The Boxster might have been the car that saved Porsche, but the Cayenne is the one that made it rich. Originally developed in conjunction with the original Volkswagen Touareg (under the codename Project Colorado), the Cayenne was a big gamble for Porsche at a time when really the only SUV with sporting pretension was the BMW X5.
Yet although it proved to be controversial with some fans, there is no doubt that not only did the Cayenne set up Porsche for the success it enjoys today, but it was also really rather good, straight out of the starting gate.
Okay, so the looks of the first-gen model are a bit gawky, but Porsche’s designers have consistently improved that side of things over the years of facelifts and new generations. The key, though, is that a Porsche Cayenne has always driven like a Porsche should – sporty, precise, composed. And that’s true whether you’re in an early V6 diesel, a thumping 600hp-plus V8 Turbo or an electrically boosted hybrid model.
As large, sporty, luxurious SUVs go, there really is little out there to better it.