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2009 Porsche Cayenne Overview

The Porsche Cayenne receives another trim level for 2009, adding yet another configuration for the larger of its two available engines. The Base trim gets a 290-hp, 3.6-liter V6, while the S, GTS, Turbo, and the new Turbo S trims all enjoy V8 power, in sequentially rising levels of 385, 405, 500, and 550 hp. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard on Base and GTS trims, with the option of a six-speed automatic, while all remaining trims are limited to the automatic transmission.

Power is adequate with the V6, although lacking in certain high-stress situations, and impressive with the 385-hp S trim’s V8. From there, any extra power seems to be for fun-factor alone. The GTS’s 405-hp V8 pulls confidently from line to line, although some complaints have been seen regarding the manual transmission’s sloppy action. Regardless, the GTS is the trim where the Cayenne breaks the 6-second 0-60 barrier, and it only gets faster from there. The automatic transmission has been almost universally lauded over the manual, even though a manual transmission in a V8 “sport” SUV is nothing to ignore. All engines require premium-grade gasoline.

No matter the trim, the Cayenne comes with AWD equipped with a low-range gear for off-roading, and it has a maximum towing capacity of 7,716 pounds - not unimpressive for a “truck” that’s still darned fun to drive. A Sport button comes standard, which allows the driver to select “Comfort,” “Normal,” and “Sport” settings - although if test drives are any indication, it’d be best to leave “Normal” engaged on anything other than freshly paved roads. That said, while the engines get a lot of press, perhaps the best aspect of the Cayenne is its handling. Normal is anything but, showing other entrants into the class just how well an SUV that’s approaching three tons can handle.

Dual front, front side, and curtain side airbags with rollover deployment, antilock four-wheel disc brakes with brake assist, an anti-skid system with rollover sensors, and a tire-pressure monitoring system all come standard across all Cayenne trims.


A CarGurus contributor since 2008, Michael started his career writing about cars with the SCCA - winning awards during his time as editor of Top End magazine. Since then, his journalistic travels have taken him from NY to Boston to CA, completing a cross-country tour on a restored vintage Suzuki. While his preference is for fine German automobiles - and the extra leg room they so often afford - his first automobile memories center around impromptu Mustang vs. Corvette races down the local highway, in the backseat of his father's latest acquisition.

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2009 Porsche Cayenne Top Comparisons

Users ranked 2009 Porsche Cayenne against other cars which they drove/owned. Each ranking was based on 9 categories. Here is the summary of top rankings.

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