2019 Porsche Cayenne Quick Spin Review

— When I brought the 2019 Porsche Cayenne home for the weekend, my large, car-loving son, Wolfgang, was super excited that he’d get to ride to soccer in a “horsey-car Porsche.” In the driveway, he ogled the badge on the nose of the car, comparing it to that of his electric ride-on 918 and the tinier one on the Hot Wheels Panamera he’s been carrying around with him everywhere lately.

As much as I love being behind the wheel of a Porsche, I’ve long felt that the company has struggled to bring the overall quality of its interiors up to the level of the rest of the car. There had been more plastic than a car of this caliber should wear, strange control layout — especially for things like HVAC — far too many buttons and an overall lack of visual inspiration. Finally, Porsche has begun to figure it out, and this Cayenne — even in base guise — is a testament to that. Not only is it roomy, comfortable and sufficiently ergonomic, it’s highly attractive. Every time I looked around, I’d notice another thoughtful detail.

Perhaps the most compelling example of that is the consistent look and feel across major touch points. Look at the air vents, the temperature toggles, the volume control, the rotary control for the infotainment and the sunroof button.

Porsche customers love customization, and the amount of different features available meant lower-specced cars often had a lot of dead buttons as placeholders. This always drove me nuts from an aesthetic standpoint. This Cayenne, though, has moved away from so many physical buttons, incorporating them into smooth, piano black control panels with light-up elements, giving it a much more clean and polished look.

That’s the only time we really minded the lag, though. Feeling the shifts in the rest of normal driving mostly just serves to draw your attention to the sounds of the motor under the hood, and that’s a good thing.

In the past, I would have overlooked the Cayenne as my choice for a luxury ute. I’d have rather had something from SRT, one of the Japanese automakers or even BMW. Now, though, the Cayenne moves to the top of my list for the segment. It’s at the top of my son’s list too.