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Paul O's 5 Great Years with a Gen1 Cayenne!

Paul O

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15 hours ago, david_yorkshire said:

bloody great value these cars;

Most of the common issues are known about and fixable - some cheap, some not so.

I managed just over 19mpg on my turbo over many miles (60 k i think) - which aint bad at all. And it sure was fun ; this car could keep up with my 996 GT3 easily 

chopped it in for a hybrid... which was nice

We're looking again at KN's as the family is growing and we're going to need more space than the WRX STi has 

hope you enjoy it - and don't believe it when you get told 'its no good off road' - its b*ll*cks - they are brilliant !

David what overall mpg did you get out of the Hybrid?

I had one on loan for a few days and on regeneration at sensible motorway speed I managed a healthy 19mpg (over 26 miles)whilst the return trip of 26 miles saw me use electric for the first 12 and then petrol kicked in...this took the average achieved on the outward journey from 19 to a total of about 29 mpg overall...I guess it would be much better overall if charged at home instead of using 'regenerate'...

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literally stumbled across this image btw...likely to be quite appropriate Paul :) 



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Cant remember exactly - think it averaged out to mid 30s from memory, but the car did spend a lot of time towing trailer + race car which made a bit of a dent in the fuel economy !

I did take it round Donington once  (when the cup car failed driveway noise) - surprisingly good

Edited by david_yorkshire
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500 words of justification

After four very happy years with the Evoque, I was fancying a change. I thought the baby Range Rover would be a long term ‘keeper’ but it seems that even the most perfect of cars eventually need a refresh. The newer model of the Evoque is a very minor facelift and not worth the cost to change at any price. My wife also has a new requirement: A bigger boot. The Evoque’s boot isn’t terribly big, perhaps owing the length of the car. It’s a wide beast, make no mistake and this contributes massively to the feeling of luxury inside. However, its length is only around that of a Ford Focus and so the boot is left wanting. When eyeing up our friends Vauxhall Insignia recently, it’s hard to find another car that comes anywhere near those for family lugging. Even luxury estates from the likes of BMW don’t seem to cut the mustard. But there is a new contender in the premium-car-large-boot space: Land Rover with its Evoque XL. This car, also known as the Discovery Sport, builds hugely on the success of the Evoque, aping its build and turning up the size dial by a few notches. We borrowed one and were hugely impressed. We came very close to putting a deposit, but for the spec we wanted it pushed the price just a little higher than I wanted to pay.

And now for my alternate requirement: If we aren’t buying new, lets go cheap instead and smash the mortgage. Mr Money Moustache has been really rubbing off on me of late and I’m particularly fond of reducing debt this year. Watching the amount-owed tumble down with a bit of effort is very rewarding, and really quite addictive. This year I wanted to really hit those digits and bring down the wall of finance. The Evoque has a bit finance on it too, and with wifey wanting a bigger boot, me wanting a change (and no finance) I started looking a little closer at the Cayenne. The great big bus of the car world. I’ve owned Porsches for almost ten years straight and so the lack of the marque in my stable was noticeable.

Our mileage has been lowering in line with my desire to both cut costs and enjoy local life more, so with a combined mileage of around 9-10,000 miles (less than half of our travels just five years ago) and the petrol prices coming down a bit, the older Cayennes started to look quite viable.

I really like Porsches and since I first drove a Cayenne back when it was launched in 2003, I’ve always fancied one at some point. However, they are reportedly one of the most unreliable cars available – a reputation that Porsche seem to be obtaining with unnerving frequency over the years. So it was a to-and-fro decision for a few months. With the Evoque only costing just £289pm including servicing thanks to its rock-hard residuals, any issues at all with the Cayenne will wipe out any benefit of changing cars. But… its something new, something exciting.

Let the Auto Trader search begin.


Our Car – we found it.

Are Cayennes only purchased in the south of England? After weeks of searching, it seems 150 miles away is the default answer for the vast majority of cars. I looked at a few locally that didn’t cut the mustard, but happened across the car that would ultimately become ours. It had been listed for three or four weeks and looked tempting – keenly priced with some of the options I wanted. The absolute must-haves were the 3.2 engine (Porsche 4.5 chocolate engines? No thanks), parking sensors and in a weird twist of irony, grey in colour. I’ve always said I’d never have a car the colour of rain clouds but in all honesty it really suits this car. I’ve had a black car already (also a great colour for Porsches), so wanted something different and bright green probably wouldn’t be a good choice for this hulk of a car.

After watching the classified advert every day for weeks and dithering for more than enough time I decided to give the seller a call. I checked the advert again for the phone number and found it had been reduced by £1,000. Bonus. Heated seats were also a must-have of mine, but are in short supply on these cars (3.2 within 50-mile radius of my house) and at £6,999 it was worth a closer look.


The Viewing

This is the first time I’ve ever bought a car without an inspection. But on all inspections I’ve ever had, ever, none of them have spotted the problems that I’ve ultimately had to pay for. So, kick of tyres, a quick look at the history and boom! I had me a Porsche. The seller agreed to have the car MOT’d and new tyres. The brakes look good and the seller seemed a genuine fellow and through conversations about potential future sports cars, was keen on repeat business. Discount? Zero. I’m so shyate at negotiating.

The purchase was straightforward, but all the way there on collection day I was worrying if I’d made the right choice. But I had commited. A few hours later, deal done and we set off home, with an excited for year old who was more than happy being back in a “Porscha”, pointing out everything that her little eyes could spot in the car with a positive fleck in tone. “Does this one go ‘brum’ daddy? Can you make it go Brum? Will mummy have heard it brumming behind us [in the Evoque]?” After half an hour with the car, I started to relax a bit more and once I’ve had it fully checked over and serviced I’ll be much happier. More on this in a future update.



It’s due a service now, and I was initially wondering if buying a car with little history is a good idea. It turns out things are better than I thought. It may have only two stamps in the service book, but some trawling of the included paperwork uncovered services for all the remaining years on receipts, giving it an almost full history. The last service (just under 2 years ago) was a major service at an OPC, including spark plugs and brake fluid. I called OPC today to try and get copies of the invoices, but they won’t give these out without permission. However, in a stroke of luck, the service lady happened to personally know the previous owner and validated that she maintained it religiously and advised me that it was very well looked after in her tenure. Happy days!


Its not all rosy…

Faults to fix (hey, it was £7k):

The parking sensors intermittently break with two red lights on the outer edges of the sensors. Common fault I believe, just a case of finding the duff sensors and replacing.

The stench of smoke. The seller had given it a superb valet, and it is truly immaculate inside. The seats still look brand new with none of that age-telling shininess. Its lovely, lovely inside. But it hum-dings. I’ve put a call into a local detailer to see if he can give work his magic and get rid of the smell.

It needs a service. Initially I thought this was going to be a thorough major job, but with OPC having confirmed the last one completed to time, it’s a minor only. Hurrah!

Flashy dash. After a few minutes on the road, the lights (inside and out) start to pulsate. No idea whats wrong there, but hopefully Porsche Euro will be able to solve.

Spare key. Missing. Arrgh. What is it with Porsches and missing keys? Ho-hum, Porsche are asking the former owner for me, but I’ll not hold my breath. I reckon a few hundred quid should get me another I hope.


The Spec

Well I have to admit, I’m not actually sure. This was a real stop-and-buy decision and it had the basics that I wanted. One thing both my wife and I have noticed is that it has fully electric adjustable seats. What this means is something in the region of 600,000 (my calculations based on ‘time to get the seat position correct’) possible seat settings and therefore nigh on impossible for us both to have a comfortable seating position with just a couple of tugs of leavers. Note for future: Full electric seats should have ‘memory’ functions purchased too.

As for the rest of the spec, it has sat-nav and phone built in and I think it’s got auto wipers too. I’m going to order a Certificate of Authenticity from Porsche to get the full specification. I’ve got the spec codes on the service book, but I can’t find a decoder for the Cayenne online.


Driving experience.

So far, only two days into it. Crucial to the selling off the Evoque, my wife needs to be happy with it. At the moment I think she is a little on the fence because of its size. It really is MASSIVE. You don’t have any room for error I find, you take up all the lane like a lorry and if you aren’t 100% focussed, wandering out of lane is a little too easy. But not as easy as speeding. Oh my word, do you have to watch your speed. It’s so quiet (relatively speaking) and smooth – and being so high up and cosseted from the bumpy world below you could easily find yourself in an apologetic confrontation with Mr Plod. Also, being so big, you get a lot of window. And that means you see an awful lot more. It’s a bit like an assault on the sensors having to process all this additional information. I know that sounds a bit nuts, but it’s a weird sensation.

So all the best bits (size, comfort, cruise-ability) are also its cautionary bits so far. But as these are the primary objective of this car, it simply excels. Like Porsche always does.

The Evoque drives like a comfy car, whereas the Cayenne is a bit like a comfy bus. But if this bus doesn’t break down, it’ll actually help me on my quested of financial independence. Who’d have thought it, eh.

 It’ll be an interesting experience this one, and I’ll keep you updated!


One Week On

We are getting used to it now, I’m finding it wholly relaxing to drive. The 18mpg average is making me wince, but thankfully Porsche buried the mpg computer so far into the menus that you need to make a real effort to find it. So I won’t.

My wife still finds it on the large side and hasn’t warmed to it yet, but is finding it more ‘hers’ now that we’ve moved all the trinkets and personalisation over from the Evoque. She took the Evoque out on a day trip earlier this week, and said it drives so much more like a car, compared to the Cayenne. So the Cayenne still has work to do. She is also a really nervous passenger owing to someone crashing into her from behind a few years ago, and says that the auto feels like I’m racing all the time in it (honesty, I’m not!). I suspect that this is a combination of the engine having a lovely sporting sound, and the auto gearbox when it drops a cog when overtaking on a motorway.

As for me, its bliss – auto, lovely auto. It’s also pretty quick on acceleration. I’ve read a lot of reports of the 3.2 being underpowered, but I’m going to buck that trend and say its fine. I’ve yet to find a scenario in which you need more power. Pulling out at junctions? Motorway overtaking? All fine. It cruises nice, overtakes quickly0 OK, so it’s not typically Porsche rapid, but it reminds me a lot of a Boxster 2.7 compared to the 3.4; it feels comfortably fast, not bonkers quick.

Took it to York today for a day out at the Theatre (Peppa Pig, no less). Parked in a titchy car park. Boy do you need those parking sensors!

Service on Friday!


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Superb write-up!!

I did 98k over 6yrs with the same lovely 3.2 donkey in a 4-Motion DSG Passat estate, until Dec '14. I still miss it...


Cheers, Baggers.

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Flashy lights - headlight switch?

Stinks of smoke - Duffy here recommended a product (forgot what now).

Speeding - try to use cruise control as much as possible.

You bought an old Cayenne without inspection... this is going to be a spectator sport...

Good luck!

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nice piece, you need to change your avatar to the new 'manly one' now though :)

Edited by boxsternoob56
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6 hours ago, Paul O said:



The Spec

As for the rest of the spec, it has sat-nav and phone built in and I think it’s got auto wipers too. I’m going to order a Certificate of Authenticity from Porsche to get the full specification. I’ve got the spec codes on the service book, but I can’t find a decoder for the Cayenne online.


Try here....




hope it helps 

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Great cars, I also had a 3.2 and was really impressed with it.  Averaged 18.5mpg over 10k miles, but due to the large fuel tank it never seemed so bad as it still had a decent range.

The engine is a little torque light so you get the best from it with a few revs.  Not a problem as it makes a really nice noise.  The handling was fantastic too, far better to drive than something of its size and weight.

Mine was very reliable, had to change 2 parking sensors (you can tell which ones are broken by getting down on your hands and knees and listening to whether they tick or not.  Usually the two outer sensors above the exhausts go first)  and the central prop bearing.  I used these chaps, who were excellent  http://www.jwtransmissions.co.uk/ 

My wife always found it a little on the big size for parking (its very wide, but not so long) so never really jelled with it.  She loved being driven in it ironically!



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Nice write up. Would the 2nd key when you get one (through previous owner or Porsche OPC) perhaps set the seats to each key? My BMW does that but I know its probably an optional extra on a Porsche. The colour suits it & the better wheels. I don't think the alternative more dish looking ones suit the car, so you did well with those spoke ones. 

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My 8 yr old Toyota (usually diesel, but occasionally petrol) has an electric driver's seat and two keys, but no memory function. Apparently this would involve a whole raft more sensors so the motors could stop themselves in the right place rather than just stopping when the switch is released (and power cut) by the driver. I already asked.  What the freak is the point of an electric seat with no memory? :mad:


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Service Time.


Cayenne at Porsche Euro for its service.

The Cayenne has been in for its first service under my stewardship today and so far things are looking pretty rosy. John from Porsche Euro gave the car a good once over for me. He put the car on the ramps and checked underneath, noting that a number of common fault parts had been replaced recently (clamps and pipes and suchlike) which gave me more confidence that this car has been well looked after. John also advised that little tends to go wrong with the 3.2’s and that it looks like I’ve got a pretty good car. Happy days!

Service, new windscreen wipers and new brake fluid all completed. The service light is out, the car seems to be a good ‘un and so here is my full to-do list:

1)      Side Steps. My little lady can’t quite get into this car on her own, try as she might her little legs just can’t reach yet. So some steps will give her a helping hand. John has kindly offered to trawl the interweb to find me some good ones.

2)      Spare key. John is going to sort me out a new one. Hurrah!

3)      Duff parking sensors. Nothing came up on the car’s computer when read, so this is believed to be a dying, rather than dead sensor. One for me to keep an eye on. It could just be shedloads of dirt I guess!

4)      Pulsing lights. John advised this is either the battery or the alternator and I’ve got some homework to do, to test the battery first.

5)      Blacked out rear windows. Local place with a good reputation will be taking care of this for me for £160. More on this in a future update.

6)      Retrofit of cruise control. Possibly.

7)      Update of sat nav disks. I’m running the very old pre-traffic disks, so would like to update the unit to the latest and greatest.

8)      SIM card for the Phone unit. This arrived today, and so I now have a working telephone for the occasional times that I might need it. Happy days.

9)      Some CDs. I need some of my choons in there, sharpish.

10)   A Porsche badge for the rear. Cringe. But wifey loves them. Happy wife, happy life.

11)   Certificate of Authenticity. I’ll get this from PCGB.

12) Personalised reg. We like those. :)

Options list.

Thanks to r1flyguy, I’ve gone through my codes. Nothing much to report really:

* Full leather, electric seats
* Sat nav with phone
19” Wheels with colour crests.
Aluminium exterior trim
Prep for roof rack, black
Standard aircon.

So there we go! More updates soon and thanks for all your comments so far! And thanks Noob for the avatar! :rocks::)

Edited by Paul O
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6 hours ago, Menoporsche said:

Stuart, you forgot the reflection on the coins :detetive:


feck off!

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Update 3: It likes to drink!

Goodness me! I was expecting it to be thirsty and I knew the MPG figures going in but didn't realise just how much we'd be visiting the pumps.

Yesterday our remaining range showed circa 90 miles. Following a nice valentines lunch two miles away, upon start-up it dropped to 60 and the light came on. One mile later and it was 55 miles and beeping at me for fuel. :wacko: But not too bad as it looked like just-under-a-quarter of a tank left. Aah the deception, as a trip to the local petrol station reduced my balance by another eighty quid. Eighty pounds in one week. Holy cr*p.

That visit was laughable disbelief, but I can see that turning into life-art of "Grown Man Sobbing at the Pumps" if it keeps it up.


I wrote down the initial mileage and promptly lost the ticket like the buffoon that I am, but I think I have completed just over 300 miles to a tank. This works out at a juicy 18mpg. If I've got the numbers wrong, its had +100 miles to the tank which increases it to around 22mpg. Regrettably, I think it is the former.

My petrol station owner is called Anthony. Yep, I'll be getting to know him much better in the coming months. :P 


Edited by Paul O
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...and he will be upgrading his car to a Porsche in a few months too based on his increased profits!

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  • 2 weeks later...

1 month On…

The Cayenne is going strong and I absolutely love it. LOVE IT. It is really comfortable with a lovely engine noise that is silky smooth on the motorway, but resonating sporty undertones when you kick down the gears for more power. I’ve said it before, but it is so much car for the money. Luxury motoring for bargain prices.

He says, she says.

This car is intended as a replacement for our Range Rover Evoque for a year or two, so I’m comparing a lot between the two cars.


The Tanks!

Comfort – I think it drives better than the Evoque but the wife isn’t quite on the same page. Whereas you seem to feel more bumps in the road in the Cayenne, it softly glides you over them. My other half however, thinks that it bounces over far too many compared to the Evoque. I’m not sure who’s right, maybe both of us? The steering has more feel, but the Mrs thinks it is just “heavier”. I think the seats in the Cayenne are lovely with great lumbar support, whereas my good lady prefers the huggy-seats of the Evoque. The latter having better side bolsters and thereby feeling sportier, whereas the Cayenne is more sofa like, but the lumbar is hugely lacking in the Evoque – something you realise when you swap cars and drive the Cayenne.

Size – Its massive. We are both pretty used to driving it now, but parking it - well, you have to choose your space carefully. It is not so much the width, which doesn’t seem much bigger than the Evoque, but the length makes getting into busy small car parks quite a challenge with the parking sensors going crazy at all corners. We both like the space inside. Rear space is great, boot is huge.

Whilst my wife doesn’t dislike it, it’s definitely not her dream car. It’s pretty close to being my dream car though for a few reasons: Seating comfort, badge, smoothness, size, auto and (being a Yorkshireman)… price! Andy my 4-year-old daughter, she loves it!! Daddy has got a Porsche again!

Handy Features!

Once you have got into that teeny, tiny, space in the centre of town and you've backed up to the bushes with the sensors screaming red at you, the front won’t be protruding out, but you can’t open the boot either. A-ha, great feature – you can just open the back window! Whoop! This is a great feature as you can just lean-in, grab your bags (or drop them off) and close again. Superb!

Yesterday I also discovered another cool feature; you can turn the mirror knob and lo! The mirrors will fold themselves in. Waaaahay!! I’ve never had that before in a car. That’s right, the wing mirrors close in, by themselves. Modern tech, eh. Love it!

Booming Choons. I think this car has just the standard musicality and its really good. So good in fact that I’ve reduced the Bass into the minus option as it’s really banging. A sign of decent quality if it can cope with the bass as well as the tweets. Super!


The auto is fantastic. Anyone who does long, laborious commutes should buy automatics. It’s a pain in the ass riding a clutch continually through stop-start traffic. The auto gearbox makes things much smoother and it is far more relaxing to drive.

Motorway driving in the Cayenne is good, but with the lower powered 3.2 engine, the auto has to drop gears frequently if you want to make quick progress, for example when accelerating from lane two to lane three in busy traffic. The lack of torque here is noticeable. It’s still fast and you have no problems in keeping up with the flow of traffic, but a personal view - with my wife as a nervous passenger - the drop in gears makes it more apparent that we are about to pick up the pace. That becomes a cause for earache so we tend to live in lanes one and two now in busy traffic to keep the peace.

Overall, compared to the Evoque I definitely prefer it, but I think my wife still prefers the Land Rover brand. We’ll probably swap for a new Discovery Sport in a year or two, but there is no urgent rush (at least whilst the Cayenne doesn’t start making itself a problem). A big plus for me is that we are no longer slaves to rampant consumerism. Gone is the finance and wasteful interest payments, and I no longer need to worry about new-car depreciation, which has cost tens of thousands of pounds over the years. That said, the Evoque held its value really well, relatively speaking but as of right now, everything that parks on my driveway is ours. All ours.


I filled up again yesterday at the pumps and we’ve covered 318 miles with 80 litres of fuel. That calculates to just a nudge over 18mpg and has consisted of a typical few weeks consisting of commuting, traffic, local roads and both busy and quiet motorways, so I think 18mpg is going to be our average. And boy do you feel it. I didn’t expect the difference from 32mpg to 18mpg to be so noticeable (head-in-sand-syndrome I guess), so visits the pump are now fortnightly rather than monthly. But, that’s still only going to be about 5,000 miles a year as come summer time, our convertible will take up residence on the driveway for plenty of top-down fun this year, with The Hulk being retired to the garage for the most part during the sunshine season.

Next up…

More to come soon! Next up is a new spare key, interior clean, private plate, pimp tints and side steps! The Evoque has sold this week, so the Cayenne is now our sole daily driver.

Edited by Paul O
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  • Paul O changed the title to Paul O's 5 Great Years with a Gen1 Cayenne!

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