Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Porsche CAYENNE VS 2015 Cadillac Escalade Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2014 Porsche CAYENNE

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VS

2015 Cadillac Escalade

Safety Comparison

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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 Cadillac Escalade doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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

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

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Cayenne uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Escalade uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Cayenne and the Escalade have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The Porsche Cayenne has a better fatality history. The Cayenne was involved in fatal accidents at a rate 5% lower per vehicle registered than the Escalade, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Warranty Comparison

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

Reliability Comparison

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Cayenne have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the Escalade.

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 Escalade’s 170-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

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

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 Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 13th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 14th.

Engine Comparison

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The Cayenne Turbo S’ standard 4.8 turbo V8 produces 130 more horsepower (550 vs. 420) and 93 lbs.-ft. more torque (553 vs. 460) than the Escalade’s 6.2 V8.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Cayenne Diesel gets better fuel mileage than the Escalade 4WD (20 city/29 hwy vs. 14 city/21 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Cayenne S Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Escalade 4WD (20 city/24 hwy vs. 14 city/21 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Cayenne S V8 gets better fuel mileage than the Escalade 4x4 (16 city/22 hwy vs. 14 city/21 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Cayenne Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Escalade doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

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 Escalade doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

Cayenne

Cayenne Turbo

Cayenne Turbo Opt.

Escalade

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

15.35 inches

16.5 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

14.1 inches

14.57 inches

13.6 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 Escalade doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the Cayenne’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Escalade (295/35R21 vs. 285/45R22).

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 Escalade’s optional 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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For superior ride and handling, the Porsche Cayenne has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Cadillac Escalade has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

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 Escalade 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. Cadillac doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Escalade.

Chassis Comparison

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The Porsche Cayenne may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 900 to 1200 pounds less than the Cadillac Escalade.

The Cayenne is 1 foot, 1.1 inches shorter than the Escalade, making the Cayenne easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Cayenne is 7.4 inches shorter in height than the Escalade, making the Cayenne much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Unibody construction makes the Cayenne’s chassis much stiffer, which contributes to better handling, and enables softer springs to be used for a better ride. Unibody construction’s stiffness also contributes to better durability and less body squeaks and rattles. The Escalade doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

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 Escalade’s liftover is 35.9 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Escalade, 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 front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Escalade’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

The Cayenne has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Escalade doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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 Escalade doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Cayenne offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Escalade doesn’t offer headlight washers.

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 Escalade doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

Recommendations Comparison

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Consumer Reports® recommends the Porsche Cayenne, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

The Porsche Cayenne outsold the Cadillac Escalade by 47% during 2013.

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