PORSCHE has been laughing all the way to the bank ever since it launched the Cayenne because it became the best-selling car in the firm’s history and sent profits into the stratosphere.
Diesel and SUV were probably dirty words for the sportscar maker previously but for a car like the Cayenne a three litre diesel borrowed from Audi makes perfect sense.
The big 4x4 has always had its detractors, and I personally think that its sister car the VW Touareg is better looking and better to drive,
But this year saw the launch of an all-new Cayenne which looks the part and a great deal of effort has gone into making it look like a Porsche.
The V6 diesel remains pretty much unchanged and feels pretty good, delivering 240bhp and an impressive 550Nm of torque.
It is exceptionally well insulated to keep noise to a minimum and the engineers have even managed to come up with a relatively tuneful engine note.
Performance is impressive, more so at low speeds than higher ones and although it isn’t in the same league as the petrol-powered models it has the same marvelous roadholding and a very good ride.
The sophisticated cockpit styling seen in the Panamera has been carried over to great effect and although the instruments and dash look like those of a Harrier jump-jet, everything falls well to hand.
Economy is up to almost 40mpg, which is hugely impressive, and Porsche says the eight speed automatic gearbox is more than enough for off-roading – not that many owners will even venture onto a grassy field!
Porsche Cayenne 3.0d V6
Mechanical:240bhp, 2,967cc, 6 cylinder diesel driving all four wheels via an 8 speed automatic gearbox
Max speed: 136mph
0-62mph: 7.8 seconds
Combined mpg: 38.2
Insurance group: 18
CO2 emissions: 195g/km
BiK rating: 31%
Warranty: 2yrs/ unlimited mileage
Main rival:VW Touareg