Porsche Cayenne Coupe 2020 road test review

Moving Well | Tim Nicholson | Posted on 24 November 2020

Tim Nicholson puts the Porsche Cayenne Coupe through its paces.  

  • Thumbs up

    Bold design, well-executed interior, impressive ride quality, hushed cabin, overall feeling of quality.

  • Thumbs down

    Price premium over Cayenne SUV, expensive options, missing some driver-assist features.

  • Perfect for

    A very long road trip that doesn’t necessarily have a destination.

     

  • Verdict

    The entry-level Cayenne Coupe is a big, bold cruiser and a pleasure to drive, but it loses points when it comes to overall value for money.

Porsche Cayenne Coupe 2020

BMW started the coupe-style SUV craze with the X6 in 2008 and since then Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Renault have joined the fray. Porsche is one of the latest to jump on the bandwagon with the Cayenne Coupe which, as the name suggests, is a coupe version of the Cayenne large SUV. But is it just a pointless addition to its model portfolio or a genuine alternative to a traditional SUV? We got behind the wheel of the entry-level variant to find out.

Price and positioning

The original Cayenne large SUV from 2003 was one of the models (along with the Boxster drop top) that helped rebuild Porsche into the powerhouse it is today. Three generations in, Porsche has expanded the Cayenne breed with the new Cayenne Coupe – a swoopier version of the big SUV.

The Coupe does away with the SUV’s wagon-like silhouette in favour of a sloping tailgate, and all panels from the A-pillar back are unique to the Coupe. It’s 30 millimetres longer, 18 millimetres wider at the rear and 20 millimetres lower than the SUV.

Porsche offers identical variants of the SUV and coupe – entry-level Cayenne, S, GTS, Turbo, E-Hybrid and Turbo S E-Hybrid. Coupe pricing ranges from $133,700 to $297,900 before on-road costs. 

Like its rivals, Porsche charges a premium for the coupe over equivalent versions of the SUV. However, unlike its rivals, it charges a different premium for every single model grade. Where BMW charges $6000 extra for a sloping roofline, Porsche charges anywhere from $5300 to $13,000 depending on the model grade. The base Cayenne Coupe costs $12,400 more than the Cayenne SUV, which is steep given that the specification is virtually identical.

Our test car was fitted with a lengthy list of options totalling close to $25,000. That blew the price out from $133,700 to $158,270. You might as well spend another $13k and get into the more powerful Cayenne S Coupe. Be cautious when ticking boxes on the options list. Adding a sports exhaust and larger 21-inch wheels adds nearly $12,000 to the price. 

Rivals include the BMW X6 xDrive40i ($128,900), Mercedes-Benz GLE450 Coupe ($137,000), Maserati Levante 350 ($125,000) and the mechanically related Audi Q8 55 TFSI ($129,536). 

Safety first

The Cayenne Coupe has not been assessed for crash safety by ANCAP. The level of standard safety gear is adequate, but it lacks some driver-assistance features like a lane-keeping aid, cross-traffic alert, and driver-fatigue detection. BMW and Benz offer these as standard. 

Porsche Cayenne Coupe 2020
Porsche Cayenne Coupe 2020


The inside story

The interior design is unmistakably Porsche but modern and stylish. The 12-inch central touchscreen and controls on the console are beautifully integrated into the dash fascia and the dash layout is minimal but with appealing flourishes. 

The volume and temperature controls are the only traditional buttons on the console. Everything else is housed in the haptic touchscreen. It’s similar in setup to Audi’s system – no surprises given they are both Volkswagen Group brands. The multimedia system with its multiple menus requires some familiarisation, but it’s well executed. Some of the functions in the system are also accessed using haptic ‘buttons’ on either side of the gear shifter. 

Neat touches include a central analogue clock, classy textured chrome inserts and matching grab handles on each door and on either side of the centre console. The audio speakers integrated into the doors are the same shape as the handles. It’s thoughtful design and helps differentiate the Cayenne from its competitors. 

The front seats are super-supportive and beautifully cushioned. Storage gets a big tick too thanks to a large central bin and bottle holders in the doors. The sloping roof affects rear visibility and the thick D-pillar creates a blind spot. Take note of the various sensors and cameras when parking or changing lanes. 

Second-row occupants sit 30 millimetres lower than in the Cayenne SUV to accommodate the lower roofline. As a result, there’s still ample head room and loads of leg room. The Coupe is a four-seater – the centre seat is replaced by a fold-out tray and additional storage – but a fifth seat is available as a no-cost option. The rear seats are bucketed and comfortable. There’s plenty of rear storage as well as air vents, a 12-volt plug and a pair of USB-C outlets. 

At 625 litres with all seats in place, the Cayenne Coupe loses about 145 litres of luggage space from the SUV, but it’s still sizeable. It comes with a temporary spare wheel.

On the road

As the entry-level Cayenne, it doesn’t pack as big a punch as pricier variants like the GTS, Turbo or even the 500kW/900Nm S E-Hybrid. However, the performance from the 3.0-litre V6 single turbo petrol engine – shared with fellow VW Group brand Audi – should satisfy most drivers. 

Delivering 250kW of power and 450Nm of torque, the beefy V6 pulls away briskly after some initial lag, but once peak torque kicks in at 1350rpm the engine starts to sing. The pace of the Cayenne creeps up on you. Blink and all of a sudden you’ve reached 100kmh. The throttle response can be a little jerky when manoeuvring at low speeds but applying a decent amount of pressure to the accelerator ensures greater responsiveness. 

The Cayenne Coupe’s 2030-kilogram heft is evident on the road, particularly when cornering. A hot hatch this is not. But the well-balanced chassis ensures it remains flat in tight bends with only a hint of lateral movement. There’s enough playfulness engineered into the car to be an engaging performer. It is a Porsche after all. Grip is impressive from the chunky tyres and the all-wheel-drive traction proved itself on a short section of unsealed road.

One of the Coupe’s most impressive traits is ride quality. Whether it’s navigating the endless speed bumps of inner-urban Melbourne or holding its nerve on an unfriendly B-road, the Cayenne soaked it all up superbly. Porsche also deserves a big thumbs up for the sound-deadening measures that keep the cabin so hushed when driving on any road surface. These elements combined with the gorgeous seats mean the Porsche would make an excellent road-trip vehicle.

The Cayenne feels only marginally quicker when flicking the drive mode to Sports, but the ($5970) sports exhaust system is fun to play around with. The steering is heavily weighted and perhaps not as sharp as the Audi Q8’s, but still direct. 

We couldn’t meet Porsche’s official fuel consumption figure of 9.9 litres per 100 kilometres, ending the week on 14.4L/100km.

Porsche Cayenne Coupe 2020

PRICING

List price: $133,700 before on-road costs.

Price as tested: $158,270 before on-road costs.

Model range: $133,700 to $297,900 before on-road costs.

DRIVETRAIN

3.0-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine, eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive. 

Power: 250kW@5300rpm.

Torque: 450Nm@1340rpm.

Wheels: 315/35 ZR21.

FUEL

95 RON PULP, 90-litre fuel tank. 

Consumption: 9.9L/100km (government test), 14.4L/100km (RACV test).

Emissions: 225g/km CO2 emissions.

STANDARD SAFETY

Low-speed autonomous emergency braking, forward-collision warning, multi-collision braking avoidance, tyre-pressure monitoring, blind-spot monitor, cruise control, front, rear and side camera.

STANDARD FEATURES

Keyless entry and start, head-up display, Porsche Connect Plus multimedia with Apple CarPlay, sat-nav and voice control, DAB+ digital radio, 10-speaker audio system, automatic tailgate, eight-way electrically adjustable front seats.

WARRANTY

Three-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty. Twelve-month/15,000-kilometre service intervals.

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