2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e vs. 2020 Porsche Cayenne

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The X5 xDrive45e’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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The X5 xDrive45e offers optional Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Cayenne doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The X5 xDrive45e’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 xDrive45e and the Cayenne have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee 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 and available around view monitors.

Warranty

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BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 xDrive45e 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 xDrive45e’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Porsche vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 18th in initial quality. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Porsche is ranked 24th.

Engine

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The X5 xDrive45e’s 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 54 more horsepower (389 vs. 335) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 332) than the Cayenne’s standard 3.0 turbo V6. The X5 xDrive45e’s 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 406) than the Cayenne S’ standard 2.9 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive45e running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Cayenne E-Hybrid running on electricity:

MPGe

X5 xDrive45e

Electric Motor

47 city/54 hwy

Cayenne

E-Hybrid Electric Motor

45 city/37 hwy

Turbo S E-Hybrid Electric Motor

34 city/46 hwy

Brakes and Stopping

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In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The X5 xDrive45e has a standard Brake Assistant to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Cayenne doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the X5 xDrive45e has larger standard tires than the Cayenne (265/50R19 vs. 255/55R19).

The X5 xDrive45e’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 standard on the X5 xDrive45e 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

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The front and rear suspension of the X5 xDrive45e uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Cayenne, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5 xDrive45e’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 xDrive45e is 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cayenne.

The X5 xDrive45e’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (47.7% to 52.3%) than the Cayenne’s (53.6% to 46.4%). This gives the X5 xDrive45e more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the X5 xDrive45e has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Cayenne (8.3 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the X5 xDrive45e to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The X5 xDrive45e offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Cayenne can only carry 5.

The X5 xDrive45e has 1.8 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front shoulder room and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cayenne.

Cargo Capacity

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The X5 xDrive45e has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Cayenne with its rear seat up (33.1 vs. 27.1 cubic feet). The X5 xDrive45e has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Cayenne with its rear seat folded (71.2 vs. 60.3 cubic feet).

The X5 xDrive45e’s cargo area is larger than the Cayenne’s in almost every dimension:

X5 xDrive45e

Cayenne

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

40.7”/70”

39.6”/74.9”

Max Width

49”

42”

Min Width

44”

42”

Height

31.5”

30.4”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X5 xDrive45e’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 xDrive45e’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.

Ergonomics

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The X5 xDrive45e has a standard 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 xDrive45e’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 xDrive45e 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.

The X5 xDrive45e’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Cayenne’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the X5 xDrive45e has standard extendable sun visors. The Cayenne doesn’t offer extendable visors.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW X5 xDrive45e offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Cayenne doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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