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Hi all, thanks for taking the time to read this. I'm thinking about buying a used gen2 Cayenne (2011-2017 I believe), and I was wondering if it's a good idea or not? Main uses would be a daily driver with some light/moderate off-roading/adventuring, and I care about reliability, gas mileage, and maintenance costs. Occasional towing. Want the top-tier audio system, whatever that is. Coming from an 09 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 2013 Tesla Model S, thought the Cayenne would fit the bill to replace them both. I had a few questions:

  • What engine is best? Leaning towards hybrid or diesel for gas mileage
  • What options are a must-get?
  • How reliable are they? Anything I should be looking out for?
  • What do you like about yours, and what do you wish you could change?

Any other info for a prospective owner would be great.
 

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Hi all, thanks for taking the time to read this. I'm thinking about buying a used gen2 Cayenne (2011-2017 I believe), and I was wondering if it's a good idea or not? Main uses would be a daily driver with some light/moderate off-roading/adventuring, and I care about reliability, gas mileage, and maintenance costs. Occasional towing. Want the top-tier audio system, whatever that is. Coming from an 09 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 2013 Tesla Model S, thought the Cayenne would fit the bill to replace them both. I had a few questions:

  • What engine is best? Leaning towards hybrid or diesel for gas mileage
  • What options are a must-get?
  • How reliable are they? Anything I should be looking out for?
  • What do you like about yours, and what do you wish you could change?

Any other info for a prospective owner would be great.
 

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The second generation solved a lot of the issues found in the first generation. I am extremely happy with my 2013 base. I have the 6 which is more than enough power (300 hp) to get me into plenty of trouble. I'm really glad mine has the factory hitch which I use for a bike rack and towing boats. I wish I had the adaptive cruise control and the keyless entry but I can easily live without both. I really like the lane change assist, the heated seats & steering wheel and the 14 way power seats. I wish I had the air suspension. I really don't like SUVs but this is one that I can live with because it drives like no other SUV. I spend most of my driving in a 2007 Boxster but when I need the extra seats or towing capacity, the Cayenne makes it much better than any other SUV I've driven.
 

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I would not use a Porsche Cayenne for "off-roading/adventuring". As far as engines are concerned, they all have enough power and torque for normal driving. I have a 2013 base mode with 3.6 L V6 with manual transmission; I have never felt I wish it had had more power. My Cayenne has heated seats and moonroof as options. For me, it came with more things than I have time for to learn how to use. As for reliability, I have not had any problem so far after 42K miles (I do the basic maintenance myself, including oil and filter change), but I use it only for long trips and treat it like a precious treasure. The more options you have the more things that you will have to break down. That is why I prefer strip vehicles. If i were you, I would look for one with CarPlay, backup camera, lane change assist, etc.. I believe late models of that generation have those things. I like everything about mine, especially the manual transmission. The only thing I wish I had would be backup camera, carplay and additional technology, which was not available in 2013. It makes me sick to see the cheapest cars have now all these things that are missing on my 2013 Cayenne.
 

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Here are my thoughts on it. We have a 2016 Cayenne Base with the 3.6l engine. Bought it used with 15k miles on it. Just over 40% off MSRP. Overall we really love it. We have done a fair amount of mods to it.
  • We put a 2" lift on it. This gives us nearly a full 11" of clearance. Not bad at all.
  • Added a Yakima roof basket that carries a full size spare. Room for more.
  • 4 5" PIAA LED off road lamps that are controlled by a Blazer bluetooth controller (nothing hardwired into the cab).
  • Upgraded the tires to the General Grappler AT3 all terrains. Same rims.
  • Front facing dash cam.
Gas mileage is very good but we've lost a couple mpg's with the lift and the roof rack - to be expected. We get about 22 combined now. We also tow a Taxa Cricket camping trailer with no issues at all. We get about 15 combined when towing the 3500 pound trailer.

The downside is the dealers charge an absolute fortune for service and service intervals are more frequent than domestics. If you do oil changes yourself you will need to buy a Porsche compatible ODBII scanner because you need one to reset the maintenance light. The cost of the parts is about $100 and the scanner is between $200 and $300 but all in it's still way cheaper than the dealer and you own the scanner. Fortunately we found a good Euro garage near us and we take it to them. About half the price of the dealer.

Would we buy again? We're on the fence. We love the car and you cannot beat the ride quality. There are limitations. Not the largest interior. The back seats do not fold all the way down which limits storage for camping. Oil changes are 10K or 1 year whichever comes first but are easy to do yourself. For us, reliability has not been an issue and the gas mileage is great...without the mods :). Tows 7600 pound which is double that of a Wrangler. Doing what we do and what we plan to do, which is more backcountry travel, I think I would choose a Ford Ranger with the FX4 package. Certainly not as refined but much better for us when considering the overall needs. Cargo, reliable, good fuel economy (for a truck) and really inexpensive long term costs. However, we get the best looks because you just don't see many off road Cayennes and that's pretty cool.

If you do go the Cayenne route I would definitely try to find one with the air suspension. That way you won't have to get a lift.

Hope this give you some insight and if you have any specific questions, feel free to reach out.
 

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I had - a '04 Cayenne Turbo. Loved it! At 144,000 miles it DIED! I never abused it - didn't baby it, but didn't abuse it. Well maintained, kept meticulous records. Initial problem was a sudden loss of power and engine cutoff. This occurred several times in one day. The next morning, went to start the car and immediately shut it down - sounded like someone shaking a bucket half full of nuts and bolts. Car was towed (on a flatbed) to the local Porsche dealer. They said the motor had no compression and suggested I put a new motor in it. A new long block V8 replacement motor would have cost more than the value of the car. I then towed the car to a very reputable Porsche dealer in another state. They invested in a special camera they could feed into the motor through the oil filler cap and the oil dipstick to view the internals without the expense of disassembling the motor. They pulled the valve cover on one side and discovered scoring on the tops of the cylinders. There was 0-20% compression across all 8 cylinders. There were no other visible indications
of what had occurred. The vehicle was delivered to the local Pick-a-Part facility and I received just under $1k. I'd be wary of the V8 Turbo of the Gen 2's ....the 6 cylinder may be a better option.
 
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