Porsche Cayenne Diesel 2015 Review: Chili Oil

Singapore - With the roaring success of the smaller Macan  the idea of a Porsche SUV is no longer new, nor taboo. The big SUV that started it all, the Cayenne, now gets its mid-life facelift. 

Audi has just announced the new Q7, and the third-generation Cayenne will share platform tech, though as is the Porsche way, have its own drivetrain tech.

What this means is that now that Porsche’s under the VW corporate umbrella and there’s a need to space things out, the third-gen Cayenne will probably arrive in two or three years time. In the interim, there’s this.

The front and rear end feature very standard facelift tweaks, meaning it’s different but looks the same unless you park the old and new cars side by side. Of note are additional cooling intakes that flank the central grille and a more prominent front ‘bash’ plate.

As noted in our local launch story, the Cayenne S sees more obvious tweaks, with a new 3.0-litre biturbo V6, while there’s an all-new S E-Hybrid plug-in version, but the more humble Diesel sees the same 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6 carried over from before, but with a small bump to its power. 

At first the Cayenne Diesel seems like the world’s least sporty Porsche, the diesel V6 is a workhorse rather than racing stallion, going about its work with a quiet, turbine-y whirr.

Its muscularity is of no doubt - 580Nm is still a heck of a lot of torque - but the Cayenne’s 2.1-tonne masse does a good job of damping it as it slips quietly along. Even with sport mode on, it’s clear the Diesel is meant as a relatively quick daily hack (as opposed to genuinely Turbo or Diesel S fast) than anything else. Drive it as such and it’ll reward you with excellent efficiency figures too, easily less than 10L/100km.

The refinement and ride quality are excellent, even without the optional adaptive dampers, and the most pleasing thing about the Cayenne Diesel is that it proves itself worthy of the badge when things get twisty, as it handles bends with ease, egging the driver on with good body control and steering.

Being an entry-level model, you’ll have to pay a considerable amount to bring it up to a similar equipment spec as cars like the X5 or ML, but this will not be news to Porsche buyers really. But in basic spec, if all you want is a solid daily driver with a little Stuttgart spice, and without spending tonnes on fuel, the Cayenne Diesel is perfect.

Porsche Cayenne Diesel

Engine 2,967cc, 24V, V6, turbodiesel
Power 262bhp at 4000rpm
Torque 580Nm at 1750-2500rpm
Gearbox 8-speed automatic
Top Speed 221km/h
0-100km/h 7.3 seconds
Fuel Efficiency 6.7L/100km
CO2 175g/km
Price $297,388 without COE
Availability Now

Also Consider: BMW X5, BMW X6, Mercedes-Benz ML

Derryn Wong
Author: Derryn Wong
Derryn Wong is currently editor-in-chief of CarBuyer and he enjoys probing all aspects of the motoring industry, ranging from bizarre holes in the upholstery to the engineered insanity of the COE system. No, not those kinds of holes.