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2021 Porsche Cayenne

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$67,500 - 166,200 MSRP

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2021 Porsche Cayenne Review

The 2021 Porsche Cayenne is one of the most dynamic performers in the luxury midsize SUV class. It offers a top-notch cabin and oodles of features, but its cargo hold is on the small side. This vehicle does not have an overall score or ranking because it hasn't been fully crash tested.

Pros & Cons

  • Athletic handling
  • Powerful engines
  • Elegant interior
  • Generous features list
  • Small cargo hold
  • Console and dashboard controls can be distracting
  • High base price

Research & Ratings

The 2021 Porsche Cayenne is unranked in Luxury Midsize SUVs due to missing safety data. Currently, the Porsche Cayenne's overall score is not available, though its Critics' Rating, Performance score, and Interior score are based on our evaluation of 18 pieces of research and data.

N/A

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.6
Performance: 9.5
Interior: 7.3
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. As a result, it doesn't have an overall score and cannot be ranked against other luxury midsize suvs.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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Is the Porsche Cayenne a Good SUV?

The Porsche Cayenne is a great luxury midsize SUV. It’s one of the top performers in its segment, with thrilling handling and muscular engines. Inside, it has a lavish cabin with a bounty of features. Adding to this vehicle’s appeal is its above-average predicted reliability rating. Porsche makes the Cayenne in two body types: a regular SUV and an SUV with a more dramatically sloped roofline that Porsche calls the Cayenne Coupe.

Why You Can Trust Us: 18 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about this luxury SUV in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data like horsepower ratings, fuel economy estimates, and cargo space dimensions with 18 professional reviews.

This Porsche Cayenne review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2019.

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Porsche Cayenne?

Elegant and fun to drive, the Porsche Cayenne presents a compelling choice for many buyers. However, if you’re looking for affordability or a practical way to store your stuff, you’d be better served by rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLE. You might even consider the performance-oriented Jaguar F-Pace. It’s smaller, but the F-Pace is similarly priced.

Find a 2021 Porsche Cayenne for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Porsche Cayenne: What's the Difference?

Other than reintroducing the Cayenne GTS, Porsche made no major changes to this vehicle for the 2021 model year.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Cayenne »

Porsche last redesigned the Cayenne for 2019. Here are some key changes over the last few years:

  • 2017: updated infotainment system; diesel-powered Cayenne model discontinued
  • 2018: no major changes
  • 2019: fully redesigned with larger standard touch screen (12.3 inches, up from 7), 35-horsepower bump for base engine, more available driver-assistance features, and additional cargo space behind rear seats; Cayenne Turbo S discontinued
  • 2020: Porsche Cayenne Coupe body style debuted
  • 2021: Porsche Cayenne GTS joins trim lineup

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Cayenne, 2019 Cayenne, and 2020 Cayenne reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Porsche Cayenne Cost?

The entry-level Cayenne has a starting MSRP of $67,500 for the standard SUV and $76,500 for the coupe. Both are among the highest prices in the class. Prices skyrocket to as high as $127,800 for the Cayenne Turbo and $131,900 for the Turbo Coupe.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Porsche dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Porsche deals page.

Porsche Cayenne Versus the Competition

Porsche Cayenne vs. Mercedes-Benz GLE

The Mercedes-Benz GLE is a fantastic luxury midsize SUV, and, unless performance is your top priority, it’s a better choice than the Cayenne. The GLE is expected to be more affordable than the Cayenne by around $13,000, but that money gets you a similarly upscale interior, more standard features, and a lot more cargo space. The Mercedes can be had with third-row seating, and it also has a lineup of brutish engines, including a 603-horsepower V8 in the AMG GLE 63 S.

Compare the Cayenne and GLE »

Porsche Cayenne vs. Audi Q8

The Audi Q8 was built on the same platform as the Cayenne. In a side-by-side comparison, the two have a few things in common, such as high-tech interiors and similar safety features. However, they also have a few differences. The Audi has a bit more cargo space, and it supports Android Auto, which you won’t find in any Cayenne model. However, the Porsche is the clear winner performance-wise, with nimbler handling and more capable engines. The exception is the high-performance Audi RS Q8, which has about 50 horsepower more than the Cayenne Turbo.

Compare the Cayenne and Q8 »

Compare the Cayenne, GLE, and Q8 »

Cayenne Interior: Lavish

Cayenne Cargo Space

Cargo space in this vehicle varies between the standard SUV and Coupe body types. Because of its steeper roofline, the Coupe has 22 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 54.3 cubic feet behind the front seats. The regular Cayenne has 27.2 and 60.3 cubic feet of space, respectively. Turbo and Turbo Coupe models lose around 1 cubic foot of space from each total. Regardless of body style, Cayenne models have less cargo space than most rivals. A power liftgate comes standard.

How Many People Does the Cayenne Seat?

Both Cayenne models hold up to five people, although the coupe comes standard with only two rear seats with the option to purchase a rear middle seat. Leather upholstery and eight-way power-adjustable front seats come standard.

The regular Cayenne has generous head- and legroom in both rows. The seats themselves are comfortable and supportive all-around, and the second-row bench seat can slide or recline to provide even more space. The Cayenne Coupe lacks this sliding back row, and its sloping roofline and lower seating position can make it tricky to enter or exit the vehicle, but it’s still reasonably spacious.

Cayenne and Child Car Seats

The Cayenne has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats.

Cayenne Interior Quality

As you’d expect from a Porsche, the cabin is awash in luxury, with an abundance of soft leather surfaces and high-end materials.

Cayenne Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Porsche Communication Management infotainment system is generally easy to use. It has a large touch screen that’s highly configurable and responds quickly to inputs. However, its glossy appearance smears easily, revealing fingerprints and dust. Some of the buttons on the console leading up to the touch screen are hyper-sensitive and can be distracting to use on the go.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 12.3-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, a navigation system, Bluetooth, four USB ports, satellite radio, and a 10-speaker stereo
  • Available infotainment features: a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 10-inch touch screens, wireless device charging, a 14-speaker Bose stereo, and a 21-speaker Burmester surround-sound system
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Other available features: quad-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, and a panoramic roof

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Cayenne Performance: Class Leader

Cayenne Engine

You have four engine choices in this vehicle, and each one comes in a different trim level. The base Cayenne model features a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. You could upgrade to the Cayenne S and get a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 rated at 434 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque.

The upper trims have a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine. It makes 453 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque in the Porsche Cayenne GTS and 541 horsepower and 567 pound-feet of torque in the top-of-the-line Cayenne Turbo.

There are no bad choices when it comes to powertrain. The base turbocharged V6 supplies more than enough power for regular driving, and the added punch of the Cayenne S’ twin-turbo V6 helps make the vehicle a blast to drive. The V8 engines practically transform this luxury SUV into a sports car, with rapid acceleration and a throaty exhaust note. Adding the Sport Chrono package boosts acceleration even further.

A slick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission is standard in all Cayenne models.

Cayenne Gas Mileage

The EPA has not evaluated the 2021 Cayenne as of this writing, but the mechanically identical 2020 Cayenne gets fuel economy estimates of 19 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway for the base model, which is about average for the class. The Porsche Cayenne S returns 18 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, and the Cayenne Turbo trails the pack at 15/19 mpg city/highway.

Cayenne Ride and Handling

It may be a big SUV, but this Porsche drives like a sports sedan. Its handling is dynamic, with deft steering and eager cornering. Although stiff, the suspension smooths out most bumps in the road. The Cayenne Coupe rides a bit more harshly because of its larger wheels. All-wheel drive comes standard.

Cayenne Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the Cayenne can tow up to 7,700 pounds. That’s outstanding for the class.

Read more about performance »

Cayenne Reliability

Is the Porsche Cayenne Reliable?

The 2021 Porsche Cayenne has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five.

Porsche Cayenne Warranty

Porsche covers the Cayenne with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Cayenne Safety

Cayenne Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2021 Cayenne. That’s common for high-end luxury vehicles.

Cayenne Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors

Available advanced safety features:

  • Lane keep assist
  • Lane change assist
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Porsche InnoDrive (adaptive cruise control and traffic jam assist)
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Night-vision camera
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Head-up display

Read more about safety »

Cayenne Dimensions and Weight

The Cayenne is 16.2 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 4,582 to 5,056 pounds, and its gross vehicle weight rating is between 6,162 and 6,471 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Porsche Cayenne Built?

Porsche builds the 2021 Cayenne in Germany.

Which Porsche Cayenne Model Is Right for Me?

Your first choice with this Porsche relates to body type. You can get the Cayenne as a traditional SUV or as the Cayenne Coupe, which has four doors but a more steeply sloped roofline.

Once you’ve made that choice, you’ll find four trim levels: base, S, GTS, and Turbo. Each Cayenne model gets its own engine. Otherwise, they largely have the same standard features and optional equipment. The base trim is available with a ton of options and has ample power, so it should satisfy most shoppers. If you're still looking for more robust performance, consider the Cayenne S or even a high-end Turbo model.

Porsche also offers the Cayenne Hybrid, which we review separately.

Porsche Cayenne

With a starting MSRP of $67,500 ($76,500 for the coupe), the base model comes with a rich assortment of features. Highlights include a 335-horsepower turbocharged V6 engine and a Porsche Communication Management infotainment system with a 12.3-inch touch screen, a navigation system, Apple CarPlay, a 10-speaker stereo, satellite radio, four USB ports, and Bluetooth. Other standard features include leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and alloy wheels.

The Premium package costs $6,470 and adds heated and 14-way power-adjustable front seats, a panoramic roof, adaptive headlights, lane change assist, proximity keyless entry, and a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound stereo. The Premium Package Plus is $8,950 and adds all of that plus ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and quad-zone automatic climate control.

For $6,250, you can opt for the Assistance package. It features a night-vision camera, a surround-view parking camera system, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, a head-up display, and Porsche InnoDrive with adaptive cruise control and traffic jam assist.

Many of the above features can also be added as stand-alone options. Other options include an air suspension and an active suspension management system (PASM $4,170), Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control ($3,590), rear-wheel steering ($1,620), ceramic-coated ($3,490) or full ceramic brakes ($9,080), soft-closing doors ($780), a heated steering wheel ($280), a 21-speaker Burmester stereo ($7,000), wireless device charging ($690), and a rear-seat entertainment system ($2,300).

Porsche Cayenne S

The Porsche Cayenne S retails for $85,100 for the standard SUV body type. The Cayenne S Coupe starts at $89,900. Both come with a 434-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 engine and a panoramic roof.

Many of the same packages and options remain available in the Cayenne S, although pricing may be different. Also available is Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) for $1,500.

Porsche Cayenne GTS

Porsche Cayenne GTS models have a starting price of $107,300 for the SUV and $110,500 for the coupe. These models pick up a 453-horsepower twin-turbocharged V8 engine, as well as an adaptive air suspension with PASM and PTV Plus. Most of the other options carry over.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo

The range-topping Cayenne Turbo (MSRP: $127,800) has the GTS’ twin-turbo V8 engine, but it gets a boost to 541 horsepower. The Turbo also comes with 18-way power-adjustable front seats and the contents of the Premium package. However, it loses the GTS’ performance add-ons, which are options in this trim.

The Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe has a base MSRP of $131,900.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Porsche dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Porsche deals page.

See 2021 Porsche Cayenne specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Porsche Cayenne is a fantastic luxury midsize SUV. Included among this vehicle’s strengths are its good predicted reliability rating, premium interior, extensive features, array of energetic engines, and athletic handling. Unless you need more space for your stuff or want something a little easier on your wallet, the Cayenne is well worth considering.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "While these features can quickly inflate its price, and we think some should be standard, at least they're discretional. Besides, the 2021 Cayenne—and its coupe counterpart—are mid-size luxury crossovers that fully engage driving enthusiasts. That makes them our favorite choice." -- Car and Driver
  • "There are few vehicles — high-performance luxury SUVs or otherwise — that are as well-rounded as the Porsche Cayenne. Whether you're looking for an SUV that's practical or slinky — or fast or fuel-efficient (or all four!) — there's a Cayenne variant to suit your needs." -- Edmunds (2020)
  • "The 2020 Porsche Cayenne … [bests] virtually every other SUV when it comes to being fun to drive. It also offers a diverse selection of models, powertrains and, for 2020, body styles, thanks to the new Cayenne Coupe. Inside, there's easy-to-use technology, sensational build quality and an endless array of customization options." -- Autoblog (2020)
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