$23,709 - $43,718

2012 Porsche Cayenne Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Porsche Cayenne was new.


Interior: 8.1

Reviewers say the 2012 Porsche Cayenne is comfortable, with roomy seats and outstanding build quality and materials. However, its abundance of tech goodies can be complex and will take time for drivers to learn. Plus, in true Porsche fashion, the Cayenne doesn’t come standard with many features that are included in the base models of many of its competitors. Its cargo capacity is about average for the class, but the Cayenne doesn’t have enough small-item storage.

  • "Materials and assembly quality are first rate across the board. Springing for the optional full leather brings a leather-wrapped dashboard that makes the cabin look and feel even more classy." -- Consumer Guide


The Porsche Cayenne has plush seating for five. Reviewers like the SUV's supple leather and also praise the cushions' lateral support, which helps keep occupants in place during spirited driving. Several others highlight the back seat, saying it’s particularly comfortable for a two-row SUV. The Cayenne’s standard front seats are eight-way power-adjustable, but for some extra cash, you can opt for a memory function or adaptive sport seats, which are 18-way adjustable. Leather-trimmed upholstery is standard, but heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats and 14-way front-seat adjustment are all optional.

  • “Headroom and legroom are generous. A wide range of seat travel in most all directions means drivers of most any size will find a comfortable position.” -- Consumer Guide (on the front seats)
  • "The sculpted rear seats not only recline but slide fore and aft as well, which is a feature not typically found in five-passenger luxury SUVs.” -- Edmunds

Interior Features

Testers find that the Cayenne is laid out in typical Porsche opulence, but some note the buttons and features could be overwhelming at first. The dashboard layout may be luxurious and attractive, with high-quality materials, but one reviewer mentions that its 50 buttons make the console look a bit busy. This might be confusing or distracting for potential buyers, but could be beneficial to others who dislike the new touch screens found in other luxury vehicles. If you’re frustrated with the infotainment systems in other luxury SUVs, like the Lincoln MKX’s touch screen-only interface or BMW’s knob-based iDrive system, you might prefer the Cayenne’s buttons.

Otherwise, the base Cayenne is fairly under-equipped when compared with many rivals. It doesn’t come standard with features like a backup camera or heated front seats that are standard features on competitors like the Infiniti FX. Stepping up to a more expensive trim level, like the Cayenne S, Hybrid or Turbo, will add a few more standard features, but even the top-of-the-line Turbo trim doesn’t come standard with features that some competitors include, like adaptive cruise control, a six-disc CD changer or four-zone automatic climate control.

  • "The interior, even without those fancy A/C vents, will please even the pickiest luxury customers. The cornucopia of buttons on the center console may confound drivers at first, but they become rather intuitive over time.” -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Not only does the Cayenne use the Panamera's striking center console but also its small-diameter steering wheel. Plus, the Cayenne's gauge cluster is more akin to those in the brand's sports cars (center-positioned tachometer) and the seats are sportier and more supportive than those in the 2010 model.” -- Motor Trend
  • “With so many buttons, it can be difficult to find what you're looking for quickly, though once you discover the logic behind each set of controls, you might argue that this Porsche system is more efficient than the few-buttons-many-menu systems found in its competitors. Or you could argue that it's hopelessly busy.” -- Edmunds
  • “While most vehicles in this segment use joystick controllers linked to a dashboard screen to perform the myriad adjustments now common in luxury cars, Porsche's setup employs individual buttons and a touchscreen display. It actually goes a bit too far in this regard as we think there are too many buttons. What they all do takes time to master because they're not logically grouped. Performing some audio adjustments via the touchscreen also takes time because you often have to drill through several menus to get to the features you want.” -- Consumer Guide


The Porsche Cayenne offers up to 62.9 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, depending on the model you choose. Reviewers note that these figures are about average for the class, though they mention that the Cayenne’s small-item storage is lacking. A power liftgate with a separately-opening, remote-controlled window is standard.

  • “The cargo area offers class-competitive space, with rear seat backs that fold flat. Under-floor storage ranges from minuscule in conventional models, to non-existent in the Hybrid. Interior storage consists of an average-size glovebox, center console, and door pockets.” -- Consumer Guide


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