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About this Vehicle

Trim: 2011 Porsche Cayenne Base

MSRP: $46,700 

Engine: 3.6L V6

Transmission: Manual

Drivetrain: 

Fuel Type: Gas

Curb Weight: 4,398 lbs.

Review

When the 2011 Porsche Cayenne debuted earlier this year, most of the buzz was about the introduction of the 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid, Porsche’s first production hybrid vehicle. That hybrid model uses a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 along with a 47 horsepower electric motor to total 380 horsepower and 427 pound feet of torque. The hybrid delivers all that at just 1,000 rpm. Unlike the popular Priusmodel from Toyota, which engages the gas engine around 20 mph, the hybrid Porsche Cayenne S can get up to 40 mph on electric assistance alone greatly increasing the miles-per-gallon rating of the vehicle.

The standard model 2011 Porsche Cayenne comes equipped with a 300 horsepower V6 with a new transmission system, an eight-speed Tiptronic S. Other models are available with a 4.8-liter V8, or you can pick up a Turbo model with a twin-turbo 4.8-liter V8 that runs at a hefty 500 horsepower. The Cayenne Diesel runs on a 3.0L diesel engine producing 240 horsepower and 405 pound feet of torque. With the MSRP for the 2011 Porsche Cayenne between $46,000 and $105,000, some SUV buyers will be priced out of this vehicle, the 23.7 mpg advertised for the base model is high for SUVs and could encourage some buyers to spend a bit outside their range.

So how does the 2011 Porsche Cayenne handle? Like a rally car. Since it is a Porsche, it is no surprise that this SUV drives like a sports car. The sheer mass of the car should mean awkward handling and lots of clunky mechanical sounds, but there’s little of that here. The engine sound could best be described as “silky”. The Cayenne is fast but it stops with the precision of a much smaller sports car. You may not think of a Porsche as an off-road vehicle, but many SUV owners love the rugged terrain. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne did not disappoint on dirt. With a ground clearance of 8.5 – 10.6 inches (depending on your air suspension package), this SUV can safely travel through nineteen inches up to two feet of water. If you’re really into offroading, consider purchasing the Porsche Advanced Off Road Package. The additional skid plates protecting the undercarriage and a locking rear differential will help you get through the tightest spots.

The interior of the 2011 Porsche Cayenne is styled to resemble a model 911. The traditional ignition switch on the left is here, as is the instrument cluster hanging under a single prominent arch. Don’t expect the interior richness of a Range Rover Sport — this vehicle’s emphasis is not on luxury but on a flair for hitting the road. Combine awesome offroad capabilities with 62 cubic feet of storage space and you’ve got the perfect vehicle for SUV lovers looking for speed and toughness.

Detractors suggest that the price is a bit too high for the trimmed down interior. There’s little in the cab of the vehicle to suggest what is in some cases a $100,000 vehicle. The 1,600 pound payload and massive storage space more than make up for a lack of glitz on the dashboard, though people who like flashy accessories may be disappointed by the interior.

If you’re looking for an SUV with class or a Porsche vehicle that can help you move a refrigerator, the 2011 Porsche Cayenne won’t disappoint. If you’re more interested in heated cup holders or third and fourth row seating, stick with the multitude of similarly priced luxury SUV models.

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