Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 Porsche CAYENNE VS 2016 BMW X5 Near Phoenix, AZ

Responsive image

2016 Porsche CAYENNE

Responsive image

2016 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 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 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Cayenne has a standard Multi-collision Brake System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The X5 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Cayenne. But it costs extra on the X5.

Both the Cayenne and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, front parking sensors, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Cayenne has a standard 220-amp alternator. The X5’s 210-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Cayenne’s reliability will be 28% better than the X5.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Cayenne third among midsize premium SUVs in their 2015 Initial Quality Study. The X5 isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 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 first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 6th.

Engine Comparison

The Cayenne has more powerful engines than the X5:



Cayenne S E-Hybrid 3.0 supercharged V6

416 HP

435 lbs.-ft.

Cayenne S 3.6 turbo V6

420 HP

406 lbs.-ft.

Cayenne GTS 3.6 turbo V6

440 HP

442 lbs.-ft.

Cayenne Turbo 4.8 turbo V8

520 HP

553 lbs.-ft.

Cayenne Turbo S 4.8 turbo V8

570 HP

590 lbs.-ft.

X5 s/xDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

300 HP

300 lbs.-ft.

X5 xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

445 HP

480 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Cayenne S E-Hybrid with a full charge gets better fuel mileage than the X5 xDrive35d (48 city/46 hwy MPGe vs. 24 city/31 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Cayenne gets better fuel mileage than the X5:





19 city/24 hwy

18 city/24 hwy



17 city/24 hwy

15 city/21 hwy



16 city/23 hwy


The Cayenne S E-Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 14 miles. The X5 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

The Cayenne’s standard fuel tank has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the X5 (26.4 vs. 22.4 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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


Cayenne GTS/Turbo

GTS/Turbo Opt.


X5 xDrive50i

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

15.4 inches

16.5 inches

13.1 inches

15.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

14.1 inches

14.6 inches

12.6 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 X5 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Cayenne stops much shorter than the X5:



60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Cayenne’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X5 (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’s optional 40 series front tires.

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

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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 X5 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The Cayenne Turbo handles at .95 G’s, while the X5 xDrive35i xDrive pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Cayenne Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the X5 xDrive35i xDrive (24.8 seconds @ .81 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .69 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Cayenne’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the X5’s (39 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Cayenne has a greater minimum ground clearance than the X5 (8.5 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the Cayenne to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Cayenne Turbo’s minimum ground clearance is 2.5 inches higher than on the X5 (10.7 vs. 8.2 inches).

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the Cayenne uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The X5 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Cayenne has .2 inches more front legroom and .1 inches more rear headroom than the X5.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Cayenne has a larger cargo area than the X5 with its rear seat up (23.7 vs. 22.9 cubic feet).

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’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, 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 has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

Consumer Reports rated the Cayenne’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the X5’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

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 doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the Cayenne’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The X5 doesn’t offer air conditioned seats for the second row.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Porsche Cayenne and the BMW X5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Motor Trend selected the Cayenne as their 2011 Sport Utility of the Year. The X5 has never been chosen.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.