Select Page

Buying a used Porsche Cayenne

by | Nov 3, 2011 | Project Cars, Porsche Cayenne

Every now and then, I get a hankering to sell every car I own bar the 911 and look at buying a used Porsche Cayenne. Yes, I know hardly a classic and to some people not even a Porsche, but I like the cut of the Cayenne’s jib (edit: I now own one and here is my proper Porsche Cayenne buyers’ guide).

Admittedly there are many reasons NOT to buy a Cayenne. Maybe not enough ‘many’s there.

  • It’s not the prettiest thing in the world
  • Only the Space Shuttle has worse mpg
  • Colours available mostly more boring than housepaint
  • Eats tyres like a thirsty, boring-coloured, tyre-eating thing
  • Volkswagen V6 or cylinder-scoring V8
  • Manual transmission is only available with the VW engine
  • Precious little space for LPG, especially in the Turbo and even on gas only 15mpg (albeit at a lower fuel price)

On the plus side:

  • Huge
  • Fast
  • Sexy V8 noise
  • Deserves its Porsche badge
  • Decent 4×4 system, not joke setup
  • Air suspension rocks
  • Replaces everything I own except the 911

So, if it has rubbish MPG and is either slow-ish and not that great on MPG compared to the faster one (V6) or prone to chucking pistons through the cylinder walls (V8), why the desire to own one? I don’t know – it’s a regular thing with me. If I could find a nice non-silver/black colour, circa 55-plate with under 90k miles for £10K*, I think I might pull the trigger. That despite the fact that it would probably be an exceptionally bad idea turning up at home with a ten grand Cayenne, when I already have five cars and am in the middle of building a cash-sapping house extension. Not that that ever stopped me…

The plan would be to sell the other cars, though. Newly-restored E36 M3 saloon, classic Landcruiser 80 series, Subaru Outback on new LPG kit and Mk 2 Golf GTi would all go, replaced by just one Cayenne S. Alternatively, can you say “V6 diesel conversion”? Aaargh, that is full-on man maths talking: *la la la I’m not listening*

Cayenne drivers – share your experiences!


Ferdinand blogs my freelance adventure with Porsche at the centre. To support the blog or engage with me in other ways, you can:


  1. Mark DeBernardi

    I’m shopping for one as well. I built a spreadsheet to compare cost of ownership with my current ’05 Rabbit. Turns out that at US gas prices ~$4 per gallon, the decrease in fuel economy only resulted in a $500 per year increase. Totally worthwhile for me and now it’s just waiting for the right one to come along.

  2. Paulo Rebordao

    My brother in law had a Cayenne S and I used to joke that the noise alone was worth the rubbish mileage. Glorious !
    When I drove it, the trip computer displayed an average of 24l / 100Km… He later converted it to LPG, but eventually traded for the Diesel… shame

    • John

      Dom Delaney used to get 20 mpg out of his S. Diesel would be the ultimate: I love the facelifted ones but way beyond my means!

  3. Eric Shea

    I got 23mpg on my 4,400 mile cross country trek across the US this spring. I hit every inn, every night, feeling comfortable and refreshed. Only my wifes E500 wagon is more comfortable (and a tad bit faster).

    As Mark (fist poster) will attest, I bought it to tow and tow it does well. We tow our 24ft. camping trailer all over Utah and the Rocky Mountain west. Unhook the trailer for a 120mph romp into Moab. Raise the air suspension for a trek to the back country to view some dinosaur tracks in the slickrock.

    Beware of drive shafts and plastic coolant lines that run underneath the intake manifold. Both can be costly early Cayenne problems but… once those are behind you, you’re looking at a sturdy contender for turn key fun. One more… don’t expect your lower control arm bushings to last forever (like they do on the Mercedes ML320 it replaced)… I’m looking for a poly-bronze replacement for the “next” time.

    So far so good…

    • John

      Great Eric, thanks. Know the common Cayenne faults and will keep an eye out for them. I really think this will happen sometime soon. 23 mpg on a US gallon is great!

  4. Paul

    The Cayenne gets a hard time. I’m a Porsche guy that has owned most Porsche sportscar models, but never considered the lofty 4×4 until someone offered me a 4.5S as a swap for my wife’s Merc R-Class (which she hated). Took it and some extra cash not expecting much. Reality was I fell for it… Performed great off road, great sound, more individual than a Range Rover. Had a 996 C4S at the same time, which I started using less and less…

    I don’t still have it, but that’s only because I part exchanged it for a 2011 Cayenne Diesel in January this year. I’ve lost the terrific sound, but I now have 550Nm torque and 40-44mpg. They are comfortable, quick, great for the family and happily tows two horses. What’s not to like?

    I’ve accidentally become a Cayenne owner and I’m proud. There, I said it. I’m now looking for a nice 1972 911 and will probably get a new 991 S next year – but they will never replace my daily driver Cayenne…

    Should you go for it? Absolutely!

    • John

      Love it Paul, good for you!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

two × 1 =