2012 Porsche Cayenne

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2012 Porsche Cayenne. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Styling
  • Interior quality
  • Roomy sliding backseat
  • V-8 acceleration

The Bad

  • Stick shift on base model only
  • Premium gas required
  • Modest acceleration with V-6
  • Hybrid favors power over mileage

Notable Features of the 2012 Porsche Cayenne

  • Base 300-hp V-6
  • V-8 optional
  • New power kit for Cayenne Turbo adds 40 hp
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Standard six-speed manual
  • eight-speed automatic optional
  • Hybrid version

2012 Porsche Cayenne Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

The all-wheel-drive Porsche Cayenne was redesigned last year. Along with new exterior and interior styling, the Cayenne came with a sliding backseat, increased power and better mileage in all versions. A Cayenne S Hybrid is claimed to deliver the acceleration of a V-8 with the mileage of a V-6. Gas-only models include the base Cayenne, Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo. The five-seat Cayenne competes with the Infiniti FX, BMW X5 and Land Rover Range Rover Sport.

(Skip to details on the: Cayenne S Hybrid)

New for 2012
A newly optional Turbo power kit for the Cayenne Turbo boosts output to 540 horsepower and 553 pounds-feet of torque. The kit includes new turbochargers with titanium/aluminum turbines as well as ducts for additional brake cooling. The Cayenne Turbo also gets larger 16.53-inch ceramic-composite front brake discs.

Exterior
Last year's restyling has produced a streamlined crossover that looks more like Porsche's cars, especially in the headlight design. Even the Turbo, which has the boldest front end with the largest air intakes, looks less exaggerated than the previous generation. The Cayenne is both lighter and longer compared with the prior generation. Exterior features include:

  • Available skid plates and underbody protection for off-roading
  • Available panoramic glass roof or tilt/sliding moonroof
  • LED taillamps
  • Standard rear spoiler
  • Standard 18-inch wheels; 19-, 20- or 21-inch wheels available

Interior
With the Cayenne's redesign, the inte...

Vehicle Overview

The all-wheel-drive Porsche Cayenne was redesigned last year. Along with new exterior and interior styling, the Cayenne came with a sliding backseat, increased power and better mileage in all versions. A Cayenne S Hybrid is claimed to deliver the acceleration of a V-8 with the mileage of a V-6. Gas-only models include the base Cayenne, Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo. The five-seat Cayenne competes with the Infiniti FX, BMW X5 and Land Rover Range Rover Sport.

(Skip to details on the: Cayenne S Hybrid)

New for 2012
A newly optional Turbo power kit for the Cayenne Turbo boosts output to 540 horsepower and 553 pounds-feet of torque. The kit includes new turbochargers with titanium/aluminum turbines as well as ducts for additional brake cooling. The Cayenne Turbo also gets larger 16.53-inch ceramic-composite front brake discs.

Exterior
Last year's restyling has produced a streamlined crossover that looks more like Porsche's cars, especially in the headlight design. Even the Turbo, which has the boldest front end with the largest air intakes, looks less exaggerated than the previous generation. The Cayenne is both lighter and longer compared with the prior generation. Exterior features include:

  • Available skid plates and underbody protection for off-roading
  • Available panoramic glass roof or tilt/sliding moonroof
  • LED taillamps
  • Standard rear spoiler
  • Standard 18-inch wheels; 19-, 20- or 21-inch wheels available

Interior
With the Cayenne's redesign, the interior was as extensively upgraded as the exterior. Rich materials, including convincing faux metals, replace surfaces that had been substandard since the model's debut. The crossover combines the previous version's signature center-mounted grab handles with a high center console that rises upward to meet the dashboard.

Backseat roominess was increased, thanks in part to seats that slide forward and back 6.3 inches, allowing passengers to choose copious legroom with less cargo volume behind the backseat or less legroom with more cargo volume than was available in the previous generation (23.7 cubic feet, up from 19.1). The 60/40-split backrests also recline, in three increments. Interior features include:

  • Touch-screen dash display
  • Optional Bose or Burmester sound systems
  • Optional six-CD changer
  • Optional blind spot warning system
  • Optional adaptive cruise control

Under the Hood
A 300-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 engine powers the base Cayenne. The midlevel S version has a 400-hp, 4.8-liter V-8. The turbocharged version of this engine produces 500 hp, and a new Turbo power kit bumps output to 540 hp. Mechanical features include:

  • Base Cayenne comes with six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission
  • V-8 models are only available with an automatic transmission
  • Automatic-transmission models feature fuel-saving auto stop/start technology
  • Left-right torque vectoring and a locking differential are optional on the rear axle
  • Optional adaptive suspension
  • Optional active suspension

Safety
The Cayenne's front occupants get frontal, driver's knee and seat-mounted side-impact airbags. There are also side curtain airbags for both rows of seats. Additional safety features include:

  • Antilock brakes
  • Electronic stability system
  • Traction control

Cayenne S Hybrid
The Cayenne S Hybrid combines acceleration comparable to that of the V-8-powered Cayenne S with the efficiency of a V-6, according to Porsche. It teams a 333-hp, supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 with two electric motors and a 288-volt battery pack for a combined 380 hp and 427 pounds-feet of torque.

Unlike some hybrids, the Cayenne S Hybrid uses a step-gear automatic transmission, a version of the eight-speed automatic in the other Cayennes. The hybrid can accelerate up to 40 mph in electric mode, which compares to other hybrids, but it also utilizes a "sailing" mode that shuts the engine off, allowing coasting at speeds as high as 97 mph. The Cayenne S Hybrid also features auto stop/start technology that's found in other Cayennes. Porsche claims the Cayenne S Hybrid will go from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds and achieve a top speed of 150 mph. Back to top


Latest 2012 Cayenne Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.9)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.3)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Most enjoyable and reliable auto SUV I've driven

by 'AJ' 'BestSUV' from San Carlos, Ca on August 27, 2018

This Automobile is so enthusiastic to drive and show on the road. Its so surprising people stop with great admiration for the design and sound of the SUV. Read full review

(5.0)

2012 Porsche

by 2012 Porsche from Columbus on July 11, 2018

This Porsche cayenne has all the features you want, parking assistance, lane change assist. In addition, xenon headlights, 19-inch Porsche second-generation wheels and jet back metallic make the car ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2012 Porsche Cayenne currently has 3 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2012 Porsche Cayenne has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Porsche
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / 50,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    8 years/100,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    2 years/unlimited miles after new-car limited warranty expires or from the date of sale if the new vehicle limited warranty has expired

  • Powertrain warranty

    2 years/unlimited miles after new-car limited warranty expires or from the date of sale if the new vehicle limited warranty has expired.

  • Dealer Certification Required

    111-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Cayenne received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker