First drive review: Porsche Cayenne GTS

You want a 911, but need more space and would rather have the commanding view of the road a 4x4 offers. Is the Porsche Cayenne the answer? We find out...

What is it?

It's a Cayenne – Porsche's rough-and-ready off-roader – but one that's had a dose of steroids and some glitter liberally applied to its bodywork. Slotting into the range between the V8-engined S and the Turbo, the GTS comes with more focus, increased power and some distinctive styling options.
> What's under the bonnet?

A rather raucous 4.8-litre V8 that's been uprated from 394bhp to 414bhp and boasts 515Nm of torque. Performance is far from the Turbo's gut-busting delivery though, the GTS will hit 60mph in 5.7s and go on to 162mph. It sounds pretty special getting there, mind! Everything else has been on the sharpening block – the steering is crisper, the eight-speed gearbox shifts quicker and the lowered ride height gives it an added edge on the road.

What's the kit like?

Pretty impressive, but like all Porsches you'll soon rack up Ford Fiesta-sized bills on the options. A communications pack costs £2,157, 21-inch black alloys are £1,513, even the red paint will set you back £1,619. Our test car had a total of £13,760 worth of goodies... Ouch.

First drive review: Porsche Cayenne GTS


Any rivals?

The ageing Range Rover Sport puts up a pretty good fight, but we've never tried a Rangie that sounds as good as this GTS. Audi will soon be at the party with its SQ models, but that's yet to be applied to its Q7. For a left field option there's always the Infiniti Vettel Edition, but that's very expensive in comparison. So not much choice out there at the moment.

Is it any good?

Although it's incredibly quick and sounds tremendous, it can feel a little bit stressed out at times. By that we mean it feels on edge, twitchy even – perhaps the added sharpness has given it a little too much bite. However, there's no doubting it has real presence on the road – it's just the styling might not suit all tastes.

The AOL Cars verdict

We like the GTS treatment given to most Porsches. The 997 911 really benefitted from the makeover, and the Panamera GTS we tried after this Cayenne (review soon), worked fantastically well, too. However, the off-roader doesn't feel quite right in this guise. It's quick, sounds incredible but feels like it's pretending to be something that it's not.

The knowledge

Model: Porsche Cayenne GTS
Price: From £67,147
Engine: 4.8-litre, petrol
Power: 414bhp, 515Nm
Max speed: 162mph
0-60mph: 5.7s
MPG (comb'd): 26.4
Emissions: 251g/km