2019 BMW X5 vs. 2019 Porsche Cayenne

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The X5’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Cayenne doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The X5’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Cayenne doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X5 and the Cayenne have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available night vision systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X5 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 47 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cayenne has not been tested, yet.


BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 2 years and 26000 miles longer than Porsche pays for maintenance for the Cayenne (3/36,000 vs. 1/10,000).

There are over 82 percent more BMW dealers than there are Porsche dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the X5’s warranty.


A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the X5’s reliability 26 points higher than the Cayenne.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Porsche vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 3 places higher in reliability than Porsche.


As tested in Consumer Reports the X5 xDrive40i is faster than the Porsche Cayenne (base engine):



Zero to 30 MPH

2.4 sec

2.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

6.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

3 sec

3.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

14.9 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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



xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

17 city/22 hwy


3.0 turbo V6

19 city/23 hwy

S 2.9 turbo V6

18 city/23 hwy

Turbo 4.0 turbo V8

15 city/19 hwy

The X5 has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cayenne Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (21.9 vs. 19.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

The X5 stops shorter than the Cayenne:



70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

159 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

131 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the Cayenne (265/50R19 vs. 255/55R19).

The X5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cayenne’s standard 55 series front tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available 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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 3.1 inches longer than on the Cayenne (117.1 inches vs. 114 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 is 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cayenne.

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Cayenne (8.7 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The X5’s minimum ground clearance is .3 inch higher than on the Cayenne Air Suspension (8.7 vs. 8.4 inches).

Passenger Space

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

Cargo Capacity

The X5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Cayenne with its rear seat up (33.9 vs. 27.1 cubic feet). The X5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Cayenne with its rear seat folded (72.3 vs. 60.3 cubic feet).

The X5’s cargo area is larger than the Cayenne’s in almost every dimension:



Length to seat (2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width






Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X5’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Cayenne doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

The X5’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Cayenne’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.


The X5 offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Cayenne doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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.

If the windows are left open on the X5 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Cayenne can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the X5 has a standard rear fixed 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.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the X5 has standard extendable sun visors. The Cayenne doesn’t offer extendable visors.


Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X5, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Porsche Cayenne isn't recommended.

The BMW X5 outsold the Porsche Cayenne by over four to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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