RE: The Brave Pill: Porsche Cayenne S

RE: The Brave Pill: Porsche Cayenne S

Saturday 9th March

The Brave Pill: Porsche Cayenne S

Cheap Porsches tend to become expensive, quickly. Here's one that might not...



Here's a game for when you want to spend some time in the grungier part of the classifieds. Nominate a brand and then try to find the cheapest car from it that - crucial point - you might actually want to own. Today we'll be playing with Porsche.

As with all such exercises, it soon turns subjective, then argumentative and stands a good chance of leading to a punch-up in the virtual carpark later on. It is possible to spend very little on a Porker. I have a friend who bought a freshly MOT'd 924 S for the princely sum of £800 a few years ago, largely for the novelty of being able to boast that he'd done so.

But among the products of the brand's modern era it's fair to say that low prices tend to come with good reasons. A four-grand Boxster is £4000 for a reason; the similarly aged £6000 example will almost certainly be a fair better long-term bet.


Bringing us to this week's Brave Pill, and tentative proof it is possible to get one of the more desirable variants within one of Porsche's model ranges for an impressively modest outlay. Yes, it's a Cayenne, and therefore likely to get some people heading for the room where the pitchforks, burning torches and maps to the ogre's castle are kept. But this low-mileage, high-history £6750 S also looks to about as solid a bet as it's possible to make in this part of the market.

No less than 17 years of hindsight has proved Porsche to have been well ahead of the curve on the Cayenne. The idea of a big, fugly SUV from a brand that, at the time, exclusively made sports cars seemed pretty ridiculous when it was first floated, even with Stuttgart's justification that it would raise the cash necessary to keep making the more interesting models. But the fact the hulking Cayenne had been given almost the same headlights as the contemporary 911 - just sitting about three feet higher - added insult to injury.

Yet it didn't take long for the Cayenne to start making friends and finding itself on many lists of guilty pleasures. It drove far better than any other obvious competitor, making even what had previously been the segment's sharpest steer, the BMW X5, feel big and lardy. It was launched in the UK in S and Turbo guise, the entry-level V6 came slightly later, with the S's V8 combining solid urge and a 150mph top speed with an amusingly bristly soundtrack under enthusiastic use. The Turbo was a rocket ship, but one with even more punishing running costs and the sort of insert-expletive-here image problem that the fruitier versions of the BMW X6 would later inherit.


These days there are more than enough first-gen Cayennes out there to allow buyers to be properly picky, and relatively few that cross the line into desirability. The V6 isn't so much underpowered as over-petroled, Porsche's reluctance to - as the brand saw it - sully the Cayenne with a diesel engine seeing it sent into the world with a version of VW's narrow angled VR6 largely unsuited to hauling so much car around. The six needs to be worked hard, and thirstily, to extract Porsche-appropriate performance and real world economy isn't much better than that of the V8; managing low 20s rather than the S's high teens. The Turbo is faster obviously, which to some people will automatically mean better, but dynamic prowess is limited compared to more modern performance SUVs, and running costs cross from scary into hide-behind-the-sofa terrifying.

Which is why the S is where the moderately smart, reasonably brave money goes. This privately sold grey 2006 example is pre-facelift, meaning it doesn't get the later direct injection engine, but it comes in a good colour, has a modest 61,000 miles showing, plenty of history and - we're told - a recent service and four new Goodyear Eagles. It also wears a private plate which, although not included in the sale, suggests the owner has some appreciation for or working knowledge of Cosworth racing engines, which I'm taking to be a good thing.

The eagle eyed will have noticed that it is also wearing a towbar, often taken as proof by internet experts that a car has spent the last decade hauling an overweight burger van between far-flung fairground sites, but the vendor says this has never been used and is just fitted for the pictures.


Now, before the doubters slide in two-footed, I should point out that there are some - ahem - reliability questions over the Cayenne S's big V8. Earlier cars like this one had cylinder bores coated with Lokasil, which can flake off and expensively destroy the engine. Which sounds terrifying, but plenty of owners report having taken cars to considerable mileages with no sign of this happening; it is also possible to check with a scope inspection. They can also suffer from electrical maladies, sticking tailgates, leaking coolant pipes and can have an insatiable appetite for ignition coils, although the owner of this one reports all eight packs were done last year.

But this is meant to be a big boy's club; the risk of any Brave Pill is acknowledged by the person swallowing it in the first place. For a better perspective on the Cayenne S's affordability consider the fact that this one is substantially cheaper than a contemporary 'L322' Range Rover of similar age and mileage, and it can hardly be less reliable can it? Oh, and to land yourself a comparable Audi Q7 - with the less sonorous if more sensible 4.2 TDI V8 - you'd need to spend twice as much.

Sure, any middle-aged Porsche is likely to throw up bills beyond the wallet-walloping that comes with every refill. But let's recap on the salient points here: it's a Porsche, it has a V8, it's been well looked after and it's yours for under seven grand.

See the original advert

Author
Discussion

mrclav

Original Poster:

748 posts

162 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
Yes. But still... no.

The looks weren't the best when they first came out and it looks even worse now!

Cloudy147

1,833 posts

122 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
I went for the 3.2 due to the bore score issues on the S model. I ran that risk with a 997 previously and couldn't stomach another go on the roulette wheel.

However, to date (touch wood), it's been great. Bought at 101,000 miles, now has 135k ish on the clock. Probably worth about £4k now. Mega car for such tiny money.

I've owned it for 3 years, struggling to part with it as in the value for money stakes,I just can't beat it. Drinks a lot though!

I think they look quite nice too! Running report here if anyone wants to know what is been like to live with - http://motorcloud.net/category/cayenne-running-rep...



sidewinder500

47 posts

33 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
All in all, close to sensible for that outlay.
The AMG from two weeks before was braver.

Big GT

550 posts

31 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
Good cars. Its basically an uglier vw touareg with a nicer interior and powerful engines.

No mention of the propshaft issue that plagues these, the q7 and touareg. Make sure propshaft brearings are replaced every 70k. Other than that ussual large 4x4 maintenance costs to consider

Turbobanana

1,253 posts

140 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
Can "Rhyl on a foggy day" grey ever be described as a "good colour"?

If so, what is a "bad colour"?
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Iamnotkloot

248 posts

86 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
Man, they’re ugly.
So’s my Lexus, to be sure, but I always expected Porsches to be cool and sexy; bespectacled German secretary in classy getup, maybe.
Can’t get over the fact the similar Touareg looks a lot better.

RSVR101

624 posts

101 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
Mine was great and faultless for the year I had it, filling it up got very tiresome though. It made getting 28mpg from its replacement, a discovery, a delight!

Bill

38,513 posts

194 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
Doesn't the turbo have a better reliability record? Possibly the bore lining issue?

Behemoth

1,915 posts

70 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
thumbup The Turbo S is even better. The looks will age well once today's CAD creases go out of fashion.

Duke of Kidderminster

659 posts

66 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
i really hope that Cayenne isn't the one from the infamous thread that was here a couple of years ago. The one where the owner of it had upset one of his neighbours and the neighbour came on here to say that he'd urinated on the door handles!!

ah, good times

st4

1,359 posts

72 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
Bill said:
Doesn't the turbo have a better reliability record? Possibly the bore lining issue?
Yep - that and the 3.2 are the ones. They did a later 4.8 in the facelift - that's probably the one to aim for.

CS Garth

1,839 posts

44 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
I’ve got a GTS with the later 4.8.

Reliability has been good (touching much wood). The coolant pipes were recently replaced having begun leaking onto the starter motor which needed replacing too, 800 all in at a specialist.

The car drains itself via 2 holes just behind the front wheels which can get blocked with crud. Keep them clear with a wire coat hanger otherwise the shell will literally fill with water.

I service annually rather than the 2 years Porsche suggests.

I’m averaging 20 mpg which isn’t bad, mine uses about half a litre of Mobil every 1200 miles with 80k on the clock.

PDCC is an option worth seeking out on these - by the same token the pano roofs can be a liability and often leak and groan with age.

Personally I think the facelifted looks of the GTS much improve the look of the car - regardless I think you’ve bought well, enjoy

GranCab

1,397 posts

85 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
Behemoth said:
thumbup The Turbo S is even better. The looks will age well once today's CAD creases go out of fashion.
Oh yes, that is a future classic, such a handsome beast ..... hurl


st4

1,359 posts

72 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
GranCab said:
Oh yes, that is a future classic, such a handsome beast ..... hurl

It might be - first Porsche SUV and all that...maybe...

Helicopter123

5,266 posts

95 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
These have matured nicely and seem to be lasting very well.

Proper engineering first, styling somewhere else down the priority list.

Solid proposition.

Evo

3,450 posts

193 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
They are mega cars for the money, i too ran a 3.2 over the V8 to avoid the added risk of the liner issue and never had an issue at other than blocked sunroof drains.

As these are now getting very cheap to buy just mak sure you arent too flippant about spending money on fuel, my 3.2 would do 16-21 at best.

Far better built than a Range Rover of the same age.

st4

1,359 posts

72 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
Evo said:
They are mega cars for the money, i too ran a 3.2 over the V8 to avoid the added risk of the liner issue and never had an issue at other than blocked sunroof drains.

As these are now getting very cheap to buy just mak sure you arent too flippant about spending money on fuel, my 3.2 would do 16-21 at best.

Far better built than a Range Rover of the same age.
That’s shocking-my same vintage x5 4.4i did better than that. Still - nice smooth engine in them 3.2s and plenty of power for the car



athol

278 posts

149 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
I just bought one of these recently for my dogs although not as low mileage. Mine has a full history (15 services, all Porsche or specialist), a host of invoices, full set of Porsche allows with Pirelli winter tyres and 19" summer wheels. Coolant pipes done, new battery etc

A little leggy at 120k miles and a few small jobs to do which i'm ticking off bit by bit, nothing difficult, just silly things like getting shims to solve a saggy driver's door (happen to them all), fixing the keyless as one of the door handles needs replacing etc.

All for the princely sum of £2600 ! I stuck a plate on it, machine polished it and it looks a million dollars (kind of).

Loves a drink but then, so does it's owner!


A.G.

1,125 posts

189 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
Thats my car!!! Or I should say "it was" because it went in p/x against a Golf R today.

Great car and certainly one hell of a lot of car for the money.

It is correct that the (detachable) tow bar has never been used, as it was still in the box when I got it. Was bought to tow my Caterham but I've just happened to trip over a lovely low mileage Defender which is an itch I have always wanted to scratch.

Someone has got themselves one of the best wafting buses around. The creamy V8 is addictive (if you can live with 18mpg). It cost me a major and a minor service, a set of tyres, coil packs and a starter motor, for which I don't begrudge it and has otherwise been faultless.

Since PH featured it today, my phone has not stopped ringing. Why didn't you do it sooner to save me almost giving it away???? mad

On the subject of brave pills, my last car was bought from PH classifieds. Arranged by cheapest first, I bought the cheapest for sale for 9 grand. Leggy at 79000 miles with a partial service history from man who was emigrating that week. What could possibly go wrong? I kept it 3 years and got my money back plus every penny I had spent on it. See below.

It can work if you tread carefully. biggrin




Edited by A.G. on Saturday 9th March 17:50

tr7v8

5,941 posts

167 months

Saturday 9th March
quotequote all
Had my V8S for 2 years. Had had prop done & water pipes before I bought it at 88K. Now currently on 112K. On winters at the mo on 18" wheels, 19" Vredesteins for the summer. Has had 3 oil changes with 15W/50 Comma Motorsport. All fluids changed last year gearbox, transfer box, diffs. Also tailgate struts. All by local OPC. Get discount as a TIPEC member. I did filters, pollen & air last year myself. I'll do coils & plugs, auxiliary belt when the weather warms up.
Goes like stink, far faster than a 2 1/2 ton car should be, does 19MPG overall.Handles well to chuck around. Lovely place to be as mine has extended leather, pano roof, 4 heated seats. etc. Very unusual colour as dark olive metallic green, with Savannah interior.
Still a few bits to sort such as bad connection on NS headlight.

Make sure it has history, the prop/carden shaft has been done, manifold pipes have been replaced. On the FB froup there are loads of Cayennes with 200K plus, some with 300K +.Don't panic about the V8 bore issues, seems rarer than people make out. I know of more M96/M97 than 955s with engine issues. The main issue seems to be electrical issues, can be hard & complex to sort.