Things have changed since Porsche told us it wouldn’t sell the Cayenne Diesel in the U.S., because now a well-placed source in Geneva tells us days before the official announcement that it will be sold here starting later this year.
We’ve said that we would opt for the Diesel before the base model if it were offered, but Porsche told us in our June 2011 issue (#192) that demand wasn’t strong enough to import it here. We’ve also noted that the Diesel is a better value in Europe than the Cayenne S Hybrid. It has good performance for an SUV and is less expensive to buy, gets better gas mileage, and has lower emissions than the hybrid.
A 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 making 240 bhp and 405 lb-ft endows it with torquey acceleration that is a bit slower than the base Cayenne. Porsche says it will go from zero-to-62 mph in 7.6 seconds and to a top speed of 137 mph. But the real story is the fuel economy and lower emissions. The New European Driving Cycle rates the Diesel at 32.6 mpg in U.S. gallons for combined Urban/Extra Urban driving while the S Hybrid is rated at 28.6 mpg U.S. Carbon dioxide emissions are lower in the Diesel, too, which emits 189 grams per kilometer of CO2 to the S Hybrid’s 193 g/km.
Diesel passenger vehicles haven’t been as widely accepted in the U.S. as they have been in Europe. But rising fuel prices here have created a better market for diesels, which other marques such as BMW and Volkswagen have been trying to capitalize on. Whether Porsche’s first foray into diesel production vehicles will have wide appeal in the U.S. remains to be seen, but the signs are positive for the Cayenne Diesel.