Just Like A Solid BFF, the 2024 Porsche Cayenne Inspires You to Be Your Best Self

Sara Lacey And The Porsche Cayenne. Photo: Nelson Ireson
Sara Lacey and the Porsche Cayenne. Photo: Nelson IresonCredit: Sara Lacey

The 2024 Porsche Cayenne is supportive and encouraging in every way.

It sometimes feels like a fantasy friendship out of Hollywood, that best friend who has her act together and is also relentless in her support of you, no matter what you’re going through. Many of us are lucky enough to have friends like that, and Porsche does, too: the 2024 Porsche Cayenne SUV.

In the late 1990’s, Porsche was having a difficult moment. The company was in the midst of realizing that their sports cars alone weren’t going to keep the business afloat. They needed something new and exciting for Porsche enthusiasts to express their Porsche love. In so doing, they realized that the car would have to meet those drivers’ needs in a way that a two-door performance car hadn’t already done.

The result of the brainstorm was the first-ever Porsche SUV. Porsche people were skeptical, with some of its most dedicated purists being outraged. But Porsche stuck to its instincts and in 2002 it rolled out the Porsche Cayenne. And the faith paid off. The car was a hit, sold like gangbusters, and as you know, the company is still in business. The Cayenne celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.

Most exciting is that now, Porsche has unveiled a very thoroughly updated 2024 Porsche Cayenne. It’s got a more athletic look. It’s at its edgiest, most stylish self (I wish I could say the same about me when I was 20). If you’re in a position to embrace the starting price ranges of $79, 200 to $196,300, the 2024 Porsche Cayenne can be the automotive BFF you’ve been looking for.

Related: The 2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS Is All That: Grand, Tourismo, and Sport and Maybe the Ultimate Family Performance SUV

Porsche Cayenne Turbo Gt Front Angle. Photo: Sara Lacey

Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT front angle. Photo: Sara Lacey

The 2024 Porsche Cayenne is the Edgiest Looking One Yet

You know how some friendships have strong history and memories? It’s great fun to revisit those times you shared, but you may not have new experiences upon which to build? The Porsche Cayenne is rooted in history, but like one of your BFFs, will embrace and encourage new experiences you wish to create together. Whether it’s learning to drive in a more spirited way, or showcasing your more personalized sense of style, the Cayenne will usher in your new era, whatever beautiful manifestation you wish it to be.

Related: Should I Own My Dad’s Cherished Car, a Porsche 911? The Vintage Car Conundrum

Gorgeous Cayenne S. Photo: Sara Lacey

Gorgeous Cayenne S. Photo: Sara Lacey

The new Cayenne has a Sharper, more Linear Look than Before

You’ll see fewer curves and more angles in the grille and fascia. The car has more defined creases and edges to it. The hood has creases drawing your eye up and over the car. There are two different styles, an SUV and a coupe.  The sloped roofline at the back of the coupe version gives a thrilling look to the Cayenne. The regular Cayenne is a little taller than the coupe in the back, but let’s be clear, it still looks more sleek than most SUVs.

Even the LED headlights are comprised of four horizontal slits. Their housings are pointier and definitely look more sinewy. The tailgate still has that super sleek, crisp taillight bar and the 3D badge nestled in it. I absolutely love this design and have to resist running my fingers over it all the time. I love the sculpted fenders in the back, making the car look sharp yet curvy at the same time. I’m tempted to say the Cayenne is in its Bad Girl Era.

If you want to celebrate your Cayenne friendship, I mean ownership, and set it apart from other Cayennes on the road, you can customize many aspects of the car. That’s not to say it won’t come at a price, but the options exist. Beyond the regular and premium colors available,  you can choose from a slew of custom “Paint to Sample” colors you like for $13,150. These include historic color options. I had a lot of fun going into the menu and looking at the choices.

But don’t worry, like all strong friendships the goodness isn’t all on the outside. The Cayenne’s  interior trims and colors are as rich and deep as you are.

Porsche Cayenne Dashboard And Grab Handles. Photo: Sara Lacey

Porsche Cayenne dashboard and grab handles. Photo: Sara Lacey

In the Interior of the Cayenne, Stylish Details Abound

Porsche has given the Cayenne a dazzling digital screen layout that they call the Porsche Driver Experience. It starts with a beautiful 12.6 inch curved driver control screen, and sprawls across the center of the dash  where a 12.3 inch  multimedia screen manages all the in-car functions.

Then, the system extends to an optional passenger screen that can’t actually be seen by the driver. This touchscreen allows the passenger to help the driver by working the navigation, music, or doing their own thing on their side of the car without disrupting the driver. This setup is inspired by the one in Porsche’s all-electric Taycan and it’s cool to see it here in the Cayenne, creating continuity between the models.

Below the screen array is a ledge for resting one’s hand if needed while operating the screens. It also just adds a nice visual element to the dash. There are optional trim components to go with the interior. Gold trim, wood or carbon inserts, and even different colored leather can be matched together create a personalized, interesting interior look. Check out the grey/green interior of one of the test cars I drove, it was a very soothing combination. It can feel very high-fashion with the right color and material selection.

Interestingly, Porsche has moved the gearshift up on to the dash, just past the steering wheel. This frees up the center console and allows for a wireless charging pad. Speaking of devices, the Cayenne is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can also use the Porsche system if you’d prefer that.

The center console is clean and crisp, has a few toggle switches and a knob for climate control and volume. It’s also got an open cubby to hold the key, or a wallet or sunglasses, and cupholder. There is a larger storage cubby under the armrest, too.

The Cayenne keeps its cool, angled grab-handles that flank the center console. They add visual interest in addition to being super handy in the event the driver wants to put the Cayenne through its paces. In addition to being functional, they visually remind me of cutouts seen in stylish dresses.

Cool Raised Badge And Lime Green Detail On The Porsche E-Hybrid. Photo: Sara Lacey

Cool raised badge and lime green detail on the Porsche E-Hybrid. Photo: Sara Lacey

An Overview of the Cayenne Models

Standard equipment includes those cool LED headlights, adaptive suspension system, 20-inch wheels, lane change assist, lane keep assist, keyless entry, wireless charging tray with charging up to 15 watts. What’s cool about the wireless charging is that it keeps your phone cool as it charges it.

The base Cayenne starts at $79,200, the coupe at $84,300. The turbocharged V6 engine creates 348 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque (13 hp and 36 lb-ft more than before)

The Cayenne E-Hybrid starts at $91,700, the coupe at $95,700. The E-Hybrid also has the V6 and has an electric motor for a total of 463 horsepower. The E-Hybrid anso has a new high voltage batter increases capacity to 25.9 kWh. Range estimates will not be available until launch, but Porsche is hoping for 45 miles. A new 11kWh on-board charger will speed up charging times and will “fill the car up” in less than two and a half hours.

The Cayenne S starts at $95,700, the coupe at $102,100. The S has the twin-turbo V8 engine for 468 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque (34 hp and 37 lb-ft more than the outgoing model).

The Cayenne Turbo GT starts at $196,300 and is only available as a coupe. The Turbo GT has dynamic chassis control, ceramic composite brakes, rear-axle steering, sport exhaust system, and 22-inch wheels. It’s tuned so that the V8’s output hits 650 hp. This means the Turbo GT can got from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.1 seconds, and will hit a top speed of 189 miles per hour.

2024 Porsche Cayenne Screens In Action. Photo: Sara Lacey

2024 Porsche Cayenne screens in action. Photo: Sara Lacey

Two New Safety Components of the Adaptive Cruise Control Function

The first is Evasion Assist that can help detect and deter a collision at higher speeds (31-93 mph). The second feature is one I’m excited about, it’s called Turn Assist. During a left-hand turn, the system monitors traffic and if it detects an oncoming vehicle when you attempt a left turn, the system will apply the brakes to bring the car to a standstill.

Screen On The Passenger Side Of The Porsche Cayenne. Photo: Sara Lacey

Cool screen on the passenger side of the 2024 Porsche Cayenne. Photo: Sara Lacey

The Drive is as Encouraging and Supportive as your Bestie

The most exciting part for people who love engines and power is that the V8 that was only recently available in the Cayenne GTS is now back in the Cayenne S. That engine powers the S and also the Cayenne Turbo GT. There is also a turbocharged V6 that’s in the base Cayenne model, and is also paired with an electric motor in the Cayenne E-Hybrid PHEV. They are both fearless.

Add to the mix two different body styles, a coupe and an SUV, and you’ve got a car choice for practically every driver you wish to be.

The V8 engine in the Cayenne S and the Cayenne Turbo GT have the same fuel efficiency as the V6, but the V8 has what Porsche calls “a more emotional experience.” I agree. driving the V8 was an emotional experience. It sounded great, had a rumble. It had what I like to refer to as a “rip” sound when it’s shifting at the top of the rpms. It’s great fun. Lap timers on display on the dash and in the instrument cluster (when activated) remind you the Cayenne is capable of handling a track or an autocross course.

I Got to Drive the Cayenne S and the Cayenne E-Hybrid

And I loved getting that side-by-side drive time. The E-Hybrid was fun to drive and experience. It’s got its own distinct humming sound as you drive. In casual driving, it was an easy drive and a comfortable environment to be in. It drove a bit lighter than I expected, and I found the brakes grabby at first. Then remembered that I was in the E-Hybrid model and that regeneration is the name of the game. I tempered my braking accordingly found the drive a pleasure after that.

If you stomp on the accelerator you’ll hear the engine come to life, and if you’re really wanting to pick up speed you’ll hear it roar. As I pushed it, I experienced the E-Hybrid’s incredible power. The harder you push it the more rooted to the ground it is. The lightness and ease of slower driving in town was exchanged for a confident, assertive thrill on the open road. The acceleration is instant and makes your heart jump, and the steering and suspension are very much up to the challenge of managing the power.

My co-driver was a very experienced track and race driver and I loved experiencing the E-Hybrid as a passenger. Porsche learned that the Cayenne is the Porsche model that’s most likely to have a passenger on board, and they’ve made the car a pleasure to ride in.

The Cayenne S had a louder engine sound, and it was great fun moving through the gears with the paddle shifters. We had excellent curvy roads on my test drive that provided a great backdrop to the excellent braking and accelerations. There was no lag in any speed, and the brakes didn’t throw me around too aggressively. I leaned into the speed and felt so confident with it, I was smitten.

With an expert driver behind the wheel and driving the S very aggressively, I loved the ride. I was pinned to my seat, feeling the accelerations and curves. The Cayenne was solid and surefooted through every curve and hill.

Both models I drove were comfortable despite the sporty look of the seats (sometimes sporty=uncomfortable). I was in two different versions of the Cayenne all day and loved the bolstered seats in more spirited driving. Interestingly, the bolsters weren’t fatiguing or difficult to manage when getting in and out. And as I mentioned, when my co-driver was putting the different versions of the car through its paces I did not feel beat up, I grinned and giggled the whole way.

And it bears repeating that the Cayenne in both iterations reminded me all day long of its deep performance roots. I loved that.

Porsche Cayenne Rear Seat. Photo: Sara Lacey

Porsche Cayenne rear seat. Also, notice the matching seat belts. Photo: Sara Lacey

Porsche Experience Center Delivery Helps Bond You and Your New BFF

A unique part of Porsche ownership is the community of Porsche drivers and Porsche experiences. And if you buy one, you can kick off your entrance into that community in a big way. If you’ve ordered a Porsche, you can opt to pick it up at either their Atlanta or Los Angeles Experience Centers. With the package, you get a tour of the facility, lunch, a 90-minute track session in a car just like your own, and private delivery. What better way to learn more about your new car? What better way to learn what the Cayenne and you are capable of? It’s an additional $1000 for a Cayenne.

Related: What Drives Her: Michelle Rainey Brings the Porsche Experience to Life

Rear Seat Passenger Controls. Sara Lacey

Rear seat passenger controls. Sara Lacey

The Porsche Cayenne could be your new Favorite Pal.

The Cayenne was a game-changer for Porsche. It ushered the company through a difficult time and emerged as a staple for many Porsche owners, despite their protestations. It can be a game-changer for you, too. The main objection for most people would be the price, obviously. But the Cayenne performs excellently, and the quality of the materials is spot-on. I won’t pretend that during this first drive I found myself hoping the Cayenne and I could become fast friends someday.

Disclosure: I was Porsche’s guest to drive the 2024 Porsche Cayenne. Travel and accommodations were paid for, all impressions are my own.

Cayenne S, Cayenne Turbo Gt, Cayenne S. Photo: Sara Lacey

Cayenne S, Cayenne Turbo GT, Cayenne S. Photo: Sara Lacey

Sara has written about cars since 2005. She used to beat them up with her kids and write about... More about Sara Lacey