Fuel Speed Ahead | Porsche Cayenne Diesel 3.0 V6 TDI

BY Joel Tam

'Economy' and 'performance SUV' are not words you would usually use in the same sentence. But this turbocharged 3.0 V6 diesel will serve 100km/h in 7.6 seconds and a 7.4l/100km range.

Photos: Low Fai Ming

The new Porsche Cayenne has always been a favourite of mine. While the outgoing model had clumsy detailing, the sleeker overall shape of the new one with the teardrop rear lamps does the car more favours.

Having tasted the Cayenne Turbo and Cayenne S, I was keen to find out what an oil-burning version would drive like. I'm happy to announce that the diesel Porsche SUV retains its roots and manages to excite, while delivering an outstanding fuel economy range. There is substance here in this SUV that sets it apart from its competitors afterall.

I'm certain I'm not alone in finding the new Cayenne much easier on the eye. The softer, more svelte form helps cut the tall and imposing stature. The 19" wheels look rather puny in a car of this size though. 21"s would be perfect.

The rear face bears the most improvements. The slender yet chunky wrap-around lamps pop against the white paint on our test-car.

Beautifully assembled with robust switchgear, the interior of a Cayenne is a lovely place to be. There's something about a quality-built interior that has a sporty touch to it. The only other brand that does this successfully is Audi.

Admittedly, the array of switches, buttons and dials on the dash and centre console can confuse you. But there's no denying the quality and craftsmanship of the whole setup. In fact, it looks so good, you'd welcome the necessary extra time needed to familiarize yourself with the controls.

Enough about the aesthetics, does the diesel work? A resounding yes is the answer. The cars feels torquey all the way from the lower rev range right up to the point where the V6 starts to get vocal. Like all Porsches, the handling is sublime even for a car this large.

With 245 bhp and 550 Nm, this car will pull strongly to dispatch the century sprint in 7.6 seconds. The best part is, after lugging your whole family around town and carving corner after corner, your fuel gauge will hardly have moved. That because this SUV will give you approx 1,000km per full tank!

SUVs have always been looked down upon by environmental activists, but the Porsche Cayenne Diesel tops the class of diesel SUVs that go against the fuel guzzling grain. With a 189g/km CO2 rating, this is one big car with a small carbon footprint.