Sitting at the peak of the Porsche SUV mountain are the mighty 2021 Cayenne Turbo and Turbo S E-Hybrid, both of which deliver sports car-like moves in addition to their practical SUV shape. The gasoline-powered Turbo model is powered by a 541-hp twin-turbo V-8 and the electrified S E-Hybrid pairs that engine with a 134-hp electric motor for a massive 670-hp combined output. The Cayenne Turbo’s cabin is refined and modern; it features a host of technology features including a large 12.3-inch infotainment display as standard. For those who find the Cayenne’s styling too tame, Porsche offers the swoopier Cayenne Coupe, which we review separately.
What’s New for 2021?
Porsche has changed very little on the Cayenne Turbo for 2021. The only notable revision is a slightly larger battery capacity for the S E-Hybrid model, which increases to 17.9 kWh.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Although the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is an impressive package with more power, acceleration, and fuel efficiency than the Cayenne Turbo, it’s significantly more expensive, with a price jump of more than $35,000. By comparison, the 541-hp Turbo model, which can still hit 60 mph in less than four seconds, is the better value, relatively speaking. With the savings, opt for the Sport Chrono package, which adds a Sport Plus Mode for additional performance, and the Assistance package, which contains important safety features including adaptive cruise control and a surround-view camera system that gives you a 360-degree bird’s-eye view of the SUV. It makes parking and maneuvering in tight spaces much easier.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2021 Porsche Cayenne Turbo is so powerful and so fun to drive, it’s easy to forget you’re piloting an SUV. Its precise steering, adjustable air suspension, and responsive engine combine to make it feel more like a sports sedan. And the all-wheel-drive Cayenne doesn’t just handle like a vehicle half its size, it also offers a compliant ride and high refinement. It’s exceedingly quick, too. The Cayenne Turbo is powered by a 541-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine with a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission. In our testing, it went from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The Turbo S E-Hybrid’s power and performance are even more extreme. It uses the same twin-turbo V-8 from the Cayenne Turbo, but Porsche has enhanced its power with a 134-hp electric motor sandwiched between the 4.0-liter and its responsive eight-speed automatic. Total output is a mind-boggling 670 horsepower, and speeds as high as 83 mph are possible without the gas engine ever switching on. The system also can operate in a battery-saving mode that only burns gas or the two systems can work together, and its operation is exceedingly smooth. Its battery pack can complete a full recharge in about 2.5 hours when connected to a 240-volt, 30-amp source, and the SUV has a pure electric range of more than 20 miles. Did we mention it can also sprint to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and covers the quarter-mile in 11.5 seconds at 121 mph? It’s one of the quickest SUVs we’ve ever tested.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The E-Hybrid version should provide the best fuel economy when driving around town, but the EPA hasn’t released estimates for that model. The Cayenne Turbo model is rated 15 mpg city and 19 mpg highway. Rivals such as the BMW X5 M and the Jaguar F-Pace SVR have slightly better ratings. On our 75-mph highway fuel economy test route, the Cayenne Turbo delivered an impressive 25 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Futuristically luxurious, the interior of the 2021 Porsche Cayenne Turbo is as visually impressive as the SUV’s performance is thrilling. Build quality is exceptional, and the cabin is completely customizable since Porsche allows you to individually select everything from the interior trim to the seatbelt colors to the surface materials. There’s also an endless list of optional luxuries, including more supportive sport seats, massaging front seats, heated and ventilated front and rear seats, and four-zone climate control. All Cayenne Turbo models come with a heated steering wheel and heated front and rear seats. The slick gauge cluster is similar to Porsche’s 911, with an analog tachometer flanked by two 7.0-inch screens that display selectable information, including navigation maps. The driving position is perfect, and interior space is generous. Although a third row is not offered, the Cayenne Turbo seats five comfortably, and its adjustable back seat provides plenty of head- and legroom. Cargo volume is also ample, although some competitors such as the BMW X5 M and Mercedes-AMG GLE53 offer more. There’s 27 cubic feet of space behind the Cayenne’s rear seats and up to 60 cubes with the rear seats folded flat. Every Cayenne includes a power-operated liftgate.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The 2021 Cayenne Turbo gets Porsche’s latest and simplified infotainment system and features a responsive and easy-to-operate 12.3-inch touchscreen mounted in the middle of its dashboard. With a configurable home menu and many personalized settings, the system is easier to use than previous versions, which we have complained about in the past. Every Cayenne Turbo has Porsche Connect Plus, which includes a 4G LTE mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple CarPlay capability; however, the system still doesn’t support Android Auto. We recommend the optional Burmester audio system that pumps 1455 watts through 21 speakers, although it’s pricey. The optional rear-seat entertainment system attaches two 10.0-inch displays to the back of the front seats.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not crash-tested the 2021 Porsche Cayenne, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has yet to test any Porsche model. To help keep occupants safe, a long list of driver-assistance technologies is standard on the Cayenne Turbo, including forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, and front and rear parking sensors. A handful of other active driver aids are optional, including a night-vision system, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology
- Available lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
At four years or 50,000 miles, the limited warranty and powertrain coverage are competitive in this class, and the 24-hour roadside-assistance program spans the same amount of time. Porsche also includes the first scheduled maintenance visit; BMW’s complimentary scheduled maintenance program is considerably longer.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Hybrid electrical components/battery warranty covers 8 years or 100,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for 1 year or 10,000 miles
More Features and Specs