Test Drive Review : Porsche Cayenne Platinum Edition

Test Drive Review : Porsche Cayenne Platinum Edition

What’s This?

Porsche AG is on the proverbial roll. In the first quarter of 2017, it recorded its best-ever numbers, with increased revenue, profit margins and 60,000 vehicle deliveries worldwide. Even its full-year 2016 results beat the previous year’s by 6%, with nearly 238,000 vehicles delivered globally. These positive numbers are mainly contributed by the new Panamera, 718 Boxster, and the best-selling Macan.

But credit still goes to the Cayenne, Porsche’s first 4-door non-sports-car model that puzzled the world, for starting the roll that kept Porsche going.

The Porsche Cayenne Platinum Edition is an iteration of the current model in limited issue trim.

What About It?

For the record, the Cayenne Platinum Edition has no platinum trim. ‘Platinum Edition’ is what Porsche calls any model series that’s offered in limited units. It comes standard in a non-metallic black or white scheme but like any Porsche, you can opt for other colors like Deep Black, Purpurite, Mahogany, Carrera White or Rhodium Silver.

This Cayenne comes with a sportier appearance than the regular Cayenne, with wider wheel arches and 20” RS Spyder Design alloy wheels. The review unit however, was fitted with the larger 21” Cayenne Sport Classic 5-spoke wheels.

Standard for the Cayenne Platinum Edition is the Bi-xenon headlamps with 4-point daytime running lights and Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) which works by adjusting the range of the dipped beam based on your driving speed; it also swivels the light towards the inside of a corner based on steering angle and speed for better visibility.

What’s Inside?

Open the door and you’re greeted by a ‘Platinum Edition’ kick plate and leather upholstery (review unit was dressed in red). The front sports seats are powered and feature an 8-way adjustment with seat centers in Alcantara and a Porsche crest embossed on the headrests.

Standard for the Cayenne Platinum Edition is the Porsche Communication Management system which comes with online navigation and the Connect Plus module that adds Apple CarPlay, LTE phone, Porsche Car Connect and Porsche Connect app for better usability. Further, there’s Power Steering Plus which is a speed-sensitive power steering system that lightens up at low speeds and firms up at higher speeds. I could do without this but it comes standard with this variant and it’s great for those who don’t want to exert much effort when parking. Sitting atop the dashboard is an analog clock to balance out the digital displays.

While the rear can fit 3 passengers, the center seat gets compromised comfort, with the backrest hinge and high center tunnel in the way. However, the center passenger gets to hog the rear air vents and deprive the others of an armrest. The rear seat bench can slide fore and aft while the backrest is reclinable.

There’s not a lot to complain about in a Porsche, especially one with 4 doors and enough headroom and legroom for all but some may gripe about the rather old-school control stalks and some switches from the Volkswagen parts bin. On the bright side, they work well and the stalks are not completely visible behind the steering wheel.

Cargo space is a voluminous 670 liters that expands to 1,780 liters with the seats folded.

What’s Underneath?

Porsche Cayenne Platinum Edition 3.6 Liter V6 Engine, MalaysiaThis is basically the base Cayenne so it’s powered by a 3.6-liter V6 direct injection engine capable of 300 hp and 400 Nm of torque. Together with an 8-speed Tiptronic S transmission, the Cayenne can take you from standstill to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds which is pretty good for such a large vehicle weighing 2 tons. From 80 – 120 km/h, only 5.4 seconds is spent, allowing for brisk overtaking.

Press the Sport mode button and your gearshifts are faster. In this mode, lifting off the throttle will also engage engine braking and downshift. There’s also a more aggressive Sport Plus button that works well with another button (Sport Exhaust) which gives an angrier rumble and pop to the exhaust.

Porsche claims the Cayenne can do 100 km with 9.2 liters of petrol but I only managed a best average consumption of 13 liters for the same distance, because there were moments I didn’t behave myself. However, in this price segment, frugality is hardly a top priority.

What’s It Like?

Porsche Cayenne Platinum Edition Center Console Malaysia 2017This isn’t the most powerful Cayenne on the block but this base powertrain would be the way to go; if you want something more powerful and faster, perhaps you should look at a vehicle with lower ride height. Nevertheless, it gets off the line quick enough and is on the whole fairly comfortable. You can opt to change gears with the paddle shifters or manipulating the manual mode of the gear lever but letting the automatic transmission handle itself is good enough for most driving conditions.

The cabin is relatively quiet until you breach the speed limit and wind noise becomes more apparent. But it’s sometimes so hard to follow the law when you have the Sport Plus and Sport Exhaust buttons tempting you. However loud the noise intrusion may be, the Cayenne’s occupants can still enjoy the 14-speaker BOSE Surround Sound System in relative ease.

The Cayenne has adjustable suspension settings (Comfort, Sport & Sport Plus) as well as height adjustment for varied driving conditions. It’s also equipped with the Porsche Traction Management all-wheel drive feature with automatic brake differential and anti-slip regulation. This system constantly monitors driving conditions and regulates a multi-plate clutch to distribute power between the front and rear axles. A button on the center console lets you engage the off-road function but a more practical method is to buy a used pick-up truck for that.

Any Interesting Features?

The Cayenne Platinum Edition also makes do with the Porsche Stability Management System which constantly senses the speed, yaw and lateral acceleration to ensure the vehicle maintains traction and stability. Other driving related features include the auto stop/start function, automatic dimming mirrors and coasting mode which is a fuel-saving feature that decouples the clutch from the engine when you’re cruising (as long as you’re not in Sport or Sport Plus or have cruise control activated).

Additionally, Park Assist has front and rear sensors to provide an audio and visual guide for parking which is mighty useful in a sizeable vehicle.

Who Is It For?

When news of the Cayenne first broke, it caused an uproar among Porsche fans, who eventually put money down for one. The exacting build quality, appointments and performance coupled with the practicality it affords makes it hard to resist. If you’re a fan of luxury SUVs, this one is worth its weight in platinum (not to be confused with uranium, which is very bad and does very bad things).

How Much?

The Cayenne Platinum Edition starts off at RM 698,000 (sans registration, road tax and insurance) and goes up as far as your private banker permits. On the bright side, this price includes a 4-year warranty and free maintenance package.



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