Motoring review: Porsche Cayenne Diesel S

You can cross Europe in this, but why would you?

Price: £58,243
Engine capacity:
4.2-litre V8 turbo diesel
Power output (BJP @ rpm): 382 @ 3,750
Top speed (mph): 156
0-62mph (seconds): 5.7
Fuel economy (mpg): 34
CO2 emissions (g/km): 218

A few weeks ago I went on holiday to sunny Somerset in a Porsche. It wasn't an agile sports car though; it was a great, big Cayenne SUV. Porsche sells more of these beasts than 911 sports cars these days and since its launch in 2002 it has become the ultimate Chelsea Tractor. More bling than a Range Rover and less of a true off-roader, it is loved from Elmbridge to Alderley Edge. This is the new super-fast diesel model (it will hit 60mph in less than six seconds) and while it may be as fast as some of Porsche's two-seater hot rods,it's far more practical on the way to the holiday cottage with a gang of troublesome toddlers and a baby in tow.

It does beg the question of what exactly the average Chelsea Tractor owner wants from their wheels? Automotive executives seem to think they want a whippet-fast SUV. It's hard to fathom but, believe it or not, you are spoilt for choice if you want an off-roader than will rival a supercar off the start line. There's the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, the Range Rover Supercharged and the BMW X5 M Sport if petrol is your thing. And now there's the Cayenne Diesel S if you want a monstrously rapid oil burner to get down to Waitrose in Esher to pick up some basil.

They cost from £50k to £100k-plus and the Cayenne Diesel S is the most sensible of the lot. It's still silly fast – it will hit 156mph – and if you can find a stretch of road long enough to unleash the mighty V8 engine you'll soon have one of those oh-look-some-pee-came-out moments when you realise you're taking a 2.2-ton tank into a bend at a far too great speed. It's not cheap to run though; brimming the 100l tank will cost you close to £150. In theory, this gives you a 745-mile range but that's far from likely.

From the Cayenne Diesel S then one can only assume that the average Chelsea Tractor owner wants to cross Europe at colossal speed and at great expense, navigating occasional muddy obstacles with their three children in the back complete with a vast amount of supplies and a fleet of Bugaboo buggies in the huge boot.

There's also the luxury to be taken into account. Chelsea types want leather and lots of it. Apparently they also want lots of options and with Porsche that gets frighteningly expensive. The digital television and radio set in my test model will set you back £1,368. That's a pretty monstrous price for the privilege of putting your nephews in front of CBeebies outside the Co-op while their parents nip inside for some bread.

This does expose another contradiction in this car – it's great for loading up with kids (they love the view) but can you imagine what car seats do to the soft luxurious leather? And what about crushed biscuits trodden into the carpets? After 600 miles, three or four serious tantrums and several mushed bananas I couldn't apologise profusely enough when the polite chap from Porsche came to collect it. And that's this car all over. It's wonderful, fast, spacious and built with the precision and attention to detail only the Germans seem to have. But if I owned one I'd never let children sit in the back, never cross Europe in it and never take it off-roading.

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

    £23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

    Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

    £14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

    Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower