 Porsche Cayenne Wagon

7.8/ 10

Performance

Safety Technology

Ride Quality

Infotainment & Connectivity

Handling & Dynamics

Energy Efficiency

Driver Technology

Value for Money

Interior Comfort & Packaging

Fit for Purpose

Tom started out in the automotive industry by exploiting his photographic skills but quickly learned journalists got the better end of the deal. With tenures at CarAdvice, Wheels Media, and now Drive, Tom’s breadth of experience and industry knowledge informs a strong opinion on all things automotive. At Drive, Tom covers automotive news, car reviews, advice, and holds a special interest in long-form feature stories.

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