While Macan was in for maintenance, I had got to drive Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid 2020 for couple of days as a replacement car. At first when I found out it will be Cayenne, I felt a little disappointed, because it is a very big car. I’m not a huge fan of big and heavy cars, especially when having to drive them on narrow streets of London. However, things started changing once I got in and started driving.
First things I noticed
It was my first Porsche E-Hybrid driving experience, therefore I didn’t know what to expect. Engine start is keyless, but a nice old-school handle in the place of ignition key, which you have to turn like a key to start the car. Once ignition turned – no engine starts. That brought quite mixed thoughts as if I haven’t really started the car. Interior is beautifully made with a feel of high quality. Perhaps a little confusing to search for some basic functions on the touch screen when coming from button-heavy Macan, but didn’t take long to adjust myself to it.
How it drives
And here I got out to the street. Cayenne E-Hybrid felt heavy and big at first, especially jumping into it from a smaller car. The ride is super smooth, thanks to 22 inch massive wheels and air suspension. Car reacts to steering wheel responsively, you wouldn’t even dare to guess it weights 3 tons (which I found out after returning this car to the dealership). Few roundabouts and I get to exit to a bigger road, tempted to try what does it feel like in a Sport Plus mode. I floor it for a second… AND what the hell is going on, such a big car flies like a rocket with such power! I barely managed release my foot before breaking the legal speed limit. Wow. If this base E-Hybrid does such things, what would be Turbo S E-Hybrid be capable of delivering?! I can admit, despite the weight, this Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid 2020 is an incredible piece of engineering. It hides the weight so well, it turns, it goes, and you definitely wouldn’t suspect it weighing three tons! It takes 4.7s to 60mph (100kph), once used as soon as the green traffic light lits up – you may just wonder where have all these cars left behind, disappearing in the rear view mirror. I found it difficult to believe it weighted 3 tons. 3.0 single-turbo petrol engine in combination with electric motor delivers truly incredible experience with a combined power of 455hp.
Enough about speed, agility and power. Let’s mention its efficiency. I’ve driven around 300km and filled up around 30L of petrol. My foot was really heavy and I didn’t make extra effort to save fuel. I drove in the city traffic, on the motorways, smaller and bigger roads, accelerated heavily quite many times (I find it being such a pleasure when entering the motorway!). Consumption came out at around 10L/100km. I am sure if I was not trying to enjoy every bit of it as I had it only for couple of days, so the consumption in normal every-day life would be way less.
The beauty is that you can drive this car on pure electricity, in real life conditions probably for around 20 miles until you need your petrol engine to step in. You can charge this car in three different ways: by using petrol engine, when braking or with a cable in your garage. It suggests to me that if you drive in a calm manner, you may barely ever need brake pads to scratch your disc brakes. Which means you can be so efficient and minimise the wear of all the components that normally suffer in city driving conditions. This Porsche E-hybrid technology is just remarkable. Unlike for example Toyota’s CVT transmission based hybrids, Porsche’s e-hybrid system allows electric motor to deliver power through the PDK gearbox, meaning that it operates in a normal way with all the gears available while driving. Yet again I would like to note, that this is 3 ton car, which can be efficient in the city traffic and feel like a sporty beast of a car when you want it to be and leave the traffic behind when kicking off the green lights. Caution: it may take just a second to be way above the speed limit and loose your license 🙂
What I missed in this Cayenne
Porsche Cayenne is a big car, and having to park it and manoeuvre in narrow places I found it quite difficult without the 360 camera. I had to come back to the basics of using mirrors when parking. One other thing which could be a noticeable difference for such car is adaptive cruise control. It definitely adds up to the peace of mind when driving in the traffic or the motorways where other drivers are inconsistent with their speed. This Cayenne didn’t have that feature.
In my opinion the key things that were missing in this car to make it even better are:
- adaptive cruise control
- blind zone indicators
- 360 camera
- adaptive lights when driving on the twisty roads
Things that stood out
There is quite a list of nice things that I’ve noticed in this car:
- interior lighting is a nice touch and you can adjust the colours of it
- steering wheel rather light, which hides the weight
- adaptive air suspension makes it feel comfortable and smooth, also sporty when you want to
- quality of interior, also spaciousness
- infotainment system with a huge screen in the centre console
- noise insulation is superb
- power delivery is sudden and it goes
- engineering definitely hides the mass of this car
Very comfortable and smooth, at the same time can be a great fun to drive when you switch to Sport+ mode. An ultimate car for long journeys, and capable of being sporty when you want to. It is also very efficient in the city traffic. Too big and too heavy to my personal taste, but other than that I can’t find anything that I would not like about this car. Amazing performance and incredible efficiency. I do think that Porsche E-Hybrid system brings the two worlds of efficiency and fun together in a format of a car that I would have never have consider of being capable of the things this car can deliver.