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2018 Porsche Cayenne Review

The 2018 Porsche Cayenne ranks near the top of the luxury midsize SUV class thanks to its balanced ride and handling, strong engine performance, and finely crafted interior. Sky-high ownership costs and a busy control layout keep the Cayenne from the top spot in the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Hearty engine options
  • Athletic handling
  • Superb fit and finish
  • Small cargo area
  • Control layout can be overwhelming




Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 9.7
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 5.3
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Porsche Cayenne Overview

Is the 2018 Porsche Cayenne a Good Used SUV?

Yes, the Porsche Cayenne is an outstanding SUV. Thrills are never in short supply from this luxury midsize SUV, especially when it's equipped with one of the optional engines, each more powerful than the last. The interior is also befitting of a first-class ride. The Cayenne has a few shortcomings, however, and some shoppers won't be able to stomach its steep prices, high cost of ownership, and small cargo area.

The 2018 Cayenne has many impressive qualities:

  • Muscular V6 and V8 engine lineup
  • Sharp handling with a comfortable ride
  • Handsome interior made with quality materials
  • Many available safety features

Some drawbacks may be deal breakers:

  • Abundance of buttons and knobs can be distracting
  • More expensive to buy and maintain than rivals
Why You Can Trust Us

Our Porsche Cayenne review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from more than 58 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2018 Porsche Cayenne?

Based on listings for the 2018 Porsche Cayenne on our site, the average price is $66,800. Prices range from $55,700 to $101,300 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Porsche Cayenne Cost to Own?

The 2018 Cayenne’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $38,100, or $7,620 per year. That's one of the highest estimates in our luxury midsize SUV rankings, mostly because of high maintenance and repair cost estimates.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Cayenne?

Porsche fully redesigned the Cayenne for 2019. The new Cayenne has a stronger base engine, and safety features such as traffic sign recognition and a head-up display are available for the first time. If these new options and the SUV's updated look aren't enough to sway you, stick with a used edition, which likely has a lower price. Buy a used Cayenne if you want the range-topping Turbo S, as this edition isn't part of the 2019 lineup.

Read about the new Porsche Cayenne »

The 2018 Cayenne is the final model year of a generation that was introduced for 2011. For a good combination of price and features, we recommend the 2017 Cayenne. It comes with an upgraded infotainment system that's easier to use than earlier versions. With no major changes made for 2018, you can likely spend less on a 2017 model while still getting a nearly identical SUV.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Cayenne »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Porsche Cayenne?

The 2018 Porsche Cayenne has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Cayenne reliability »

2018 Porsche Cayenne Recalls

At the time of writing, one recall has been issued for the 2018 Porsche Cayenne:

  • The optional ski bag may have been sewn with the incorrect thread, which could tear during a collision

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Porsche Cayenne safety recalls »

Which Used Porsche Cayenne Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Porsche Cayenne comes in six trims: Cayenne (base), Platinum Edition, S, GTS, Turbo, and Turbo S. Trim levels are mostly differentiated by the engine size and horsepower rating. Some also come with a handful of other upgrades, and a rich offering of options is available in every trim. The assortment includes numerous interior finishes, a variety of tech upgrades for entertainment and safety, and a handful of performance enhancements.

For a happy medium of performance, interior opulence, and price, consider the midlevel Cayenne S. It comes with an exhilarating 420-horsepower twin-turbocharged engine, along with upgraded power steering, a sunroof, and larger wheels.

  • Porsche Cayenne: The base Cayenne trim level is equipped with a 300-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather-trimmed seats, navigation, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and a power liftgate.
  • Porsche Cayenne Platinum Edition: The Platinum Edition comes with the base V6 engine, Alcantara leather seating inserts, heated front seats, a 14-speaker Bose premium audio system, 20-inch wheels, and front and rear parking sensors.
  • Porsche Cayenne S: A 420-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 engine and a sunroof are among the Cayenne S trim's extras.
  • Porsche Cayenne GTS:  The GTS comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 that's tuned to 440 horsepower. It features the Sport Design package (special body panels), an active air suspension system, Alcantara interior trimmings, and 20-inch wheels.
  • Porsche Cayenne Turbo: The Turbo is equipped with a 520-horsepower 4.8-liter V8.
  • Porsche Cayenne Turbo S: Porsche tunes the Turbo’s V8 to churn out 570 horsepower for the Cayenne Turbo S.

See 2018 Porsche Cayenne trims and specs »

What Does Porsche's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Porsche offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles 13 years old or less and with fewer than 124,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Porsche extends the original new-car warranty to six years or 100,000 miles. If the CPO vehicle is past its original new-car warranty term (four-years/50,000-miles), Porsche will cover the CPO vehicle for two years with unlimited mileage. Each CPO Porsche must pass a 111-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Porsche warranty page carefully.

Porsche’s CPO program is below average for a luxury carmaker, according to our research. Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar all have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Cayenne?

The Porsche Cayenne has not undergone crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is common for a high-end vehicle.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • none

Available advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • adaptive cruise control
  • lane change assist
  • lane departure warning
  • front and rear parking sensors
  • surround-view parking camera
  • emergency brake assist

See Cayenne safety scores »

2018 Porsche Cayenne Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Porsche Cayenne or 2018 BMW X5?

The 2018 BMW X5 places higher in our luxury midsize SUV rankings than the Cayenne. The X5 is less expensive to buy, with a lower average price by about $12,500. It will also save owners around $270 a year on select ownership costs. This price reduction doesn't curtail performance, either, as the X5 is one of the few SUVs that can keep up with the Cayenne. Because of its combination of positive reviews, safety and reliability ratings, seating and cargo volume, and the availability of family-friendly features, we picked the X5 as our 2018 Best Luxury 3-Row SUV for Families.

Which Is Better: 2018 Porsche Cayenne or 2018 Porsche Macan?

If you salivate over the Cayenne's sporty demeanor, but your mouth goes dry when you see its price tag, the 2018 Porsche Macan is a great alternative. This is a luxury compact SUV, which means you'll have to give up some cargo space with the Macan. You still get an adult-friendly back seat, however, as well as meaty engine choices and athletic handling.

Compare the Cayenne, X5, and Macan »

2018 Cayenne Performance

How Does the 2018 Porsche Cayenne Drive?

The Cayenne's base engine is respectable, but if you really want to get your heart pumping, step up to one of the SUV's more powerful options. These deliver faster acceleration rates, sprinting from zero to 60 mph in as little as 3.8 seconds. On the highway, the Cayenne's responsive steering and artfully tuned suspension system are a sublime partner to its potent engines. The result is a sporty SUV that's incredibly fun to drive.

Every model comes with all-wheel drive and a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. Performance upgrades include a Sport Chrono package (enhanced drive modes to alter the Porsche's driving dynamics to your preferences), a sport exhaust system, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (an active anti-roll system), Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (for improved stability when cornering), a rapidly adjusting active suspension system, and an adjustable air suspension.

This SUV is also available as a plug-in hybrid. We review the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid separately.

  • Base engine: 300-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 (Cayenne)
  • Available engines:
    • 420-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 (Cayenne S)
    • 440-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 (Cayenne GTS)
    • 520-horsepower turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 (Cayenne Turbo)
    • 570-horsepower turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 (Cayenne Turbo S)
  • Drivetrain: all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Porsche Cayenne Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Cayenne's base engine has a fuel economy rating that's slightly above average for a nonhybrid luxury midsize SUV, though all of its engines require premium gasoline. Annual fuel costs between the V6 models only vary by about $150 from the base Cayenne and the Cayenne GTS. The V8 engines cost the average driver an additional $450 or so each year in fuel costs compared to the base engine.

  • Cayenne: 18/24 mpg city/highway
  • Cayenne S: 17/24 mpg
  • Cayenne GTS: 16/23 mpg
  • Cayenne Turbo: 14/21 mpg
  • Cayenne Turbo S: 14/21 mpg
2018 Porsche Cayenne Towing Capacity

This Porsche can tow up to 7,716 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about Cayenne performance »

2018 Cayenne Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Cayenne Seat?

The 2018 Cayenne seats five people in two rows. Accommodations all around are cosseting, and the rear seats offer a generous amount of space and standard sliding and reclining functionality. Rear visibility is hindered by the roof pillars, though shoppers wanting a clear idea of what's behind them can seek out a Cayenne outfitted with the available rearview camera and parking sensors. The interior exudes refinement, from the quality materials to the effective noise insulation.

Standard seating features:

  • leather-trimmed seats
  • eight-way power-adjustable front seats
  • sliding/reclining rear seats with a 40/20/40 split

Available seating features:

  • upgraded leather and Alcantara upholstery
  • heated and ventilated front seats
  • adaptive sport seats with 18-way adjustments for the front
  • heated rear seats
  • heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Porsche Cayenne?

The 2018 Cayenne has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat.

2018 Porsche Cayenne Features

The Cayenne's infotainment system has a straightforward interface, a touch-screen display that is a bit undersized, and a multitude of buttons and controls. Professional reviewers are mixed on the physical controls: some appreciate the ability to make quick adjustments without using the touch screen, while others say the layout is distracting and has a cluttered appearance.

  • Standard infotainment features: the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system, a 7-inch touch-screen display, a navigation system, a USB port, and Bluetooth
  • Available infotainment features: a 14-speaker Bose premium audio system, a 16-speaker Burmester surround sound audio system, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a rear-seat entertainment system
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Other available features: quad-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, and a proximity key

See 2018 Porsche Cayenne specs »

Read more about Cayenne interior »

2018 Porsche Cayenne Dimensions

Porsche Cayenne Cargo Space

Most Cayenne trims have 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 62.9 cubic feet with the second row folded. This maxes out at 60.2 cubic feet in Turbo and Turbo S models. These figures are below-average for a luxury midsize SUV. In comparison, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE has 38.2 and 80.3 cubic feet, respectively.

A power liftgate and a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat come standard. Some models are equipped with an optional air suspension system, which can be used to lower the SUV for easier loading.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Porsche Cayenne Length and Weight
  • Length: 15 feet, 9 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,817 to 5,540 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 6,316 to 6,393 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Porsche Cayenne Built?

Porsche built the Cayenne in Germany.

Best 2018 Luxury Midsize SUVs

  • #1

    2018 BMW X5

    $43,112 - $71,869 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #2

    2018 Audi Q7

    $39,263 - $48,370 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #7

    2018 Porsche Cayenne

    $54,434 - $119,497 AVG. PAID

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See the full 2018 Luxury Midsize SUVs rankings »

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