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From: $164,400 plus on-road and dealer costs
Vitals: 4.8-litre V8; 309kW of power, 515Nm of torque; 8-sp auto; AWD; 10.7L/100km and 251g/km CO2.
What is it?
Porsche's sportier new SUV. It's less about the luxuries and more about looking fast and going fast. It costs more than a Cayenne S but a lot less than the Cayenne Turbo.
What does it say about me?
That I wanted a Porsche badge but didn't want to cram myself and my family into a sports car. And I want to look good, so I didn't buy a Panamera.
What doesn't it say about me?
That I'm a purist who thinks anything with a Porsche badge should be able to lap the Nurburgring in less than nine minutes.
Who else is buying it?
Porsche says: “People who want a sports car feel in an SUV – the sound, the tough look, the grunty performance, the handling. The works.” In reality, though, it's Porsche lovers with families.
What colours does it come in?
Plenty, but the two stand-out hues are the bright red (Carmine Red) or that oozy lime green known as Peridot Metallic. Both cost heaps more than solid black or white – the red on our car added $5990 to the price – but do their job when it comes to getting attention.
Why would I buy it?
Because it's a practical SUV with plenty of performance, and it costs less than a Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG ($177,400) and a BMW X5 M ($183,700).
Why wouldn't I buy it?
Because you can get a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 with more grunt for less than half the price ($76,000).
Does it cost too much?
Compared to its main European rivals it's a bargain, until you start ticking options boxes. Our car had about $20,000 worth of extras, including 21-inch wheels ($5290), that red paint ($5990), a “special GTS interior package” ($5990), illuminated door sills ($1980), Porsche's sport chrono lap timer pack ($890) and an alcantara-wrapped steering wheel ($290).
Will I get a deal?
Doubt it. You might find a demo, but it's not likely to be going out the door cheap.
Can I take it off-road?
We've taken a Cayenne S across some fairly perilous terrain and it coped admirably, albeit with Pirelli off-road tyres. So theoretically, yes, you could, and it has adaptive air suspension and a terrain assistance system to help you get it right. The big question you need to ask, though, is: do I really want to go bush-bashing in a car that costs this much?
Will it get me noticed?
It turned heads, but that was less to do with the look and more to do with the exhaust note.
Will I get carjacked in it?
You could probably fit an ATM in the back with the seats down, so never say never. Thankfully the doors lock automatically above certain speeds.
How's the cabin ambience?
Fantastic – but all the best bits are optional. The alcantara on the steering wheel really mops out your palm sweat brilliantly, and the same stuff on the seats and headlining looks and feels great.
What's the stereo like?
Pretty good. It has 10 speakers with clear, crisp sound and a very neat display unit. The controls can be confusing, though.
Does it go?
There are faster Porsche SUVs out there, but they're at least $80,000 (or 50 per cent) more. And considering you can still get to 100km/h in just 5.7 seconds, the GTS model is no slouch.
Does it like corners?
Yes. Despite weighing more than two tonnes, it gobbles them up without any fuss whatsoever. What's particularly impressive is the amount of grip through sharper bends, and there's very little body roll when the sports mode suspension is chosen.
What about bumps?
Depends which suspension mode you put it in, but on 21-inch rims you do notice a lot of the little bumps at most speeds.
What about service stations?
Expect to see them often. It's not light on fuel, and if you spend a lot of time in the suburbs you'll be filling up regularly despite its 100-litre fuel tank. It does have a fuel-saving stop-start system, though.
Would you buy one?
Yes. It's worth checking out the Beemer and Benz for comparative purposes, but the Cayenne GTS ticks all the boxes for me.
The SUV that thinks it's a sports car.
The SUV that thinks it's a sports car, even though no one outside of Porsche agrees.