The second-generation Cayenne is a wholesale improvement over the first-generation car, which was a pretty sweet thing itself. From behind the wheel, it feels significantly lighter, tighter, and more energetic. The steering is light but incredibly precise, the ride is plush yet firm, and the grip and body control are absolutely amazing for an SUV. Of course, this top-spec Turbo model has power and torque in spades, so when you gun the accelerator, the Cayenne sprints forward with effortless ease and speed. Addictively so, I might add; I think I'd be having a few roadside chats with the Michigan State Police if I drove one of these every day.
I also think that the styling has come a long way. This is now a downright handsome vehicle, with none of the awkwardness of the first generation. I had occasion to admire its lines, its fancy LED headlamps, and its 21-inch wheels and red brake calipers when I washed it using a hand wand on Saturday. There was no way I was gonna be driving this big white beauty dirty.
The interior, too, is beyond reproach, richly turned out and elegantly styled. Sure, the profusion of buttons and controls in the center stack is a bit daunting, but it all sure looks good. I love the grab handles flanking the center console. Fantastic stereo. Bluetooth interface works brilliantly; Porsche's telematics systems have come a long, long way. Lots of rear-seat room, too.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor