When Porsche first introduced the Cayenne back in 2002, the public had a hard time warming up to it while trying to reconcile seeing a luxury performance car badge on a sports utility vehicle.
Maybe the problem was that it was just not exciting enough from a visual standpoint. In fact, it even shared some lines and creases with the first-gen Volkswagen Touareg, and for some, that was a bitter pill to swallow. Has all that changed now?
We could argue that it has, at least as far as accepting the Cayenne as a true blue Porsche. In fact, one of the reasons why the Stuttgart-based automaker has been able to keep improving the 911 and having it be continuously among the best supercars in the world, is the Cayenne and its financial success.
Better late than never
Some traditionalists will probably never truly accept SUVs from brands like Porsche or Lamborghini, but had the Cayenne originally been more like this brand new Coupe version, then perhaps more purists would have jumped on board.
For starters, the Cayenne Coupe joins the Audi Q8 in being a more hatchback-like SUV Coupe, whereas the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe have their rear ends designed more like fastbacks. So in a sense, the Porsche and the Audi are a bit more conservative and less imposing, but at the same time, that also makes them more elegant – the BMW and the Merc can look a bit strange from certain angles.
In terms of overall dimensions, the Cayenne Coupe shares the same wheelbase length as the regular Cayenne at 2,895 mm (113.9 inches). That’s the shortest wheelbase found in this group actually. The X6’s measures 2,933 mm (115.4 inches), the GLE Coupe’s measures 2,915 mm (114.7 inches) while the Q8’s is 2,995 mm (117.9 inches) long. Despite all of that, the Porsche is the second-longest SUV here, measuring 4,931 mm (194.1 inches) from bumper to bumper. Ahead of it is the Q8 at 4,986 mm (196.3 inches) in length, while the BMW and the Mercedes measure 4,909 mm (193.2 inches) and 4,891 mm (192.5 inches) respectively.
Latest and greatest inside
Both the Cayenne Coupe and the Audi Q8 have a massive advantage over the X6 and GLE Coupe, as the latter two are much older and are both awaiting a generational shift that will finally bring them in line with their main rivals. So while we won’t argue for any of the four from an aesthetic perspective when it comes to the cabin, the fact that there are a lot more modern convenience and safety features inside the Porsche and the Audi cannot be ignored.
There’s also no comparing the infotainment systems and the displays. The GLE Coupe’s display looks like the world’s smallest tablet compared to what you get in the Porsche. Meanwhile, the Q8 stands out thanks to its three-screen layout, which looks extremely modern, if not futuristic.
Since we’re talking interiors, care to guess which of the four has the largest trunk? That would be the GLE Coupe with 650 liters (22.9 cu.ft) of volume, whereas the Cayenne Coupe takes second place with 622 liters (21.9 cu.ft), followed by the Audi and the BMW, with 605 liters (21.3 cu.ft) and 580 liters (20.5 cu.ft) respectively.
What about price/performance?
Looking at the entry-level versions for the U.S, they stack up the following way:
Porsche Cayenne Coupe – $75,300 (3.0-liter V6, 335 HP, 332 lb-ft / 450 Nm, 0-60 in 5.6s)
BMW X6 xDrive35i – $65,850 (3.0-liter straight-six, 302 HP, 295 lb-ft / 400 Nm, 0-60 in 6.0s)
Mercedes-AMG GLE 43 Coupe – $71,350 (3.0-liter V6, 384 HP, 383 lb-ft / 519 Nm, 0-60 in 5.7s)
Audi Q8 55 TFSI – $67,400 (3.0-liter V6, 335 HP, 369 lb-ft / 500 Nm, 0-60 in 5.6s)
As you can see, straight line acceleration is very similar. With pricing, a more budget-focused buyer might lean towards the Audi, as it’s the second-cheapest to purchase, yet has excellent performance and some of the newest on-board tech.
Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe vs. BMW X6 M vs Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S
You didn’t think we forgot about the flagship models did you? Unfortunately Audi couldn’t participate in this debate, as the RS Q8 has yet to break cover officially.
Porsche Cayenne Coupe Turbo – $130,100 (4.0-liter V8, 541 HP, 567 lb-ft / 768 Nm, 0-60 in 3.7s)
BMW X6 M – $105,700 (4.4-liter V8, 567 HP, 553 lb-ft / 750 Nm, 0-60 in 4.1s)
Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe – $113,000 (5.5-liter V8, 577 HP, 561 lb-ft / 760 Nm, 0-60 in 4.1s)
There is definitely a massive price gap here between the Porsche and its two rivals, even though their performance can be described as similar.
Enough numbers though. Time to let us know which one of these four sloped-roof SUVs you’d rather have and why. Sound off below.