Porsche Cayenne vs Tesla Model X

So you’re in the market for a high-performance SUV, and you’ve narrowed down your choices to the 2019 Porsche Cayenne and the Tesla Model X. It’s a tough call since they’re both loaded with state-of-the-art features and both offer outstanding performance, comfort and fuel economy. Let’s break down some of what each can bring to the table in this head-to-head comparison.

A Few Basics To Consider

Tesla has, of course, built its brand and reputation on advanced all-electric vehicles that offer outstanding performance and acceleration. That’s great, right? Sure it is, until you consider that the Model X can only go 238 to 295 miles, at which time it’s going to need a recharge. The recharge after 30 minutes will only bring the batteries back up to 54 percent (and requires a specially-equipped quick-charge station). For a full, deep recharge at a conventional charging facility, you’re going to be waiting as long as 82 hours.

Although fuel economy ratings aren’t yet available for the 2019 Porsche Cayenne, last year’s model turned in 17 mpg in town and 24 mpg on the highway. For the hybrid model, that comes out to a range of 520 miles on a full tank of fuel. We’d have to give the nod to the 2019 Cayenne when it comes to range.

Now, as for stopping power…

The 2019 Cayenne is available with optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors. Like ceramic brake pads, these rotors are hard and heat-resistant; in fact, they have a service life that’s ten to twenty times that of conventional cast-iron rotors. They won’t rust, they’re resistant to fade during high-speed stops and their lighter weight means less unsprung weight for better handling and acceleration.

The Cayenne can be ordered with 16.5” rotors in front (compared to 14” in the Tesla X) and 14.6” rotors in rear (compared to 14.4” in the Tesla). The result is much shorter stopping distances: 156 feet from 70 to 0 with the 2019 Cayenne (compared to 172 feet for the Tesla) and 106 feet from 60 to 0 (compared to 113 feet for the Tesla).

As if that weren’t enough, the 2019 Porsche Cayenne has an innovative braking assist feature that reads how hard the brakes are being applied and automatically boosts braking pressure to the maximum to prevent a possible collision. The Model X, of course, doesn’t come with this feature.

Now that we know how well the 2019 Porsche Cayenne can stop, how about making it go?

The 2019 Cayenne is available with a range of engines, starting with a base-model 3.0 supercharged V6 in the hybrid, putting out 416 horsepower. From there, you can choose from a 3.6 V6 (420 hp), 3.6 turbo V6 (440 hp), 4.8 turbo V8 (520 hp) or a turbo S V8 at 570 horsepower. With the Model X, you can only choose from three engine options, at 328 hp, 417 hp or 532 hp.

For the Tesla, that comes out to 0-60 times between 3.9 and 5.9 seconds, and quarter-mile runs from 12.4 to 14.2 seconds. Compare that to the 2019 Cayenne’s blistering 0-60 times (between 4.1 and 5.9 seconds) and quarter-mile times that range from 12.9 to 14.4 seconds.

Interior and Ergonomics

Here are a few features that the 2019 Cayenne offers that the Tesla X simply doesn’t:

  • Optional driver and passenger memory, with automated memory settings for mirrors, climate control, steering wheel position, seat position (Tesla offers only driver’s seat memory)

  • Automated entry system that raises the steering wheel and moves driver’s seat back when the ignition is cut off or door is unlocked

  • Heated windshield washer nozzles, preventing freezeups of washer fluid in cold weather (standard on 2019 Cayenne, optional at extra cost on Model X)

  • Standard rear window wiper and washer

  • Headlight washers and wipers

  • Side window demisters to clear frost or condensation

  • Secondary sun visors to block glare from two directions at the same time

  • Air conditioned front and rear seats, taking the burn out of hot leather upholstery in the summer

  • Standard folding armrest for rear seat passengers

That’s not even thinking about the Cayenne’s superior handling and road manners, and of course the cachet of the Porsche brand. Still on the fence?

We just have one question: why?


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