Overview

Overview

The 2013 Porsche Cayenne is a mid-size luxury crossover SUV in its second generation of production. This generation debuted with the 2011 model year, offering a considerably sleeker body than the first generation. The German manufacturer has refined that body even further for the 2013 Porsche Cayenne, giving it a sporty look with a touch of elegance and class.

There are two new trim levels available with the 2013 Porsche Cayenne, including a diesel option. As a matter of fact, the Cayenne may be the most versatile option available in the mid-size SUV class. Its six trim levels, four engines, and two transmissions combine to offer more choices than a Sunday barbeque buffet.

Expert Reviews

"The 2013 Porsche Cayenne is very pricey, but it's also very desirable given its standing as one of the finest SUVs on the planet." (Edmunds) "It's fast, huge fun to drive, and it sounds far more aggressive than any other version of the German SUV. Add in the fact that it looks considerably bolder thanks to the new wheels and Turbo-inspired body parts, and the GTS begins to look like the coolest way to configure a Cayenne." (Automobile Magazine)

It seems most experts are sold on the Cayenne in every category. "In a vehicle estimated to weigh 5000 pounds, it's strange not to get any sensation of body roll in something this tall." (Car and Driver, based on the GTS trim level) Steering and suspension performed for nearly all expert reviewers up to typical Porsche standards, which is to say it was tight and responsive.

"Even on this too-small, too-wet track, the GTS managed to vastly outperform the low expectations one has of any SUV of this size and weight, provoking the giddy laughter in the driver." (Motor Trend) It doesn't seem to matter which engine option is chosen, the driving excitement never ceases with the 2013 Porsche Cayenne. Up and down the test track it impressed the experts in all facets.

"It faces stiff competition from the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz M-Class and, to a lesser extent, the larger Audi Q7, none of which can match the wide-ranging list of positives offered by the Porsche Cayenne." (Kelley Blue Book) The wide list of available options, the latest in on-board technology, and the general reliability of German engineering make the Cayenne a sought after choice for driving enthusiasts yearning for a fun-to-drive luxury crossover.

Owner Reviews

"I love this car. It really gets up and goes, when you need it to. It is comfortable, easy to get into, classy, and looks great. It is fun to drive and fabulous. How lucky I am to be able to own the Porsche Cayenne S." (Owner review by Bea, Kelley Blue Book) Most owners concur with Bea; the Cayenne is a joy to drive. Spirited handling and agile prowess are among the many highlights mentioned by current owners.

"Awesome to drive, you will never know till you have been in one. One of the best cars I have ever driven!" (Owner review from Craig in California, Kelley Blue Book) "This is the second time I've had a Cayenne...it has power, it has grace, it handles wonderfully, it looks great inside and out; the engine looks like a work of art, and best of all it's a pleasure to drive, be it spirited, or leisurely. Only problem I have is the value. Great car if you like to drive." (Owner review from AOL Autos)

On the other hand, anything mechanical has to have a downside somewhere along the line, right? "Awesome car to drive, very expensive to maintain/insure. Rear wheel bearing repair, $1800. Coolant system gasket replacement $2000 (location required removing engine). 4WD system requires changing all 4 tires if you pop 1 and there is more than 5k miles on them. Have replaced all 4 brake rotors twice. Uses one quart of oil every 700 miles." (Owner review by California owner) Of course, there is a bad apple in every bunch.

Lineup

The lineup choices for the 2013 Porsche Cayenne are nothing if not plentiful. Two of the available trim levels are actually totally different powertrains. The Base Cayenne, along with the Cayenne S, Cayenne Hybrid, and Cayenne diesel, start off with an impressive standard options package. It includes a laundry list of technology, including LED running lights, rear privacy glass, power liftgate, heated washer nozzles, Bluetooth, eight-way power lumbar front seats, dual-zone climate control, heated mirrors, leather upholstery, and a 10-speaker sound system with cd player, touchscreen display, and iPod interface.

Jump up a level to the Cayenne GTS and you'll not only get more features, you'll get a better driving experience. The lower ride height of the GTS improves handling, especially through the tight corners. It also comes with upgraded brakes for better stopping power and an active suspension system with enhanced speed-sensitive steering. It is clear by the SportDesign exterior body kit that the GTS is the performance trim of the Cayenne line.

If you like the styling and performance of the GTS, the Turbo trim line will really burn your tread off. It comes with slightly smaller 19-inch wheels, 14-way heated power front seats with memory, faux-suede headliner, navigation system, and an upgraded 14-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system. There is also a list of optional features for all trim levels that will take you a few minutes to look over at the dealership. It includes, but it is definitely not limited to, roof rails, skid plates, rearview camera, a blind-spot warning system, dual-screen rear entertainment system, and a 16-speaker Burmester sound system (just in case the Bose system leaves you with any hearing).

Interior

The interior of the 2013 Cayenne is everything a luxury SUV should be - elegant, styled, and convenient. It doesn't boast a huge cargo capacity but it more than makes up for it with one of the best cabins of this class. The cockpit features a five-eye descending display with all gauges well-labeled and easily read. The array of buttons surrounding the console shifter is plentiful, but it will take a few minutes to get accustomed to before going for a drive.

The seats are remarkably soft and should stand up well regardless of trip time. The sliding, reclining, and folding features make them incredibly versatile no matter what the situation. Interior materials are of a high quality and the color toning isn't bland but not too flashy either. The power adjustable front seats adjust in enough ways that drivers of any size should be able to find some comfort.

Cargo capacity is a maximum 62.9 cubic feet, but that number drops slightly if you go with the Hybrid or Turbo models. That's not a great number for the mid-size SUV class. Don't expect much under-floor storage either because it is non-existent on some trim lines and only slightly above that on others. Sightlines are ample in all areas, especially the front of the vehicle where the curved hood and lowered A-frames make for enhanced visibility.

Performance

The base Cayenne comes with a 3.6L V6 engine that pumps out 300 horsepower and 295 ft.-lbs. of torque. All-wheel drive is standard no matter what trim level you choose, but you will get a choice of either a six-speed manual transmission (the standard option) or an eight-speed automatic with stop/start system for reduced fuel consumption. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 17/23 mpg (city/highway) with the automatic transmission and 15/22 mpg with the manual tranny.

The 3.6L isn't a bad engine, capable of climbing to 60 mph in just over 7 seconds, but upgrading to the Turbo trim level will get you the 4.8L V8 pushing 500 ponies and 516 ft.-lbs. of torque. It drops the time to 60 mph down to 4.6 seconds. That's flying for the SUV class in any size. The other two engine options are the 3.0L V6 being offered in both diesel and hybrid versions. The Hybrid also features an optional speed-sensitive power steering system.

The wide array of powertrain options give very different driving experiences, but all of them offer exhilaration you just won't find from many other SUVs. The diesel gives a power surge that is unexpected from a mid-level V6. The base V6 is only decent with power but it provides a smooth, quiet ride that is enhanced by the Porsche soundproofing and suspension. Moving up to the V8 is the ultimate performance machine, both in power and in handling. It is clear to see that this SUV came from an industry leader in driving excitement.

Safety & Reliability

The Cayenne has not been crash tested by the IIHS or the NHTSA as of this writing. However, it does possess a plethora of safety features, including multiple air bags, four-wheel ABS, stability and traction control, brake assist, daytime running lights, and 12 years of rust protection with no mileage limits. There are currently no major recalls.

The 2013 Porsche Cayenne offers a 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper basic warranty. The MSRP ranges from $48,850 for the base model with no options, jumping up to an eye-bulging $108,750 for the fully loaded version. Reliability is commensurate with most things from Porsche, which is to say that it rarely breaks but when it does, get out your big wallet.

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
SUV - AWD
AWD 4dr Manual V6 AWD 48850
AWD 4dr Tiptronic V6 AWD 48850
Diesel AWD 4dr Diesel V6 AWD 55750
S AWD 4dr S 8 Cylinder AWD 65850
S Hybrid AWD 4dr S Hybrid V6 AWD 69850
GTS AWD 4dr GTS 8 Cylinder AWD 82050
Turbo AWD 4dr Turbo 8 Cylinder AWD 108750

Comparison of 2013 Porsche Cayenne with Similar Cars

2013 Porsche Cayenne MSRP Invoice
2013 Porsche Cayenne $48,850 $43,785
Similar Cars to Consider MSRP Invoice Compare
2013 BMW X5 $47,500 $43,700 2013 Porsche Cayenne VS 2013 BMW X5
2013 GMC Yukon XL $45,230 $42,064 2013 Porsche Cayenne VS 2013 GMC Yukon XL
2013 Audi Q7 $46,800 $43,524 2013 Porsche Cayenne VS 2013 Audi Q7
2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class $47,270 $43,961 2013 Porsche Cayenne VS 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
2013 Lexus GX 460 $53,795 $49,492 2013 Porsche Cayenne VS 2013 Lexus GX 460

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2013 Porsche Cayenne ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2013 Porsche Cayenne rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

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