Earlier this year, Porsche announced that a diesel version of the Cayenne SUV, already being sold in Europe, is coming to the U.S. The Cayenne diesel is being released in September.
The trickle of new diesels
American automakers have been selling diesel pickup trucks for a long time, but diesel cars have not quite caught on in the United States. A few car makers have been selling small numbers of diesel-powered cars here, and most are German.
However, diesels sell fairly well overseas, and every American auto maker that sells cars in Europe sells a diesel version that doesn’t get offered stateside. Part of the reason for their popularity elsewhere is that Europeans pay less for diesel than gasoline, whereas the opposite is true for Yankees. It also helps that diesels are more fuel efficient than gas engines.
A growing number of diesel cars are slated for showrooms in the U.S., and an upcoming diesel model is the Porsche Cayenne SUV. It debuts in Porsche showrooms, according to AutoBlog, in September.
Fuel sipping and sporty
Porsche announced the diesel Cayenne, which is already being sold in Europe, earlier this year.
The Cayenne diesel shares the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 with the Volkswagen Taureg and the Audi Q7, according to Car and Driver, though Porsche boosts the power to 240 horsepower. The Q7 and Taureg produce 225. The Cayenne diesel also shares an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. A manual transmission is not going to be offered, as Porsche doesn’t offer a manual Cayenne diesel anywhere, including Porsche’s homeland. Just like other Cayenne models, it comes with full-time all-wheel-drive.
However, the party piece for the car is the fuel economy, as Porsche projects it will be good for 20 mpg city, 28 highway. Car and Driver reports that it will not have the stop-start system diesel Cayenne’s get in Europe.
Comes at premium
The Cayenne diesel, when it gets released in September as a 2013 model, will start at $55,750. The price is at the upper range for similar diesel luxury SUVs.
The most immediate competition is the Audi Q7, BMW X5 xDrive35d and Mercedes ML350 BlueTec. Assuming the projected mileage of 20 city, 28 highway holds true, it gets the best mileage of the lot. However, the 20 mpg city, 27 highway Mercedes ML350 is much cheaper at $50,490 with roughly the same amount of horsepower and all-wheel-drive. The Q7 is also cheaper, at $51,450, though with 15 fewer horsepower and worse mileage, achieving 17 mpg city, 25 highway. The BMW is more expensive, at $56,700, but more powerful, with 265 horsepower, and similar mileage, achieving 19 mpg city, 26 highway.