2016 Porsche Cayenne Review
2016 Porsche Cayenne Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Rewarding handling
- wide range of engines available, from a plug-in hybrid model to the ultrafast Turbo S trim
- exquisite interior
- highly customizable.
- Limited cargo capacity
- relatively small touchscreen
- high price tag.
After a brief hiatus, the base, GTS and Turbo S models return for 2016. Output is unchanged from 2014 in the base engine, but the GTS and Turbo S versions are both more powerful than on their last outings.
The 2016 Porsche Cayenne is both sporty and indulgent, and its comprehensive lineup includes a diesel-powered model, a plug-in hybrid and a turbocharged V8. It might be the best all-around crossover on the market.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2016 Porsche Cayenne 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.93 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$231/mo for Cayenne Base
Avg. Midsize SUV
Four available engines in a single vehicle would be enough diversity for most automakers. But Porsche isn't like most automakers. In addition to last year's diesel, turbocharged V6, hybrid and turbo V8, the 2016 Porsche Cayenne gains a base V6, sporty GTS and the full-bore Turbo S. Power output ranges from 240 to 570 horses, with combined fuel economy on the spectrum of 23 mpg to "who cares, as long as the tank isn't empty?" Burger King may have invented the "Have it your way" slogan, but Porsche could easily adopt it for its Cayenne crossover SUV.
Though somewhat overshadowed by its smaller Macan sibling, the 2016 Cayenne is still the flagship SUV in Porsche's lineup.
Beyond the engines, there's an extensive feature set that allows the Cayenne to cater to just about every desire. Sports car SUV? No problem: Just order from an array of high-tech suspension, drivetrain and brake add-ons. Winter sports-mobile? Standard all-wheel drive is there to help you out. Mall-crawler? Don't worry, friend; the Cayenne is suitably luxurious for any valet line. Really, the only drawbacks to the Cayenne are: a) insubstantial cargo space and b) the substantial impact on your bank account, even as luxury crossover SUVs go.
You can spend less to get one of the Cayenne's chief rivals, the 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport. It also offers a range of engines from a diesel to a 550-horsepower supercharged V8. It also has third-row seating for smaller occupants. The 2016 BMW X5 is another sporty choice with several engines on tap, as well as an optional third row. It isn't as sporty as the Cayenne, but the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE (the newly renamed ML) is all-new and boasts the latest technology features and a truly excellent interior. You really can't go wrong here, but if you want performance, luxury and efficiency customized to how you want it, there's really nothing better than the 2016 Cayenne.
Performance & mpg
All 2016 Cayennes employ an eight-speed automatic transmission, which includes an automatic stop-start system for reduced fuel consumption in all but the Diesel trim. All-wheel drive is standard as well, but there are two versions: The Diesel and S E-Hybrid feature a single-mode system with a self-locking center differential, while the other models come with an active system that adds two additional off-road modes and a locking rear differential.
The base 2016 Porsche Cayenne is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 300 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque. Porsche says the entry-level model accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. The EPA estimates fuel economy to be 21 mpg combined (19 city/24 highway).
The Cayenne Diesel utilizes a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 that develops 240 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. While the Diesel is all about fuel economy, the sprint from zero to 60 mph is estimated by Porsche to take just 7.2 seconds. Fuel economy is a commendable 23 mpg combined (20/29).
Under the hood of the Cayenne S lies the first of the truly performance-oriented engines. Its turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 pumps out 420 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, a Cayenne S with 21-inch wheels took just 5.4 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill. The EPA rates the S at 20 mpg combined (17/24).
The GTS model bumps the output of this engine to 440 hp and 443 lb-ft. Porsche estimates the GTS accelerates from zero to 60 in just 4.9 seconds, while fuel economy is lowered 1 mpg all around compared to the S.
The plug-in S E-Hybrid features a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that works in parallel with an electric motor to produce a maximum of 416 hp and 435 lb-ft. Like many plug-in hybrids, the S E-Hybrid should be capable of driving in pure electric mode (about 20 miles) before the gas engine kicks in. Recharging a drained battery takes about 2.7 hours using the standard 3.6-kilowatt onboard charger and high-voltage current; an optional 7.2-kilowatt charger cuts that time in half. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 22 mpg combined (21/24). Despite the fuel efficiency that its name suggests, the S E-Hybrid is no slouch on the track. This hot-rod hybrid made the 0-60-mph run in 5.2 seconds in recent Edmunds testing.
A turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 with 520 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque moves the Cayenne Turbo. Porsche says the Cayenne Turbo can make the 0-60-mph sprint in 4.2 seconds. The Turbo S ups the ante by boosting engine output to 570 hp and 590 lb-ft. This should further reduce the 0-60 time to an astounding 3.8 seconds. Both Turbos carry an EPA fuel economy rating of 17 mpg combined (14/21).
In all versions of the Cayenne except the S E-Hybrid, a Sport Chrono package is offered, which shaves a tenth of a second from these 0-60 times when its launch control program is activated.
All Cayennes except the S E-Hybrid are rated to tow a healthy 7,716 pounds.
The 2016 Porsche Cayenne comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. The standard "multi-collision brake system" automatically slows the vehicle down to 6 mph after an initial collision occurs in order to minimize further damage; note that the driver can override it by pressing the accelerator.
Available electronic safety features include front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a surround-view camera, a blind-spot monitor and lane departure warning. The optional adaptive cruise control system is bundled with a forward collision mitigation system that provides automatic pre-impact emergency braking if a collision is deemed imminent.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Cayenne S came to a stop from 60 mph in 106 feet, while a Cayenne S E-Hybrid stopped in 118 feet. Other Cayennes we have tested offer braking performance similar to the S. These are exceptional braking distances for an SUV.
While it reduces the barrier to entry of the 2016 Porsche Cayenne, the base engine offers neither the performance promised by the badge nor the fuel economy of the diesel motor. The S is the real jumping-off point here, with much better acceleration and just a slight hit to EPA estimates. For those who want the best of both worlds, the plug-in S E-Hybrid is even quicker and promises full-electric power, if only for a short distance. And the turbocharged V8s are in play to hustle the Cayenne from A to B right now.
Powerful, comfortable and rock-solid at speed, the 2016 Cayenne is a superb long-distance tourer.
Regardless of engine choice, the unflappable handling and sublime steering make the Cayenne an excellent sport SUV. The PDCC system has the Cayenne cornering flat through the twisty bits, making it a must-have for buyers looking to maximize their fun quotient. During more relaxed driving, the Cayenne's firm ride is noticeable, but we don't consider it overly harsh or uncomfortable. You may find it difficult to navigate traffic with ease, however, as the small sideview mirrors don't provide the best coverage.
The cabin of the 2016 Porsche Cayenne is instantly recognizable to anyone who has driven a new Porsche in the last few years. The center console cleanly separates driver from passenger, giving the front row a cockpit-style layout. The 50-plus buttons that adorn the console can feel daunting at first, but after a slight learning curve, their arrangement makes sense. The 7-inch touchscreen is slightly smaller and dated compared to other cutting-edge widescreen displays, but is functional and easy to use.
The quality and construction of the Cayenne's interior is truly exceptional.
The interior is awash with attractive, soft-touch surfaces. Nearly every plastic piece on the most modest of trims can be replaced by leather, wood, carbon fiber or faux suede. The standard eight-way power seats are extremely comfortable, but 18-way sport seats are available for those who want their seating positions just right. The sculpted rear seats not only recline, but also slide fore and aft to create extra rear cargo space (they also gain cool sport bolsters in Turbo and Turbo S trims).
With the backseat in its aft-most position, the Cayenne has a luggage capacity of 23.6 cubic feet behind the rear seats, which is a pretty tiny number for a midsize crossover. Maximum space with the rear seatbacks flipped forward is a slightly more respectable 62.9 cubic feet, matching the rival Range Rover Sport. In the S E-Hybrid, these figures drop to 20.5 and 59.7, respectively, while the Turbo gets the full 23.6 cubes in back but drops to 60.2 in total. On the bright side, the air suspension comes with a retractable load sill that lowers the cargo-area liftover height by a couple inches.
2016 Porsche Cayenne models
The 2016 Porsche Cayenne is a five-passenger midsize SUV available in seven trim levels that correspond to the engine that lies under the hood: base Cayenne, Diesel, S, S E-Hybrid, GTS, Turbo and Turbo S.
The base Cayenne and Diesel versions come standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, LED taillights and daytime running lights, foglights, automatic wipers, power-folding heated mirrors, a power tailgate, rear privacy glass, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats, partial leather upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, a cooled glovebox, a manually sliding and reclining rear seat, 40/20/40-split folding rear seatbacks, a 7-inch central touchscreen, a navigation system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a 10-speaker audio system with a USB interface, an auxiliary input and HD radio.
The Cayenne S substitutes a turbocharged V6 gasoline engine and adds 19-inch wheels, speed-sensitive variable steering effort ("Power Steering Plus"), a power-adjustable steering wheel, a sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, driver memory settings and mirror-mounted turn signals.
The S E-Hybrid comes with a plug-in hybrid power system, adaptive suspension dampers (PASM), Porsche Car Connect with E-mobility (providing remote access to important hybrid features via a smartphone app), a 3.6-kilowatt onboard charger (a 7.2 kW charger is available) and an energy management display in the instrument cluster.
The 2016 Porsche Cayenne has so many permutations that it can be hard to keep them straight.
The new GTS is driven by the most powerful V6 available for the Cayenne. It also adds 20-inch wheels, an adjustable air suspension, a selectable sport exhaust, high-performance brakes, LED foglights and tinted taillights, 14-way power front seats, partial simulated suede upholstery and headliner and unique exterior styling elements.
A turbocharged V8 is found under the hood of the Turbo variant, in addition to adaptive LED headlights, a heated steering wheel, a full leather interior, 18-way adaptive heated front seats, rear outboard sport seats, heated front and rear seats and a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with satellite radio and HD radio.
The range-topping Turbo S returns for 2016 and adds a more powerful V8, carbon-fiber interior trim and the Sport Chrono package with dash-mounted timer. It also includes handling upgrades such as Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), side-to-side torque-vectoring rear differential (PTV Plus) and ultrahigh-performance carbon-ceramic brakes.
The Cayenne's dizzying options list starts with four main packages. The Infotainment package, offered on all but the Turbo and Turbo S, adds the Bose stereo, satellite radio and integrated "online services" (including the Aha smartphone app with on-demand music, Internet radio, Facebook and Twitter feeds, traffic and weather reports and Google POI search).
The Sport package, available on the base, Diesel, S, S E-Hybrid and Turbo models, combines (where not already specified) the Sport Chrono package, 14-way power front seats with driver memory settings, sport exhaust, air suspension and adaptive dampers.
Available on all trims except Turbo S, the Premium package adds (where not already specified) Power Steering Plus, extended LED accent lighting, adaptive xenon headlights, auto-dimming mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and 14-way power heated and ventilated front seats with memory functions. On the base and Diesel, this package includes the sunroof, while the S, S E-Hybrid, GTS and Turbo get a panoramic sunroof (optional on base and Diesel). On the GTS, this package does not include ventilated front seats or adaptive xenon headlights.
Finally, the Premium Package Plus adds (where not already specified) adaptive LED headlights, keyless entry and ignition, heated rear seats, power rear window sunshades and a blind-spot monitor (upgradable to a lane departure warning system) to the Premium package.
Many features that come standard on upper trim levels or included in the above packages can be ordered as stand-alone options. They include various wheel designs (ranging from 18-21 inches in diameter), carbon-ceramic brakes, aero body-panel extensions, skid plates, off-road underbody protection, running boards, roof rails, power-closing doors, quad-zone automatic climate control, ventilated rear seats, a surround-view camera and a seemingly endless array of customizable interior bits. There's also adaptive cruise control with automatic emergency braking, a blind-spot warning system, voice command functionality, a dual-screen rear seat entertainment system, a 16-speaker Burmester audio system and WiFi hotspot capability.
Unlike many rivals, the Cayenne offers almost all of its high-end options on every trim level. One exception is PDCC, which features active stabilizer bars that promote flatter cornering; another is Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus), which distributes torque between the rear wheels to sharpen handling response. Neither is offered on the Diesel or S E-Hybrid trims.
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
2016 Porsche Cayenne Turbo 4dr SUV AWD (4.8L 8cyl Turbo 8A)
2/2019 update: Edmunds asked for an update from the 17,060 odometer reading. It now has 19,810 miles on odometer. Fuel average is now at 15.3 mpg, using 93 octane, with a 50/50 mix of city and highway. Oil additions are now at an average of needing a half-quart of Mobil 1 0w-40 added every 946 miles, but 1 standard deviation is 513 miles; the lowest it has gone before needing a half … quart added was 356 miles and the longest was 2084 miles - 2nd longest was 1511 miles. There have been no maintenance issues yet. We traded in our '12 Turbo (500 hp) for this used but certified '16. Both the '12 and '16 had/have the sport chrono pkg. The buttons on the center console area are very easy to use. This vehicle has been fantastic to drive. With 520 hp, it accelerates 0-60 in about 4.2 seconds and there is zero turbo lag at any time. One big advantage of this model is the buttons on the console that allow the climate for driver or passenger to have air flow exactly as they wish in any combination of air flow outlets. The Bose sound is very good, way better than the Harmon Kardon in our two Mercedes cars (wagon and CLS) that have the weakest bass sound ever. The navigation system works well - this car doesn't have voice control (note: Mercedes nav is horrible). Heated steering wheel is very comfortable in the winter. The 15.6 mpg over the 8900 miles I've been tracking it on a spreadsheet is 0.3 mpg less than what the trip computer has calculated. The EPA, which always overstates mpg, has it rated as 14/21 for city/hwy. It requires 93 octane like all Porsches, so if you live in an area where 91 octane is the highest available, the ECU will not nearly give you the acceleration performance that this car could give you. Reliability has been fine so far (expect to pay about $2K when the front brakes (rotors and pads) are replaced). There is no oil dipstick; once the car has been driven around 10 miles, a dash view of oil level can be seen in a submenu. This has averaged needing a half-quart of Mobil 1 0w-40 added every 870 miles, which is about normal for their twin turbo V-8. Cargo space in the rear is fine for us - it carries a few golf bags, etc. and has WAY more trunk capacity than the Macan or Audi Q5. While I'd love a Macan, they're just too small in the cargo area and the front leg area is too short for me. One problem with Cayennes is removing the retractable cargo cover shade entirely out of the bracket that holds it in place. It is a ridiculously tough chore! This '16 has the sport exhaust option and the sound is quite exciting outside the vehicle, but you barely hear it inside - it sounds much more thrilling on this V-8 than on the Cayenne V-6 loaner I got. While we have a locking differential control, we've only used it a couple of times while clambering up a snowy, pine-covered trail to a camp. If you really need that go anywhere capability, I'd guess the Range Rover would be the one to get. This came with summer tires - as soon as it got cold I took them off and put on all-season tires on the 21 inch wheels. The ride would be a bit more comfortable on rougher roads with smaller wheels. The LED low beam headlights have a sharp cutoff - I'd prefer them to light up more of the road in front of us. There is an extremely annoying start/stop function - even though we turn it off, the '16 resets itself to "on" each time the engine is turned off. That split second, when you don't realize the start/stop is functioning and you're turning left while seeing oncoming traffic, and you'll understand what I mean. You're saving a few cents a week in gas but the starter is being used 20 times a day - what'll that Porsche starter cost to replace after the warranty is up? This has parking sensors front and rear that work very well (those in our Mercedes are useless), and the blind spot monitors are good too. Fortunately, the cruise control is NOT the adaptive option - I do not like those. Heated and ventilated seats work very well in front - the rear only has the base heated seats. Transmission has worked flawlessly so far.
4 out of 5 stars
Its a Porsche for a reason
2016 Porsche Cayenne 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A)
I have had this vehicle for almost a year now coming from a bigger and somewhat slower SUV ( Full-Size Range Rover) this Porsche is a performance vehicle and once you step on the gas you feel it. The breaking system is unbelievable precise (also very expensive to replace via the dealer) the infotainment and interior design is that of airplane if your familiar Porsche then its pretty … easy if not it could get confusing. Sometimes I wish the in dash screen could be a little bigger. For the size of the Cayenne the trunk space is kind of disappointing barely can hold anything . I was so use to my range rover being a rough off road vehicle so nyc potholes didnt really bother as the air suspension would absorb the bulk of it in the Porsche the suspension is more tuned for performance so I feel more of the road while driving.The handling on this vehicle decent its not better than BMW around corners but does a good job All in all its a great performance SUV for a good price just a little pricey on maintenance if I were to do it all over again I probably would go up a model to the S or GTS thats just the inner speed demon in me though
5 out of 5 stars
Richard Seban, 07/11/2016
2016 Porsche Cayenne Diesel 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A)
We are now over 50K and the car is the same as it was when it was new. The is our second Cayenne and we love it. The diesel has over 700 miles in range and with the air flow seats it is so comfortable only bathroom breaks are necessary. We just took a road trip (5000 miles) and the car performed perfectly. Can't say enough good things about it. Worth every penny! We have now owned … the car for three years and it has 35,000 miles. The car is as good as it was when it was new. We had the emissions adjusted to confirm but we were reimbursed for our inconvenience. The only negative is the cost of oil changes which ranges from $250 to $400 every 5,000 miles.
5 out of 5 stars
The SUV Sports Car
Kevin Brands, 04/11/2017
2016 Porsche Cayenne 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A)
Have 45 K miles on my 2016 Porsche Cayenne. Completely pleased. Check up's tend to be more expensive than other cars but this car is worth every penny. Built like a tank, it is the Swiss Army Knife of vehicles. I tow several boats with it, drive in dirt fields, and fly down the interstate. LED headlights are some of the best I have seen and it drives like a sports car with confident … handling.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2016 Porsche Cayenne, so we've included reviews for other years of the Cayenne since its last redesign.
2016 Cayenne Highlights
|Combined MPG||21 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$231/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||all wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|