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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Porsche Cayenne

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Expert's Rating


MPG 16 City / 23 Highway
  • Powerful engine options
  • Many standard features
  • Plenty of cargo space
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Expensive options
  • Heavy
Automotive Editor -
Porsche took a leap into the SUV realm in the American market in 2003 when it released the Cayenne. Though some purists didn't necessarily care for it, the Cayenne gave Porsche the ability to cater to many different styles of buyers. For the 2013 model year, the Cayenne Turbo S is making its comeback as the top trim level, following a two-year hiatus.


The 2013 model year offers up seven different trim levels for the Cayenne: base, Diesel, S, S Hybrid, GTS, Turbo and Turbo S. Every 2013 Cayenne model comes standard with all-wheel drive to help it launch more predictably, and perform well in not-so-ideal weather conditions. The base Cayenne offers up the basic amenities that anyone would expect of a luxury SUV and relatively impressive performance. The Cayenne Diesel offers similar performance to the base, but a large increase in fuel economy. The Cayenne S starts off the true performance trims for the Cayenne lineup, by offering up a sub-6-second 0-to-60 time. The S Hybrid model adds a few mpg to the Cayenne S while maintaining a relatively quick 0-to-60 time. As you dive into the GTS, Turbo and Turbo S models, you are getting into true performance car territory in a crossover SUV, but you are also wading into a supercar-like price range.

See our picks for best SUVs in the CarsDirect SUV Buying Guide.

The performance SUV realm is still growing, as there was a long break between the elimination of the first performance SUV, the GMC Typhoon, and the release of the more recent renditions. Even with this segment still being in its infant stages, there is a handful of competition for the Cayenne to fend off. A key competitor to the Cayenne is the BMW X5, which features engines ranging from a 300-horsepower six-cylinder to a 555-horsepower, 4.4-liter V-8 and an array of premium standard features. The M-Class by Mercedes Benz is another worthy adversary of the Cayenne, with its high-end standard features and an engine line ranging from a 301-horsepower V-6 to a 518-horsepower, turbocharged V-8. Land Rover also gets in on the performance-SUV fun with its Range Rover Sport that features a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that ranges from 375 to 510 horsepower.

The Porsche Cayenne may have its fair share of worthy foes, but it certainly packs plenty of options and enough punch to make it a good option for a buyer seeking a performance-oriented SUV.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Porsche Cayenne
Starting price

2013 Porsche Cayenne Base

Recommended for: Young buyers looking for the Porsche pedigree at a lower price

The base-level 2013 Cayenne comes with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that pumps out 300 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque. It comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission and dual-mass flywheel that send the power to all four wheels. This combination gets the Cayenne to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds and gives it a top speed of 142 mph. The base model comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity, a 10-speaker sound system with a 7-inch color touchscreen and auxiliary input, power windows, power door locks, grain leather eight-way power seats with memory, leather-trimmed steering wheel, automatic headlights, spoiler and heated mirrors. The base model carries a slew of optional equipment, like power moonroof, skid plates, trailer hitch, memory seats and navigation system add to the base price.

2013 Porsche Cayenne
Starting price

2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel

Recommended for: Buyers looking for a performance-oriented SUV with acceptable fuel economy

The 3.0-liter, diesel-powered, V-6 engine in the 2013 Cayenne Diesel produces 240 horsepower and 406 foot-pounds of torque. This engine jumps the Cayenne’s highway fuel economy to 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway – a 4 mpg and 6 mpg increase, respectively over the base model. The Cayenne Diesel is available only with an eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission and a self-locking center differential, which allows it to reach 60 mph in an acceptable 7.2 seconds and gives it a 135 mph top speed. Much like the base model, the Cayenne diesel comes standard with everything a buyer would expect in a Porsche: leather interior, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 10-speaker stereo system with a 7-inch color touchscreen and auxiliary input, automatic headlights, power windows, power door locks, rear spoiler and dual exhaust. The Cayenne Diesel has plenty of options available to significantly increase the price.

2013 Porsche Cayenne
Starting price

2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS

Recommended for: Buyers looking for awesome performance without cracking the $100,000 mark

The GTS trim level features a 4.8-liter V-8 engine that pumps out 420 horsepower and 380 foot-pounds of torque through an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission. This gets the Cayenne to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds and allows it to hit 162 mph. Besides the extra power, which comes from a cylinder selective exhaust camshaft profiling, and the self-leveling air suspension system with PASM, the differences between the Cayenne S and GTS are purely aesthetic. The GTS features black lower intake grilles on its front fascia, a “power Dome” hood, high-gloss black exterior accents, additional air intakes on the front fascia, SportDesign package with side skirts, 20-inch wheels and sport exhaust tips on the outside. Inside the cabin the GTS adds an Alcantara headliner, sport seats with leather and Alcantara covering, door sill guards with “GTS” logos, the Brushed Aluminum interior package, and a SportDesign steering wheel.

2013 Porsche Cayenne
Starting price

2013 Porsche Cayenne S

Recommended for: People who want luxury features but don't need the ultimate Pilot

The Cayenne S is the beginning of the true performance versions of the 2013 Cayenne. Its 400-horsepower, 4.8-liter V-8 engine linked up to an eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission launches it to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and gives it a top speed of 160 mph. The Cayenne S takes the standard features from the base model and adds in speed-sensitive steering and, of course, all of that extra power. Porsche also adds in an auto stop-start feature to that shuts the engine off when the vehicle is at a stop and fires it back up as you release the brake pedal. The Cayenne S’ extra power and sprinkling of additional standard features comes at quite a premium.

2013 Porsche Cayenne
Starting price

2013 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Recommended for: Buyers that want power and speed, but need functionality too

The Turbo trim level pumps the Cayenne’s total output to 500 horsepower and 516 foot-pounds of torque from its 4.8-liter V-8 engine. Running the power through the eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission, the Cayenne Turbo hits 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 172 mph. On the inside of the Cayenne Turbo you’ll find a 14-speaker sound system, Porsche Communication Management with hard-drive-based navigation, “Turbo” instrumentation, 4.8-inch TFT screen with turbo boost display, aluminum interior trim and an Alcantara headliner. On the outside the Cayenne Turbo comes with 19-inch wheels and the same self-leveling air-ride suspension as the GTS model.

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