Audi Q7 vs. Porsche Cayenne

An Audi Q7 vs. Porsche Cayenne comparison is worth doing if you are considering purchasing a stylish luxury SUV in the $50,000 price range. Both models have received significant changes for 2011. The Cayenne is all-new while the changes for the Q7 are largely under the hood. Because German-based Volkswagen owns Audi and a 49.9% stake in Porsche, the two models are built on the same platform in Bratislava, Slovakia, and share many components.

The Q7 was first offered in 2007. It is the larger of the two SUVs offered by Audi (the other being the Q5) and has third-row seating. The 2011 Audi Q7 comes in base form with a 3.0-liter, supercharged V-6 engine producing 272 horsepower. Two other engine options are available: a 3.0-liter, turbo V-6 diesel producing 225 horsepower and a 3.0-liter, 333 horsepower, turbocharged V-6 engine. All come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Three trim lines are available. Top trims receive ventilated front seats, adaptive headlights, and a panoramic sunroof standard. HD Radio is now standard on all Q7s.

As the makers of some of the world’s greatest sports cars, it would be expected that Porsche’s SUV, the Cayenne, would have superior performance in comparison to other SUVs. For 2011, Porsche has made a number of improvements to the Cayenne making it lighter and more efficient, with a new interior that resembles the Porsche Panamera.

In base form, the 2011 Porsche Cayenne has a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 300 horsepower. The Cayenne S model comes with a 4.8 liter, V-8 engine producing 400 horsepower and the Cayenne Turbo comes with a turbocharged 4.8 liter, V-8 engine, 500-horsepower engine for performance enthusiasts. The Cayenne also has an available Audi-engineered, supercharged 333-hp 3.0-liter V6 hybrid engine option. The engine is complemented by a 47-horsepower electric motor producing a combined 380 horsepower.

In terms of interior space, the Q7 has a clear advantage. It has 72.5 cubic feet of total cargo room with 42 cubic feet of cargo volume with the third-row folded flat. The Cayenne has a total of 60.2 cubic feet of cargo space, with 23.7 cubic feet with the rear seats up. Fuel economy on the two models in base form is comparable with both getting about 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. In base form, the Cayenne is .5 seconds faster than the base Q7 in 0-60 testing, 7.4 seconds to 7.9 seconds.

Both the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne have received on average very favorable reviews from buyers and the automotive press. Both models start at about $50,000, however, the Cayenne’s price increases significantly with different engine options. The Cayenne Turbo retails for just over $100,000. The Q7 tops out at about $60,000 with the 333-horsepower engine. Ultimately the winner of the Audi Q7 vs. Porsche Cayenne comparison will be determined on buyer’s needs and preferences and how the marketplace receives them.

Both models are on sale now. Prospective buyers may also want to consider the BMW X-5, Land Rover LR4, Lincoln MKT, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, and Volvo XC90.

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