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29 Aug, 2019 11:30am Richard Ingram
We find out if the new Porsche Cayenne Coupe makes sense in entry-level 3.0 V6 guise
Like it or loathe it, the ‘coupe SUV’ is here to stay. The latest in a long line of curvy, compromised behemoths is this: The Porsche Cayenne Coupe.
It’s a car we first drove in Austria a few months ago, and one we really rather liked in storming Turbo guise. Now we’ve got the keys to the entry-level V6 to see if our statements continue to ring true on UK roads.
This is the cheapest Cayenne Coupe you can buy; a smidge over £62k gets you a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 with 335bhp and 450Nm of torque. It will dash from 0-62mph in 6.0 seconds and hit 150mph flat out.
But at more than 2.1 tonnes, this is a very heavy car. Whereas the Turbo shrugged off its lofty kerbweight with bags of power and torque, the lesser V6 struggles to hide its bulk quite so effectively. It’s not that it’s particularly lethargic, it just needs a bit more encouragement to unlock its full potential.
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We praised the Turbo’s burbling 542bhp V8; its effortless wave of torque “never further away than a simple flick of the right foot”. But things are a little different in the standard Cayenne Coupe. It’s a fine cruiser, even on optional 22-inch wheels, but it lacks the more expensive model’s instant response and sheer overtaking supremacy.
Not everyone will want that car’s mind-bending speed, granted, but few will buy Porsche’s most ostentatious SUV (the Lava Orange paint is a £1,683 option) just to pootle to and from the shops. It needs to offer something a Mercedes GLE Coupe or BMW X6 cannot.
Taking control via the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters mitigates this laziness to an extent, as does the fiery Sport Response button. But at times the V6 motor can feel strained – not something we would say about the top-spec Turbo.
Our car had the £2,012 Sports Exhaust system, but unlike Porsches of old there’s no one-touch button to activate it. Instead, you either need to force the car into Sport or Sport+ (also adjusting the throttle map, steering weight and damping) or sift through the infotainment’s myriad sub-menus to switch it on. While it does give the car a bit more character, it’s not an option we found ourselves making much use of.
So while we prefer the Turbo’s relentlessly effective V8, even in its more basic specification the Cayenne Coupe remains one of the most agile SUVs on sale. The steering is sharp and surprisingly communicative for a car of this type, while our test model’s rear-axle steering gives it an impressive level of agility. The complex adaptive air suspension works wonders to keep the car almost completely flat, while also smothering the lumps and ridges in the road.
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It’s remarkably refined for something so large, especially sitting on such big wheels. Despite its bluff nose, that slippery roofline and extensive sound deadening keeps the cabin hushed. You’ll need to keep your eye on your speed, though, as it can easily creep towards three figures without due care and attention.
The cabin is beautifully trimmed, and the widescreen infotainment system is among the crispest and most responsive set-ups on the market. Two configurable pods flank the usual analogue rev counter, offering similarly sharp graphics to display various trip, media and nav information.
Other kit includes LED lights, a fixed panoramic roof, Apple CarPlay (Android Auto isn’t even an option, bizarrely), a 10-speaker stereo, two-zone climate control, and a powered tailgate. Of course, the options list is extensive, offering everything from body-coloured wheels to 18-way electric sports seats.
Naturally, practicality takes a hit over the standard Cayenne SUV. The roofline dips away sooner, restricting outright bootspace (600 litres vs 745 litres for the regular car) and limiting headroom in the rear. All cars come with four seats as standard, so you’ll need to spec a fifth if you plan on carrying three across the back. It’s a no-cost option, however, and one we’d probably recommend.
3 Here at Auto Express, we rate value for money above everything else. But that doesn’t necessarily mean cheapest is best; this base-spec Porsche Cayenne Coupe lacks character in a way the top-spec Turbo does not. It gets the same luxurious cabin, refined ride and sharp steering, but it feels heavy and somewhat short on sparkle. If you can stretch to it, the Turbo offers a sense of occasion that cars such as this simply can’t do without.
- Model: Porsche Cayenne Coupe 3.0 V6
- Price: £62,129
- Engine: 3.0-litre 6cyl turbo petrol
- Power/torque: 335bhp/450Nm
- Transmission: Eight-speed auto, four-wheel drive
- 0-62mph/Top speed: 6.0 seconds/150mph
- Fuel economy/CO2: 22.2mpg, 212g/km
- On sale: Now