Handling is where the base Cayenne gets its spice. Pesky physics keep it from cornering like a 911 but it’s very good for a sport-ute. On windy two-lane roads outside of Beaverton, Ore. this SUV is nicely composed. The body stays relatively flat while the ride quality remains reasonably comfortable. Steering is direct so pay attention. Daydream and you may find yourself moving into your neighbor’s lane. Hit “sport mode” on the center console and the throttle response is quicker, transmission shift points are altered and the ride firms up if the optional air suspension is installed. Anti-lock brakes at all corners stop securely.
Chassis structure is rock solid. Speaking of rocks, Porsche claims Cayenne is a very capable off-road machine. I did not test this. Cayenne has to be in neutral to engage the low range drive. There’s a bunch of electronics at work here such as electronic stability, hill descent and roll control as well as off-road ABS. Ground clearance is as much as 9.49 inches on vehicles with the air suspension. Not enough? There’s a special off-road level of 10.67 inches. My tester can wade through nearly 20 inches of water, a depth that would swamp any other Porsche.
Source: King 5