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Oil Slick: German Automaker's Most Appealing SUV Doesn't Run on Gas

Sure, other Cayenne models are interesting: the 500-horsepower Turbo; the throaty, V-8 GTS; the base V-6... uh, OK, that one not so much. At last, though, North Americans can buy the Cayenne Europeans have enjoyed since 2009, the Cayenne Diesel, with what's easily the best powertrain option in the range.

Make no mistake; the Diesel is no match for its V-8 siblings out of the blocks. With 240 horsepower from its boosted 3.0-liter six, Porsche claims the Diesel will reach 60 mph in a respectable but hardly headrest-flattening 7.2 seconds. (It is capable of reaching a top speed of 135 mph, though.) That said, if you plan to use your new Porsche SUV not as a stoplight bazooka but for, you know, actual SUV things, the oil-burner is about perfect. Torque is simply extravagant, with 406 lb-ft on tap from as low as 1750 rpm. That means the Diesel never sweats. More important, the Diesel sips fuel at a claimed rate of 19 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway, crushing the gas V-6 model (16/23 mpg with Tiptronic automatic) and easily topping the Cayenne S Hybrid (20/24 mpg). Need more convincing? Base price is $56,725, making the Diesel the second-most-affordable model in the range.

Read more: 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel First Drive - Motor Trend
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