These days, even the purists have to accept the Cayenne SUV's importance to Porsche, given that without it, the brand itself probably wouldn't exist. Back in 2002 though when the very first generation version of this car was launched, the whole idea of this SUV provoked a storm of protest from fans of the brand, not only because it wasn't a sportscar but also, in their eyes at least, because it wasn't a proper Porsche. Critics pointed out that the underpinnings and most of what lay beneath the bonnet had been lifted straight from a Volkswagen Touareg. That was true but what those people failed to appreciate was that the original Touareg was a brilliant piece of design that got even better once Porsche had finished with it.
Customers understood this before journalists did and as a result, over 276,000 MK1 models were sold over an eight year production run, that number all the more impressive given the unreasonable expectations that Cayenne models were - and still are - very often saddled with. After all, no one really expects a comparable top Range Rover or Mercedes SUV to be a sports saloon as well as both 4x4 and luxury limousine. No one cares very much if such rivals are somewhat pricey to run. Yet a Cayenne is expected to offer everything its competitors provide at the same time as slashing their running costs and handling like the fastest four-door. You have to feel for the engineers in Zuffenhausen.
Undaunted, they brought us a second generation model in 2010 that was lighter, sharper, smarter and more efficient than before, introducing hybrid technology and a high powered diesel engine for the first time. That was followed by a package of facelift changes introduced towards the end of 2014 that characterise the Cayenne models we're going to examine here as a potential used buy. These updates brought a smarter look, a freshly-developed 3.6-litre bi-turbo petrol engine and the introduction of segment-leading Plug-in hybrid technology. The revised MK2 model range sold until the end of 2017, when it was replaced by an all-new MK3 model.