2012 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid Review
The 2012 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid is one of the best-driving hybrids on the market and has a gorgeous interior, but it falls short of rivals with its high sticker price and a short list of standard features for the money.
Test drivers say the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is one of the best-driving hybrids out there. They especially love that it seems like they’re driving the gas-only Porsche Cayenne. Since hybrids are usually panned for their awkward-feeling brakes and unnatural acceleration, that’s big praise. It has more horsepower than the base V6 Cayenne, so opting for the Cayenne Hybrid not only gives you better gas mileage, but more power as well.
Since the Cayenne Hybrid is a Porsche, though, it comes with a few downsides. First, it’s not very well-equipped for an SUV in its price range. You’ll have to pay extra for features like a Bose audio system, which the less-expensive Cadillac Escalade has standard. Also, Porsche’s reputation for performance has a few reviewers comparing the Cayenne Hybrid not with other hybrid SUVs, but with other Porsches. As expected, it comes up short when being compared with iconic sports cars like the Porsche 911.
Overall, if you’re looking for the best-performing hybrid SUV money can buy, the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid should be at the top of your list. However, if your main goal is to be fuel-efficient, or to get the best bang for your buck, you should consider other options.
Other Luxury SUVs to Consider
For similar performance from a five-seat SUV, consider the BMW X5, though its fuel economy ratings are lower. The top-of-the-line xDrive50i trim still costs about $5,000 less than the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, and test drivers say it’s another exceedingly sporty SUV. It also comes standard with all-wheel drive, and includes many more standard features than the Cayenne Hybrid does. Its fuel economy isn’t nearly as good, but the X5 also has more power than the Cayenne Hybrid, and it offers a diesel model with better gas mileage.
If you’ve got your heart set on a hybrid SUV, there aren’t many that have performance that’s quite so sporty or natural-feeling. The fuel-efficient Lexus RX 450h hybrid and the sporty Acura MDX are both significantly less expensive than the Porsche, but neither can come close to matching its speed or handling. The BMW X6 hybrid packs more power, but is an exceedingly bad value, and doesn’t post much of a gain in fuel economy. There aren’t many alternatives to the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid’s performance in its price range, so you’ll likely have to choose between price and performance when considering your options.
Details: Porsche Cayenne
The 2012 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid is only available in one trim, though there are plenty of options packages to choose from. The gas-only Cayenne is reviewed separately. For 2012, the Cayenne Hybrid gets a few new features, like blind spot monitoring and upgraded cargo-area carpet.
See the full list of 2012 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid specifications.
- "Fast, efficient, and effortlessly capable of crossing continents: That sounds like the classic definition of a Grand Tourer - a GT. Throw in all-road, all-weather capability, and you have a GT well-suited to America's vast distances, varied roads, and volatile climate. You have the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid.” -- Motor Trend
- "Before you proclaim that Porsche has officially sold out to the soccer mom demographic by building not just an SUV, but a hybrid SUV, trust us, this new Cayenne will not leave you yawning.” -- Road and Track
- "The bottom line: The … Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid offers the performance you would expect from a Porsche, and better fuel economy. But the cabin tech isn't up to the level of a car in this price range.” -- CNET
- “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.” -- Cars.com