Best-known for its world-class sports cars, Porsche provides a late and seemingly unlikely entrant into the competitive sport utility vehicle (SUV) class with the 2006 Porsche Cayenne. Its competitors include the BMW X5 and the Infiniti FX 45, and although the Cayenne might not look as attractive, it does offer an exciting ride. The Cayenne marks the first Porsche to offer a V-8 engine, while the range also includes a V-6 model.
This truly luxurious SUV offers a lot of additional finishing at a lot of extra cost. It comfortably seats five, or the rear seats can fold down for extra cargo space. It provides a great choice for those who have outgrown their Porsche 911 or Boxter and now need room for kids and dogs.
Body Styles: Full-size luxury SUV
Engines: 3.2-liter V-6, 4.5-liter V-8
Transmissions: six-speed manual, six-speed automatic
Models: Cayenne, Cayenne S, Cayenne Turbo, Cayenne Turbo S
In 2006, Porsche introduces the Cayenne Turbo S, its top of the range model. Its 520-hp V-8 engine produces 530 lb-ft of torque, making it considerably more powerful than other Turbo models. The Turbo S comes with firmer suspension, larger brakes, and a new stability control system. Additional changes for this year include a preheating and pre-ventilation system for the climate control, a trace back feature for the navigation system, a new electronic logbook, wider rear wheels, and better front airbags.
Like all Porsches, the 2006 Porsche Cayenne has an extremely distinctive look and unmistakable pedigree. The styling in the front looks a little like the 911 sports car. Models come with 17-inch, 18-inch, 19-inch, or 20-inch wheels, and the turbo version has four tailpipes. This model also has pneumatic suspension that adjusts to six different ground clearance levels ranging from 6.18 inches to 10.75 inches. Turbo models come fitted with bi-HID headlights that offer improved vision when cornering. The 2006 Porsche Cayenne can be equipped with an off-road package or for a trailer.
The interior looks every bit as luxurious as you'd expect for a Porsche; leather seating comes as standard as does plush flooring. You can choose additional leather and wood inlays but this costs extra. Base models feature 12-way power seats, a 12-speaker CD stereo, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The turbo models come with a navigation system, heated front and rear seats, seat memory, and front and rear parking assist. Most of these features provide optional extras on other models. Additional extras include bolstered sport seats, moonroof, six-CD changer, and four-zone climate control.
The 2006 Porsche Cayenne dash remains very similar to the 911, and the ignition switch even sits on the left-hand side. Just like the 911, the radio and climate controls seem somewhat difficult to decipher. Although the interior looks much more opulent than many other SUVs in its class, it does have less cargo capacity than most, at just 63 cubic feet with the back seat completely folded down.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 Porsche Cayenne offers four versions, including the Cayenne, Cayenne S, Turbo, and Turbo S versions. The base model contains a 3.2-liter, V-6 engine, giving 250 hp, while the remaining three models employ a 4.5-liter, V-8 engine, producing 340 hp. The turbo version can generate 450 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque.
The 2006 Porsche Cayenne offers excellent acceleration and handles extremely well, especially round corners. It serves as a civilized SUV, but when you put your foot down it reveals its power under the hood. The turbo models move ferociously quickly.
Seat-mounted side airbags in the front and full-length side curtain airbags come standard on all models, as do four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and stability control.
EPA Fuel Economy
Cayenne: 13/19 mpg city/highway
Cayenne S: 13/17 mpg city/highway
Cayenne Turbo: 13/17 mpg city/highway
Cayenne Turbo S: 13/17 mpg city/highway
- Luxurious interior
- High performance
- Towing capacity
You Won't Like
- Not great off-road performance
A great buy for families missing their Porsche 911.
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