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7.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.9
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 6.1
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
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2012 Porsche Cayenne Review

Phenomenal handling and powerful engine choices make the 2012 Porsche Cayenne one of the most fun-to-drive SUVs in the class, reviewers said, but its high cost of ownership lessens its appeal.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful V8 engine choices
  • Sports-car like handling
  • Limited cargo space
  • High ownership costs

New for 2012

  • Lane change assist became available
  • Power boost kit became available for Cayenne Turbo

2012 Porsche Cayenne Overview

The 2012 Porsche Cayenne comes with a V6 engine that reviewers wrote provides plenty of power. They were more impressed with the vigor and brisk acceleration provided by the V8 engine in the Cayenne S and the twin-turbocharged V8 in the Cayenne Turbo. The V6 model comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, making it one of the few 2012 luxury SUVs available with a manual. An eight-speed automatic is available on the V6 model and standard on all others, and reviewers said it shifts quickly. All-wheel drive is standard. A V6-powered 2012 Cayenne with an automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 17/23 mpg, which is on par with all-wheel drive rivals’ estimates. Reviewers agreed that the 2012 Cayenne is one of the most fun-to-drive SUVs in the class and they praised its strong brakes and sharp steering. They said its all-wheel drive system helps it corner particularly well and added that the ride is firm, yet comfortable.   

Test drivers said the five-seat 2012 Porsche Cayenne’s cabin feels opulent thanks to top-notch materials and outstanding build quality. The front seats are supportive, highly adjustable and there’s plenty of head- and legroom, they said. Auto writers said the back seat is also roomy. The Cayenne's maximum 62.9 cubic feet of cargo space is a bit low for a two-row 2012 luxury SUV. The Cayenne comes standard with a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, leather upholstery, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker CD audio system, an auxiliary input and a 7-inch touch-screen display. Available features include a rearview camera, heated and ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, navigation, a Bose or Burmester premium audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, a USB port, lane change assist, adaptive cruise control, four-zone climate control and a rear-seat entertainment system. Several test drivers said that it takes time to master the layout of the Cayenne's button-heavy dashboard, but most liked the layout once it’s learned.

Other SUVs to Consider

Reviewers said that the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Sport has a sporty driving demeanor on pavement and is one of the most capable off-roaders in the class. It also has more cargo space than the Cayenne and test drivers liked its opulent interior.

While the 2012 BMX X6 only seats four, test drivers said it has an elegant cabin with top-notch materials. Like the Cayenne, reviewers praised the X6 for its powerful engines and incredibly sporty handling.

Compare the Cayenne, Range Rover Sport and X6 »

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