• Car and Driver compares the BMW X5 M, Mercedes ML63 AMG, Jeep Cherokee SRT8, and Porsche Cayenne Turbo - X5M wins

      The luxury performance SUV segment was really started by Porsche with the Cayenne Turbo which has been the cream of the crop since its introduction. When BMW saw how well Porsche was doing with the Cayenne as well as Mercedes with its AMG ML variants, they finally caved in and decided to get in the mix creating the X5M. We will readily admit the X5M is a spectacular performance SUV worthy of its first place finish in this comparison.

      We have a couple questions however. The Cayenne Turbo is penalized for its price. Should it really be penalized for having the option of carbon ceramic brakes? Yes, they add $8840 to the price but one does not have to order them. Porsche should be commended for offering them as an option. The Porsche should also not be penalized for allowing one to get their key fob painted in a matching color to the car. These are options and the base prices are fairly close to one another (Jeep excluded).

      The Cayenne Turbo is the best handling SUV and also the lightest. The weight listed by Car and Driver seems to be an error. Porsche lists it at 4,784 pounds and has emphatically pointed out the new car is much lighter than than the previous generation. The listed 5242 pounds is 458 pounds more than what Porsche quotes for the car which is a very large difference. Someone got their numbers wrong.

      Weight aside, the X5M is the quickest SUV running a 12.5@113 in the 1/4 mile. It is followed by the Mercedes ML63 with a 12.6@113 then the Cayenne Turbo with a 13.0@109. The Jeep brings up the rear with a 13.7@103.

      The Cayenne Turbo is the best handling out of the bunch with the best slalom and skidpad numbers. If the emphasis is placed on acceleration the BMW wins. If the entire package is taken into account, the Porsche really should not be finishing third. What cost it the victory in this group was really its as tested price which was inflated due to unnecessary options. If the Cayenne does not receive an 8 point penalty for the price, it would finish in first place. Exactly where it should be also considering it was picked as the most fun to drive.








      Fourth: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

      Highs:

      Familiar ergonomics, terrific sightlines, a bargain in this group.
      Lows:

      Squishy seat cushions, five gears only, always looking for a drag strip instead of a slalom.
      Verdict:

      Shy on sophistication, long on hot-roddishness.

      Third: 2012 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

      Highs:

      Sharp steering, brilliant seats, an SUV ready for Road America.

      Lows:

      Absurd price, restricted view astern, ergonomically intimidating, cramped.

      Verdict:

      How is it possible to make 5242 pounds feel so agile?

      Second: 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG

      Highs:

      Princely cockpit, serene freeway cruiser, 175-mph top speed.
      Lows:

      Uninformative to start with, completely numb at its handling limits.
      Verdict:

      The Mot & Chandon of SUV status symbols.

      First: 2012 BMW X5 M

      Highs:

      Blindingly quick, plenty of cargo room, a transmission that predicts the future.
      Lows:

      Bizarre exhaust note, slightly leaden steering, minor impact harshness, smallish fuel tank.
      Verdict:

      A driveline and chassis that love and respect each other forever and ever.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Grand Cherokee SRT8 vs. ML63 vs. Cayenne Turbo vs. X5 M by C&D started by Sorena View original post
      Comments 8 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        The luxury performance SUV segment was really started by Porsche with the Cayenne Turbo which has been the cream of the crop since its introduction. When BMW saw how well Porsche was doing with the Cayenne as well as Mercedes with its AMG ML variants, they finally caved in and decided to get in the mix creating the X5M. We will readily admit the X5M is a spectacular performance SUV worthy of its first place finish in this comparison.

        We have a couple questions however. The Cayenne Turbo is penalized for its price. Should it really be penalized for having the option of carbon ceramic brakes? Yes, they add $8840 to the price but one does not have to order them. Porsche should be commended for offering them as an option. The Porsche should also not be penalized for allowing one to get their key fob painted in a matching color to the car. These are options and the base prices are fairly close to one another (Jeep excluded).

        The Cayenne Turbo is the best handling SUV and also the lightest. The weight listed by Car and Driver seems to be an error. Porsche lists it at 4,784 pounds and has emphatically pointed out the new car is much lighter than than the previous generation. The listed 5242 pounds is 458 pounds more than what Porsche quotes for the car which is a very large difference. Someone got their numbers wrong.

        Weight aside, the X5M is the quickest SUV running a 12.5@113 in the 1/4 mile. It is followed by the Mercedes ML63 with a 12.6@113 then the Cayenne Turbo with a 13.0@109. The Jeep brings up the rear with a 13.7@103.

        The Cayenne Turbo is the best handling out of the bunch with the best slalom and skidpad numbers. If the emphasis is placed on acceleration the BMW wins. If the entire package is taken into account, the Porsche really should not be finishing third. What cost it the victory in this group was really its as tested price which was inflated due to unnecessary options. If the Cayenne does not receive an 8 point penalty for the price, it would finish in first place. Exactly where it should be also considering it was picked as the most fun to drive.

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      1. M3_WC's Avatar
        M3_WC -
        I hate reviews that deduct so many points for cost.
      1. r2dmax's Avatar
        r2dmax -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by M3_WC Click here to enlarge
        I hate reviews that deduct so many points for cost.
        Maybe, but even with almost $9k in Brake upgrades and a $53k ($53k!!Click here to enlarge - a nice e60 M5 w/ Exhaust, chip, wheels, and cash in the pocket) over the X5M it should have outbraked everything. IN addition, the sightlines out of the cabin, and shouldn't feel cramped... Bot in an SUV.

        Personally, I'll take the X5M and the e60 M5 over the Cayenne. I do like the CAyenne though
      1. singletrack's Avatar
        singletrack -
        Interesting. I briefly looked at a used X5M and a new SRT before getting my diesel. Ultimately I decided that the SUV, for me, was more about handling and luxury than raw performance. I also got an amazing deal on the 35D with all the incentives available. My X5 35d handles very well with the adaptive drive in sport. X5M and Porsche are much more impressive looking in person!
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by M3_WC Click here to enlarge
        I hate reviews that deduct so many points for cost.
        If it was a comparison between much higher priced cars, Aventador-like price, i would agree with you. But not now. That Porsche costs 50 percent more than the BMW, and almost 130 percent more than the Jeep.
      1. singletrack's Avatar
        singletrack -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
        If it was a comparison between much higher priced cars, Aventador-like price, i would agree with you. But not now. That Porsche costs 50 percent more than the BMW, and almost 130 percent more than the Jeep.
        Yah - I agree, it is relevant. I priced out a Cayenne with the V6 (boring) and comparable options to my X5 35D and it was 80k+. Ruled it out of my choice.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
        If it was a comparison between much higher priced cars, Aventador-like price, i would agree with you. But not now. That Porsche costs 50 percent more than the BMW, and almost 130 percent more than the Jeep.
        You can option out Porsches heavily, they shouldn't be punished for it.
      1. singletrack's Avatar
        singletrack -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        You can option out Porsches heavily, they shouldn't be punished for it.
        I agree, unless the Porsche "option" is standard in the competition. Then it should be selected and relevant to the discussion.