Both Porsche and Audi are part of Volkswagen Auto Group (VAG), and VAG uses the MLB/MLB EVO chassis platforms for both Audi and Porsche, as well as some other VAG brands.
This means that the chassis used for both of these models is rather similar, so these cars are not as different as they might seem. However, Porsche has a different approach to building more sportier SUVs, while Audi primarily focuses on comfort.
Both the Audi Q5 and the Porsche Cayenne offer amazing technology and luxury features, so no matter which one you choose, you won’t be disappointed. However, if we had to pick a winner, it would probably the Cayenne.
The Porsche Cayenne is a bit bigger, a lot sportier, more spacious, and the build quality also slightly edges out the Q5. This is reflected in the price tag though, so if you want the best bang for your buck, the Q5 might be a better choice.
The Audi Q5 is a compact luxury SUV that has been produced by Audi since 2008. The first-gen Q5 was based on the MLB chassis platform, and the second-generation Q5 was revealed in 2016 and is based on the upgraded Audi MLB Evo platform. This platform is also shared with the B9 versions of the Audi A5 and A4.
The latest 2021 Q5 SUV offers a facelifted nose and an upgraded interior. The Q5 has always been a popular choice because of the great all-arounder characteristics, no matter the generation. All US Audi Q5 models offer a 7-speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic and Quattro AWD as standard.
Audi Q5 trim levels
The base model Q5 in the US is the Q5 45TFSI Premium package, which retails for $43,300. You can also upgrade to the Premium Plus package for around $5k, which will give you better-looking wheels, Audi Active Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pan-roof, upgraded stereo system, and a top-down camera view.
If you take it one step further, you can upgrade the 45TFSI to the top-spec Prestige package, which costs an additional $6k, but it offers the amazing Matrix-design LED headlights, ventilated power-adjustable seats, heads up display, a Bang and Olufsen premium sound system, and a bunch more.
Next in line is the Audi Q5 55 TFSI e Plug-in hybrid Premium Package which retails for $52k. It can also be upgraded to the Premium Plus Package for an additional $4k, or the top-spec Prestige package which costs almost $10k over the base price of the 55 TFSI e Plug-in Hybrid.
The Porsche Cayenne is the largest SUV by Porsche and has been in production since 2003. The first generation of the Cayenne was rather questionable because it offered a styling only a mother could love. But the second, and especially the third generation of the Cayenne, are significantly better looking inside and out.
The latest 2021 Cayenne is offered as an SUV or in coupe form. It’s also worth mentioning that the latest third-gen of the Cayenne is based on the VAG MLB Evo chassis, which the same platform the Audi Q5 is based upon, but a bit enlarged.
Porsche Cayenne trim levels
The entry-level Cayenne starts at $67,500, and it offers restrained options as standard, but all of the engine options are a lot punchier than the ones in the Q5. If you want a coupe form of the entry-level Cayenne, you are looking at an additional $10k, which boosts the price up to $76,500.
If you want the Premium package, you’ll have to pay an additional $6,500, and the equipment in this package is somewhat comparable to the Premium Plus package offered for the Audi Q5. Additionally, you can upgrade to the top-of-the-line equipment package called Premium Package Plus for $9k, which is also fairly comparable to the Q5 Prestige package.
If you want the Cayenne e-hybrid, you are looking at a retail price of $82,000, and the Coupe version of the e hybrid costs $87,600. The Cayenne S costs $85,100, and the Coupe version costs almost $90k. If you want the GTS versions, you are looking at price tags above $100k for both the coupe and SUV versions.
Porsche Cayenne vs. Audi Q5 performance versions
Both of these manufacturers offer a beefed-up performance version of the Q5 and the Cayenne, but Audi does it a bit more subdued, and Porsche does it extensively. So, if you want a sportier experience, there is no arguing that the Cayenne is way more powerful and dynamically capable.
Even the “cheapest” full-on performance Cayenne version the Cayenne Turbo costs around $130k for both the Coupe and SUV versions. They do, however, offer upwards of 540hp and a sub 4 second 0-60mph time. If you want the quickest version, the Turbo S e-hybrid costs around $164 for both versions, and it offers 670hp and a 0-60mph time of 3.6 seconds.
On the other hand, the performance version of the Q5 is the Audi SQ5. The Audi SQ5 can’t match the performance credentials of the Turbo models, but the SQ5 costs just a third of the price of the top-of-the-line Turbo S e-hybrid. The SQ5 offers a decent 350hp, 4.7 sec 0-60mph, and is a bargain compared to the Turbo models.
Comparing the Q5 and Cayenne
Which SUV is more reliable, the Q5 or the Cayenne?
Most consumer reports suggest that both the Audi Q5 and the Porsche Cayenne enjoy an above-average reliability score. But different reports suggest that the Q5 is, at best, only average when it comes to reliability. But the Porsche Cayenne has always been considered a reliable SUV.
It makes sense for Porsche to offer a more reliable SUV because almost all Porsche models offer a superior build and material quality, fewer plastics, and the cars are generally built better than most Audis, which is to expected considering the significant price increase.
Which SUV depreciates more quickly, the Q5 or the Cayenne?
Both the base model Audi Q5 and the Porsche Cayenne usually lose around 58% of their original value in the first 5 years of ownership. Considering the initial price tag, the Cayenne might seem like a worse financial decision. This is especially true if you opt for the $160k Cayenne Turbo S e-hybrid models.
Many used Cayenne Turbo models from the first generation can now be bought for less than what you would have to pay for a 2010 Audi Q5. Audi Q5s are more popular on the used car market, this means that the price drops soften up sooner compared to the Cayenne, which usually keeps on dropping until hitting rock bottom.
Which SUV is more expensive to maintain, Q5 or Cayenne?
Both the Audi Q5 and the Porsche Cayenne experience an above-average yearly maintenance cost. The Q5 comes out at around $900-1,000 yearly, and the Cayenne is around $1,100-1,300 a year. But these can vary significantly depending on the age, mileage, and trim options in a particular model.
Some models like top-of-the-line Turbo S models can cost upwards of $4k per year for just the maintenance costs, and the SQ5 is around $1,600. The reason why the SQ5 is so cheap compared to the Porsche is that the SQ5 uses a more regular 6-cylinder engine, and the ceramic brakes for the Cayenne can cost as much as $15k.