2019 Porsche Cayenne vs. 2019 BMW X5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Porsche Cayenne are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Cayenne and the X5 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.


J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 11th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 8th.


The Cayenne has more powerful engines than the X5:




Cayenne 3.0 turbo V6

335 HP

332 lbs.-ft.

Cayenne S 2.9 turbo V6

434 HP

406 lbs.-ft.

Cayenne E-Hybrid 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid

455 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

Cayenne Turbo 4.0 turbo V8

541 HP

568 lbs.-ft.

X5 xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

335 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

X5 xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

456 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Cayenne E-Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 27 miles. The X5 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

The Cayenne’s standard fuel tank has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the X5 (23.7 vs. 21.9 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

The Cayenne offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The X5 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Cayenne Turbo has standard air brakes, which adjust the spoiler automatically during high-speed braking in order to shorten stopping distances. The X5 doesn’t offer air brakes.

The Cayenne stops shorter than the X5:





60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Cayenne’s optional front tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X5 (F:285/40R21 & R:315/35R21 vs. F:275/40R21 & R:315/35R21).

Suspension and Handling

The Cayenne has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Cayenne’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The X5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better maneuverability, the Cayenne’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the X5’s (39.7 feet vs. 41.4 feet).


The Porsche Cayenne may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 450 pounds less than the BMW X5.

The design of the Porsche Cayenne amounts to more than styling. The Cayenne offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .34 to .35 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the X5 (.36 to .38). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Cayenne get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity

The Cayenne’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Payload and Towing

The Cayenne’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the X5’s (7700 vs. 6603 pounds).

The Cayenne has a much higher standard payload capacity than the X5 (1674 vs. 849 lbs.).

The Cayenne has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the X5 (1862 vs. 871 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in service department satisfaction. With a 17% lower rating, BMW is ranked 8th.


Unlike the driver-only memory system in the X5, the Cayenne offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle and climate settings and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

Consumer Reports rated the Cayenne’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the X5’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the Cayenne has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The X5 doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

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

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