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2006 Porsche Cayenne S Road Test

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Amyot Bachand
A sporty SUV made for towing

The racing season is over, much to my chagrin. Porsche generously gave me a Cayenne S not only for a regular road test but also as a towing vehicle. This SUV is in fact totally deserving of the "sport utility" designation: it truly drives like a sports car and can tow heavy loads with remarkable easiness.

A fierce appearance
2006 Porsche Cayenne S (Photo: Amyot Bachand,
A Cayenne turns heads thanks to its presence: the high chassis, the wide 18-inch tires, the front grill flanked by two big headlights as well as the massive intakes give the vehicle a fierce appearance, like a beast ready to pounce. Actually, when we arrived on the track, the Cayenne was the one that drew our attention, not the Midget. The only reproach one could make is the width of the tires or the design of the wheel arches: when driving under the rain, droplets of water are sprayed by the tires onto the windshield and the side windows. The shining look becomes dirty really quickly.

Comfortable interior
2006 Porsche Cayenne S (Photo: Amyot Bachand,
The welcoming interior pampers the driver and the other passengers. While you have to climb to get onboard, the seats are comfortable and feature multiple adjustments; they're also heated for those cold weekday mornings. The many controls on the steering wheel are easy to get accustomed to, while the gauges are very legible. My only complaint is the small audio controls, which are less user-friendly. While front visibility is somewhat jeopardized by the bulging A-pillars, the big side mirrors come in quite handy when passing or backing with a trailer attached to the vehicle.

Cargo space
2006 Porsche Cayenne S (Photo: Amyot Bachand,
Whenever you're on a big spending spree, you need space -- lots of space -- and the Cayenne S is accommodating in this regard, provided that you fold the rear seats. And sometimes, that's easier said than done: I had to ask for help at a local dealer because the plastic unlocking mechanism was broken. Porsche should really incorporate a more durable, metallic device. Aside from this little annoyance, I particularly liked the air suspension that allows the driver to lower the ride height of the Cayenne. This made loading items and attaching the trailer easier.

Amyot Bachand
Amyot Bachand
Automotive expert