The first clue that the 2008 Porsche Cayenne GTS isn't like other SUVs is the shifter, which works the six gears in a manual transmission. Another clue comes when you get it in the twisties, and feel its utter lack of roll in hard cornering. The Cayenne GTS offers the most sports car-like handling of any SUV, even surpassing the BMW X5 in this regard. We've heard comments around the office that the Porsche badge shouldn't be this high off the ground, but purism aside, our friendly neighborhood Porsche rep tells us that the Cayenne sells, giving the company a stable bottom line with which it can work on better and better 911s. Okay, we can accept that it's all for the greater good.
Although the transmission might be a little low-tech, the engine and suspension make up for it. The air suspension features all sorts of tricks to morph the Cayenne GTS from high-clearance, all-terrain vehicle to road-hugging canyon carver. Cabin tech is also present in the form of the Porsche Communication Management system, an all-in-one navigation, stereo, and phone unit--only, the phone part doesn't work in the U.S. Fortunately, this version of the system is on its way out, soon to be replaced by a whole new system featuring better controls and Bluetooth.