BUYERS’ GUIDE: SECOND GENERATION CAYENNE CAYENNEEVOLUTION
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.
DRIVING THE CAYENNE
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.
WHAT YOU’LL PAY
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.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
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