Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Reviews 2021 Porsche Cayenne Coupe Review : Is there something more here than looks?

2021 Porsche Cayenne Coupe Review : Is there something more here than looks?

2021 Porsche Cayenne Coupe Pros

  • One of the best, if not the best driving SUV on the market
  • Great and unique styling
  • Impressive comfort (all except GTS)
  • Amazing sound (GTS)
  • Impressive plug-in hybrid lineup

2021 Porsche Cayenne Coupe Cons

  • Obvious versatility compromise over traditional Cayenne
  • Pricey version compared to normal Cayenne
  • Uncertain resale value

It’s not easy to review a vehicle like the 2021 Porsche Cayenne Coupé. The whole idea of a review is to put yourself in a potential buyer’s shoes and then try to answer some questions this buyer may have using information gathered during the review. In the case of the Cayenne Coupé, it’s hard to figure out what these questions may actually be.

Porsche Cayenne Coupé
2021 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe.
Montreal, Quebec.
Monday 16 November 2020
World Copyright: Olivier Delorme

It can’t be about cargo space because you can clearly tell that the Cayenne Coupé will have less of it than a traditional Cayenne. Is the driving experience that much different in the Coupé? I mean, it is to a certain extent but ultimately a Cayenne is a Cayenne and both the Coupé and the standard version don’t feel that different. How about the performance? Well, aside from a few differences like the fact that Cayenne Coupé gets standard Sport Chrono, Porsche Active Suspension Management, and Power Steering Plus packages, the performance is not all that different. And you could add all of the features above in a regular Cayenne and still pay less than the equivalent Coupé version.

So why would someone go for the Cayenne Coupé over the Cayenne?

Looks. Ah. Well, in that case we can confidently say that the Cayenne Coupé does not disappoint. In a world where direct competitors like the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé look downright weird from certain angles, the Cayenne Coupé is a stunner from every direction.

2021 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe.
Montreal, Quebec.
Monday 16 November 2020
World Copyright: Olivier Delorme

How a vehicle looks and how we look driving it to others is very much an important consideration for many consumers. It may not be readily admitted, but years of selling cars have confirm this fact to me time and time again. I’ve seen people trade in cars after a year or so and accept ridiculous depreciation because a new generation of the vehicle they own had just come out, and they couldn’t live with owning the “old” model. I had one client trade in a perfectly fine vehicle with less than 20,000 kilometres (12,500 miles) with four years left to pay on it because their neighbour bought the same vehicle.

“Just put the balance of what I owe after the trade-in value on the new one”.

Very few vehicle buying decisions are based purely on practical considerations and there’s quite a bit of emotion and ego that come into play whenever someone chooses a particular vehicle. This is the world we live in and in this world, the 2021 Porsche Cayenne Coupé makes perfect sense.

2021 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe.
Montreal, Quebec.
Monday 16 November 2020
World Copyright: Olivier Delorme

Because unlike the Cayenne which we all know, the Cayenne Coupé is different enough visually that it almost feels like its own model. And, unlike the Cayenne’s design that isn’t unanimously accepted, the Cayenne Coupé has been commended for its looks since it launched two years ago. You will always find someone to complain about a vehicle’s design, but there are less of these people when it comes to the Coupé. And if you live in a large city and Cayennes are everywhere, the Cayenne Coupé is a great way to enjoy the Porsche experience in an SUV with a touch of exclusivity.

But is the Cayenne Coupé more than just a design. No, it isn’t. It drives and feels very much like a traditional Porsche Cayenne does despite being marketed as more dynamic, albeit with slightly less cargo space and one seat less in the back standard (you can add a middle seat at no extra charge). The good news here is that as far as luxury SUVs go, the Cayenne and Cayenne Coupé are among the best, so the Cayenne Coupé’s job was to not mess it up.

2021 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe.
Montreal, Quebec.
Monday 16 November 2020
World Copyright: Olivier Delorme

Driving the 2021 Porsche Cayenne Coupé

Enough with the Cayenne vs Cayenne Coupé comparison, let’s talk BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé. These two cannot hold up to the Cayenne Coupé in terms of sheer sportiness, handling, and feel. The Beamer and the Benz feel heavy, the Cayenne Coupé doesn’t despite weighing nearly 4,500 pounds in its base version. Of all the luxury SUVs in this segment, the Cayenne Coupé is the only one that doesn’t feel like an SUV.

Full disclosure, I’ve only driven the Cayenne Turbo Coupé and Cayenne GTS Coupé, but I’ve also driven the traditional Cayenne’s base and S versions, and because the feeling is essentially the same in both trims, I stand by my previous statement. The Cayenne Coupé is an SUV that doesn’t feel like an SUV. It feels like a highly connected, very agile, very sporty car. Granted you do have to turn the switch to Sport or Sport Plus to really get to the heart and soul of the Cayenne because otherwise, everything is tuned to provide the highest level of comfort.

2021 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe.
Montreal, Quebec.
Monday 16 November 2020
World Copyright: Olivier Delorme

This is ok, by the way. Why would you want that pothole to send your coffee spilling all over your new tie on your way to work? Comfort is a good thing and enjoying it doesn’t make one any less of a true enthusiast or purist. And that’s the beauty of the Cayenne Coupé (and Cayenne). It can be comfortable on the highway or in the city during the week, and it can get your heart racing on a winding road on the weekend, and no other competitor can combine both personalities as well.

The Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupé is certainly the highlight of the lineup. The new generation brings the V8 back in lieu of the very capable twin-turbo 3.6-litre V6 and we can only thank Porsche for that decision. The 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 packs 453 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque, and it sounds absolutely amazing thanks to a standard sport exhaust that is tuned to make the hair on your neck stand up. That said, the comfort level drops noticeably in the GTS.

The Cayenne Turbo Coupé also packs a twin-turbocharged V8 with even more punch, 542 horsepower to be exact, but it doesn’t have the GTS’ sound and the extra sportiness that characterizes Porsche GTS models doesn’t compromise comfort enough to not be worth it. If you want all the performance and all the comfort, then sure, go for the Turbo. But do give the GTS a test drive first.

As for the base Cayenne Coupé, it delivers 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque from a 3.0-litre V6. Here, you get the great handling but performance is just ok for an SUV of this caliber. A base X6 is quicker. Moving up to the Cayenne Coupé S, however, gets you another twin-turbo, this time a V6, with 434 horsepower. The jump in performance with the base model is striking. The Cayenne Coupé is also available in E-Hybrid form, specifically the Cayenne E-Hybrid, and Turbo S E-Hybrid.

2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS
2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS | Photo: Porsche

The first delivers 456 horsepower and about 40 kilometres of range (roughly 25 miles) in real-world driving. The second is none other than the most powerful Cayenne Coupé you can buy with a staggering 671 horsepower. Range diminishes slightly by a mile or two.

The Cayenne Coupé GTS just feels so much more dialed-in and despite giving up a bit of comfort is still very usable. You can’t go wrong with a Cayenne Coupé S or E-Hybrid either. The base version is fine, but the accelerations are underwhelming compared to the competition with a price that is high given the circumstances. The Cayenne Coupé Turbo is just overkill for our roads but does give you all the performance you could ever need with no reduction in comfort.

2021 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe.
Montreal, Quebec.
Monday 16 November 2020
World Copyright: Olivier Delorme

As for the practical considerations of the Cayenne Coupé, there’s still between 600 and 625 litres of cargo space behind the rear seat and my 6-foot frame fit fine in the back seats. So you do give up some capacity, but not a whole lot. If you want a sports car experience in a luxurious and refined SUV, the Cayenne does a great job. If you want the added benefit of looks and exclusivity, then the Cayenne Coupé is worth every extra penny.

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Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur was studying to be a CPA when he decided to drop everything and launch a car website in 2012. Don't ask. The journey has been an interesting one, but today he has co-founded and manages 8 websites including EcoloAuto.com and MotorIllustrated.com as General Manager of NetMedia360. He also sits on the board of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. Send me an email

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