Cayenne Report: It Likes A Drink

Goodness me! I was expecting it to be thirsty and I knew the MPG figures going in but didn’t realise just how much we’d be visiting the pumps.

Yesterday our remaining range showed circa 90 miles. Following a nice valentines lunch two miles away, upon start-up it dropped to 60 and the light came on. One mile later and it was 55 miles and beeping at me for fuel. :wacko: But not too bad as it looked like just-under-a-quarter of a tank left. Aah the deception, as a trip to the local petrol station reduced my balance by another eighty quid. Eighty pounds in one week. Holy cr*p.

That visit was laughable disbelief, but I can see that turning into life-art of “Grown Man Sobbing at the Pumps” if it keeps it up.

MPG

I wrote down the initial mileage and promptly lost the ticket like the buffoon that I am, but I think I have completed just over 300 miles to a tank. This works out at a juicy 18mpg. If I’ve got the numbers wrong, its had +100 miles to the tank which increases it to around 22mpg. Regrettably, I think it is the former.

My petrol station owner is called Anthony. Yep, I’ll be getting to know him much better in the coming months…

Cayenne Report: Service Time

cayenneservice

The Cayenne has been in for its first service under my stewardship today and so far things are looking pretty rosy. John from Porsche Euro gave the car a good once over for me. He put the car on the ramps and checked underneath, noting that a number of common fault parts had been replaced recently (clamps and pipes and suchlike) which gave me more confidence that this car has been well looked after. John also advised that little tends to go wrong with the 3.2’s and that it looks like I’ve got a pretty good car. Happy days!

Service, new windscreen wipers and new brake fluid all completed. The service light is out, the car seems to be a good ‘un and so here is my full to-do list:

  • Side Steps. My little lady can’t quite get into this car on her own, try as she might her little legs just can’t reach yet. So some steps will give her a helping hand. John has kindly offered to trawl the interweb to find me some good ones.
  • Duff parking sensors. Nothing came up on the car’s computer when read, so this is believed to be a dying, rather than dead sensor. One for me to keep an eye on. It could just be shedloads of dirt I guess!
  • Pulsing lights. John advised this is either the battery or the alternator and I’ve got some homework to do, to test the battery first.
  • Blacked out rear windows. Local place with a good reputation will be taking care of this for me for £160. More on this in a future update.
  • Retrofit of cruise control. Possibly.
  • Update of sat nav discs. I’m running the very old pre-traffic disks, so would like to update the unit to the latest and greatest.
  • SIM card for the Phone unit. This arrived today, and so I now have a working telephone for the occasional times that I might need it. Happy days.
  • Some CDs. I need some of my choons in there, sharpish.
  • A Porsche badge for the rear. Cringe. But wifey loves them. Happy wife, happy life.
  • Certificate of Authenticity. I’ll get this from PCGB.

Personalised reg. We like those.

Options list.

I’ve found a website which lists all of the option codes () and nothing much to report really:

  • Full leather, electric seats
  • Sat nav with phone
  • 19” Wheels with colour crests.
  • Aluminium exterior trim
  • Prep for roof rack, black
  • Standard aircon.

So there we go! It suggests these are pretty well equipped as standard it would seem.

More updates soon!

Cayenne Report: 1 Week On

One Week On

We are getting used to it now, I’m finding it wholly relaxing to drive. The 18mpg average is making me wince, but thankfully Porsche buried the mpg computer so far into the menus that you need to make a real effort to find it. So I won’t.

My wife still finds it on the large side and hasn’t warmed to it yet, but is finding it more ‘hers’ now that we’ve moved all the trinkets and personalisation over from the Evoque. She took the Evoque out on a day trip earlier this week, and said it drives so much more like a car, compared to the Cayenne. So the Cayenne still has work to do. She is also a really nervous passenger owing to someone crashing into her from behind a few years ago, and says that the auto feels like I’m racing all the time in it (honesty, I’m not!). I suspect that this is a combination of the engine having a lovely sporting sound, and the auto gearbox when it drops a cog when overtaking on a motorway.

As for me, its bliss – auto, lovely auto. It’s also pretty quick on acceleration. I’ve read a lot of reports of the 3.2 being underpowered, but I’m going to buck that trend and say its fine. I’ve yet to find a scenario in which you need more power. Pulling out at junctions? Motorway overtaking? All fine. It cruises nice, overtakes quickly0 OK, so it’s not typically Porsche rapid, but it reminds me a lot of a Boxster 2.7 compared to the 3.4; it feels comfortably fast, not bonkers quick.

Took it to York today for a day out at the Theatre (Peppa Pig, no less). Parked in a titchy car park. Boy do you need those parking sensors!

Service on Friday!

Welcome, Porsche Cayenne!

cayenne_grey_1500 words of justification

After four very happy years with the Evoque, I was fancying a change. I thought the baby Range Rover would be a long term ‘keeper’ but it seems that even the most perfect of cars eventually need a refresh. The newer model of the Evoque is a very minor facelift and not worth the cost to change at any price. My wife also has a new requirement: A bigger boot. The Evoque’s boot isn’t terribly big, perhaps owing the length of the car. It’s a wide beast, make no mistake and this contributes massively to the feeling of luxury inside. However, its length is only around that of a Ford Focus and so the boot is left wanting. When eyeing up our friends Vauxhall Insignia recently, it’s hard to find another car that comes anywhere near those for family lugging. Even luxury estates from the likes of BMW don’t seem to cut the mustard. But there is a new contender in the premium-car-large-boot space: Land Rover with its Evoque XL. This car, also known as the Discovery Sport, builds hugely on the success of the Evoque, aping its build and turning up the size dial by a few notches. We borrowed one and were hugely impressed. We came very close to putting a deposit, but for the spec we wanted it pushed the price just a little higher than I wanted to pay.

And now for my alternate requirement: If we aren’t buying new, lets go cheap instead and smash the mortgage. Mr Money Moustache has been really rubbing off on me of late and I’m particularly fond of reducing debt this year. Watching the amount-owed tumble down with a bit of effort is very rewarding, and really quite addictive. This year I wanted to really hit those digits and bring down the wall of finance. The Evoque has a bit finance on it too, and with wifey wanting a bigger boot, me wanting a change (and no finance) I started looking a little closer at the Cayenne. The great big bus of the car world. I’ve owned Porsches for almost ten years straight and so the lack of the marque in my stable was noticeable.

Our mileage has been lowering in line with my desire to both cut costs and enjoy local life more, so with a combined mileage of around 9-10,000 miles (less than half of our travels just five years ago) and the petrol prices coming down a bit, the older Cayenne’s started to look quite viable.

I really like Porsches and since I first drove a Cayenne back when it was launched in 2003, I’ve always fancied one at some point. However, they are reportedly one of the most unreliable cars available – a reputation that Porsche seem to be obtaining with unnerving frequency over the years. So it was a to-and-fro decision for a few months. With the Evoque only costing just £289pm including servicing thanks to its rock-hard residuals, any issues at all with the Cayenne will wipe out any benefit of changing cars. But… its something new, something exciting.

Let the Auto Trader search begin.

 

Our Car – we found it.

Are Cayennes only purchased in the south of England? After weeks of searching, it seems 150 miles away is the default answer for the vast majority of cars. I looked at a few locally that didn’t cut the mustard, but happened across the car that would ultimately become ours. It had been listed for three or four weeks and looked tempting – keenly priced with some of the options I wanted. The absolute must-haves were the 3.2 engine (Porsche 4.5 chocolate engines? No thanks), parking sensors and in a weird twist of irony, grey in colour. I’ve always said I’d never have a car the colour of rain clouds but in all honesty it really suits this car. I’ve had a black car already (also a great colour for Porsches), so wanted something different and bright green probably wouldn’t be a good choice for this hulk of a car.

After watching the classified advert every day for weeks and dithering for more than enough time I decided to give the seller a call. I checked the advert again for the phone number and found it had been reduced by £1,000. Bonus. Heated seats were also a must-have of mine, but are in short supply on these cars (3.2 within 50-mile radius of my house) and at £6,999 it was worth a closer look.

The Viewing

This is the first time I’ve ever bought a car without an inspection. But on all inspections I’ve ever had, ever, none of them have spotted the problems that I’ve ultimately had to pay for. So, kick of tyres, a quick look at the history and boom! I had me a Porsche. The seller agreed to have the car MOT’d and new tyres. The brakes look good and the seller seemed a genuine fellow and through conversations about potential future sports cars, was keen on repeat business. Discount? Zero. I’m so shyate at negotiating.

The purchase was straightforward, but all the way there on collection day I was worrying if I’d made the right choice. But I had commited. A few hours later, deal done and we set off home, with an excited for year old who was more than happy being back in a “Porscha”, pointing out everything that her little eyes could spot in the car with a positive fleck in tone. She remembered the 911 being pretty loud – especially in tunnels… “Does this one go ‘brum’ daddy? Can you make it go Brum? Will mummy have heard it brumming behind us [in the Evoque]?” After half an hour with the car, I started to relax a bit more and once I’ve had it fully checked over and serviced I’ll be much happier. More on this in a future update.

 

Cayenne Interior

Cayenne Interior

Detective-ing

It’s due a service now, and I was initially wondering if buying a car with little history is a good idea. It turns out things are better than I thought. It may have only two stamps in the service book, but some trawling of the included paperwork uncovered services for all the remaining years on receipts, giving it an almost full history. The last service (just under 2 years ago) was a major service at an OPC, including spark plugs and brake fluid. I called OPC today to try and get copies of the invoices, but they won’t give these out without permission. However, in a stroke of luck, the service lady happened to personally know the previous owner and validated that she maintained it religiously and advised me that it was very well looked after in her tenure. Happy days!

 

Its not all rosy…

Faults to fix (hey, it was £7k):

The parking sensors intermittently break with two red lights on the outer edges of the sensors. Common fault I believe, just a case of finding the duff sensors and replacing.

The stench of smoke. The seller had given it a superb valet, and it is truly immaculate inside. The seats still look brand new with none of that age-telling shininess. Its lovely, lovely inside. But it hum-dings. I’ve put a call into a local detailer to see if he can give work his magic and get rid of the smell.

It needs a service. Initially I thought this was going to be a thorough major job, but with OPC having confirmed the last one completed to time, it’s a minor only. Hurrah!

Flashy dash. After a few minutes on the road, the lights (inside and out) start to pulsate. No idea whats wrong there, but hopefully Porsche Euro will be able to solve.

Spare key. Missing. Arrgh. What is it with Porsches and missing keys? Ho-hum, Porsche are asking the former owner for me, but I’ll not hold my breath. I reckon a few hundred quid should get me another I hope.

 

The Spec

Well I have to admit, I’m not actually sure. This was a real stop-and-buy decision and it had the basics that I wanted. One thing both my wife and I have noticed is that it has fully electric adjustable seats. What this means is something in the region of 600,000 (my calculations based on ‘time to get the seat position correct’) possible seat settings and therefore nigh on impossible for us both to have a comfortable seating position with just a couple of tugs of leavers. Note for future: Full electric seats should have ‘memory’ functions purchased too.

As for the rest of the spec, it has sat-nav and phone built in and I think it’s got auto wipers too. I’m going to order a Certificate of Authenticity from Porsche to get the full specification. I’ve got the spec codes on the service book, but I can’t find a decoder for the Cayenne online.

 

Driving experience.

So far, only two days into it. Crucial to the selling off the Evoque, my wife needs to be happy with it. At the moment I think she is a little on the fence because of its size. It really is MASSIVE. You don’t have any room for error I find, you take up all the lane like a lorry and if you aren’t 100% focussed, wandering out of lane is a little too easy. But not as easy as speeding. Oh my word, do you have to watch your speed. It’s so quiet (relatively speaking) and smooth – and being so high up and cosseted from the bumpy world below you could easily find yourself in an apologetic confrontation with Mr Plod. Also, being so big, you get a lot of window. And that means you see an awful lot more. It’s a bit like an assault on the sensors having to process all this additional information. I know that sounds a bit nuts, but it’s a weird sensation.

So all the best bits (size, comfort, cruise-ability) are also its cautionary bits so far. But as these are the primary objective of this car, it simply excels. Like Porsche always does.

The Evoque drives like a comfy car, whereas the Cayenne is a bit like a comfy bus. But if this bus doesn’t break down, it’ll actually help me on my quested of financial independence. Who’d have thought it, eh.

It’ll be an interesting experience this one, and I’ll keep you updated!

cayenne_grey_3

Evoque Blog: Broken lock and a flat tyre

Door locks.

In recent weeks, the drivers door has developed a fault, in that when unlocked from the keyfob it only partially unlocks the door, with the locking mechanism on the inside only moving slightly. So to allow the door to actually open, you have to pull the lock from the inside.

I called the Land Rover Wakefield and from my description believe they know what the issue is. I just need to get it booked in, looking at about £150-250 to fix it. Ouch. We are three and a half years into ownership, the car has done just over 40,000 miles now, so I guess we’ll be starting to see just how hard-wearing these new Land Rover cars really are.

Evoque Flat Tyre

Evoque Flat Tyre

Flat Tyre.

Upon arriving at work, I noticed that the front drivers-side tyre wasn’t looking its optimum. I went back a few hours later to find the tyre as flat as a pancake. Not wanting to use the tyre-weld, which turns your tyre into a one-time use only and therefore an expensive repair, I borrowed an electric pump from a colleague, restored the tyre to good state of pressure and drove the car immediately up to a local, recomended tyre repair shop. They were very efficient too; fifteen minutes later and £10 lighter, my car was good as new. Happy days!

Event: UltraCon 2015

Another year, delving into the world of make believe with a mixture of replica cars from famous TV shows and films, and costumers dressed as famous characters. This is the evolution of the original Knight Con gatherings, which started five or six years ago as a Knight Rider event in the UK.

This has grown over the years and become a full scale event, with a lot of displays, traders, characters and cars, this year at Magna in Rotherham. Disappointingly only one Knight Rider replica was on display, providing the only source of reference to the events roots. Perhaps interest is waning on the 80’s cars? Certainly the icon of The Hoff and his talking car seemed to be lost on the next generation as they passed by the display stands – excited parents trying to explain the significance of what is now a very old car! Nonchalant, the reaction was far greater to the commanding display of Transformers movie replica cars – including the Optimus Prime truck. The road-legal bat mobile was pretty jaw dropping, as was the guy dressed as Frankenstein’s Monster; the makeup and masks were really eerie.

Overall, it was a great event. The only spoiler was the traffic problems when leaving the event, which was a total nightmare, caused in part by roadworks on the entrance road to the event, and then exasperated by a subsequent lack of contingency planning by the venue. A secondary exit was eventually opened up, but it was far too late and very poorly communicated. A shame, as this was the final memory for many people as they left what was otherwise a thoroughly enjoyable event.

Roll on the next one! 🙂

Event: Fleur-De-Lys, Thornes Park 2015

This is a great little event. It seems to be held each year, but with little advertisment and so we missed last years event. However, my father in law caught wind of this years event and so we headed over again. A really relaxed ‘cars and bikes in a field’ type event, but the diversity of the displays is phenominal. From the old, to the modern classics, sports cars, big cars, US and Euro cars and everything in between, its a great way to spend an evening. Here are some point-and-click pictures of the event! 🙂

The Mini Adventure: New Roof.

Ah. When doing my research on the Mini, I read carefully about the most common expensive fault in these cars, namely the gearbox. With cars prior to 2004 likely to need a ‘box rebuild at some point in their lifetime, even the newer cars were not free of the problem – moreover a more expensive repair, if anything.

Put, with the cost of this being around £1,000 at most, and the risk of having a faulty car being almost undetectable it seemed a total gamble as to whether you would get a good one, or a bad one. As such, I thought that it would be worth the risk. To date, all good.

What I hadn’t considered though, was that this being a convertible, it might have issues with the roof. Lo and behold, in May the roof stopped working. Another venture to Porsche Euro and after much research by both of us, the answer was a completely new roof mechanism was required. There was simply no alternative in the market place and, being a BMW direct part, it came with an eye watering bill. All fitted – and with much comical swearing and cursing from John for about an hour, I had a fully working new roof at the cost of £672.

This ‘cheap-as-chips’ car, that replaced our Porsche 911 is turning out to be a rather expensive purchase!

But, with everything now working as it should, hopefully we won’t encounter any more issues. Its a fun car to drive, not particularly comfortable with the rock-hard lumbar of BMW seats, but for smiles per mile with the roof down, it is hard to beat. 🙂

Here it is, back in the garage. 🙂

2004 Orange Mini Cabriolet

2004 Orange Mini Cabriolet

The Mini Adventure: Service, Check Straps and Baffle Rattle.

When we purhcased the Mini, there were a couple of minor niggles that we wanted to get fixed. The first was an exhaust rattle on idle, the other was the check-straps on the doors (the things that wedge the door open at intervals), as our doors just opened and closed too freely, and I wanted to get the car serviced as I didn’t fully understand the ‘service when required’ indicators in the Mini, so wanted to be sure it was in tip-top shape.

I took the little cabrio to John at Porsche Euro, my local Porsche specialist, who also works with many types of Euro cars – the Mini being one of his specialities.

He took care of the door straps without a problem, and undertook a Service 2 inspection, along with the brake fluid change, but the exhaust was rattling on the inside of the baffles and would require an expensive repair. John tried to strap the exhaust to the car, as the original straps had become broken. This made a difference to start with, but the baffle rattle soon came back. As the car isn’t used enough for this to really be annying, we are going to leave it.

With the service indicators now reset (and I now understand how they work!) we probably didn’t need a service for a while yet, but its good to have it all sorted and I suspect it’ll not need another service for years given the mileage we will be doing.

Costs to date:

March – Service (Inspection 2) – £190
April – Brake fluid and check straps – £157

Evoque Blog: Third Service

Three years and one day and the car had its third service and first MOT. Both were completed without issue and I was provided with a FreeLander as a courtesy car. I have to say that, although the car is quite similar to the Evoque, as a package it is miles apart from the Evoque, which feels more luxurious, refined and responsive.

The dealer (Wakefield) also noticed my key fob was starting to peel, so they replaced this at no cost and gave the car a thorough external clean, completely removing the rubber/key marks from the paintwork. I valeted the interior myself last weekend and at 33,000 miles, our red Evoque now looks like a brand new car again.

The dealer service was fantastic, I received another video update of my car too and whilst I was collecting my car, I renewed my Service Plan, so I have another 3 years of servicing in the bag for about £36 a month. I think this is really good value, and at only around £100 more than a Specialist Independent I see no reason to use them over the main dealer. I get a free MOT, courtesy car and the obligatory theft of a few cans of Diet Coke from the main-dealer fridge and a mooch around a rather nice showroom. What’s not to like? 🙂

Evoque Blog: Possible Jeep Swap?

jeep-cherokee

So, we took a look at the new Jeep Cherokee as a possible replacement to the Evoque. A car that hadn’t even entered our consciousness became something of a desire after sitting in one in a local shopping centre and finding the seats really comfortable. They look quite funky and different too, whereas the Evoque is now ubiquitous up and down the country.

However, after crunching the numbers – even with some extraordinarily generous offers on at Jeep presently, we felt the cost-to-change wasn’t worth some of the sacrifice in ergonomic design. If we were to change, the new Discovery Sport would probably be the strongest contender instead.

 

Evoque Blog: Keyed!

Evoque Scratch

Evoque Scratch

Well, at first glance, I thought it had been keyed, but on closer inspection it looks like some moron has got too close to the car and scraped all down the side of the car with a bag, or handle bars from a bike – or something similar. Inconsiderate buffoons.

Evoque Blog: 3 Years and Counting

An ownership update.

Three years. Blimey. It’s hard to believe that we’ve owned this car for getting close to three years now. It has been a great, reliable car so far – and contrary to Land Rovers legendary ‘reliability’ of the past, nothing has fallen off yet – great stuff!

The boot is back to squeaking again when you close it, so I wonder if that was missed on the last service. It’s a minor point though and something that I’ll get looked at on its three year service in a couple of weeks’ time.

On that point, it’s time for a little reflection and recap. We bought our TD4 in 2012 and we spec’d bigger wheels, panoramic roof, front fogs, black headlining and nothing else. We also purchased the 3 year servicing deal, so this years’ service will be the last before we start stumping up the going rate each year.

I was looking a few weeks ago at the price of a possible replacement Evoque and there are still only two things that I would spec if we were to ‘upgrade’. Those options are front parking sensors (not because we’ve hit anything – quite the opposite, we are always miles away), and an automatic gearbox – purely because I’m getting older and more lazy on the commute.

However, my daily commute has shrunk significantly in the past year or so and so the want of an Auto is nowhere near strong enough to justify the exuberate cost demanded by both shiny-new-thing and our evil friend ‘depreciation’. The latter however, hasn’t been too nasty when it comes to Evoque ownership. We Buy Any Car are offering strong money for quick trade-in, and a quote last month was (if memory serves) actually higher than what Land Rover offered me as a part-x almost a year ago. Something to think about there.

When it comes to not crashing into things, the front sensors don’t warrant the hefty uplift either. So, basically, the current car will be staying for now. I find it is very comfortable and on long commutes – a monthly 6-hour round day-trip is a killer, but I arrive there and back relatively relaxed – a stark contrast to doing this same journey in my 17 year old Audi A4 Shed, last year.

And if you are planning on buying an Evoque too – my recommendation is the Panoramic roof is a must. It’s great. And don’t forget the front fog lights too – they are truly fantastic on dark country lanes at night.

Lights out

One of the headlights has blown. And my word that’s a mission and a half to fix. You have to remove the grill, and take out the headlight in order to put in a new bulb following what appears to be some back-of-the-fag-packet type instructions. So much for the Euro requirement of having a spare set of bulbs in your car, when it comes to the Evoque, you need a full spanner set and tool box too. Ridiculous, Land Rover! Another job for the upcoming service as we rarely use the car in the evening so I’ll avoid an afternoon of swearing at the car and several cut fingers and let LR bask in their own misery on that one.

Blind Spot monitoring – Retrofit

Now, this is one option that I flatly refused to pay the Land Rover Ransom. Hundreds of hard-earned Great British pound notes of an electronic ‘blind spot’ monitor was, at best, ridiculous. Most – if not all – other cars these days come with the divided wing mirror, where it elongates the field of vision towards the outer of the mirror, thus reducing or eradicating any dangerous blind spot for the casual, unsuspecting motorist.

Unfortunately, I have found that, despite having mirrors so large that it would put a superstars dressing room to shame, the Evoque features a gargantuan blind spot in which comet landings and earthquakes have been known to occur at the side of an Evoque driver, without him even having the slightest hint of the cataclysmic chaos engulfing the world around him. OK, perhaps not that extreme (perhaps), but I have noticed that it is entirely possible to join a motorway from a slip road onto lane one and that elements of traffic in both lanes two AND three are completely absent from your field of vision. And as the flow of the road continues along as you join, if you wish to momentarily join lane two you can easily find yourself parked on top of an unsuspecting fellow motorist if you don’t check over your shoulder.

In an effort to remove this issue once and for all, I have chosen to retrofit a blind spot monitoring system. The great news is that you can save hundreds of pounds from Land Rovers finery – a trip to Halfords is all you need:

Evoque Blind Spot Retrofit

Evoque Blind Spot Retrofit

OK, it might be a little nineties, I agree. But I’d much rather listen to “2 Unlimited” than hang out with Dick Turpin.

Event: Porsche Sheffield Meet

Another social gathering with the Supercar Driver club this month, a visit to Porsche Sheffield, where they had a number of special cars on display. As well as the latest and greatest, including GT3 models and the new 991 Targa and GTS, there was also a few classics – including the legendary Carrera GT.

A fun morning indeed. Here are a few pictures:

Event: Autosport International 2015

Fantastic looking greenery

Fantastic looking greenery

It’s an annual pilgrimage for me and a couple of lifelong friends, both equally as fanatical about cars as I am, to the Autosport International show, which seems to grow gradually in size year on year.

Once again in Birmingham at the NEC arena, the show featured all manner of weird and wonderful motorsport related cars, sitting alongside customer cars and small-production car makers which provided a refreshing confirmation that the niche motor industry is alive and well, confidently catering for those who want something different to the normal mass produced factory cars.

There were lots of trade stands too, where you could buy a variety of products, from model cars to a new set of wheels or suspension. And then there was the attached Performance Car show, which displayed all manner of sports and supercars, from old and new – with the Coys auction display at the centre, showcasing some of the most impressive past masters from the automotive era’s.

It was a great day out, topped off with the “Live Action Arena” show. A similar affair each year but it is a grand display for what is a small oval circuit with various motorsport demonstrations. I found this all the more interesting this year as it opens up your eyes to the different types of motorsport that you could take part in, or spectate, over and above the standard Rally and F1 affairs.

Pictures below, unfortunately there aren’t many as I only intended to take ‘snaps’ and unfortunately ran out of space on my phone.

Short video of the arena demo coming soon…