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


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!