Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 Porsche CAYENNE VS 2013 BMW X5 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2013 Porsche CAYENNE

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2013 BMW X5

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Porsche Cayenne have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW X5 M doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Porsche Cayenne are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X5 M doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Cayenne offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The system also pre-charges the brakes to begin deceleration more quickly. The X5 M doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Cayenne’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The X5 M doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

Both the Cayenne and the X5 M have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Cayenne has a standard 220 amp alternator (190 amp - Cayenne V8). The X5 M’s 180 amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 10th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 56 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Engine Comparison

The Cayenne Turbo’s standard 4.8 turbo V8 produces 16 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 500) than the X5 M’s 4.4 turbo V8.

In a Truck Trend race course test, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo was clocked 1.7 seconds faster than the BMW X5 M (90.2 sec. vs. 91.9 sec.).

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Cayenne Turbo gets better fuel mileage than the X5 M (15 city/22 hwy vs. 12 city/17 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Cayenne Automatic’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The X5 M doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Cayenne Turbo/Diesel’s standard fuel tank has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the X5 M (26.4 vs. 22.5 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Cayenne Turbo’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the X5 M:

Cayenne Turbo

X5 M

Front Rotors

16.5 inches

15.6 inches

The Cayenne offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The X5 M doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Cayenne stops shorter than the X5 M:


X5 M

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Cayenne’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X5 M (295/35R21 vs. 275/40R20).

The Cayenne’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the X5 M’s optional 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cayenne offers optional 21-inch wheels. The X5 M’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Cayenne offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. BMW doesn’t offer an active suspension on the X5 M.

The Cayenne Turbo handles at .93 G’s, while the X5 M pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Cayenne’s turning circle is 2.9 feet tighter than the X5 M’s (39.1 feet vs. 42 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Porsche Cayenne may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 950 pounds less than the BMW X5 M.

The design of the Porsche Cayenne amounts to more than styling. The Cayenne has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .36 Cd. That is lower than the X5 M (.38). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Cayenne get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Cayenne Turbo is quieter than the X5 M (77 vs. 78 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Cayenne has .3 inches more front headroom and .6 inches more front legroom than the X5 M.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Cayenne easier. The Cayenne’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 25.5 inches, while the X5 M’s liftover is 30 inches.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Cayenne. The X5 M doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

The Cayenne’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5 M’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the X5 M, the Cayenne offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Cayenne’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The X5 M has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the Cayenne has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The X5 M doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Cayenne has standard extendable sun visors. The X5 M doesn’t offer extendable visors.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Cayenne offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The X5 M doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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