Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Porsche CAYENNE VS 2014 Lexus RX Near Phoenix, AZ

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2014 Porsche CAYENNE

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VS

2014 Lexus RX

Safety Comparison

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To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All Wheel Drive is standard on the Cayenne. But it costs extra on the RX Series.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Cayenne’s standard Porsche Hill Control allows you to creep down safely. The RX Series doesn’t offer Porsche Hill Control.

Both the Cayenne and the RX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

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The Cayenne’s corrosion warranty is 4 years longer than the RX Series’ (10 vs. 6 years).

Reliability Comparison

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Cayenne third among midsize premium CUVs in their 2013 Initial Quality Study. The RX Series isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked third.

Engine Comparison

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The Cayenne has more powerful engines than the RX Series:

Horsepower

Torque

Cayenne 3.6 DOHC V6

300 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Cayenne S Hybrid 3.0 supercharged V6

380 HP

428 lbs.-ft.

Cayenne S 4.8 DOHC V8

400 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

Cayenne GTS 4.8 DOHC V8

420 HP

380 lbs.-ft.

Cayenne Turbo 4.8 V8

500 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

Cayenne Turbo S 4.8 V8

550 HP

553 lbs.-ft.

RX 350 3.5 DOHC V6

270 HP

248 lbs.-ft.

RX 450h 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid

295 HP

n/a

The Cayenne’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 158 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 248) than the RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Cayenne S Hybrid is faster than the RX 450h (automatics tested):

Cayenne

RX Series

Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.3 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.7 MPH

92.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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Regardless of its engine, the Cayenne’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the RX Series Hybrid.

The Cayenne has 9.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the RX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (26.4 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Cayenne has 7.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the RX Series’ standard fuel tank (26.4 vs. 19.2 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the Cayenne’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RX Series:

Cayenne

Cayenne Turbo opt.

RX Series

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

16.5 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

14.57 inches

12.2 inches

The Cayenne’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the RX Series are solid, not vented.

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 RX Series doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Cayenne stops much shorter than the RX Series:

Cayenne

RX Series

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the Cayenne has larger standard tires than the RX Series (255/55R18 vs. 235/60R18). The Cayenne’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RX Series (295/35R21 vs. 235/60R18).

The Cayenne’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RX Series’ standard 60 series tires. The Cayenne’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the RX Series’ optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cayenne offers optional 21-inch wheels. The RX Series’ largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Cayenne (except Hybrid) offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The RX Series doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

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

The Cayenne offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The RX Series’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Cayenne’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the RX Series (114 inches vs. 107.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Cayenne is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than on the RX Series.

The Cayenne GTS handles at .95 G’s, while the RX 350 AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Cayenne Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.9 seconds quicker than the RX 450h AWD (24.8 seconds @ .81 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Cayenne has a 1.8 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the RX 450h (8.7 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the Cayenne to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Cayenne Turbo’s minimum ground clearance is 3.45 inches higher than on the RX 350 (10.75 vs. 7.3 inches).

Chassis Comparison

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As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Cayenne Diesel is quieter than the RX 350 AWD (70 vs. 73 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

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The Cayenne has .6 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front shoulder room and 1.2 inches more rear headroom than the RX Series.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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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 RX Series’ liftover is 30.9 inches.

The Cayenne’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The RX Series’ rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Ergonomics Comparison

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Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the RX Series, the Cayenne offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) 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 RX Series does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Cayenne’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The RX Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Cayenne to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The RX Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the Cayenne’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the RX Series’ headlights, which were rated “Good.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Cayenne detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The RX Series doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 RX Series doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

Both the Cayenne and the RX Series offer optional heated front seats. The Cayenne also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the RX Series.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the Cayenne owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Cayenne with a number “5” insurance rate while the RX Series is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Cayenne is less expensive to operate than the RX Series because typical repairs cost much less on the Cayenne than the RX Series, including $282 less for a water pump, $150 less for a starter, $34 less for fuel injection, $522 less for a timing belt/chain and $117 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Cayenne first among midsize premium CUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The RX Series isn’t in the top three.

Motor Trend selected the Cayenne as their 2011 Sport Utility of the Year. The RX Series has never been chosen.

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