This Cayenne is a great drive, though. The steering has a wonderfully connected feel to it – better than the Panamera GTS I had just stepped out of – and this tester with the standard suspension (air suspension is optional) showed a masterful blend of body control and ride quality, with the latter leaning more to the firm side. Standard wheels for the diesel are 18-inchers, and this tester was wearing winter tires. Still, it showed that signature Cayenne dynamic cohesiveness that makes this SUV one of the most satisfying on a winding road.
2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel. Click image to enlarge
As far as Porsche press vehicles go, this tester went mercifully light on the options – smart move on Porsche Canada’s part, as I suspect most buyers of this model will be attracted to its reasonable price tag and great fuel economy. They won’t be the type of customer who loads up a Turbo with whatever overpriced option Porsche will throw at them.
This white diesel had a $750 trailer hitch (3,500 kg tow rating) and the $8,170 Premium Package that adds bi-xenon headlamps with Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS), auto-dimming exterior and interior mirrors, navigation, front and rear Park Assist System, power steering plus, and 14-way power seats with memory. Since just about every vehicle I’ve tested lately has had a backup camera, it seemed odd not to see an image pop up on the screen when I selected “R”.
And no heated rear seats? Mercedes includes those in its $5,500 Premium Package for the $60,400 ML 350 Bluetec.
And here’s a question: Why in gawd’s name does the radio have to come on every time you start the vehicle even when it’s off when you shut down? Audi does this, too. If anybody can give me a rational explanation for this seemingly senseless and highly annoying feature, I will gladly buy him or her a pint of Weiss beer. Make that several.
The back seats fold almost flat with the flick of a lever, opening up a cavernous load space that on one occasion accommodated my upright bass, electric bass, bass amp, dolly, and various cases and stands.
The official fuel consumption figures for the 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel are 10.8 L/100 city and 6.7 L/100 km highway, which makes it a better long distance hauler than the faster but very complex $79,200 Cayenne Hybrid (10.4 L/100 km city, 8.4 L/100 km highway).
During my week with this new Cayenne I drove almost 800 km, most being on highway and secondary roads – not a lot of in-town driving. I filled it up, did the calculations and arrived at 8.53 L/100 km.
In a luxurious, swift, 2,177 kg all-wheel-drive SUV? ‘Nuff said.
Okay, one more thing. The nearly mechanically identical VW Touareg 3.0 TDI Clean Diesel starts at $53,975. Just sayin’.
Pricing: 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel
Base price: $64,500
Optional equipment: $9,275 trailer hitch $750; Premium Package $8,170; additional painted key $355
A/C tax: $100
Destination charge: $1,115
Price as tested: $74,990
BMW X5 xDrive35d
Mercedes-Benz M 350 Bluetec
Volkswagen Touareg TDI