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    Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    Check out this MP3 Audio File: Top Gear Cayenne comment

    Do you agree with this comment? If not, why not?
    If you agree, what would you have made different with the Cayenne exterior design?

    Please do not post "I hate it too" or "I just love it" comments without the why.
    If you own a Cayenne and you don't like how it looks, please describe in a few words why you still bought it.

    I know that there has been a lot of talk about the Cayenne exterior design on other forums too but I really want to see if it is possible to conduct a mature discussion with pros and cons. Any volunteers?

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    I wouldn't worry too much about what JC says about a car. He is more show than cars if you see what I mean.
    I watch TG because it is funny, not bc I know the test car will be good.
    Regarding the Cayenne, it is certainly not pretty, but then, neither are any SUV.
    I think the best looking is the X5.
    I wouldn't say the rear of the Cayenne is ugly, it's just very bland really.
    The front is growing on me, I hated it first, now it's getting better, but it works much better on the 911 than on a SUV I must say. On the other hand, it looks llike a Porsche.
    I don't like it on its low suspension settings, hence the reason why all those tuners version are hideous.
    I like it with 20 in wheels.
    As a Family man, would I buy one? Yes of course.
    Not beautiful, but so capable elsewhere that it doesn't matter in the end, and guys, let's face it, when you're behing the wheel, you don't have to look at it
    And to conclude, remember the 996? No one liked it when it came out, I certainly didn't, I think it's gorgeous now.
    Harm Laggay said himself about the Cayenne, that Porsche's designs don't please the eye immediately, they grow on you and get better with time like a good Margaux

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    Those Top Gear comments are pretty funny! There have been plenty of similar comments about the Cayenne design, not many as colorful as these. One of my other favorites was the one from an automotive design studio in the New England area during the power blackout last summer. Something about the rising heat from no A/C causing all the clay models to start sagging and resembling Porsche Cayennes.

    It is funny that you should bring this up because I was just thinking about this subject the last few days. When I see my Cayenne lately it seems to look a little different than when I bought it. The shape is really starting to grow on me!

    I have not been a fan of the design in the past. I really was disappointed when I saw the final shape of the car. I had been looking forward to something more sporty looking and more balanced. About the only good thing about it was the design had a certain timeless quality about it that would not look outdated right away.

    Recently though it has become more appealing, in the way the 356 shape is. A kind of quirky, oddball shape that grows on you with time. The smooth, flowing lines have started to look better to me.

    Quite apart from the exterior shape, I would have bought it no matter what it looked like. The technical performance, on and off the road, perfectly suited what I was looking for in a vehicle. Porsche couldn't have made a more perfect car for me. Well ... of course that's not really true. I can think of several things I would like to have, like a rear locking differential at a reasonable price. But, compared to what else is available, nothing comes close to the Cayenne.

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    hmm. i wanted to post something to this topic. but now i realized that fanch 100% said what i wanted to say.

    and i like this comparsion with the 996 design -- i really hated it when it was new. i remember spotting the first 996 driving around (in atlanta) ... oh boy, i was swearing like a trooper. and now i'm proudly driving my second 996.

    so... i have nothing to add. fanch did the job

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    If we're really allowed to be honest here, then I have to say that I share Clarkson's perceptions and remain very disapointed in the styling of the Cayenne. I was in the market for an SUV/hauler-type vehicle when the Cayenne came out and I was eager to be inspired to step up and spend the relatively high asking price, but only if I felt passionate about the styling. Otherwise, all I needed was 4WD for mud, snow and mountains; durability; decent cruising capability; and lots of cargo room. Dozens of SUVs can satisfy such needs. Contrary to others, I don't think all SUVs are ugly, and for me the bolder and more muscular designs are the better looking SUVs.

    Initially, I was inclined to go easy on Porsche because they could have been substantially limited in the design department by virtue of this being a joint project with VW. However, I don't think the Touareg suffered as much in the design department from the collaboration as Porsche did. Even though the vehicles are similar, the VW design seems more coherent and consistent with their existing sedan/wagon design signature.

    Other than the grafted on 911 nose, there is little to no design uniqueness to the Cayenne, particularly the rear lights, rear bumper, and wheel arches. Believe it or not, I actually think the 911 nose on the Cayenne is not strong, angular, or muscular enough to present an impressive SUV facade. It would make sense if Porsche sacrificed such added styling, including a larger cargo area, in order to have a more slippery profile and surface to improve aerodynamic performance and wind noise, but I recall several posters ranting about incredible windnoise from the sunroof, side windows, and door mirrors, so I'm not sure anything has been gained by the "melted clay look" (I enjoyed that as well, GM). So, the look is muted, very understated, and it doesn't offend; but it therefore shows no emotion. If we're talking purely styling (not performance), then I have to give it a poor grade.

    But, while the Cayenne's design doesn't appeal to me personally, it is indisputable that it's a class leader in performance, and either its looks do in fact appeal to a lot of buyers or its performance is so impressive that it vastly outweighs its unimpressive looks in the minds of buyers. I suspect the latter. It's certainly (singlehandledly) keeping the company's bottom line healthy. Kudos to Porsche.

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    The first time I saw some pictures of the Cayenne, I thought, hmm (pause), well (pause), nice, special, but not more. But when I saw it the first time in flesh, "it got me from hello".

    To me it has an apperance which clearly shows its family background while preserving a uniqueness at the same time. Especially the front shows some (adapted) lines from the 911 without becoming a caricature of it. And when you add the roofrails, it gets an even better balanced form (unlike the X5 which is to tall for its width, IMO). Just as Gary said, it has a timeless quality.

    So despite all the mumble in the press, I've liked it very much from the beginning and it's still growing on me more and more. I've had my Cayenne for 9 month now and still have a on my face when I walk into the garage in the morning.

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    And when you add the roofrails, it gets an even better balanced form

    I think you guys are about to sell me on the roofrails.
    I'm liking the look more and more.

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    Gary, let's see if I get a commission

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    I like the cayenne styling overall. It is clean, uncluttered by creases, humps, plastic add-ons, and an exagerrated grill/fascia. Over time, it will clean up nicely.

    That said, I am bothered still by the view of the car from front to back, at a slight angle. The front end then looks a bit bulbous, and the rear hip seems too vertical and truncated by contrast. Sort of a bomb like nose, with a London taxi rear. I would round the hip out a bit, like a 996, then the design would seem more unified.

    I also am bothered a bit by the slight front to rear slant of the roof line. Roof rails (not the ski racks) improve the roof.

    I also want to add that design perception is often influenced by performance and uniqueness. Based on this, the Cayenne will be very successful and appealing.

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    I was not even considering the Cayenne when it first came out. I was looking to replace my Benz with either an X5 4.4 or the FX45.

    It was my daughter (19) who told me to look at this fabulous looking SUV she saw driving down the street one day.

    She dragged me to the dealer and when I saw it, I was taken straight away. I must admit 2 things, 1 - I was on the verge of buying an FX45 Tech, which is odd looking to say the least. 2 - The BMW is not exactly an stylists dream either.

    The Cayenne is just so different from the other two to make it stand out. MUCH more in keeping with my view of an SUV than the FX which is to avant garde for my tastes. As I said te BMW was not liked from the looks point of view.

    I have read all sorts of critisism of its looks but never had any from people who have seen it. Yes people are sometimes kind, but the amount of positive reaction I get and observe even when the car is parked tells me that people see something pleasing in its looks.

    I agree with other comments here, I like it more now than when I first took delivery and I loved it then.

    Notice: no mention of performance, thats a story in itself but I saw the rules.

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment


    I have a different impression, I think it looks very smooth and stade but pleasing from the from angles and from the rear quarters very aggressive almost poised to pounce like a big cat with its legs set to go .

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    To nicely sum up my first impression with Cayenne is to quote my friend that it has "the Ninja Turtle look." It pretty much summarizes the deceiving and very capable frog looking car from Porsche.

    But my impression completely changed when I got an extensive 8 hour testdrive. It is just a phoenomenal vehicle in a sense that it can fly on freeways passing most of the sports/luxury sedans and then get off the freeway to climb a mountain. Coming off the 30 degree gravel based mountain road using the decent control, I got on the freeway to pass some more sedans.

    If I were to buy one vehicle outside California where rain and snow is more present, Cayenne Turbo is just it.

    The usuability of this vehicle far surpasses the looks it provides and that look is growing on me just like Ninja Turtles did long time ago.

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    After reading hundreds of postings in these threads, reading many reviews of the Cayenne in car magazines, and listening to lots experts (such as the Top Gear one), there's no doubt but that the majority of reviewers conclude that the Cayenne is ugly. So I got to wondering: who are these people? It's obvious: they are the hard-core Porschephiles: the people who "know" what cars Porsche should build, and who "know" what a Porsche should look like.

    Thank goodness there ARE people who are so passionate about Porsches (I would regard myself as one of them), but here's the thing: after owning a TT for nearly a year, I am staggered by the MANY, MANY, (non Porsche) people who go way out of their way, almost on a daily basis, to give me the thumbs-up on the looks of my TT. Even a year later, it still seems to happen all the time!

    This is my fifth Porsche (944, 944 Turbo, Boxster, and Boxster S previously). NEVER did I get such a spontaneous, positive, and passionate reaction about ANY of these previous Porsches.

    So, it seems to me that the people who DON'T own Porsches (and that is the vast majority of the population) really do like the Cayenne's design! And these people immediately spot the Cayenne from the crowded morass of SUV's out on the road every day.

    Porsche knew that to successfully enter an already crowded SUV market they would need to have a design that was both distinctive and admired by their target market. I think the mistake we make in these threads is to assume that WE, the committed Porsche enthusiasts, are the target market.

    Do I think my Cayenne is as beautiful as a 911 or a Boxster? No, but overall I DO like its design, and I LOVE its performance. More importantly though, is this: Cayenne sales results clearly suggest that Porsche accomplished its (risky) objective of creating a premium SUV that is outstanding in performance and obviously distinctive in design. For a late-entrant into a mature market, Porsche's success is truly remarkable.

    The goal, folks, is to create vehicles for your targeted customers that they will want to buy. Porsche has openly stated that to remain independent they need to move beyond their narrow, and fickle, market for sports cars. Clearly, Porsche's volume is increasing and their customer base is broadening. So, against Porsche's objectives the Cayenne has succeeded brilliantly. The Cayenne's design HAS TO BE a part of that success.

    We may not totally love the look, but my personal observation is that many non-Porsche owners do love it. So let's raise our glasses to these Porsche-aspirants, to a healthy and independent Porsche AG, and to high resale values for our Cayennes!

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    Hi Kyzyl,

    You have nailed it, my man.

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    I totally agree with your observations!


    '04 991 tt cabrio
    '03 cayenne turbo
    '04 cooper s
    '03 bmw 1150 gs adv
    '04 ktm 450 excr

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    Well said.

    The most important view of a car is the one you have with your hands on the wheel.

    (And your foot on the go pedal, of course!)


    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    So let's raise our glasses to these Porsche-aspirants, to a healthy and independent Porsche AG, and to high resale values for our Cayennes!

    I'm raising my glass right now! Excellent post!

    BTW, I have had the very same experience with non-Porsche, non-gearhead complete strangers. It's very strange but I think their response is genuine.

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    Ching !!!

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    My Mrs calls them "Bread Vans" and laughs whenever we see one. I feel if the VW version didn't exist then the C may be more appealing in a quirky bread vanny way but the VW has the best look on that platform. BTW we bought a Range Rover V8

    Re: Cayenne and that "infamous" Top Gear comment

    TB993tt said:
    BTW we bought a Range Rover V8

    Congrats! Great vehicle. Take the Range Rover off road course. It's huge fun.


    Its a jacked up AMC Pacer

    Hey, but at least the AMC Pacer was cheap ...


    Re: Its a jacked up AMC Pacer

    Always thought of the Pacer as the car George Jetson would have driven.



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