We’ve become accustomed to having our Porsche press vehicles arrive with at least a Mustang’s worth of options, but this one is different, and it’s good to know that a lightly optioned Porsche is not the elusive unicorn of the new car market that I believed it to be.
Macan S. It’s a $10K bump from there up to the $67,400 Cayenne, but there’s some good value in that price differential. As a family-friendly driver’s car I’d prefer to be behind the wheel of the Macan without giving it too much thought, but the Cayenne offers more interior space and a stout 3,500-kg tow rating.The Cayenne is the big brother to the most accessible member of Porsche’s lineup, the $57,200
For once, since options are few, we have a chance to look at the Cayenne’s collection of standard features. And the list includes items that are generally expected in any crossover north of $50K, with bi-xenon headlights, 18-inch wheels, multifunction wheel with shift paddles, eight-way power front seats and split reclining rear bench, dual-zone climate control, a power liftgate, and Porsche Communication Management (with navigation and a seven-inch touchscreen) along for the ride. There’s also a smoother-than-expected auto start-stop function to minimize fuel consumption in stop-and-go traffic, rain-sensing wipers, a heated steering wheel, and a cooled glovebox.
Porsche has made some real progress in offering such a complete list of standard features. While not unusual at this price, we’re accustomed to seeing Porsche charge extra for items such as navigation or a power liftgate. Plus, not many competitors can claim six-piston front brakes listed with their standard kit.
The folks who outfitted our test vehicle were fiscally responsible indeed. Its Palladium Metallic paint costs $910, the sunroof rings in at $1,360; $2,000 for the reverse camera and parking sensors, and a $450 bump each for 18-inch Cayenne S wheels and a driver memory package. That’s a mere $5,170 in options, peanuts in Porsche-land.
See also: First Drive: 2016 Audi Q7
So, what does that mean for the finished product, knowing there are all kinds of options for appearance, dynamics, technology, and engine output that haven’t been chosen? To start, I wish our Cayenne was clothed in a more interesting hue. Palladium Metallic may sound fascinating, but really it’s just beige, so the Cayenne gets lost in a sea of bland cars in a parking lot. If you build your own online, check one out in Carmine Red with 21-inch Sport Classic wheels. Nice, but that’ll add another $10K to the price.
What we have then, on the outside, is a fairly pedestrian looking SUV, plain to the point that my neighbour was surprised to see Porsche lettering on the liftgate. The Cayenne, in its current form, is a clean design with interesting LED lighting treatments front and rear and a refreshing absence of body creasing to clutter up its profile.