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2012 Porsche Cayenne

Overview
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2012 Porsche Cayenne Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.2

The Porsche Cayenne received a major revamp last year and now feels much better than the model introduced in 2003, benefiting from a reduction in weight and gains in both power and fuel efficiency. In short, it now feels less like an SUV and more like a Porsche. Yet the 5-passenger, 2-row Cayenne still offers the cargo-carrying capacity SUV owners crave, as well as surprising off-row prowess and the ability to tow more than 7,700 pounds. The 2012 Cayenne is available in four trim levels, including a hybrid, and ranges in price from under $50,000 for a base version with V6 and manual transmission to more than $120,000 for a fire-breathing twin-turbocharged V8.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you seek a luxury carry-all that puts the "sport" in the sport utility vehicle, the Cayenne is a must for your shopping list. It doesn't hurt that this Porsche can also haul cargo - in addition to other things.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need to carry more than five people, a 3-row luxury SUV such as Audi Q7, BMW X5 or Mercedes-Benz GL might be a better fit.

What's New for 2012

Following its 2011 remodel, the Cayenne isn't remarkably changed for 2012. Among the biggest new features is an optional power kit for the Cayenne Turbo that adds 40 horsepower to crank out a total of 540. The turbo version also gets slightly larger front disc brakes, and all models receive upgraded carpet in the cargo hull and on seatbacks.

Driving the Cayenne

Driving Impressions This latest Cayenne is much more Porsche-like in translating driver input into action versus its first-generation predecessor. With the ability to leap from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and a...

top speed of over 172 mph, the Cayenne Turbo sets the benchmark for performance SUVs. But even a base Cayenne with manual transmission can hit 60 mph in 7.1 seconds and attains a top speed of 142 mph. The Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is also impressive on the track (0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds), but in more normal driving around town, it suffers the little brake and throttle quirks of other hybrids. In general, this generation of Porsche Cayennes is quieter and more comfortable than the first generation, but they are still not the softest-riding in the class.

Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus
Porsche's PTV Plus torque-vectoring system sends more power to the outside rear wheel when cornering, helping the Cayenne track truer to steering input. When combined with active suspension management and dynamic chassis control, the 2012 Cayenne feels like a lightweight sports car instead of an SUV.


Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake
At nearly $9,000, the Cayenne's optional ceramic-composite brakes are anything but cheap. But shorter braking distances, better fade resistance and rotor lifespan of up to 200,000 miles are very real benefits.

2012 Porsche Cayenne Details
2012 Porsche Cayenne photo Interior

Sumptuous, finely stitched leather and overlays of wood and metal could very well let you think you're in a Porsche Panamera. Like that 4-door sibling, the Cayenne's cockpit is filled with enough buttons, knobs and other controls to make a fighter pilot wary. In addition to a sliding and reclining seat, rear passengers can be treated to in-car entertainment via LCD screens mounted in the front-seat headrests.

Exterior
2012 Porsche Cayenne photo

An abundance of muscular curves and a forward-leaning rear window convey the Cayenne's purpose of speed even while standing still. Big brake calipers peeking through the wheel wells also relay this Porsche's sporting ambitions. Black calipers signal a base V6 model, silver equal a Cayenne S or Cayenne S Hybrid, and red are for Cayenne Turbo. Yellow calipers are reserved for the high-end ceramic brake option. Up front, we like the larger trapezoidal grille of the Cayenne Turbo and its four exhaust outlets at the rear.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All 2012 Porsche Cayenne models come standard with all-wheel drive and a traction system meant to improve grip on road and off. Leather seating, a power liftgate, dual-zone climate control and a 10-speaker/100-watt audio system are also standard fare. All models except the base version with manual transmission feature start-stop technology, which stops the engine at idle to improve fuel economy.

Optional Equipment

Those seeking audio bliss can opt for the 16-speaker, 1,000-watt audio system from German hi-fi company Burmester. Heated and ventilated front seats, lane-change assist and adaptive cruise control can also be had. On the performance front, options include a torque-vectoring system and air suspension for enhanced handling, ceramic brakes for shorter stops, and underbody protection.

Under the Hood

Four engine options are available in the 2012 Porsche Cayenne, beginning with the 3.8-liter V6 that makes 300 horsepower and is linked to a 6-speed manual transmission or, as with every other model in the lineup, an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic. Moving up to the Cayenne S brings a 400-horsepower naturally aspirated V8. The Cayenne S Hybrid employs a 333-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V6 along with two electric motors that add 47 horsepower to the equation. At the top of the lineup is the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, with its 500-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8. Every Cayenne comes with all-wheel-drive, and all engines feature direct injection.


2012 Porsche Cayenne
3.6-liter V6
300 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 mpg (manual), 16/23 mpg (automatic)
0-60 mph: 7.1 seconds (manual), 7.4 (automatic), Top speed: 142 mph

2012 Porsche Cayenne S
4.8-liter V8
400 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
369 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 mpg
0-60 mph: 5.6 seconds, Top speed: 160 mph

2012 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid
3.0-liter supercharged V6 + two electric motors
380 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm (net system horsepower)
427 lb-ft of torque @ 1,000 rpm (net system torque)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/24 mpg
0-60 mph: 6.1 seconds, Top speed: 150 mph

2012 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
4.8-liter turbocharged V8
500 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 2,250-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 mpg
0-60 mph: 4.4 seconds, Top speed: 172 mph

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

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2012 Porsche Cayenne Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 73 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Great driving SUV

By on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,158

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great colors interior/exterior, rims/tires"

Cons: "Small rearview mirror"

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

"I love this car and it gets a lot of attention from other individuals. I have been at stop lights and people yell at me compliments about my car. It's very easy and nice to drive. Mine was custom made and gets a lot of compliments both inside and out. The exterior color is unique because not many SUVs carry that color. Overall it's a great car and a lot of fun to drive it."

very pleased with the car

By on Thursday, June 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"If you have the money If you enjoy driving You want an SUV that drives like a coupe this car is what you need No alternative Very reliable Powerful very comfortable seating OK trunk not too much room but does the job well Electronics audio could be better the only problem is burns oil you may need to add on before oil change"

21 people out of 40 found this review helpful

Don't go for this one!

By on Monday, April 06, 2015

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

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "look, brand name"

Cons: "everything else, horrible seats, horrible service"

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

"It has a good name but nothing else. Too many problems came in very short time. Long time took to fix problems. Very poor costumer service from the dealership and Porsche USA. Not even one sorry I heard for all those ridiculous problems. Seats are very uncomfortable. Electronic features are really outdated compare to other luxury brands. I just really want to get rid of it but I will lose too much money. You pay 80 K and don't even receive as much quality of a 25 k SUV. This is a piece of junk."

29 people out of 58 found this review helpful

The best SUV I have ever owned

By on Saturday, March 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "The best"

Cons: "None"

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

"This is my second Cayenne. I had a 2013 and traded for the 2014 Platinum Edition. Reliable, fast and great driving. Looks awesome next to other SUV's. No complaints."

11 people out of 20 found this review helpful

best driving suv on the market

By on Friday, February 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive great stability powerful"

Cons: "need 8 cylinder twin turbo"

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

"Traded in my ML 350 2013 after owning Mercedes for 10 years I trade every two years. The last model change was bad. Tried a Porsche Cayenne diesel love it bought it still have it"

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Excellent car

By on Saturday, September 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great car"

Cons: "Cup holder in the Cayenne are only 2 inch deep."

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

"I have a Cayenne diesel. I do not need to go fast, because I have a 911 turbo that goes fast. I love the diesel. Had to put gas in the car at 723 miles. Car is just what I wanted. This is my fourth Porsche, my 1st Cayenne. The other three were 911 turbos. NO problem with service, altho I wish the tires on the turbo would last a little longer."

40 people out of 79 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

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