The Cayenne is a Porsche SUV. The SUV abbreviation stands for a sport utility vehicle, a powerful car, driven by all four wheels, and capable of traversing many different road surfaces.
Even though the Cayenne does not look all that utilitarian compared to a Mercedes G-Wagon or a Jeep Wrangler, Porsche has made sure that the SUV abbreviation is well deserved. Cayenne SUVs are sturdy and built to cope with increased suspension load, without sacrificing reliability.
Porsche has recently developed a dedicated Porsche Off-road Precision App to persuade Cayenne owners to take their beloved luxury SUVs off-roading. The app shows you all the nearby off-road parks and it also instructs you how to traverse all the rough courses.
A Porsche Cayenne is indeed really good when it comes to off-roading, but not many Cayenne models will ever see any mud or rocks. But it sure is satisfying to know that if you do end up taking your Cayenne off-road, you will not be disappointed.
Long gone are the days of pure mechanical off-roading, and modern cars offer a bunch of software solutions to help you on an off-road course. And the Porsche Cayenne offers you a Torque Vectoring Plus feature that is set to control the rear differential for slippery off-road surfaces.
Furthermore, you can also increase the Cayennes air suspension up to six inches which greatly affects the approach and departure angles and the wading depth if necessary. The Cayenne is also equipped with a dedicated hill descent control system aimed at sure-footed hill descent for even the steepest of inclines.
The wheel articulation of the Porsche Cayenne is also fairly impressive, and one would never expect a Porsche Cayenne to be able to spider crawl over uneven terrain. The Cayenne also offers 200mm+ ground clearance which is more than plenty for most off-road courses.
An all-wheel-drive comes as standard, the PDK gearbox is one of the most sophisticated double-clutch gearboxes in the entire car industry. If you pair those two up with a set of decent grippy off-road tires, the Cayenne is not far off a Range Rover or a G-Wagon.
From the get-go, it’s rather obvious that the Cayenne comes equipped with a bunch of impressive software and hardware off-road solutions that are sure to propel the Cayenne through mud, water, snow, and ice.
The Cayenne is a sports SUV, and there are some drawbacks to it. For example, the Cayenne comes with beefy brake discs, which means that you can not fit the Cayenne with anything besides relatively low-profile tires. This is not necessarily something you want in an off-road SUV, but if you tread carefully, it’s not such a big issue.
That’s something a Jeep Wrangler does not have to cope with, but the Cayenne enables you to push a few buttons to compensate. The car itself will cope with almost all of the terrain automatically and adjust the suspension, and do it all by itself.
No matter how hard you press the gas pedal, the car itself will provide the power necessary, and you only have to steer and do some minor corrections. Some off-road enthusiasts don’t like the fact that the car can do it all by itself, but it sure does mean that the Cayenne is indeed a capable off-roader.
Cayenne Chassis and power
All of these aforementioned systems are impressive, but without sufficient power, you will not be able to traverse any kind of rough terrain. Thankfully the Cayenne only offers beefy engines, and pretty much every Cayenne engine option is more than enough for serious off-roading.
The $67k entry-level Cayenne offers a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine that’s pushing out 335hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. These power stats are more than enough for most off-road situations, but if you pay more, the Cayenne becomes more powerful than most SUVs on sale.
If you pay $163k you can get the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid with a ridiculous 670hp and 567 lb-ft of torque. There is absolutely no need for you to have 670hp on an off-road course, but there is no need for such power in an SUV anyway, and people still want it, well of course they do.
A rather overlooked benefit of the Cayenne is the chassis itself. Porsche is known to engineer amazingly capable cars, and the chassis of the Cayenne is certainly worthy of such credentials. The chassis of the Cayenne does not flex, and this is extremely important on and off-road.
Is the Porsche Cayenne the best Porsche off-roader?
Yes, the Porsche Cayenne is undoubtedly the best Porsche off-roader available. The smaller compact Macan SUV can also hold its own at an off-road course, but the Macan is nowhere near the Cayenne when it comes to any serious off-roading.
The rest of the Porsche lineup is not built for any type of off-road driving. But once upon a time, an older 911 was a fairly popular conversion off-road vehicle. There are a decent amount of off-road-built Safari 911s nowadays, and it seems like the trend is only starting to ramp up.
Is off-roading safe for a Cayenne?
If everything goes according to plan, it is indeed safe. But often it might not go according to plan, and the chances of damaging your Cayenne when going off-road are quite a bit higher than usual. A used Jeep Wrangler should satisfy all your off-roading needs, and a $100k+ Cayenne is usually not as capable.
There is a reason why most Cayenne owners never tend to take their beloved SUVs off-roading. Maybe they simply don’t care about off-roading, or the potential damages which are not likely to be covered by insurance are the deterrents. No matter the case, you will not see a Cayenne going off-road all that often.
What is the best luxury SUV for off-roading?
The best luxury off-road SUVs are the Mercedes G-Class, a bunch of Land Rover products like the Land Rover Defender or the Range Rover, or a Toyota Land Cruiser. The Bentley Bentayga and the Lamborghini Urus are also able to offer decent off-roading capabilities. But come on now, no one is taking a Bentley or a Lamborghini through mud anytime soon.
A lot of modern-day luxury SUVs are built to cope with off-road terrain, but they are usually way too expensive. They are usually bought for city driving status symbol purposes, even though they are equipped with impressive off-road features.