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The line between cars and SUVs gets blurrier and blurrier by the day. It’s even more obscured when you look at the 2022 Porsche Cayenne. This Porsche model has been one of the most popular models for Porsche and the luxury SUV segment as a whole. The question is, What is the Porsche Cayenne; a sports car or an SUV

White 2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT on the road
2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT | Porsche

Is the 2022 Porsche Cayenne worth it? 

The crossover boom over the past decade has fundamentally changed the car market forever. It used to be that the car market was broken up into two major segments: the sedans and coupes or the trucks or SUVs. There was little to no crossover save for the Chevy El Camino and all the other utes. But these models are looked at like a novelty almost. The crossover craze proved itself a highly-profitable segment in the car market. 

The crossover segment exploded because, for the first time, customers could have the utility and space of an SUV but keep the driving dynamics of a sedan. It was a hit. Fast forward a bit, and the sports crossovers begin their reign. The Porsche Cayenne might be the King of this segment. Not only was it one of the first of its kind to break into mainstream popularity, but the model, and entire lineup, seem only to be getting better. So, yeah, it may not be the most affordable crossover, but it seems well worth it. 

Is the 2022 Porsche Cayenne an SUV?

Technically speaking, it is – sort of. Porsche has two different body styles for the 2022 Cayenne. Porsche calls one the “SUV” and the other the “Coupe,” even though both have four doors and a distinct crossover body size and shape. It’s also worth mentioning that the Cayenne is the largest vehicle Porsche makes. I reckon that’s got to count for something? But, if we leave semantics alone for a second, I think most folks would consider the Cayenne an SUV or crossover without overthinking it.

This is an easy position to take. For one, it looks like an SUV. That matters. But more importantly, all of its competitors are SUVs, like the BMW X5 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. But those models are questionable SUVs too. 

So far, the evidence for the Porsche Cayenne being an SUV is that Porsche calls it one, its competitors call themselves SUVs, and it looks like an SUV.

Is the 2022 Porsche Cayenne a sports car? 

Sure, The Porsche badge all but forces us to automatically think “sports car.” The road to calling the Porsche Cayenne a sports car is an easy road to travel. For one, the 2022 Porsche Cayenne is priced like a sports car. 

The base model starts at a hefty $69,000 for the “SUV” version and $77,500 for the “coupe.” There are many different trim levels with increasingly exciting engine options the further up the price list you go. To that end, the tip-top Cayenne Turbo GT starts at a properly sporty price of $180,800. 

Porsche built its brand on the hair-trigger handling of the 911s, and the Cayenne continues that tradition even as an “SUV.” Because of this high standard, MarketWatch calls the 2022 Cayenne the best handling vehicle in its class. 

According to MarketWatch, who recently tested the Cayenne says, “the dream of the SUV that drives like a sports car is alive in the Porsche Cayenne.” Part of the driving experience is the impressive power from the various Porsche engines. 

Since sports cars are the game of the day here, we’ll look at the top-dog Turbo GT to drive the point home. This “SUV” has a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 making 631 hp and 626 lb-ft of torque. This power goes to all four wheels as is standard across the entire model line. 

If it weren’t for the size and shape of the Porsche Cayenne, there is almost nothing about it that says “SUV.” Understanding that size and shape matter, it still forces us to ask, “ wait, so what is the Porsche Cayenne, and the Porsche Macan, for that matter?” 

What is the Porsche Cayenne? 

As we sit thinking through the mental game of figuring out how we categorize the Porsche Cayenne, the truth remains, our opinions don’t really matter. The fact is, the SUV segment has fundamentally changed. The definition of SUV has simply changed. It isn’t the rough and tumble segment it once was. If we accept that as true, then the Porsche Cayenne’s popularity and scale are a part of that segment changing. So, maybe the Cayenne is more of an SUV than the Ford Bronco or Jeep Wrangler at this point? Does it matter what we call if most people agree on its sound quality and design? 


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