Reader Question: Porsche Cayenne?

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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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  1. I have no idea why a diesel wouldn’t be better in the long run. It doesn’t make nearly the difference of not driving so much, just how far you drive at one time. When I wasn’t working, I did the same thing I normally do, find something to do at the house. I never had a problem with a diesel engine that got driven seldomly. I did occasionally ad cetane booster when I had a long drive. There are several additives you can use to keep the fuel fresh(er) since diesel will last a long time.


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