First drive: 2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS in the UAE

First drive: 2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS in the UAE

2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS
Porsche recently offered us a day with their sportiest SUV, and we took it. It’s a lemon-green 2013 Cayenne GTS, slotting in between the Cayenne S and the Cayenne Turbo. According to the specs, it’s not quite as fast as a Turbo, but apparently it’s quicker around the corners.

Due to the limited drive session, we didn’t get time to perform our usual test rituals, but there is nothing about the Cayenne GTS that you can truly complain about. Once you look beyond the eye-searing paint-job, it looks pretty good with the painted lower sills and wheel arches, blacked-out trim bits and 21-inch Turbo wheels, almost all of which are apparently optional.

Indeed, the only thing you could complain about are the price of the options, which added Dhs 106,000 on top of the GTS base price of Dhs 336,000. The added options included auto-dimming mirrors, rear camera with sensors, panoramic glass roof, “PDCC” adaptive suspension, torque-vectoring system, ceramic brakes, blind-spot monitor, body-coloured key fob with leather pouch, adaptive cruise control, some interior trim bits, and a “sport chrono package” that adds a useless lap-timer on the dash and makes the exhaust louder at the press of a button.

2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS 7

The spacious 5-seater interior is very pretty, as it is in all Cayennes, although some of the elements are seriously overdone, like the warped the door panels, the excessive chrome-lined buttons on the dash, and the lack of storage spaces due to that rising centre-console. Everything is covered in pricey leather or alcantara, although Porsche persists in not soft-padding any of the panels under the leather. Even the heavily-bolstered seats are on the firm side, as if the GTS is really a sports car.

But even if the GTS is not a sports car, it certainly does a good impression of one. The 4.8-litre V8 lacks a turbo, but 420 hp with 515 Nm of torque is nothing to complain about. It provides more than enough kick. Initially the acceleration wasn’t too impressive, but pressing the “Sport” mode opens up the exhaust and tightens up the throttle response. We didn’t have time to time it, but it should keep up with a Boxster. It burns a whole lot more though, as the trip computer stayed pegged at 17.1 litres/100 km throughout our drive.

2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS 4

The handling is great too. Just like a BMW X6, the heavyweight falters in tight corners as the ESP kicks in early to scrub off understeer, but on the larger curves and in quick lane-changes, you can pretty much drive it like a sedan, with barely-noticeable body roll and fairly sharp steering responses. It helps that you can lower the ride-height at the touch of a button, so it feels a lot like a car. The steering even offers fair feedback, while the brakes offer good stopping power when the left-pedal is floored.

However, the brakes are awful in city-driving. The pedal doesn’t seem to do anything when pressed partially or lightly, so you have to press it hard, so the car stops harder than you’d like. We don’t know if it’s the nature of ceramic brakes, or because we got the test car after several “top” journalists abused it. We also didn’t like the small side-mirrors, as we had to rely on the blind-spot warnings more often than not.

Otherwise the highway cruise is generally smooth, a bit on the firm and jittery side, but managing just fine in flattening most road surfaces. It is also pretty silent, more so than any Range Rover we’ve driven, except when you press that “Sport” button of course.

2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS 3

We didn’t have time to take it offroad either, and while Porsche breathes a sigh of relief, it might actually manage some of the flatter dunes with the help of the 8-speed automatic’s short gearing and the ability to raise the ride-height as well. Of course, the low-profile tyres, the lack of low-range and the pricey body kit means you’ll think twice before chasing camels with it.

At the end of the day, the Cayenne GTS doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The cheaper Cayenne S shares the same engine, drives just as well on the street, and you can even kit up any Cayenne to look like a GTS. You’d have to hit the Nurburgring to figure out the suspension enhancements, but we expect potential owners to hit the track just as much as we’d expect them to hit the dunes. Still, it’s a far more sensible buy than a pricier Panamera, eh?

What do you think?



  1. Love this car, I even like this color.

  2. Al Nabooda, right? Can you tell them to use some of the money they make from their jacked-up prices in Dubai to OPEN A NEW SERVICE CENTER IN DUBAI????

    So sick and tired of the only service center that they have by the airport tunnel. Want to bring in your car for a service? Wait at least 30 minutes. Want to pick up your car after they serviced it? Wait at least 30 minutes. Oh, your brand new VW CC’s armrest makes noises like my grandmas bed? Wait until the next scheduled service and we will fix it ….that means after 15,000kms! Want to call them and speak to a service adviser? Call a million times, stay on hold and then have the service adviser not really answer your question because he is serving a customer.


  3. This article does not give enough justice to the car. The sound of the engine alone is enough to make this car perfect.

  4. i appreciate the review. Infact I would take either a Cayenne S or an ML 500 anyday for better value and drive experience.

    • If you want value, how about the Infiniti FX50S. Looks great even after 4 years of its launch. Has an awesome engine with loads of POWERRRRR and is reliable as hell.

      Only downside that I can think of is that the ride with the 21″ rims is really very harsh. Other than that a great handling car.

      I know, I had the 2009 model for 3 years 🙂

    • I agree with you about Infiniti’s engine as I drove once an M56 with the same engine and the performance was top notch. In general it is a good choice but I am inclined towards the ML as a subjective choice because I am considering to buy one soon. My choices in this segment are:
      1-ML-Brand and reliability but controversial design
      2-Porche Cayyene -Brand but very expensive maintenance
      3-Touraeg-Features but cold design
      4-Fx-best design yet cheapy interior compared to the other and gonna change the earliest
      5-X5-way overpriced it is cheaper in all the world than mercedes except here.

  5. nice shots at academic city

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