2017 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid
We all know that car makers are on a mission to increase fuel economy in all of their vehicles, mostly because of ever-stiffening regulations. Well increasingly, PHEVs are the hot ticket to get that done. Even Porsche is not immune to this, having applied the plug-in treatment to the Panamera sedan back in 2014. But now they’re getting much more serious, and what better vehicle to showcase that ultimate eco-performance in, than the Cayenne.
Yes, it’s all about the utilities in the luxury market these days; so this 2017 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid will almost assuredly drum up its fair share of attention.
Now, some might still look at a plug-in hybrid utility as a bit silly, perhaps even a waste of money; but keep in mind these vehicles are mostly designed for a European market that aims to do away with the internal combustion engine in major cities.
So, obviously there’s a market for people who want to maintain their current level of posh transportation, yet have the benefits of an EV when necessary.
Powertrain stats begin with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 delivering 333-horsepower and 325 lb-ft. of torque on its own. Add in a 70kW electric motor, and output climbs to 416-horsepower and 435 lb-ft. of torque.
The 10.8kWh battery allows for 14-miles of EV-only driving at speeds up to 78 miles-per-hour.
Both an 8-speed tiptronic automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive are standard.
Like the best of plug-ins that we’ve sampled, the Cayenne delivers seamless operation; requiring you to keep an eye on the tach or power meters if you care where the power is coming from.
You can be certain that Porsche wants to preserve their performance image at all costs, so this Cayenne is indeed very fast; especially when the battery is full and boost mode is available, a bit less so without battery assistance.
At the track, with all systems full-go, we hit 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s almost two seconds quicker than the no longer available Cayenne turbo diesel.
There’s a decent amount of torque at launch, and it builds even more as you get rolling. Shifts were not PDK-quick, but efficient enough to keep the gears coming, as we finished out the ¼-mile in 13.9-seconds at 103 miles-per-hour.
And as spirited as that is, it gets even better when you start throwing curves at it. Through the cones, we found little to no over or understeer; just great balance and point-and-shoot precision, with virtually no body roll to upset things, despite pushing 5,200-lbs of curb weight.
Steering is quick, and sure it could use a little more feel; but no matter how hard we pushed this Cayenne, it seemed to be begging us for more.
Porsche likes to differentiate their plug-ins with Acid Green brake calipers, and little else. And while they tend to look cool accompanying a silver or black vehicle, most thought they clashed with our Cayenne’s Mahogany Metallic livery.
That aside, the Cayenne’s form really hasn’t changed all that much in its 14-years on the streets. There are still plenty of 911 design cues, combined with a sleek profile that fully portrays its performance potential.
The interior is busy, but well laid out as always. There are unique gauges and drive mode setup, but otherwise things are mostly the same throughout the rest of the space.
Available Platinum trim adds Apple CarPlay, illuminated door sills, upgraded Bose audio, heated front seats, and Alcantara trim among other things, though surprisingly…still no back-up camera.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 22-Combined when operated in gasoline only mode; and climb to 46-Combined when EV driving is added in. Our loop was an EV-free one; still we managed 23.0 miles-per-gallon of Premium.
There’s a great Energy Impact Score of just 9.5-barrels of annual oil use, accompanied by 4.3-tons of CO2 emissions.
Cayenne S E-Hybrid’s start at $79,750, almost 20-grand over a base Cayenne; but a Platinum Edition with much more content is available for only a bit more at $82,650.
We can surely appreciate the effort and engineering that went into creating the 2017 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid. But really, at this time, at least in this market, like a lot of other luxury plug-ins, it remains a niche vehicle built for boasting your ecodentials more than being a must-have vehicle.
In our eyes, it needs a much bigger battery, with much more EV range, for it to truly make sense here. Ah, but it still drives like a Porsche. And after all, that may be more than enough reason for this clean-rolling piece of engineering excellence.
- Engine: 3.0-liter V6
- Horsepower: 333
- Torque: 325 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 13.9 seconds @ 103 mph
- EPA: 22-Combined gas only mode / 46-Combined with EV
- Energy Impact: 19.5 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 4.3 tons/yr
2023 BMW X7
Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More
While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.
When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.
There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…
…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.
Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.
The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.
At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!
New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.
In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.
There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.
Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.
It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.
- Engine: I-6
- Horsepower: 375
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 398 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
- EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined