2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS
Base price: $82,050
As tested: $123,265
MPG: 15 city/21 highway
- Quality of interior finish
- Sports-car-like handling
- All-wheel drive
- Confusing control panel
- Sticker shock
By Clint Williams
Eyeing the Porsche Cayenne GTS in the driveway is something like studying a gleaming metal sculpture in an art gallery. The aesthetic appeal is captivating. The careful craftsmanship is undeniable. But, what is it, besides very expensive?
From the outside, the Porsche Cayenne GTS looks much like the typical midsize SUVs: big enough to ferry the kids to soccer practice or haul a few bags of mulch home from a big-box store, yet small enough to fit in the garage with room to spare.
From behind the steering wheel, though, it’s unlike any other. The Porsche Cayenne offers a variety of options under the hood, from the base 3.6-liter 300-horsepower V-6 engine to a turbocharged 3-liter V-6 diesel to a hybrid powertrain. The Cayenne GTS is powered by a 4.8-liter V-8 that delivers 420 horsepower, making this soccer spouse rig crazy fast. Porsche says the top speed is 162 mph and its 0-60 time is 5.4 seconds. We’ll take them at their word.
The Cayenne GTS handles more like a sports car, with little of the body lean typical of high-riding SUVs. An active all-wheel drive system adjusts the power delivered to all four wheels to match driving conditions, adding to stability and driver confidence. And the eight-speed automatic transmission is silky smooth.
The Cayenne also features an Auto Start Stop function designed to improve fuel economy. The Auto Start Stop automatically cuts the engine when you stop at a red light and keep your foot on the brake pedal, starting again at release.
The luxurious cabin doesn’t have as much storage, or as many cup holders, as you might want in a family SUV, but the cargo capacity (33 cubic feet) is more than enough for most weekend chores. And with 420 horsepower at your disposal, you should be able to do those errands quickly.
Clint Williams is a Phoenix-based freelance writer and former auto editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.