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2010 Porsche Cayenne Transsiberia Tiptronic Review

2010 Porsche Cayenne Transsiberia Tiptronic  (select to view enlarged photo)

SEE ALSO: Porsche Specs, Reviews and Comparisons-Porsche Buyers Guide



Model: 2010 Porsche Cayenne Transsiberia Tiptronic
Engine: 4.8-liter V8
Horsepower/Torque: 405 hp @ 6,500 rpm/369 lb.-ft. @ 3,500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed Tiptronic with Hill Holder
Wheelbase: 112.4 in.
Length/Width/Height: 188.9 x 75.9 x 66.9 in.
Tires: P255/55R18
Cargo volume: 19.1/62.5 cu. ft.
Fuel economy: 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway/17.8 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 26.4 gal.
Sticker: $83,880 (includes $975 destination charge and $12,115 in options)

The Bottom Line: Outlandish paint scheme tends to obscure a great sport utility. Typically Porsche, it combines power and handling in a mid-size SUV. It isn’t a 911, but it is at the top of the SUV segment.

There it was, sitting in the driveway in all its black-and-orange (Alcantra) glory. I must admit I wasn’t expecting orange wheels, orange mirrors and orange highlights.

2010 Porsche Cayenne Transsiberia Tiptronic  (select to view enlarged photo)

Okay, I thought, it has to be better inside. Wrong. The seat belts and the instrument panel were also orange. There’s orange trim surrounding the cockpit. True, after a couple of days you tend to ignore it, but it is shocking at first blush.

In parking lots and at the supermarket, people always asked about the color, rather than “How does it drive?” In fact, my best friend called immediately to ask who I pissed off at Porsche to get it.

Despite the odd color scheme it’s an excellent mid-size SUV. A twin to the Audi Q7, the Cayenne adds its own spin to the vehicle. For example, transmitting the 405 horsepower from the 4.8-liter V8 is a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic, Porsche’s version of an automatic/manual gearbox.

One asset of any car is having the power to remove any doubt when you’r emerging into traffic or whenever you need it.

Handling is excellent, even for a vehicle that has a less-than-ideal aspect ratio. I wouldn’t try the Cayenne on a race track, but even on tight turns on normal roads it’s excellent.

Besides Porsche-like power, there’s a lot more to the Cayenne. For example, the front seats offer excellent side support, a fact my wife mentioned several times. There are also grab handles on the center console for the front passengers to hold on to if you’re doing serious off-roading.

And the Cayenne is capable of serious rock-climbing, if you choose, although why someone would want to take a, $83,000 vehicle rock climbing escapes me. The suspension can be raised or lowered, depending on the use, and the transmission offers a low-low range for back-country driving. The suspension can also be adjusted for a sporty or comfortable ride.

The rear seats are comfortable and have decent leg and knee room. The rear seat backs fold, and with the seats lifted and the headrests removed, you get a flat floor with triple the cargo capacity with the backs up.

There’s excellent vision for the driver. A feature I loved was the ability to fold in the (orange) outside rearview mirrors to make entry and egress from garages easier. Still, I managed to scratch the rear hatch when I raised it while the garage door was opening. Gee, it worked with our family sedan.

2010 Porsche Cayenne Transsiberia Tiptronic  (select to view enlarged photo)

The hatch opens with a button on the key fob. A door-mounted hatch switch merely unlocks it.

Another driver-friendly feature is the headlights, which “point the way” when you turn the wheel. Also, the high beam illuminates the road ahead far better than many vehicles. Of course, when you have a car that is capable of 150 mph (there’s a sticker on the dash asking you to keep your speed below 150), you need lights that look far ahead.

To the left of the brake pedal is a “dead pedal,” normally seen in cars with manual gearboxes. Even with the automatic, it’s a good place to rest your left foot when you’re driving.

In typical Porsche fashion, the ignition switch is on the left, rather than anywhere on the right.

The audio is great, with multiple choices. I adored the XM readout that had clear, rather than cryptic music labels.

The $12,115 in options include bi-xenon headlights with washers ($1,560), PCM with navigation module (Bluetooth plus navi) ($3,300), heated front seats ($720), light comfort package/memory ($650), XM Satellite radio ($750), universal audio interface ($440), trailer hitch without hitch ball ($650), variable assist power steering ($270), moonroof ($1,190), roll up sunscreen windows ($190), Bose surround system ($1,690), and Bluetooth phone interface ($695).

The Porsche Cayenne Transsiberia is an extremely capable SUV. It’s a shame it has that outlandish paint scheme.

2009 The Auto Page Syndicate

2010 Porsche Cayenne Transsiberia Tiptronic (select to view enlarged photo)

SEE ALSO: Porsche Specs, Reviews and Comparisons-Porsche Buyers Guide