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2011 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid

$16,787 — $29,927 USED
Sport Utility
5 Seats
22 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 1 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?
(3.0) 1 reviews

The Good

  • Styling
  • Interior quality
  • Roomy sliding backseat
  • Quicker acceleration
  • Higher mileage
  • Hybrid's city mpg

The Bad

  • Stick shift on base model only
  • Premium gas required
  • Modest acceleration with V-6
  • Hybrid braking feel
  • Hybrid body roll
2011 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2011 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid
  • Complete redesign
  • Sleeker styling
  • More power
  • Improved mileage
  • Optional blind spot warning system
  • Hybrid version

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the 2011 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid S. It competes with the BMW X5 and Infiniti FX35.

by Joe Wiesenfelder -

As I promised in a separate review of the redesigned 2011 Porsche Cayenne, we've put the hybrid version, the Cayenne S Hybrid, to the test. So what's the verdict?

I suspect people who value the Porsche name and want the higher mileage — or perceived political cover — of a hybrid will appreciate the 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid, but the SUV doesn't overcome its "hybridness" enough to satisfy performance enthusiasts.

Without a doubt, the hybrid delivers better efficiency: an EPA-estimated 20/24 mpg city/highway versus the regular Cayenne S' 16/22 mpg. That might not seem like much in mpg figures, but the city rating is a 25 percent increase, and that's nothing to wag a green thumb at. The city gap is also 4 mpg between the hybrid and the base six-cylinder Cayenne, which is a bit of an underachiever. On the highway, though, the six is only 1 mpg behind: 16/23 mpg.

The higher mileage comes at a price, of course, starting with a $3,300 premium over the gas-only Cayenne S' sticker price. (See all four trim levels compared.) The payload is also down 232 pounds, to 1,477 pounds, which is still more than workable. The towing capacity is the same at 7,716 pounds — tops among comparable SUVs. Because the high-voltage battery pack is under the cargo floor, cargo volume behind the backseat is 20.5 cubic feet — 13.5 percent smaller than the non-hybrid's 23.7 cubic feet. The difference is minimal, especially if you fold the rear seats down ...

by Joe Wiesenfelder -

As I promised in a separate review of the redesigned 2011 Porsche Cayenne, we've put the hybrid version, the Cayenne S Hybrid, to the test. So what's the verdict?

I suspect people who value the Porsche name and want the higher mileage — or perceived political cover — of a hybrid will appreciate the 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid, but the SUV doesn't overcome its "hybridness" enough to satisfy performance enthusiasts.

Without a doubt, the hybrid delivers better efficiency: an EPA-estimated 20/24 mpg city/highway versus the regular Cayenne S' 16/22 mpg. That might not seem like much in mpg figures, but the city rating is a 25 percent increase, and that's nothing to wag a green thumb at. The city gap is also 4 mpg between the hybrid and the base six-cylinder Cayenne, which is a bit of an underachiever. On the highway, though, the six is only 1 mpg behind: 16/23 mpg.

The higher mileage comes at a price, of course, starting with a $3,300 premium over the gas-only Cayenne S' sticker price. (See all four trim levels compared.) The payload is also down 232 pounds, to 1,477 pounds, which is still more than workable. The towing capacity is the same at 7,716 pounds — tops among comparable SUVs. Because the high-voltage battery pack is under the cargo floor, cargo volume behind the backseat is 20.5 cubic feet — 13.5 percent smaller than the non-hybrid's 23.7 cubic feet. The difference is minimal, especially if you fold the rear seats down and exploit the Cayenne's full cargo capacity, which is 59.7 in the hybrid versus 62.9 cubic feet in the standard Cayenne.

In terms of acceleration, the hybrid falls between the six-cylinder and the Cayenne S: It does zero to 60 mph in about 6 seconds, a half second slower than the regular S but about a second and a half faster than the base Cayenne.

On the whole, the hybrid's driving experience is better than that of many hybrids. For one thing, the drivetrain employs the regular eight-speed automatic transmission, which feels pretty natural. Much of the time, the engine turns on or off and engages or disengages with the driveline seamlessly, but not always. Sometimes it balks as the engine fires up, and you're plenty aware of what's going on under the surface. At times you hear droning from the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine, which is borrowed from the Audi S4, and the braking is disappointing. I criticized the regular Cayenne's pedal for being a bit numb, and the hybrid makes matters worse with the usual nonlinearity that accompanies regenerative braking (or recuperation, as German automakers call it). Most annoying is the brakes' tendency to grab at the moment you come to a complete stop. Is it worse than the average hybrid? Probably not, but it's so out of place in a Porsche you can't help but notice it every time.

As for the handling, you feel the extra 385 pounds of curb weight in the form of body roll. It was there even when our test vehicle's optional adaptive suspension was in its Sport setting.

Safety
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hasn't crash-tested the Cayenne — or any other Porsche — apparently ever. Low-volume models typically go untested, and Porsche, as a brand, is low-volume. The European New Car Assessment Program, whose stringent tests provide some indication of an American model's crashworthiness, also hasn't tested any Porsches. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star program likewise hasn't tested the Cayenne either.

The Cayenne's front occupants get frontal, knee and seat-mounted side-impact airbags. There are also side curtain airbags for the front and rear seats, antilock disc brakes and an electronic stability system with traction control. A new blind spot warning system option indicates when another vehicle is in the Cayenne's blind spot on either side. For a list of all the Cayenne's standard safety features, see the Active and Passive Safety section on the Features & Specs page.

Cayenne Hybrid in the Market
Porsche has a history of working magic, especially in the past decade. The very notion of a Porsche SUV was preposterous, yet the company made it work — both by reading the market and its owners well, and by producing a model that feels like a Porsche. Then they rolled out a large four-door car, the Panamera, to more skepticism. Once you drive it, though, you know it's every bit a Porsche.

With the Cayenne Hybrid, however, I'm not convinced. I'm not saying it won't find its buyers — partly because I've been burned in the past by similar predictions about both the model as a whole and its six-cylinder version — but the driving experience isn't up to Porsche's standards. I suppose the six-cylinder Cayenne is the best indication of the hybrid's chances: Apparently, modest acceleration is good enough for people who just want to drive a Porsche. Perhaps the same priority will overcome the performance shortfalls in this version.

Send Joe an email  


Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

3.0
1 review — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.0)
Performance
(4.0)
Interior Design
(4.0)
Comfort
(4.0)
Value For The Money
(4.0)
(3.0)

Comfort and luxury in one

by Gog from Richmond on June 6, 2018

This car I liked a lot but not the dealer . The car looks great and is embodiment of comfort and luxury. Improvement can be in the acceleration Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2011 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid currently has 2 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2011 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid has not been tested.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs 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

    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 CPO Program Details

Latest 2011 Cayenne Hybrid Stories

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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 Hybrid 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