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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.
Favorite Features

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
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 60 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.6/10

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!!"

6 people out of 9 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!"

8 people out of 10 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."

12 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Love that car!

I have the 2012 cayenne turbo with power kit

By on Monday, July 22, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun, reliable fast and stops on a dime"

Cons: "high price of options and maintenance costs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I have found the car to be great to drive; very comfortable on a long trip. I have obtained 24 mpg on the highway holding at 70-75 mph. Around town I get 13-17 mpg, but the real issue is to keep off the turbos, but that is why I got all the power. It does not use oil although some owners complain of it. Cost of maintenance is high; but it is a take it in 1x a year car; except for putting on snows in the winter. By the way, the standard goodyear all weather tires are horrible in the winter."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Lots of fun

By on Sunday, July 14, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

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: "well mad, fun to drive, versatile."

Cons: "15 mpg, limited number of dealers"

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

"My 2013 Cayenne GTS is 6 months old. Not a single problem. I look forward every time to start her up and drive. Has may personalities to select from. Comfort mode when you want a quiet and smooth drive. Sport Mode when you feel aggressive.And Off Road mode if you really want to. Very comfortable. Great looks. I get 15 mpg around town and low 20's on the open road. Yes, she was expensive $100K. That said, there is simply no other SUV like it. I love the vehicle."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Terrific car

By on Friday, November 23, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 340

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Design and performance outstanding. Tint windows"

Cons: "V6 a little light in the front end but OK"

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

"Well made and design is beautiful... V6 has plenty of power. Had an S and for price difference, it is not necessary."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

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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?