2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV

MSRP $85,100

Ranked #24 in Midsize Suv

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2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 23, 2021

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Porsche Cayenne has always been one of the most engaging and fun-to-drive SUVs globally and the 2021 Cayenne retains those characteristics. The Cayenne S has got plenty of power on disposal and it uses that power efficiently delivering an engaging, yet composed and comfortable ride. The Cayenne S comes with no major changes for 2021 and remains a part of the third generation of Cayenne models introduced in 2019. 

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Pros

Strong engine and superb handling

Extremely well-built interior

A plethora of customization options

Cons

Many features are optional

Lacks rear visibility

Weak and noisy climate control fans

What's New?

Remains unchanged for 2021


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$85100

bodystyle

dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

157 mph

drivetrain

all wheel drive

engine type

displacement

177 cu.in.

horsepower

434 hp @ 5700 rpm

torque

405 lb.-ft. @ 1800 rpm

transmission

5 speed automatic w/OD

chassis

suspension front

Independent front multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

13.8/13 in.

capacity

passenger volume

4.5 cu ft.

cargo volume

60.3 cu ft.

towing capacity

7700 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

4.7 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

18/20/22 mpg

highway range

521.4 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

powertrain warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

corrosion warranty

12 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$85,100 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV in Lava Orange color
Lava Orange

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide


The 2021 Porsche Cayenne comes with a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission powering all four wheels. The Cayenne S is situated above the Cayenne Base and E-hybrid models and below the GTS and Turbo models. Prices start at $85,100 and the 2021 Porsche Cayenne S competes with the Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 4Matic, BMW X5 M50i, and the Maserati Levante S. 

2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV Front Angle View
2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV Rear Angle View

2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV Features

The 2021 Porsche Cayenne S is a standalone trim powered by a 2.9 L V6 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic. This is the only powertrain combination offered with the Cayenne S. It is a very well-equipped trim option while there are also numerous customization options and optional features on offer. The available packages with the Cayenne S include the Off-Road Package ($2,000), Premium Package ($4,690), Premium Package Plus ($7,180), and the Assistance Package ($6,250). The following table shows the detailed list of standard features and the price of the 2021 Porsche Cayenne S- 

Trims

Cayenne S

MSRP

$85,100 

Key Features

19" Cayenne S wheels

 

Two-zone climate control with separate temperature settings for driver and front passenger

 

8-way comfort seats in front

 

Partial leather seats in embossed leather

 

Interior trim in High Gloss Black

 

Hi-fi sound system with 10 speakers, and a total output of 150 watts

 

19" Cayenne S wheels

 

Twin dual-tube tailpipes

We Recommend

The Cayenne S is a mid-level standalone trim offered as a more performance-oriented trim compared to the base Cayenne while being lower-powered and lower-priced than the more expensive GTS, Turbo, and Turbo S models. The Cayenne S strikes a great balance between price and performance as it is uber-luxurious and offers impressive handling and drivability. Overall the 2021 Cayenne S is a superb choice in its segment.

2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV Engine and Performance

Under the hood, the 2021 Porsche Cayenne has a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 producing 434 hp and 405 lb-ft. This strong engine is mated to an 8-speed Tiptronic S, automatic transmission with manual actuation. The engine is well-powered, but not a V8 like some rivals offer in the segment for the price. The power is transferred to all four wheels as AWD is the standard configuration for the Cayenne S. 

2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV Hits 0-60 in 4.9s

The transmission is slick and quick-shifting and provides a smooth driving experience. The Cayenne S takes 4.9 seconds to achieve a speed of 60mph and crosses the quarter-mile mark in 13.3 seconds. But with the Sport Chrono Package equipped, the Cayenne S can reach 60mph in just below 4.6 seconds which is a significant improvement. This powertrain delivers impressive performance and adequate punch to provide a smooth driving experience.

Models

2021 Porsche Cayenne S

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 4Matic

2021 BMW X5 M50i 

2021 Maserati Levante S

MSRP

$85,100

$78,900

$82,800

$88,890

Engine

2.9 L V6

4.0 L V8

4.4 L V8

3.0 L V6

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

8-speed shiftable automatic

9-speed shiftable automatic

8-speed shiftable automatic

8-speed shiftable automatic

Power (hp @ rpm)

434 hp @ 5700 rpm

483 hp @ 5500 rpm

523 hp @ 5500 rpm

424 hp @ 5750 rpm

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

405 ft-lbs. @ 1800 rpm

516 ft-lbs. @ 2000 rpm

553 ft-lbs. @ 1800 rpm

428 ft-lbs. @ 1750 rpm

0-60 mph (sec)

4.9

4.4

4.1

5.0

Quarter Mile (sec)

13.3

12.9

12.5

13.4

Top Speed (mph)

164

168

173

164

The BMW X5 M50i is the best option here as it is placed at a lower price point while being the most powerful and the fastest one here. The second most powerful Mercedes GLE 580 4Matic is, however, the least expensive option here and these machines are the best value for money options here. The Cayenne and Maserati being more exotic machines offer a slightly lower performance for a higher price as they come with a V6 engine under the hood. But none of these machines are neither underpowered nor lack performance and a choice based just on engine and power outputs are not actually possible. 

How well does the 2021 Porsche Cayenne S Drive and Handle?

The Porsche Cayenne has always had a reputation for being one of the best-handling SUVs ever created. And the 2021 model keeps that reputation high up top. The Cayenne S comes with a steel spring suspension setup along with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system. This combination provides a superb driving experience and it keeps the Cayenne which is evidently a large and hefty SUV stable and sharp around corners. 

The ride quality is also impressive while the available Adaptive Air Suspension further makes the driving and traveling experience better. And because the Cayenne S is so engaging to drive and the suspension is firm and superb around corners, it doesn’t mean that it is too stiff and affects the ride quality. The PASM system works along with the adaptive air suspension setup to provide a gliding-over experience on the road. This combo is a gem among the highly sophisticated technologies developed and implemented by Porsche.

How efficient is the braking performance of the 2021 Porsche Cayenne S? 

The 2021 Porsche Cayenne is equipped with 6-piston aluminum monobloc fixed calipers with 390 mm internally vented brake discs in the front and 4-piston calipers with 330 mm discs in the rear. This setup provides super-strong braking power and brings the Cayenne to a stop at a short distance. This setup is progressive and stops the Cayenne S at just 121 ft. from a speed of 60mph. 

Model

2021 Porsche Cayenne S

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 4Matic

2021 BMW X5 M50i 

2021 Maserati Levante S

Brake Rotors Front

15.3

14.8

N/A

15.0

Brake Rotors Rear

13.0

13.6

N/A

13.0

Curb Weight

4,740

5.280

5,260

4,994

Braking Distance 60-0 (ft.)

121

141

127

118

The 2021 Porsche Cayenne S is one of the best performers in the braking department while the Maserati Levante is the absolute best. The Mercedes GLE 580 takes the longest distance to stop from a speed of 60mph while the BMW is in the third position. The Porsche has the least curb weight which also contributes to the impressive braking performance and similarly, the Mercedes is the heaviest one here which requires more braking effort to bring it to a stop.

2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV Fuel Economy

The 2021 Porsche Cayenne, despite being a powerful and engaging SUV, also delivers impressive fuel efficiency figures. The Cayenne S provides a fuel economy of 18 mpg in the urban environment increasing to a class-leading 22mpg on the highway and a combined efficiency of 19 mpg. These figures as mentioned earlier are among the best in the segment and combined with a higher capacity 23.7-gallon fuel tank, the Cayenne S provides a range of 427 miles in the city, 521 miles on the highway, and a combined range of 450 miles which is an amazing range in the segment. 

Models

2021 Porsche Cayenne S

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 4Matic

2021 BMW X5 M50i 

2021 Maserati Levante S

MPG (City)

18

17

16

15

MPG (Highway)

22

21

22

21

MPG (Combined)

19

19

18

17

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

23.7

22.5

21.9

21.1

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

427/521/450

383/473/418

350/482/394

317/443/358

The 2021 Porsche Cayenne S is undoubtedly the most efficient one here while the Mercedes is just slightly behind the Porsche. None of the SUVs are very non-efficient, based on numbers the Maserati is the worst performer here. This same order is maintained when it comes to range also, as the Porsche can travel the most while the Maserati needs to be refueled most frequently. 

2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV Interior

The 2021 Porsche Cayenne S comes with a super-luxurious cabin that comes with all sorts of luxury and features embedded into it. The cabin is firmly constructed with solid materials and elements used for construction. There are ample amounts of space on the inside in both rows, but unfortunately, the interior dimensions are not available for comparison. 

2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV Front Row Seats

The standard seats in the Cayenne S are 8-way powered partial leather-covered seats while it could be upgraded to 14-way powered seats with Comfort Memory or even more expensive 18-way Adaptive Sport Seats Plus seats. There is also plenty of leather and club leather options available to make the Cayenne a lot more personalized. The cargo capacity in this Cayenne is 27.2 cu-ft which is spacious enough for long trips. 

Models

2021 Porsche Cayenne S

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 4Matic

2021 BMW X5 M50i 

2021 Maserati Levante S

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

N/A

40.5/59.3/40.3

40.7/60.0/39.4

N/A

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

N/A

36.9/58.3/40.9

38.7/58.1/37.4

N/A

Cargo Capacity

27.2

33.3

33.9

20.5

All of the models come with impeccable interior quality, but the Maserati has some issues with the cabin quality as it has some low-quality buttons and switches which is a bummer considering the fact that it is the most expensive one here. The BMW and the Mercedes offer a lot more cargo capacity than the other duo which is a nice practical addition. The following are some of the prominent interior features of the 2021 Porsche Cayenne S-

  • Two-zone climate control with separate temperature settings for driver and front passenger, automatic air-recirculation mode incl. air quality sensor
  • Particle/pollen filter with active carbon filter
  • Available 4-Zone Climate Control
  • Partial leather seats in embossed leather
  • 8-way comfort seats in front
  • Rear seats with folding center armrest and individually folding backrests (40:20:40)
  • 4-way headrests front and rear
  • Interior trim in High Gloss Black

How intuitive is the 2021 Porsche Cayenne S’s infotainment unit?

The 2021 Porsche Cayenne S comes with a Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment unit consisting of a 12.4-inch touchscreen display. The touchscreen unit is easy to use and intuitive while some buttons inside the cabin could have been placed more ergonomically.

2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV Infotainment System

The audio system as standard is a 10-speaker unit outputting 150 watts while it could be upgraded to a BOSE Surround Sound System worth $1,200 or an even more premium Burmester 3D High-End Surround Sound System for a whopping cost of $7,000. The following are the standout exterior infotainment features inside the 2021 Porsche Cayenne S-

  • Porsche Communication Management (PCM) including an Online Navigation Module
  • Connect Plus
  • Hi-fi sound system with 10 speakers
  • SiriusXM Radio (with 3-month trial)
  • HD Radio Receiver
  • Voice Control

2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV Exterior

The 2021 Porsche Cayenne S looks classy, beautiful, elegant, luxurious, and sporty at the same time. There was this sort of half-baked, weirdness in the rear end of the first-gen Cayenne. Which got pretty much rectified in the last-gen version, but this generation of Cayennes looks extremely beautiful. The Cayenne is the perfect example of a luxury performance SUV, it doesn’t just satisfy those needs, but also looks like it. The wheels in the Cayenne S are 19-inch Cayenne S alloys as standard. 

2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV Front Angle View

There are plenty of options to choose from of a range of 20, 21, and even 22-inch wheels of different styles and price points. Another plus point of Porsche is that there are plenty of customizations options available and it is possible to build up an exterior configuration that appeals to every individual according to their taste. The ground clearance offered by the Cayenne with the standard suspension setup is 8.2-inches which itself is plenty for speed breakers as well as mild offroading while it could be increased to 9.6-inch if you go for the optional air suspension setup.

Models

2021 Porsche Cayenne S

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 4Matic

2021 BMW X5 M50i 

2021 Maserati Levante S

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,740

5.280

5,260

4,994

Length (inches)

193.7

194.3

194.3

197.0

Width (inches)

78.1

76.1

78.9

77.9

Height (inches)

66.8

70.7

68.7

66.7

Ground Clearance (inches)

8.2

7.1

8.3

8.0

Wheelbase (inches)

114.0

117.9

117.1

118.3

All of these machines are extremely beautiful. However, the Porsche and the Maserati stand out with their more exotic looks. The BMW X5 and the Cayenne S offer the most ground clearance while the Merc has the least clearance. The Mercedes also weighs the most while the Porsche is the lightest. The Maserati is the longest one by a significant margin while the BMW is the widest. The following are some of the most important exterior features of the 2021 Porsche Cayenne S-

  • 19" Cayenne S wheels
  • Brake calipers in Titanium Grey
  • LED headlights
  • Four-point LED daytime running lights in each headlight
  • Front corner lights with LED position light and direction indicator
  • Panoramic Roof System
  • Integrated rear spoiler in exterior color
  • Twin dual-tube tailpipes, outside left and right, in brushed stainless steel
  • Electrically adjustable, folding, and heatable exterior mirrors
  • "PORSCHE" logo and model designation on the rear hatch in High Gloss Silver 

2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV Safety

The 2021 Porsche Cayenne S is an immensely safe vehicle. It has not been crash-tested or rated by either NHTSA or IIHS, so these scores are not available for evaluation or comparison. However, the Cayenne S has been well-packed with numerous safety and driver assistance features to keep the occupants and the vehicle itself safe. The standard Porsche Side Impact Protection System (POSIP) is present in the Cayenne along with the following ones-

  • ParkAssist (front and rear) with reversing camera
  • Warn and Brake Assist
  • Engine immobilizer with remote central locking and alarm system with radar-based interior surveillance
  • Porsche Traction Management (PTM)
  • Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV+)
  • Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC)

2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV Competition

2021 Porsche Cayenne S vs 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 4Matic

The Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 4Matic is the least expensive offering here. But it offers more power and torque than the Porsche and is faster than the Cayenne.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 4Matic

However, the Porsche holds up against the Merc with better handling and a marginally better fuel economy. The Porsche also offers much more customization options. However, the choice finally trickles down to individual preference as both machines are impressive. 

2021 Porsche Cayenne S vs 2021 BMW X5 M50i 

The 2021 BMW X5 M50i is a superb offering priced much lower than the Cayenne S. It is the most powerful one here and also offers impeccable drivability, precise handling, and driving dynamics.

2021 BMW X5 M50i

The fuel efficiency is also not bad in this one although the Porsche is slightly better. The Porsche does offer much more customization options, but overall the BMW is the wiser choice. 

2021 Porsche Cayenne S vs 2021 Maserati Levante S

The Maserati Levante S is the most expensive vehicle here offering similar performance to the Cayenne S. The Cayenne S has an overall better quality interior and more options to choose from along with slightly better fuel economy.

2021 Maserati Levante S

The Maserati being a more exotic one doesn’t justify its higher price, but the Porsche offers a better package at a lower price making it the obvious choice. 

2021 Porsche Cayenne S SUV Final Verdict

The new Porsche Cayenne S is a superb offering in the midsize luxury SUV segment. It comes with a powerful yet fuel-efficient engine under the hood mated to a slick-shifting transmission. The ride quality and comfort are also on point along with a high-quality interior. The pricing might be slightly on the higher side, but the Porsche offers a luxurious travel experience combined with impeccable performance justifying that price making it a great choice.