2013 Porsche Cayenne Review

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent handling
  • invigorating V8s
  • efficient diesel engine
  • finely crafted interior
  • sliding and reclining rear seat
  • many available options.
  • Those options are really expensive
  • less cargo capacity than some rivals
  • lots of buttons on dash
  • Hybrid's awkward brake feel.
List Price Range
$19,997 - $32,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2013 Porsche Cayenne is very pricey, but it's also very desirable given its standing as one of the finest SUVs on the planet.

Vehicle overview

In China, Porsche is not known as a maker of high-end sports cars. Instead, it is the Cayenne crossover SUV that has buyers from Beijing to Guangzhou sitting on year-long waiting lists just for a chance to bring the most basic model home at a price double that of the American-market version. Size, comfort, opulence and the appeal of a German luxury badge are its primary selling points.

The Porsche Cayenne is one of the most appealing midsize luxury crossovers thanks to its sophisticated engineering, impeccable construction, immense features list and surprisingly useful cabin. True, it doesn't boast a third-row seat or the massive cargo capacity of larger crossovers, but its sliding, reclining and folding rear seat adds a degree of versatility that other luxury SUVs lack. With the new 2013 Cayenne Diesel model and the carry-over Cayenne S Hybrid, good fuel economy also becomes a strong selling point.

Yet this is the United States, and a Porsche needs to live up to those decades of high-performance expectations. And despite the lamentations of dedicated automotive purists, the Cayenne earns its Porsche crest by being one of the most rewarding and involving SUVs to drive on the highway. Handling is exceptional, and it only gets better as you select certain high-tech chassis-enhancing options or go whole-hog with the new sport-tuned 2013 Cayenne GTS. And although a basic V6 Cayenne might be worth waiting for in China, it's the 29-mpg Cayenne Diesel, 400-horsepower Cayenne S and 500-hp Cayenne Turbo that draw attention on this side of the Pacific. Indeed, the Turbo is quicker than many sports cars.

Frankly, the 2013 Porsche Cayenne would be an easy choice if it wasn't for prices that are high even here in America -- and as with all Porsches, the prices only get higher when you start sampling from the lengthy list of options. As such, looking around would be a wise decision. The BMW X5, Infiniti FX and Mercedes-Benz M-Class all deliver a similar degree of luxury, practicality, performance and model variety for considerably less money. The Cayenne's sophisticated engineering and impeccable construction are certainly worth something, but you're still paying extra for that badge. Yet from Tampa Bay to Beijing, this seems like something that people are more than happy to do.

2013 Porsche Cayenne models

The 2013 Porsche Cayenne is a five-passenger midsize SUV available in six different models that mostly differ by engine.

The base Cayenne, Cayenne S, Cayenne Diesel and Cayenne S Hybrid come standard with 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, front and rear foglamps, rear privacy glass, a power liftgate (with separately opening window), automatic wipers, heated washer nozzles, heated mirrors, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats with four-way lumbar adjustment and driver memory functions, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, a 40/20/40 rear seat (slides, reclines, folds), Bluetooth phone connectivity and a 10-speaker sound system with a touchscreen display, CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface. The S Hybrid also comes with an enhanced speed-sensitive power steering system that is optional on these other trims.

The Cayenne GTS gets the above equipment plus Porsche's active suspension system with adjustable ride height (known as PASM), a lower ride height to improve highway handling, 20-inch wheels, a different final-drive ratio, upgraded brakes, the enhanced speed-sensitive steering, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, the Turbo's more aggressive front fascia, the SportDesign exterior body kit package, front and rear GTS-specific sport seats, a sport steering wheel and extensive use of faux suede in the interior. Many of these items are available separately on the lower trims.

Besides its turbocharged engine, the Cayenne Turbo includes a variety of items that are optional on the lower trims. These include 19-inch wheels, PASM, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, 14-way power front sport seats with four-way lumbar adjustment and memory functions, heated front and rear seats, a heated power-adjustable steering wheel, a faux-suede headliner, a navigation system and a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with satellite radio. Ten-way power "Comfort" front seats with less aggressive bolstering are a no-cost option.

As with any Porsche, the amount of optional equipment available on all Cayenne models is exhaustive. Exterior and mechanical items include different wheels, an active antiroll suspension system (Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control), a side-to-side torque-vectoring rear differential (PTV Plus), ceramic composite brakes, skid plates, running boards, roof rails, a panoramic sunroof, a regular sunroof, a heated windshield and noise-insulated privacy glass. Interior comfort and design items include four-zone automatic climate control, power rear side sunshades, ventilated front seats, a Porsche-designed child safety seat, interior ambient light, extended leather interior trim, different leather seat finishes and a nearly endless array of customizable trim pieces capable of being covered in leather or other trim types. Electronic items include a rearview camera (includes front and rear parking sensors), keyless ignition/entry, adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot warning system, voice controls, a six-CD changer, a dual-screen rear seat entertainment system and a 16-speaker Burmester surround-sound audio system.

2013 Highlights

There are two new models of the 2013 Porsche Cayenne, the fuel-efficient Cayenne Diesel and the performance-oriented Cayenne GTS. All models get a standard analog clock on the dashboard.

Performance & mpg

The base 2013 Porsche Cayenne comes with a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 300 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque. As on every Cayenne, all-wheel drive is standard. A six-speed manual transmission is standard; an eight-speed automatic is optional and includes an automatic stop/start system for reduced fuel consumption. Porsche estimates this engine will bring the Cayenne from zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds with the automatic (7.1 for the manual), which would be a little slower than average for a six-cylinder luxury SUV. EPA-estimated fuel economy with the automatic is 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. It drops to 15/22/17 with the manual.

The Cayenne Diesel features a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 diesel that produces 240 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. The eight-speed automatic is standard. Porsche says the diesel Cayenne will hit 60 mph in 7.4 seconds, which is quick for a diesel engine. EPA-estimated fuel economy is an excellent 19/29/23.

The Cayenne S represents a substantial upgrade, with its 4.8-liter V8 good for 400 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. As with every V8 Cayenne, the eight-speed automatic with auto stop/start is standard. Porsche estimates the S will hit 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is nearly equal to the V6 at 16/22/18.

The Cayenne S Hybrid features a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 attached to a 34kW electric motor. Combined, this hybrid powertrain produces 380 hp and 427 lb-ft of torque. EPA-estimated fuel economy is worse than that of the diesel at 20/24/21, but acceleration is stronger. In Edmunds performance testing, it hit 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.

The Cayenne GTS gets an upgraded version of the S engine good for 420 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. Its 0-60 time is estimated to be the same as the Cayenne S. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 15/21/17.

The Cayenne Turbo gets a turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 good for 500 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, the Turbo hit 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, which makes it one of the quickest SUVs on the planet. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 15/22/17. The Turbo Powerkit bumps output up to 540 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque.

Regardless of trim, each Cayenne equipped with the eight-speed automatic is rated to tow as much as 7,716 pounds.

Safety

The 2013 Porsche Cayenne comes standard with antilock brakes with enhanced brake assist and readiness, stability and traction control, driver knee airbag, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Rear side airbags, parking sensors, a rearview camera and a blind-spot warning system are available.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Cayenne Turbo came to a stop from 60 mph in 108 feet, which is exceptional for any vehicle, especially an SUV. With its regenerative brakes, the Cayenne S Hybrid fared worse with a stop of 120 feet, but that's still acceptable in this class.

Driving

Few luxury SUVs come with such a wide variety of powertrain options. The base V6 delivers merely average acceleration, but it's not what anyone would describe as pokey. The same could be said of the new Porsche Cayenne Diesel, which tends to feel stronger around town thanks to its torque-rich power delivery. It also achieves very strong fuel economy for a luxury SUV and actually outdoes the more expensive (and admittedly quicker) Cayenne S Hybrid. If you don't need thrilling straight-line performance, the Diesel is a great choice.

Even on these less performance-oriented Cayennes, highway handling is impressive and the steering deserves special praise for its linearity and precision. Body roll is well controlled and the Cayenne can be hustled along with gusto, helped by a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system that delivers 60 percent of its thrust to the rear wheels under normal conditions. The optional active suspension system provides a supple ride even with the dampers in their most aggressive setting. As a result, the Cayenne is an excellent candidate for long-distance driving and even light off-roading. The optional active stabilizer bar system and torque-vectoring (power-directing) differential make the Cayenne even better on the road.

We're not going to lie, however; the best way to exploit these dynamic talents is with one of the powerful V8 engines. All by itself, the acceleration of the Cayenne Turbo earns it a place in a very exclusive club. Add the optional power upgrade, racing-bred carbon-ceramic brakes and all the available suspension and drivetrain upgrades, and there are few sports cars (let alone SUVs) that can keep up with the 2013 Porsche Cayenne.

Interior

The Cayenne features a sophisticated cockpit-style layout similar to most Porsche sports cars. The center console, adorned with upwards of 50 buttons, rises to meet the dash and large touchscreen display, creating an enveloping driver's environment. With so many buttons, it can be difficult to quickly find what you're looking for, but you might argue that this Porsche system is more efficient than the menu-driven systems found in its competitors.

Like other Porsches, the Cayenne features fine interior materials put together with excellent craftsmanship. Handsome wood, alloy trim and leather upholstery further add to the luxurious ambience, plus you can add even more leather and wood along with carbon or faux suede thanks to the exhaustive options list. The front seats are available in three different designs, ranging from simple eight-way power adjustment to the 14-way sport seats, which feature adjustable bolsters, lumbar and seat cushion length. The sculpted rear seats not only recline but also slide fore and aft as well.

The Cayenne has a maximum luggage capacity of 62.9 cubic feet (a figure reduced to 59.7 and 60.2, respectively for the Hybrid and Turbo models). This is on the small side for the Cayenne's class.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2013 Porsche Cayenne.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Diesel Diva
Gail Leonard,08/18/2016
Diesel 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A)
No longer available in the US in the diesel version, which is a shame, because it combines all the fun of driving a Porsche SUV with the fuel economy of a diesel. The diesel version has much better pickup than the base gasoline Cayenne and is just a blast to drive - those 400 plus foot pounds of torque make the vehicle leap from a flat start. If you put it into the optional Sport mode, it's just sick. It's my perfect vehicle.
Two Touaregs & a Cayenne. I’m a diesel guy!
Michael Lo Proto,05/01/2018
Diesel 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A)
All 3 diesel SUV have been or are fantastic vehicles to own & drive. I’m currently averaging about 36 mpg at highway speeds. The quality of the ride is truly outstanding due to the driver selectable Air suspension. Additionally, living in a flood prone area of New Orleans, I have found it extremely useful to have a selectable ride height allowing the vehicle to drive through two feet of flood waters with no problems. The interior on the Porsche Cayenne without equal in today’s crop of SUV’s. I love my Cayenne turbo diesel!
Very Disappointed
dante,05/20/2013
So, let me see, after less than six months of ownership and less than 3,000 miles of driving, this is what has gone wrong with my new 2013 Porsche Cayenne Turbo: after bringing in my car for loud clanging noises when I backed the car up, they replaced my entire catalytic converter. Ten days later, due to different clanging noises, they replaced all of my muffler tips and replaced my electronic key fobs as the car was not recognizing them. Are you kidding me? I should have bought the Range Rover Sport for $40,000 less from the dealer less than a mile from my home. My neighbors who have bought Range Rovers have reported no such major repairs and certainly not to a brand new vehicle.
2013 Cayenne GTS !!!!!! Awsome performance!!!
2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS!!! ,04/05/2020
GTS 4dr SUV AWD (4.8L 8cyl 8A)
I own this Cayenne GTS for over six months now and I put almost 6000 miles on it, what an SUV my friend. The handling is superb, acceleration outstanding, great look, very reliable and smooth powerful engine. Drive one and you be the judge. Fantastic and well built German car. The sound of that V8 just make you go faster and faster. Naturally aspirated V8 is the best. I've had tuned 996 turbo in past and I tell you Porsche makes great cars. I had to buy a SUV and when I saw the Cayenne GTS and drove it, I loved every minute of it and I decided to get it. No disappointments for sure, very minor stuff to fix which every car has it these days. New Cayenne GTSs has twin turbo V6 but V8 is something else. Porsche all the way !!!

Features & Specs

MPG
17 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6300 rpm
MPG
16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
400 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
15 city / 21 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
420 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
15 city / 22 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
300 hp @ 6300 rpm
See all Used 2013 Porsche Cayenne features & specs
More about the 2013 Porsche Cayenne
More About This Model

Everyone's got a tell. A tick, a nod, a wink, a sideways glance — if someone's looking closely, there's no way to hide your true nature. The 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel is very good at hiding its oil-burning nature, but it, too, has a tell.

The exhaust pipes don't give it away, nor does the body. Even the wheels, 21s on our test vehicle, keep the secret. It's not even when you fire up the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 — which starts with a decidedly non-diesel quickness — that you get wise to the unusual powertrain underhood.

But then you grab the shift lever and shift into Drive. It's then, when the eight-speed automatic hooks up to the smoothly idling engine that the diesel creeps in. Not through the firewall or the floor or the exhaust, but a subtle vibration through the shift lever is the only giveaway that this Cayenne is something different. Something special.

Sharing Is Caring
Let go of the shift lever, put both hands on the immaculately trimmed Porsche wheel and you would probably never know that this engine works any differently from any other Cayenne offering. And that's because this 3.0-liter V6 is a tried-and-true luxury offering initially developed for Audi and Volkswagen.

"We couldn't have done this without the merger," a Porsche engineer tells us over dinner, referring to Volkswagen's takeover of Porsche which is still navigating various lawsuits. Porsche could certainly have built a common-rail diesel V6 with a variable turbo on its own that would match the fuel economy, horsepower and torque that the VW-built unit provides, but certifying it for the strict diesel emission regulations in the U.S. would have been a financial stumbling block. Thankfully, the work has already been done and this power plant is Tier 2 Bin 5 certified — and VW/Audi is all too happy to share the wealth and spread the cost.

When sitting between the strut towers of the 5,508-pound Audi Q7, the 3.0-liter V6 now makes a respectable 225 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, which is good for a 0-60 sprint of about 8.5 seconds. It's a decent number, but Porsche doesn't do decent.

Lightness + Power
Way back in 2011, Porsche redesigned the Cayenne. By making extensive use of aluminum and trimming the fat wherever it could, the current-gen Cayenne is some 400 pounds lighter than the SUV it replaced. In diesel guise, the Cayenne weighs in at 4,795 pounds — more than 700 pounds lighter than the Q7 TDI and the Mercedes-Benz GL350 Bluetec and 400 pounds lighter than the BMW X5 diesel.

But simply having fewer pounds wasn't enough, Porsche made some software tweaks to the engine to produce 240 hp at 3,500 rpm and 406 lb-ft of torque starting at 1,750 rpm.

With power running through an eight-speed automatic (the only transmission available), the 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel will hit 60 in 7.2 seconds (Porsche estimates), while the EPA says this Cayenne should deliver 19 city/29 highway mpg and 23 mpg combined. After some seat time, we think both sets of numbers can be beat...though not necessarily at the same time.

Drives Like a Porsche, Not a Porsche Tractor
Twist the key and the engine fires up immediately with no telltale diesel pause or clatter. Porsche's "preglow" system is responsible for this smoothness, as the plugs get to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit in under 2 seconds and the engine settles into a low idle a fraction of a second thereafter. From there on out, everything is routinely Cayenne.

Steering is unchanged from the gas-burning Cayennes and offers the same lighter-than-expected, more-precise-than-necessary feel that helps define Porsche. And while Porsche's Torque Vectoring Plus is not available on the diesel, our tester was fitted with the self-leveling air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) that "offers continuous adjustment of individual damping forces based on current road conditions and driving style."

Perhaps we'd miss this feature on a tight, twisting road in Malibu, but on the epic mile-long sweepers of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula and a brief, 8-minute/8-mile sojourn down a two-lane dirt road, we never once missed the inability to select our own damper settings.

On the road and in the dirt, the oil-burning V6 is a natural match for the Cayenne. Keeping the shifter in Drive, the Cayenne Diesel rides wave after wave of torque with the effortlessness of an Aleut kayaker on the open sea. Unlike the Aleut, however, you don't have to wait for the next wave of torque. The eight-speed automatic shifts with the quickness and precision you'd expect from a Porsche box, and the diesel V6 responds with uncommon rev-ability.

Move the shifter into Manual mode and you'll have to pick between watching the tach like a hawk or banging off the rev limiter. Neither of which is made any easier by Porsche's shifter lever orientation (forward for upshifts) nor its awkward steering wheel buttons.

The High Cost of Low Consumption
The 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel is priced at $56,725, $3,900 more than the base Cayenne V6 with the optional Tiptronic transmission. Even at Cayenne prices, this is not an insignificant amount of money. In traditional Porsche fashion, though, that's only a rough starting point. The vehicle we tested was loaded with the Premium Package Plus, 21-inch Cayenne Sport Edition wheels (painted black), Burmester surround-sound stereo, two-tone leather, 18-way adaptive sport seats and a few sub-$1,000 niceties that cranked the as-tested price to $98,146.

Some will be drawn to the diesel for its 7,716-pound towing capacity. Others will want the diesel for its bladder-bursting 765-mile projected range. Most buyers, though, will gravitate to the diesel for the fuel economy gains even though it will take seven years to pay off the premium over the gas-burning V6.

Even with this slow payoff, Porsche expects the diesel to account for 10 percent of all Cayenne sales. Year two, Porsche expects between 15 and 20 percent of Cayenne sales to be oil burners. Many of these sales they say will be conquests from Audi and VW TDI drivers hooked on oil, but ready for something better.

The Best Cayenne Yet
The Porsche Cayenne is available in some of the most wonderfully preposterous configurations of any SUV. The GTS packs a 420-hp V8 with a performance exhaust that will ruin children's expectations of sports cars. The S pumps out 400 hp and is considered, for the class, "normal." And then there's the Turbo: 500 hp, 5,100 pounds, zero to 60 in 4.6 seconds and a $120,000-plus sticker price. It. Is. Awesome.

Compared to the 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel, though, these are all toys, status symbols, showpieces for the country club and PTA parking lot.

Porsche's first diesel in the U.S. was a small farm tractor which, when new, was its best-selling vehicle. And with an EPA estimate of nearly 30 mpg, class-obliterating driving dynamics, Porsche-spec amenities and trucker-mocking range, the 2013 Cayenne Diesel is likely to follow that trend.

A diesel Porsche SUV is the last thing Porsche purists ever wanted, but they complained about water-cooled 911s, too, and look how that decision turned out.

Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.

Used 2013 Porsche Cayenne Overview

The Used 2013 Porsche Cayenne is offered in the following submodels: Cayenne SUV, Cayenne Hybrid, Cayenne Diesel. Available styles include Tiptronic 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A), S 4dr SUV AWD (4.8L 8cyl 8A), GTS 4dr SUV AWD (4.8L 8cyl 8A), 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6M), Turbo 4dr SUV AWD (4.8L 8cyl Turbo 8A), Diesel 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A), and S Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl S/C gas/electric hybrid 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Porsche Cayenne?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Porsche Cayenne trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS is priced between $32,995 and$32,995 with odometer readings between 66042 and66042 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid is priced between $22,333 and$22,333 with odometer readings between 81222 and81222 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Porsche Cayenne Tiptronic is priced between $19,997 and$19,997 with odometer readings between 105092 and105092 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Porsche Cayenne Turbo is priced between $28,445 and$28,445 with odometer readings between 105080 and105080 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2013 Porsche Cayennes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2013 Porsche Cayenne for sale near. There are currently 4 used and CPO 2013 Cayennes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $19,997 and mileage as low as 66042 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2013 Porsche Cayenne.

Can't find a used 2013 Porsche Cayennes you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Porsche Cayenne for sale - 4 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $25,644.

Find a used Porsche for sale - 2 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $13,211.

Find a used certified pre-owned Porsche Cayenne for sale - 11 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $13,655.

Find a used certified pre-owned Porsche for sale - 12 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $20,860.

Should I lease or buy a 2013 Porsche Cayenne?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Porsche lease specials
Check out Porsche Cayenne lease specials