Combine the racing history of the Porsche 911 with the comfort and style of the best SUV’s and you get the 2012 Porsche Cayenne.

If what you want in an all-wheel drive SUV is thrill then the Cayenne is the SUV for you.  The Cayenne is offered with several different engines. The base model features a V6 with 300 horsepower.  The midlevel trim has a V8 with 400 horsepower and the Turbo trim features 540 horsepower, enough to knock your socks off and scream for more.  There is also a Cayenne Hybrid for those concerned about fuel efficiency that offers 24 mpg while still offering 380 horsepower from an electric engine.

Six-speed manual transmissions are standard, in keeping with Porsche’s determination to keep the manual transmission in the mix with their vehicles despite the auto industry shifting towards automatic transmissions.  An eight-speed automatic is optional.  The Cayenne will go from 0-60 in an impressive 7.1 seconds with manual and 7.4 seconds with automatic.  This is an SUV with serious get up and go.

The list of standard features is impressive but be forewarned that the Cayenne does not have third-row seating, an obvious detraction for those with large families.  The car stereo system is quite impressive as are the wheels and tires and the handling is second to none in the SUV field because of an upgraded suspension.

18-inch wheels provide the comfort and solid road performance; the interior is plush and comfortable and an excellent braking system provides safety on the road.

Make no mistake about it, this car is pricey, especially if you start adding on options, but in the case of the Cayenne you get what you pay for.  This ain’t no Ford Explorer!  This is first-class automobile comfort with the capabilities of handling any road conditions and doing it in such a way that will leave you gasping.

Replacement auto parts for the Cayenne are expensive so shop wisely.  Since it is a relatively new model it is not terribly easy to find recycled auto parts but any quality salvage yard will be able to do an online search for whatever you need, from radiators to fuel pumps and all other used parts.

If all you want to do is take the kids to their soccer games then you might want to pass on the Cayenne.  However, if you want to do a little off-roading on the way to the soccer field, or you want to give the kids a thrill heading to McDonalds, then this is the vehicle for your family.