Note: The Environmental Protection Agency says Volkswagen installed "defeat devices" in 3.0-liter V6 diesel engines offered through Audi, Porsche, and VW brands in order to cheat on emissions tests. (VW denies this.) Consequently, Consumer Reports is suspending our recommendation of affected models with this diesel powertrain because there's a chance that the fuel economy, performance, and driving characteristics could change from any action to bring these models in line with emissions standards. For the latest information, see our guide to the Volkswagen emissions recall.
The midsized Cayenne is one of the most agile SUVs on the market. It packs genuine Porsche DNA into its driving characteristics with communicative steering and responsive brakes that feel direct and precise. Even when it's asked to carve its way around a racetrack, the Cayenne remains in its element.
And yet, it's also a luxurious and functional SUV with ample passenger and cargo room. The ride is supple and steady when cruising on a highway, but tends to be rather stiff at low urban speeds. A quiet cabin and superbly comfortable seats ensure you'll reach your destination fresh and fatigue-free. Interior materials and fit and finish are impeccable and in good taste with genuine wood, leather and chrome. Controls tend to be confusing at first with an array of buttons spread across the console. A handy touchscreen interfaces with the audio, phone and navigation functions.
Besides our tested V6 model, the Cayenne line also includes a brawny V8, a fuel-efficient diesel and a hybrid version.