Son's Automotive Group Compares 2011 BMW X5 VS 2011 Porsche Cayenne Near Tucker, GA

Responsive image

2011 BMW X5

Responsive image

2011 BMW X5

Responsive image

2011 Porsche Cayenne

Safety Comparison

The X5 has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Cayenne doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The X5’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Cayenne doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The X5 offers an optional Top View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Cayenne only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The X5 offers optional BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Cayenne doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the X5 and the Cayenne have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Cayenne’s (12 vs. 10 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Porsche doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Cayenne.

There are over 74 percent more BMW dealers than there are Porsche dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the X5’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the X5’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Cayenne 3.6 DOHC V6, Cayenne Hybrid 3.6 DOHC V6 hybrid’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the Cayenne’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

Engine Comparison

The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 130 lbs.-ft. more torque (425 vs. 295) than the Cayenne’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6.

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the X5’s engines produce their peak torque and horsepower at lower RPM’s than the Cayenne:



X5 xDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

5800 RPM

1200 RPM

X5 xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

5500 RPM

1750 RPM

Cayenne 3.6 DOHC V6

6300 RPM

3000 RPM

Cayenne Hybrid 3.6 DOHC V6

5500 RPM

1000 RPM

Cayenne S 4.8 DOHC V8

6500 RPM

3500 RPM

Cayenne Turbo 4.8 turbo V8

6000 RPM

2250 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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






15 city/22 hwy



16 city/23 hwy

Turbo 6 cyl./Auto

17 city/25 hwy

13 city/20 hwy


Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cayenne (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. 265/50R19).

The X5’s optional 275/40R20 front and 315/35R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cayenne’s optional 50 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X5 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Cayenne doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The X5 offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Cayenne doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 1.5 inches longer than on the Cayenne (115.5 inches vs. 114 inches).

Passenger Space Comparison

The X5 offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Cayenne can only carry 5.

The X5 has 1.5 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, .6 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cayenne.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The X5’s cargo area provides more volume than the Cayenne.



Second Seat Folded

75.2 cubic feet

62.9 cubic feet

Ergonomics Comparison

The X5’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Cayenne.

The X5 offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and navigation instruction readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Cayenne doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left down on the X5 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Cayenne can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the X5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Cayenne doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the X5 has a standard rear variable intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Cayenne only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

When the X5 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Cayenne’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The X5’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The Cayenne’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

© 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.