Porsche entered the SUV market when they launched the Cayenne back in 2002. It was one of the fastest SUV’s and still holds its own today. But this was a big full size suv. Porsche decided to take on the the mid-size SUV segment with power, aggressive looks and well suv stance and driving dynamics of a sports car. The Macan was launched in 2013. Macan stands for Javanese name for Tiger. Quick, Agile yet Strong. With the SUV market flourishing in India, Porsche Macan came the very next year in 2014. Porsche has launched almost all of its models in India to capture the market but this does indeed have a steep price.
When it comes to the exterior, you can’t be blamed if you take one look and say “big deal; nothing interesting here.” In fact, unless you’re really paying attention, you wouldn’t even be wrong, but there are some changes between this generation and the last that are quite important. First off, the grille and side air intakes have been enlarged just a bit. To add to the effect, the top louver actually extends across the width of the grille from those vents, creating a one-piece type of look. The headlights are about the same but come to a sharper point on the inside corner while the hood now features sharper body lines that have been moved more center compared to before. Down below, the fog lamp mounting holes are actually a bit wider, while the air dam has expanded a bit. Thanks to new cladding in the front, the Cayenne doesn’t have that non-premium underplate exposed.As far as the side profile goes, there are even fewer changes with the upper body line making a slightly more dominating presence and the lower body line sitting just a bit higher on the doors. The wheel arches get the same definition as before while the rear C-pillar has been tilted forward ever so slightly to provide a different look in the rear and make for slightly smaller rear quarter glass in the back door. The rest of the side profile remains the same, but the side view mirrors are now just a bit shorter from top to bottom and a bit wider, giving the Cayenne less of a “Dumbo” look.
The rear of the Cayenne see the most visual changes on the outside, and that includes taillights that aren’t only sleeker but more modern as well. Featuring a smaller footprint in the rear corners, they take on a tinted appearance with the turn signals and reverse lights featuring clear lenses for a unique look. The blend in with a clear insert on the rear hatch that connects the two together for good uniformity. The rear overhang on the hatch is titled slightly more upward at the end thanks to the revised C-pillar, while the Porsche revamped the overhang above the license plate to make it more dominate and the license plate just a little more recessed into the hatch. The rear fascia itself is pretty much the same, but the cladding down below changes a bit, with thinner reflectors in the corners and round exhaust outlets that sit lower and, as such, don’t have the fascia wrapping around them. In between, sits a new piece of cladding with a few flics on it to create a simulated diffuser. Thanks to the positioning of the body, you can’t see the skid plate under the rear fascia either, making the Cayenne look just a little less cheap than before.
This model series is blessed with a luxurious interior cabin that is made using premium grade material like leather. The manufacturer has done up its internal cabin with an eye-soothing black color scheme and is further highlighted by a lot of chrome inserts. Its cockpit gets a neatly structured dashboard, which is beautifully decorated with wood inserts along with brushed metallic strips. Additionally, its door handles along with the AC vent surrounds also have chrome garnish, which emphasizes the regal stance of the cabin. All the rows are fitted with ergonomically designed seats, which offer better support all the way from thighs to head. Both the front seats have electrical adjustment facility and they have been covered with premium grade leather upholstery. These seats are also accompanied by a center armrest that houses a storage compartment. The main attraction of this vehicle is its cockpit wherein, its central console houses several advanced features like an AC unit, gearbox console, infotainment system, and power sockets. The instrument panel on the dashboard is designed with five round shaped clusters that provide all the essential information relating to the vehicle speed, oil pressure, fuel levels, coolant temperature, oil temperature, tachometer, engine speed, and other such aspects. Furthermore, it is also fitted with a 4.5-inch TFT color screen that displays external temperature, service interval reminder and several other warning lights. Like its windscreen, the tailgate is also large and is decorated with company’s badge along with variants lettering. In addition to these, it is also decorated with a thick chrome plated strip that renders a regal stance to its rear facet. Surrounding this is the radiant taillight cluster that has swept-back style. It is further incorporated with LED lights and turn indicators. Like its front bumper, its rear one too is in a dual tone scheme and it is skilfully fitted with a muffler cutter along with a pair of chrome plated exhaust pipes.
The manufacturer is offering this model series with an array of advanced comfort features as standard. The list includes sun visors for driver and front passengers, 8-way electrically adjustable front seats, remote central locking, storage pockets on each seat backrest, manually dim-able interior mirrors, rear screen heating with auto-off function, tilt adjustable steering wheel and rear screen heating with auto-off function. This model series is also blessed with a standard automatic air conditioning system that includes an independent temperature control for both the front occupants. However, buyers can replace this unit with a 4-zone automatic climate control system, which is available as an optional feature. This model series is also blessed with a cruise control system, which is helpful to maintain the set speed constant. While the buyers can opt for an adaptive cruise control system that can deal with the obstacles caused on roads by applying brakes. Apart from these, the manufacturer is also offering numerous sophisticated comfort features as optional for the buyers to choose from. Those optional features include 8-way adjustable power seats, front seats with ventilation, smokers package, cargo management system, driver’s seat with memory function, a reversing camera including park assist for front and rear along with lane change assistance.
The Porsche Cayenne is offered in India with two petrol and two diesel engine options. This specific model comes with a 6-cylinder, 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine that produces 245 BHP of power and 550 Nm of torque. It is the same diesel unit, which is also found in the Audi Q7 and Volkswagen Touareg. The engine is proactive, which delivers outright performance when needed. There is no turbo lag in the initial revs and the entire range is an ocean full of torque. Playing hard with the throttle will push you back with the amount of thrust it provides. The Cayenne is a quick revving oil burner, unlike most of the diesel engines. 100 km/hr from standstill comes up in 7.6 seconds, which is only 0.3 seconds quicker than the Mercedes GL-Class that weighs almost the same.
The Porsche Cayenne can rev up to 4600 RPM seamlessly after which the V6 thrum gets prominent. Otherwise, the engine makes just a whistle in the mid-range which is almost inaudible in the cabin because of the superior NVH levels. The Cayenne is an impressive cruiser too. 140 km/hr constant speed is a cake walk on the highways. Mated to this engine is a 8-speed Triptonic S automatic transmission, which can be controlled via steering mounted paddle shifts. At 100 km/hr in the top gear, the rev meter ticks at around 1600 RPM. The gearbox is smart enough to provide you with optimum performance and frugal city driving. With a light foot, it changes cogs secretly without letting you notice. Once aggressive throttle input is provided, there is a thin lag in downshifting, post which it extracts the most out of the engine until the redline before upshifting. The engine returns an impressive overall mileage of around 10 km/l.
DRIVING DYNAMICS ;
This is one area where it is really really really hard to come close to a Porsche let alone beating it. Each Porsche is made for a purpose and yet delivers an amazing driving experience even if the person wants to drive it like a sports car. This goes for (Panamera, Cayenne and now even the Macan). Panamera being a super luxury car and the Cayenne being a full size maniac SUV handle like a sports car or rather like how a Porsche should handle. The steering feedback is precise and so is the suspension. Just that sometimes the steering tends to oversteer.
Porsche Macan 3Despite the high ground clearance Porsche has made no compromise in comfort or drive. The suspension is soft in comfort mode and a bit still on sports mode. Sadly when you do a bit of offroading is where the flaw shows. The suspension feels too soft and the cabin feels like a rollercoaster. The braking of the Porsche Macan is excellent and stops like any performance car should. There were times when I may have required adult diapers and the brilliant handling of the car got me out of those situations with ease. The cushion of the suspension also depends on the type of tyre. Eg the Turbo comes with low profile that are very hard and you do feel some undulations specially on our INDIAN roads.
BRAKING AND SAFETY ;
Porsche Stability Management ensures vehicle stability and readies the braking system. The Porsche braking system bolsters high performance, renders high durability and bestows racing expertise. SUV gets up to 8 airbags and highly resilient passenger cell that shields passengers from side impact.This model series is backed by air suspension featuring ride height control, active suspension management system and self-levelling. The front axle have double wishbone while the rear axle comes with multi-link axle type of suspension. All the four wheels are powered with disc brakes which are further accompanied by red brake callipers. As an optional feature, this model series has Porsche ceramic composite brakes. Apart from these, this series is integrated with anti-lock braking system.
The Porsche Cayenne Diesel comes with a hefty price tag compared to the similarly specced 5-seater rival SUVs available in India. It comes with a high cost of ownership for which you have to have a healthy bank balance. Then there is the ride quality that leans towards the stiffer side, which could be a niggling issue for people looking for outright comfort. On the flip side, the Porsche Cayenne offers top notch luxury with tremendous driving pleasure that you won’t expect from any SUV. The diesel engine offers strong performance, yet is frugal. You can thoroughly enjoy the Cayenne’s off-road capabilities as well. All this makes the Cayenne one of the best driver centric SUVs in the market.