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2011 Porsche Cayenne

Overview
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2011 Porsche Cayenne Review

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The first Cayenne felt like a Porsche SUV; this one feels more like a Porsche. The all-new, second-generation Cayenne is lighter, more powerful and delivers even more Porsche-like precision, especially when outfitted with all its high-tech handling technologies. It's also roomier and more fuel efficient, still overly capable off-road, and now the lineup includes a hybrid model. There's still no third-row option - see the BMW X5 lineup if you need one – and its attractive $47,000 base price can be deceptive if you want "extras" like an auto transmission and a decent sound system.
Last four: Real Porsche, real SUV.

You'll Like This Car If...

If your sixth sense is a keen appreciation for driving feel - or maybe high-style interiors - the 2011 Porsche Cayenne is the SUV for you. And it's just as utilitarian as any of its two-row competitors.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2011 Porsche Cayenne isn't the smoothest highway cruiser in the segment, and it's pretty pricey.

What's New for 2011

The all-new 2011 Porsche Cayenne larger and roomier, but 400 pounds lighter. It's more powerful, but more fuel-efficient. The lineup now includes a hybrid model, and offers a torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system that actually raises its Porsche-ness to a new level.

Driving the Cayenne

Driving Impressions Our track time with the 2011 Porsche Cayenne included back-to-back drives in the new and old Cayenne Turbos. When we got out of bed that morning, the outgoing Cayenne Turbo...

was the performance SUV benchmark; at the end of the day, we talked about it pushing in corners and looking bloated. With 400 fewer pounds to lug around and an available new torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system, the 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo just feels more Porsche-like in translating driver input into action. Fortunately for those trying to keep the final tally south of six figures, the Porsche Cayenne and Porsche Cayenne S benefit from the same the improvements. We were also impressed by the 2011 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid on the track, but were more interested in testing its around-town performance, during which it demonstrated the little brake and throttle quirks still present in most hybrids. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne is also quieter and more comfortable than its predecessor, but it's still not the softest-riding car in its class.

Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus
In short, PTV Plus sends more torque to the outside rear wheel when cornering, helping the vehicle track truer to steering input. Especially when combined with PASM and PDCC suspension and chassis control, PTV Plus can make the 2011 Porsche Cayenne feel like a lightweight, low-slung sports car.

Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB)
On one hand, the Cayenne's ceramic composite brake option adds more than $8,000 to the sticker. On the other hand, shorter braking distances, more fade resistance, rotor lifespan of up to 200,000 miles and a notable reduction in unsprung mass are all very good things.

2011 Porsche Cayenne Details
Interior

The interior of the 2011 Porsche Cayenne is instantly reminiscent of the Porsche Panamera's. Fine design and materials combine with a multitude of controls in an elegantly busy cockpit that's richer and more interesting than a BMW X5's. Rear passengers are treated to a roomy backseat that slides 6.3 inches, reclines and offers 40/20/40 split-folding for maximum passenger/cargo compatibility.

Exterior

The slightly larger 2011 Porsche Cayenne actually looks smaller than its predecessor, thanks in part to a more forward-leaning rear window and black side pillars. Some of our favorite design touches include the Cayenne Turbo's larger trapezoidal grille and the fact that the Cayenne S Hybrid is distinguished from the Cayenne S by only a Porsche-script "Hybrid" on the front fenders. Some purists are sure to be put off by the addition of "Porsche" spelled out on the tailgate. Cayenne spotters take note: black brake calipers indicate a V6 model, silver calipers denote Cayenne S or Cayenne S Hybrid, and red calipers are reserved for the Cayenne Turbo. Yellow calipers announce the presence of the $8,000+ ceramic brake option.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

At its base price of about $48,000, the 2011 Porsche Cayenne includes a 300-horsepower V6 engine, six-speed manual transmission, all-wheel drive, a power rear liftgate, Bluetooth phone connectivity, auxiliary audio input, dual-zone auto climate control, a 10-speaker/100-watt sound system and leather seats. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne includes six airbags as standard equipment, plus electronic stability and traction controls that deliver both performance and safety benefits.

Optional Equipment

A fully-loaded 2011 Porsche Cayenne will have a 16-speaker, 1,000-watt Burmester audio system, panoramic glass roof, 18-way adjustable front seats, adaptive cruise control, lane change assist, active headlights and many of the other options you'd expect in the category. Performance upgrades include torque vectoring, ceramic composite brakes, air suspension, active suspension, chassis control and off-road underbody protection for those inclined to take their Porsche off-pavement.

Under the Hood

In addition to more powerful, more fuel-efficient engines, 2011 Porsche Cayenne powertrain highlights include a new eight-speed automatic transmission, new torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system and an Auto Start Stop function that mimics hybrid-car behavior, shutting off the engine at full stops and quickly restarting it when the brake pedal is released. The available air suspension automatically lowers the Cayenne at 86 mph – and lowers it some more at 130 mph – and can also raise the vehicle a couple inches to provide more than 10 inches of ground clearance. Other physics-defying features familiar from the outgoing Cayenne include electronic dampers with Comfort, Normal and Sport modes (PASM), plus active anti-roll bars that reduce corner lean and improve off-road traction (PDCC). The Cayenne's new all-wheel drive system is lighter and less complex than the previous system, but can now distribute 100 percent of the available torque to the front or back. The reduction gearbox is gone, but first gear is lower and the system can still be locked for more extreme off-road conditions. The multi-tasking 2011 Porsche Cayenne also offers impressive max towing capacity of 7,716 pounds.

3.6-liter V6
300 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 (manual), 16/23 (auto)

4.8-liter V8
400 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
369 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22

3.0-liter, supercharged V6-based hybrid
380 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
427 lb-ft of torque @ 1,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/24

4.8-liter twin-turbo V8
500 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 2,250-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2011 Porsche Cayenne Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 64 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.5/10

Quality material & beautiful fit / finish, but...

By on Monday, June 23, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Electrical issues

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Interior quality"

Cons: "Lack of engine performance for the money"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I ordered this car and waited three months. Not the performance vehicle I believed it would be. The material, fit and finish is wonderful but the vehicle went to the shop four times in less than 9 months for some serious issues and the service I received was poor! The performance of the vehicle did not live up to the name Porsche…. I sold it and went back to a Japanese car for my daily driver."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Overpriced, uncomfortable Volkswagen truck

By on Monday, June 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,374

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Decent V8 engine when new"

Cons: "A long list of migraine headaches"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Driven this SUV for 2 years after owning several other luxury brand SUVs, I came to the conclusion that it is a waste of money even though the perception, or rather, misperception of this vehicle is excellent. The V8 engine is powerful enough, but the low-slung, backward slanted driving position takes away the important benefits of an SUV, because the driving position does not provide the raised view of the road or gives you the feeling of complete control and confidence. I know only Range Rover delivers in that department and no wonder RR is selling like a hot cake. Mechanically, it is almost as unreliable as Range Rover but twice as much to maintain or repair. I will trade it in soon for a real high ride SUV that has both high H-point 30 and H-point 5 to truly enjoy the command & control of the road. Plus the total cost of ownership will be reduced by half."

66 people out of 81 found this review helpful

Simply, the best automobile I have ever owned.

By on Monday, May 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,987

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Handling, appearance, milage, comfort"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned and driven this car for three and a half years. The car is exceptionally quiet, even at highway speeds, and remains free of rattles or squeaks. I consistently achieve over 25 MPG, and with the 27 gallon tank often drive from Phoenix to San Diego and return without the need to purchase gas until we are back in Arizona. The seats are exceptionally comfortable, all electronics and features are easily reached and used without pulling attention from driving, and the navigation is very intuitive. The Cayenne remains stylish inside and out, and drives and handles like you would expect a Porsche to drive and handle."

10 people out of 40 found this review helpful

Best vehicle of 41 owned!

By on Thursday, February 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Best value for the money! And FAST!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Awesome vehicle, has had service intervals which are expensive but the handling, ride quality at 130mph more than makes up for costs associated with service. Out of 41 vehicles I have owned this is by far the most overall best package available from any manufacturer!! its like driving a 911 in a sport utility package!!"

15 people out of 50 found this review helpful

GTS 2013 is a sporty sedan not an SUV!

By on Thursday, October 03, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great drive; handling and its sound is superb"

Cons: "fuel consumption, its price"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I used to drive x5 50i for three years before getting this 2013 GTS cayenne although close performance but not at all close handling and road mastering.... I do not have pdcc but still the car can go very fast in twisty roads with remarkable stability... interior is very luxurious and the low high look is great and people in the road irrespective of their cars are looking at the GTS, moreover the sound symposer when pushing the sport button is something sexy... I really in love with it!"

11 people out of 35 found this review helpful

Great vehicle, my favoirite so far!

By on Monday, August 05, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very fun to drive."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

Love that car!

"I had a 911 turbo and an Escalade before I got this Cayenne Turbo. It's like combining both into one vehicle. It's very quick and powerful, comfortable, and has decent storage capacity. The driving dynamics are excellent for an SUV (I did get all of the sport upgrades). The interior is the nicest I've ever seen (compared to BMW, Cadillac and Mercedes). Very high quality. The only downsides are the mpg, the cost of the maintenance and the short life/expense of the tires. I expected all of that so I'm not disappointed. Great ride and very useable."

17 people out of 32 found this review helpful

Love that car!

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