I'm another Cayenne S owner so I'll chime in. I have to admit that I always yearned for the G-class and the day I got the Porsche I was actually shopping for a G. I had been in several sitting still and love the hardcore lineage of the truck, but driving one was another thing altogether. The G feels like what it is, a 1970's exercise in industrial perfection, but the ride is incredibly dated for a modern SUV and I wasn't confident in it at all. I would still gladly consider a grey market 70's or 80's Gelandewagen if I needed a more purposeful and rugged vehicle, but the modern iteration with the upgraded interior seems like the first Hummers that were basically military vehicles fitted with civilian interiors. Contrived.
I always hated the looks of the Cayenne and never considered one, but there was one on the lot I drove by so I figured "why not" and stopped to test drive it. The Cayenne S really blew me away. Sure it's no classic Porsche sports car, and I owned a 944 that I loved, but I really think those old-school owners are way too uptight when it comes to the Cayenne. Blanket statements like "it's not a real Porsche" from those folks are outdated notions and just exhibit closed mindedness.
The deal sealer for me with the Cayenne was the fact that it drives unlike any SUV I've piloted. The thing sticks to the road like a slot car and has gobs of power even on the undulating, twisty logging roads in rural Oregon. I have since described driving the truck as being like piloting a Star Trek Shuttlecraft, it just feels so f*****g cool in the cabin with the optional perforated aluminum accents. I just wish it had more exhaust sound but it does give a little rumble when you press it.
To the member who posted the link titled "Touareg & Cayenne Comparison by Real Owners Not Posers" declined to note that these "unbiased" reviews are found on a... wait for it... Touareg forum! I don't play these "my dad is cooler than your dad" games and I believe people buy what they like or buy what they can afford. I'd dare venture that the majority of Touareg buyers who pick it over the Cayenne realistically do so primarily because of cost.
The Cayenne is expensive as hell to maintain, I could probably keep a nuclear powered aircraft carrier moving for less money. It's more than the Benz, and there are a problems with specific components in some cars, my amp went out and it's a common problem, but all cars have these types of issues, even Mercedes as we all know too well.
To the original poster, you won't be disappointed with the Cayenne and it really is a true and honest heir to the Porsche name. It's build quality will hold up much better than the Escalade, it's not as practical for every day use or lovely to look at as the Rover but as has been mentioned the Cayenne is surely more reliable and it does hold enough cargo and room for passengers that you won't find it lacking in most situations. It's quite fast and the looks have grown on me now that I've lived with it and have had a chance to really appreciate the truck. It comes down to this for me, would I feel confident driving a G500 or Escalade at 100-mph? No way, but in the Cayenne you feel like you're still just backing out of the garage at those speeds, I swear they have a space/time continuum diffuser mounted under the thing.