Editor-at-Large Angus MacKenzie once remarked to me that the Land Rover Range Rover is the perfect vehicle because you can drive it across Africa and still get the valet to park it right up front. I can't argue with that logic, but after a year with the Porsche Cayenne, I'd say it deserves to be included in the same company.
Whether attacking the perfect canyon road, climbing a rutted trail, or driving to the mall, the Cayenne did it all. On-road, it offered top-notch ride quality; handling that would embarrass more than a few sedans; impressive power; and plenty of comfort, convenience, and hauling capability. Off-road, its height-adjustable air suspension and sophisticated all-wheel-drive equipment made it much more capable than your average crossover.
Sure, it aced our tests, but would it translate to the ownership experience? MacKenzie and I made it our mission to find out. MacKenzie went first, driving the canary yellow Cayenne S Hybrid on long road trips across the American West. Bounding down arrow-straight highways, charging through twisting canyons, and scaling dusty trails, he found the big Porsche all but unflappable. Soon after, he handed it off to me, and I took up the cause.