Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Terry asks: I’m a current 2002 Volvo XC70 (has 380k on it) owner and considering looking toward buying a newer vehicle with equal internal space and build quality. I bought this car because of ssssaaaaafety and its reliable comfort and internal load space for bikes and gear. After reviewing and testing a few of the XC90 and 60s 2017/18/19s I’m not happy with the quality – or lack thereof. The newer version of the XC70 is not as tall inside; so my trek turned towards the Porsche Cayenne — damn well built vehicle and easy to get in and drive; similar to my XC70. Initially, I thought maybe the diesel is a good choice, but the mechanic who services my car mentioned that there will be costly problems especially since I no longer drive nearly as much. So with that in mind I have looked at its gasoline brothers in the 2016/17 base model V6s range (I’m not a fan of the 2019 and newer as they have gone touch paddy — in my opinion a distraction while driving).
I did a search on your site looking for your review on this style and did not find anything — what are your thoughts?
My reply: Porsche got some heckles for the Cayenne when it was first announced but it has been a very successful vehicle for them, because it is a damn well-built vehicle – and other things, too. It’s a Porsche for people who have to have more than two doors and room for more than a duffel bag. But Porsche didn’t just put the badge on an SUV; the Cayenne delivers the Porsche experience – and with more ground clearance and tremendous off-road capabilities, too.
One of its big plusses, in my view, is that it’s based on a RWD layout and so it is much better balanced and handles much better at high speed than a FWD-based crossover SUV.
I see no reason not to consider the diesel version and doubt it’d be any more expensive to service and maintain than the gas/turbo versions. I drove a diesel version back circa 2015 and recall it averaged about 31 on the highway, exceptional for a vehicle of this type – and the low/mid-range torque was always a treat.
But I think the main variable – as always, with any used vehicle – is condition. A not-well-cared-for gas engined Cayenne is not going to be as trouble-free as a well-cared-for diesel. Even mileage (up to a point) takes a back seat to condition. The way a vehicle is cared for is everything.
With high-end cars like the Cayenne, this is even more important.
Assuming you find a good one – and make a good deal – I think you’ll be very happy.
Gas or diesel!
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