The interior of the 2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo is generally well laid out with simple, classy appointments and materials, including the leather-covered cowl and door panels, and the silvery matte trim on the steering wheel and dash. Its PCM technology module is less impressive, however.
The Cayenne Turbo's tiptronic gearbox can be shifted using the shifter or by notching one of the two plastic thumb-shifted paddles on either side of the steering wheel. We found shifting with the small steering-wheel-mounted thumb shifters to be more hassle than it was worth.
The Turbo version of the Cayenne is distinguishable by the two power domes on its hood, as well as by its oversize front grille, which allows the car to suck in the air required for its intercooled twin turbochargers.
The Cayenne Turbo features a full-color LCD display in the center of the instrument cluster, which shows arrows based on upcoming turns for navigation route guidance as well as basic trip and systems information.
The Cayenne Turbo demonstrates some impressive driving dynamics in cornering, especially with the optional Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) system and suspension both set to set to Sport mode. Drivers can configure drive mode, ride height, and suspension settings using controls in the center console.
The Porsche navigation interface comprises a bunch of black-plastic hard buttons surrounding a small, non-touch-screen display set low in the dash. Destinations must be entered using a spindly, push-in/rotary knob to the right of the screen, which can be used to input place names just one letter at a time. We found programming the system to be time-consuming and unintuitive.
With its formidable on-track and off-road credentials, Porsche's SUV is one of the few cars that can truly claim to be sporty and utilitarian: the 5,600-pound behemoth can shift itself from standing to 60 mph in the same time as a Porsche Carrera coupe, and (separately) can tow as much trailer weight as a Land Rover LR3.