2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Review

Everything You Expect from the Cayenne S — without the hybrid stigma

Okay, you Hybrid Haters. If you think, even for a moment, that the 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid favours ‘the green’ while compromising power, design, cargo, driving dynamics, or anything else important, you’re dead wrong. The only obvious hybrid connotations associated with the 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid, aside from the subtle badging, is the extra mileage you’ll get and extra fuel-saving cash left in your wallet. So, unless your David Suzuki or Al Gore or an A-list celebrity riding the enviro-train and you detest German-engineered power and performance, then the 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid is not for you. For everyone else, this SUV is all Porsche. No compromise.

Also check out: Porsche Cayenne Reviews

What better way to test drive a hybrid than a short road trip. In my case, a golf trip to the Kananaskis Country Golf Course, just under two hours away from Calgary, with a route that incorporates everything: a drive through the busy city; cruising on the open highway;  and some tight, windy roads through The Rockies. An opportunity to put the Cayenne’s fuel efficiency and hybrid attributes (or lack there of) to the test.

2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Review

The 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid toggles between a supercharged 3.0L V6 producing a respectable 333-hp and 324 lb.ft of torque, and a 288-volt electric motor; together, compromising a Parallel Full Hybrid drive system. Engine and motor combined, the Cayenne S Hybrid produces 380-hp and 428 lb.ft of torque. The engine provides the power and the electric motor pulls through with incredible torque. Throw in Porsche DNA and some 8-speed Tiptronic (with auto start-stop), and some Porsche Traction Management (PTM) with a permanent AWD system, and you’ve got a smooth-shifting, perfectly designed hybrid SUV with enough power across the entire power band.

2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Review

Why am I so enthused with this Cayenne S Hybrid? Well, because I’ve tested perhaps every Cayenne model, and while the non-turbo variety all provide great fuel-efficiency, this Cayenne Hybrid obviously takes this to a new level. But more so, there is sincerely no compromise in the driving dynamics when compared to the others. In fact, you could argue it’s a little better in terms of quick response and torque from the electric motor. The base Cayenne 3.6L engine produces 290-hp and 273 lb.ft of torque.

The styling, both inside and out, also uncompromising. Nothing yells hybrid–no weird design cues, no ugly ‘this-is-a-hybrid’ instrumentation, i.e. invasive battery-motor gauge front and centre. Even the electric motor is placed within spare tire vicinity without impact on rear cargo space. Below, some family action shots in the cabin of the 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid:

2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Review2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Review2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Review

Starting at $77,500 CDN MSRP, my 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid, including all options, totalled $99,310 excluding any taxes/fees. Few notes on the options in this Cayenne S Hybrid: 18″ alloy wheels come standard ; 19″ Cayenne Turbo Wheels at $1780. An AM/FM/CD system with 10-speakers come standard; Bose Audio Package and XM Satellite Radio at $2480 (Added 6-disc changer at no charge).

Other options found in this Cayenne S Hybrid include 2-tone leather interior ($4670); the Basic Package upgrade (5700); Auburn Metallic paint (910); Air Suspension with self-levelling (4550); Ski Bag (470); and Front-Rear Park Assist (1250).

While the Canadian version of the Cayenne S Hybrid model excludes many standard features found in the non-Canadian version, we do see the following standards, including: heated and retractable exterior mirrors; 8-way power adjustable fronts seats with driver memory; multifunction trip computer; rear privacy glass and floormats; and Bluetooth hands free mobile phone interface.

Learn more – Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid

You’ll like this:

 

2011 Porsche Cayenne Review: Entry-Level with a 3.6L V6 and Tiptrontic

CONS:

  • $1250 Park Assist is expensive (should be standard)
  • Canadian model excludes several standards found in US model