911 Porsche World - - Practical Porsche - By the time the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion Cayenne ar­rived on the scene in 2010, the shock of a Porsche-built SUV had largely sub­sided. In­deed, to most it seemed like a per­fectly sen­si­ble idea, and Porsche’s copy­cat ri­vals clearly agreed. The gen 2 Cayenne raised

Some Porsche en­thu­si­asts will never for­give Zuf­fen­hausen for launch­ing the Cayenne in 2002, and may like the idea even less now that it, and its smaller Ma­can brother, ac­count for the ma­jor­ity of the mar­que’s sales. But it must be ac­knowl­edged that Porsche’s first SUV was a master class in en­gi­neer­ing, rais­ing the bar in a lux­ury sec­tor de­fined at the time by the Range Rover, BMW X5 and Mer­cedes-benz ML.

The orig­i­nal Cayenne was dy­nam­i­cally im­pres­sive: re­fined V8 per­for­mance and the most car-like han­dling of any SUV. But it was no oil paint­ing, a wide and high blob wear­ing a Porsche badge.

Eight years later Porsche un­veiled the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion Cayenne, slightly bet­ter look­ing it’s gen­er­ally agreed, and as many years on again this has be­come an af­ford­able propo­si­tion, with prices as low as £18,000. That’s a lot of 4x4 for the money, so are we look­ing at the ul­ti­mate bar­gain Porsche of re­cent years, or is there sim­ply too much tech packed in to al­low it to be re­li­able and with sen­si­ble run­ning costs?


Although slightly big­ger than the orig­i­nal, the new model was 180kg lighter and gave up to 23 per cent bet­ter fuel con­sump­tion. And with the car­maker green­ing up its im­age it was no sur­prise that the range not only in­cluded a hy­brid model, but one that went on sale with the rest of the line-up in the UK in May 2010. De­spite £3500–£5900 price hikes over equiv­a­lent out­go­ing Cayennes in the UK, Porsche took 16,000 or­ders world­wide within a month, 1000 in the UK alone, gen­er­at­ing a four-month de­liv­ery wait.

With wheel­base and length in­creased 40mm and 64mm, the new Cayenne was more spa­cious in­side, the dom­i­nant cabin fea­ture the fa­cia which with its large, Panam­era style cen­tre con­sole in­tended to cre­ate the same “cock­pit” feel of other Porsches. The en­try level model was, as be­fore, the Cayenne, but fea­tur­ing an all-new 3.6-litre Porsche-de­signed V6 to re­place the pre­vi­ous Volk­swa­gen unit, power 296bhp.

The Cayenne S and Turbo car­ried over the same 4.8-litre V8s, but more eco­nom­i­cal than be­fore, while the S also en­joyed a 15bhp in­crease to 395bhp. The Cayenne Diesel was 20 per cent thriftier than the pre­vi­ous oil burner at 38.2mpg, and the Cayenne S Hy­brid was the least pol­lut­ing Porsche, at 193g/km; it ran on ei­ther the petrol V6 or the 34kw elec­tric mo­tor, or both, in which case max­i­mum power was 375bhp.

A se­ries of eco-fo­cused en­gi­neer­ing

up­grades were ap­plied across the range in­clud­ing a new, eight-speed Tip­tronic S au­to­matic gearbox, auto start stop func­tion, im­proved ther­mal man­age­ment of the en­gine and trans­mis­sion, and a “smart” al­ter­na­tor that switched off when charge is not needed, thus re­duc­ing en­gine load.

The first tweaks came in April 2011 when the Cayenne Turbo be­came avail­able with a Pow­erkit rais­ing out­put by 40bhp to 533bhp and torque by 37lb ft to 553lb ft. This gave a small in­crease in the al­ready thun­der­ous per­for­mance – 0–62mph a tenth quicker at 4.6sec – though fuel con­sump­tion was un­changed.

The kit com­prised new tur­bocharg­ers with ti­ta­nium-alu­minium tur­bine wheels, plus an ECU remap. Ini­tially the Pow­erkit was a fac­tory or­der on new ve­hi­cles, but later be­come an af­ter­mar­ket fit. At the same time the Diesel’s out­put was raised by 5bhp, 0–62mph ac­cel­er­a­tion cut by 0.2 sec­onds to 7.6 and econ­omy im­proved 0.8mpg – doesn’t sound much but it took a new tur­bocharger, re­vamped fuel-in­jec­tion and en­hanced ther­mal man­age­ment to achieve it.

De­vel­op­ments there­after were typ­i­cal of the Porsche model path. The sport­ing ver­sion, the GTS, went on sale in July 2012 fol­low­ing a world pre­miere in Beijing in China, us­ing the Cayenne S en­gine boosted by 19bhp to 414bhp and by 11lb ft to 380lb ft. The Porsche Ac­tive Sus­pen­sion Man­age­ment (PASM) was low­ered 24mm over stan­dard and more tautly tuned. The GTS used a Cayenne Turbo-style nose sec­tion, wider wheel arches, side-skirts and a twin-wing roof spoiler, plus some black ex­te­rior trim, while a sports ex­haust pro­truded from un­der the tail. In­side, you saw leather/al­can­tara trim, sports seats and Sport­de­sign steer­ing wheel.

Only of­fer­ing diesel en­gines out of ne­ces­sity, Porsche nonethe­less took a leaf out of Mer­cedes’ and VW’S books and added a big oil burner to the range in Septem­ber 2012. The 4.2-litre, twin-turbo V8 in the Cayenne S de­vel­oped 377bhp, and a stump­pulling 627lb ft, mak­ing it the high­est torque Cayenne avail­able. With a rea­son­able 34mpg and a 100-litre fuel ca­pac­ity it could cover 750 miles on a tank­ful – and could also hit 62mph in 5.7 sec­onds and 157mph.

The last de­vel­op­ment be­fore the facelift was the in­tro­duc­tion of the Cayenne Turbo S in Oc­to­ber 2012, the nor­mal Turbo’s en­gine up­rated by 49bhp to 542bhp and pulling power 37lb ft to 553lb ft. On the out­side it wore 21-inch di­am­e­ter “911 Turbo II” wheels and in­side spe­cial leather, and cost over £107,000.

Af­ter four years Porsche gave its SUV – over 300,000 of which had been sold since 2010, mak­ing it the top sell­ing Porsche – an ex­ten­sive facelift, in­clud­ing a key new en­gine. The range went on sale in the UK in Oc­to­ber, 2014.

The Cayenne V6 was dropped, the en­try model now the Cayenne S, down-sized from the non-turbo 4.8-litre V8 to a new 3.6litre bi-turbo V6. It pro­duced 414bhp, 19bhp more than the 4.8, and 406lb ft torque, 37lb ft more, shav­ing a tenth of a sec­ond off the 0–62mph time, now 5.4 sec­onds, while top speed was one mph higher at a surely aca­demic 161mph. The Cayenne S’s 223–229g/km CO2 emis­sions al­lowed mod­els with the lower fig­ure to es­cape the most puni­tive road tax bracket.

The Cayenne be­came avail­able in plug-in hy­brid form, the Cayenne S E-hy­brid with its 3.0-litre su­per­charged petrol V6 pro­duc­ing 328bhp boosted to 410bhp by the elec­tric mo­tor, the com­bi­na­tion also rais­ing a to­tal of 435lb ft torque. Its per­for­mance and econ­omy were im­pres­sive, 0–62mph in 5.9 sec­onds and a max­i­mum of 151mph – and its 83mpg and con­se­quent 79g/km of CO2 meant zero road tax.

In the ab­sence of a Turbo S, the Turbo was the flag­ship model, its twin-turbo, 4.8-litre V8 upped to 513bhp/553lb ft torque, while the Cayenne Diesel was made more eco­nom­i­cal. The re­vamp also in­cluded a new nose, bon­net and front wheel arches, and re­vised front and rear trim. In­side there was a new multi-func­tion steer­ing wheel based on the de­sign of that in the 918 Spy­der, and pad­dleshifts were stan­dard on all five mod­els.

Two ad­di­tions fol­lowed, first the GTS in Novem­ber 2014 pow­ered by a 434bhp/443lb ft ver­sion of the S 3.6-litre V6 en­gine. At the Detroit show in Jan­uary 2015 the new Turbo S was an­nounced, Porsche re-en­gi­neer­ing the 4.8-litre V8 en­gine to pro­duce 562bhp/590lb ft torque, the ex­tra grunt achieved by the use of in­te­grated tur­bocharg­ers, the pair now housed di­rectly in the ex­haust man­i­folds. On the ba­sis of a 7min 59.74sec lap of the Nür­bur­gring it was claimed to be the fastest sports util­ity ve­hi­cle in its class. The Porsche Com­pos­ite Ce­ramic Brakes (PCCB) sys­tem with huge, 420mm front discs and – for the first time on a Cayenne – 10-pis­ton calipers was stan­dard equip­ment.


If you like big SUVS, with their raised driv­ing po­si­tions, the sense of se­cu­rity and the feel­ing of de­tach­ment from the road, the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion Cayenne ticks all the boxes. The over­all driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is broadly sim­i­lar to the orig­i­nal, although the re­vised in­te­rior is no­tably bet­ter qual­ity.

Both diesel en­gines are re­fined and re­spon­sive by oil burn­ing stan­dards, the Diesel S’s V8 par­tic­u­larly torquey, but the ef­fort­less petrol V8s are what many will pre­fer. The stan­dard steel springs pro­vide a good enough ride, although the op­tional 20inch al­loy wheels make the pas­sage poor over bad sur­faces.


The cheap­est way into this model of Cayenne is a V6 petrol from 2010, cost­ing from £18,000. But you won’t see many; we es­ti­mate 85 per cent of sec­ond gen­er­a­tion Cayennes for sale are diesels, and the same pro­por­tion again are of the three-litre Diesel, the V8 Diesel S a mi­nor­ity choice. A typ­i­cal low­est price for the Diesel would be £20,000, a ve­hi­cle of­fered by an in­de­pen­dent used car dealer and with around 100,000 miles. High mileages are to be ex­pected – the Porsche is an ex­cel­lent mile eater.

Bump­ing the bud­get up to £25,000 al­lows you some­thing a year or two younger, or still an early ex­am­ple but with 60,000–70,000 miles. Spend an­other five grand and you can look at a three­year-old, one owner car with well un­der 50,000 miles.

The Cayenne S was not a pop­u­lar choice, nonethe­less it’s rel­a­tively ex­pen­sive: 2011 mod­els are still stick­ered at £25,000–£30,000. Which makes the Turbo look tempt­ing, be­cause they are to be seen for £30,000 or a bit over. But if your mis­sion is a Turbo S, be pre­pared to pay £40,000.

Pre-facelift GTS prices start at £35,000, but ex­pect to pay closer to £40,000 for the right car. What­ever the model, it’s worth check­ing Porsche Cen­tres, whose prices are higher than in­de­pen­dents, but not al­ways sig­nif­i­cantly so; 2012 Diesels start from £31,000 to £32,000.


This is a mod­ern Porsche with Zuf­fen­hausen’s mod­ern re­li­a­bil­ity, so even though the ear­li­est ve­hi­cles are now com­ing up for eight years old there seems to be lit­tle to worry about so far. ‘There’s not a lot of is­sues with them, I’m sure as they get older there will be more prob­lems but they will be more durable than the first se­ries of Cayenne,’ is the ver­dict from Steve Mchale, di­rec­tor of Hert­ford­shire based Porsche spe­cial­ist JZM. Hence our usual ex­ten­sive list of points to check is shorter for this Buy­ers’ Guide.


Most own­ers picked the Diesel, and Steve has seen trou­ble here, mainly with diesel particulate fil­ters (DPF) which re­duce soot emis­sions. ‘We’ve had a cou­ple of DPF prob­lems, one caused by one of the three wa­ter tem­per­a­ture sen­sors hav­ing a fault, which pre­vented the DPF op­er­at­ing cor­rectly un­til full wa­ter and oil tem­per­a­tures were achieved,’ he ex­plains. ‘The other fault was due to the ve­hi­cle un­der­tak­ing only short jour­neys, and this is a com­mon sit­u­a­tion with diesels.’

An­other job he’s car­ried out is to re­place the “swirl” flap which is part of the diesel in­let sys­tem, and which leads to poor en­gine run­ning when prob­lem­atic. ‘There are two per en­gine, and they’re quite ex­pen­sive to re­place – around five hours’ labour plus parts,’ Steve re­ports. He’s also changed two ex­haust gas re­cir­cu­la­tion (EGR) valves, a faulty EGR bring­ing the en­gine light on and caus­ing poor run­ning. The petrol V6s and V8s are trou­ble-free, as is the eight-speed au­to­matic gearbox.


Check the con­di­tion of the brake discs, look­ing for the usual signs of ex­treme wear, a lip around the out­side edges. ‘Cayennes are heavy ve­hi­cles and there­fore heavy on brakes and tyres,’ Steve says. But he has good news on the op­tional Porsche Ce­ramic Com­pos­ite Brakes (PCCB): ‘The PCCB brakes do not suf­fer like those on the sports cars do, be­cause not many Cayennes get used on track days.’


Even the least ex­pen­sive Cayennes are laden with spec, so en­sure that all the elec­tri­cal equip­ment works prop­erly: seats, win­dows, cli­mate con­trol, cen­tral lock­ing and so on. How­ever, Steve men­tions two par­tic­u­lar elec­tri­cal weak­nesses. ‘The driver’s door wiring loom from body to door can be­come dam­aged, caus­ing the airbag light to come on, and we’ve also changed a few driver’s door win­dow reg­u­la­tors – they wear out, and the win­dow drops into the door.’


If you think of the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion Cayenne, be it the Diesel or Turbo S, as the best full-size SUV out there you won’t be dis­ap­pointed, as it’s mas­sively ca­pa­ble and ver­sa­tile. If you think of it as a sport­ing set of wheels, that’s a big­ger stretch, although the Cayenne, and par­tic­u­larly the GTS, has a taut edge not found on many 4x4s.

What is for cer­tain is that the Cayenne is now rel­a­tively cheap and has proven dura­bil­ity, and makes a pretty good sub£30,000 buy. Just en­sure high mileage ex­am­ples have had all the proper main­te­nance, and you can’t re­ally go wrong – if there’s al­ready a Porsche sports car in your garage, the Cayenne could be the per­fect part­ner. PW

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