Honda's 'Ring record falls and we drive the Porsche Cayenne Coupe...
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£42,355 when new
It’s a Discovery skeleton, but six inches shorter and wearing the skin of a midget Range Rover. This version has a 2.7-litre Jaguar V6 turbo diesel engine and visually is a little bit calmer than most RRSs currently worrying urban streets. But like all other Sports, the TDV6 drinks in parameters from myriad information systems and arranges for them to be siphoned off to untold terabytes of processing power. All this so that the whole thing doesn’t flop flaccidly into the nearest King’s Road cafe. It’s a Land Rover vehicle that was developed at the Nürburgring to keep its ‘driver’s pedigree’ for goodness’ sake. So, it’s not bad to drive, but let’s not get carried away. The steering is remote, but accurate when you get used to it. The suspension does a great job of keeping it all going in the same direction and on the same piece of road that you suggest via the wheel. The ride comfort is noticeably better on the 19in wheels than the 20s on the Supercharged car, but that might have something to do with different suspension settings for the diesel engine.
And it’s the diesel that stops me hating the RRS. Diesel engines suit SUVs in a common-sense world. Yep, a big V8 might be nice, but if you pay the bills it makes no sense - if only because you have to stop so bloody often to stuff your wallet into the fuel tank. But the Jag unit made 35.4mpg, still with the same ZF six-speed auto - and the mighty off-road ‘Terrain Response’ system, which most owners will look at blankly and then forget about. It’s the most reasonable of all the versions, if you don’t want to look like a London ad-executive, because it’s actually worth the money and doesn’t make you look like an extra from Boyz ‘n’ the Hood.