One year later

Using the Cayenne as a daily driver has been quite a ride, pun intended. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m really happy with it all in all. It does have its quirks, but as a car to take you from A to B, it’s superb.

A Cayenne covered in mud seems to be the right way to go.© Margus Holland

The not so great things

Size

It’s obviously big, which also means heavy. Though we didn’t have much of a winter this year, the occasional black ice still managed to show up. I do have decent studded tyres on, but putting the Cayenne into a slide is spectacularly easy, especially if you turn off the PSM. I did it just to test what it’s like and wasn’t very far from hitting a tree. So handle with care.
Other thing with weight is getting ”the Pig” (as they are quite commonly referred to, on the marvellous thing called internet) to stop in a tricky situation. Quite a few occasions when somebody decided to switch lanes in a really busy morning with no turn signal – those were sure to introduce an adrenaline rush.
Parking, size-wise of course is more difficult, as fitting in tight spots makes exiting the car a hassle.

Electronics

This is probably common with a lot of used cars, but can’t really recall anything like this happening on my 944, 951 nor 996. For example, at random times the radio will not have any sound. All the buttons work etc, just no sound. Stop the car, turn it off and on again and it works. Feels like using a Windows computer. Rather crappy for a premium brand. The “fun” part is that you keep fiddling with the volume knob at first and when you finally get the sound back, you’re going to blow out your eardrums, as you forgot to turn it down before restarting the car. Yet, it doesn’t really change how to car drives, it’s just an annoyance.

What on the other hand is a much bigger annoyance, is the fact that at completely random times the alternator will not charge the battery. You start the car, drive it for a few minutes and the all hell breaks loose on the dashboard. Big red errors and yellow exclamation marks.
Again, the trick is to turn it off and on again. I seem to have narrowed it down to the fact that always after starting the car, I must watch the voltage needle go past 12V. If I start driving ”too soon”, it will not go above 12 V and I manage to get this error.

The automatic seat and steering wheel positioning will not slide the seat and steering wheel to the correct position and I have to manually put everything right. Has only happened once fortunately.

Rear hatch release button started acting up. Worked for a while, then stopped. Miraculously worked again after a few days. Then quit completely, had to be replaced.

Plastics

First off, I hate plastic in cars. Period. Trim around the seat rails keep sliding off; the plastic panels in the mid console in front of the back seat are broken (maybe at some point they came in contact with a big winter boot?); middle light switch in the ceiling is dangling, as some plastic “spring” fell to pieces inside the panel; silver trim around centre console is semi-loose; etc. All in all plastic parts in this car are utter rubbish. Plastic does have its uses, but Porsche better start using some better quality materials, don’t know if the newer models are any better in this area.

But it’s not all bad – there are lots of good things too

Practicality

I can fit the whole family in the Cayenne. And all our baggage too. Got a really sweet deal for some roof racks and I that means pretty much never have to pay for any delivery from the hardware store again.
As its so high, the visibility is enormously better in traffic and when parking as well. It also seems to be more “intimidating” to other drivers, as even big cars keep a bigger distance, which is always a good thing for safety.
Getting in and out is so much easier than a sports car. This of course is a big plus for my mom too, who’s already pushing past 80. I can help her much easier to get to the doctor or anywhere else she desires to visit.

Driving

This was a really nice surprise. I did not think I’d enjoy it so much. Especially on the highways. Even after doing a 2-3 hour drive, you don’t feel sore or tired. The sitting position is much more comfortable and you don’t have to bend yourself into the car like a Swiss army knife when entering or getting out. The seats unfortunately don’t have any side support, which makes spirited driving somewhat more challenging.
The ride on the other hand is smooth. I do miss the stiffness of a sports car suspension, but for long drives, the Cayenne is a truly nice car to have. In the city the automatic transmission’s advantage is a given. On a sports car I still want a stick shift, but on the Cayenne – would be mad to have a manual, the automatic is so much more handy.
It’s not the fastest car on the road, but I haven’t had any issues when needing to overtake someone. If you floor it, it has plenty of grunt to push it fairly quickly over the legal limit.
Parking, while it is a big car, is actually very easy – I can park pretty much everywhere and never worry about the height of the curb. This was a constant problem with the sports cars – always had to be extra careful not to break the front spoiler. The same thing goes for speed bumps, the Cayenne just kind of makes them disappear.

Conclusion

Where it actually matters – the driving part, the car is brilliant. It does have it’s annoyances and at some point they are frustrating, for example when I’m told the window mechanisms will fail and usually both doors at the same time, which means I have to fix something that should not really break on premium car, but then I think about all the good things this car has to offer and just decide that it’s a used and fairly old car already and for the money I paid for it, it’s a real bargain.


Margus Holland
stuttcars.com/u/105


Continue to Cayenne history or to other owner stories

Anniversaries
Sep, 2519th birthday of the Cayenne (2002)
Sep, 28 – 33rd birthday of the 964 (1988)
Oct, 11 – 34th birthday of the 2708 (1987)
Oct, 29 – 81st birthday of Hans-Peter Porsche (1940)
Nov, 15 – 46th birthday of the 924 (1975)