Let’s briefly touch on aesthetics – that murky area of subjectivity. To my mind, it’s the front view where the squashed down, sloped off roofline has the most positive impact. In combination with a more steeply raked windscreen and slightly wider wings, it gives the Cayenne its first clear visual link with the 911, and a scaled-up Macan vibe.
The rear? I’m not totally convinced - particularly when the not-at-all sleekly integrated fence panel of a tailgate-mounted rear spoiler erects itself at 65mph or so whether you want it to or not. However, it’s more visually successful than BMW’s or Mercedes’ efforts.
Step inside and you’ll find the same slick, neat and impeccably finished interior as the standard Cayenne, bar a crucial detail: it’s a four-seater as standard. Two shapely chairs are separated by an armrest/storage/cupholder unit - but don’t worry, a three-seat bench is a no-cost option.
The bench itself has been mounted 30mm lower, too, to counter the 20mm roofline drop. That solves the senselessness of having a two-tonne SUV that your teenage kids have to tilt their heads to sit comfortably in. But there’s no engineering away the drop in official boot capacity of 16% - it’s still big, but notably less dog friendly.
It may disappoint some that Porsche hasn’t wholeheartedly chased extra sportiness with the chassis, as bar a rear axle that is 18mm wider there’s very little in the way of alterations. However, Porsche’s ‘PASM’ adaptive dampers are now standard fitment. Predictably, our car was also fitted with £1600 of optional three-chamber air suspension as part of nearly £20k of general kit upgrades.
What it means is that, while we can’t say for sure the case is the same with the basic suspension, the Cayenne Coupé retains the fluidity and poise of its sibling that makes both cars superior to pretty much every other large SUV for driver enjoyment.
The steering is precise without being nervous and feels naturally weighted, making the Cayenne feel more agile than its looks would suggest. Tight body control also ensures direction changes are deftly handled, meaning you require far less of a ‘slow in, fast out’ approach than many supposedly sporting SUVs.
We’d stop short of saying it’s genuinely entertaining, as Porsche cannot totally defy the laws of physics, but it’s extremely competent. Certainly, you’re never going to notice the 45kg weight penalty the Coupé commands over the standard SUV.
So why, you might ask, does it not warrant the same four stars as the variant we drove abroad back in June? Two significant reasons.