The Best Porsche Cayenne Year (So Far!)

Are you wondering to yourself, “Is it worth buying a used Porsche Cayenne”? They might seem like a tempting bargain – all the comfort of an SUV with the power of a sports car for a fraction of the original selling price. But it might just be too good to be true. Unfortunately, buying a used Porsche Cayenne involves avoiding a lot of model years due to lack of reliability and numerous recalls. If you are looking for the best years to buy, you will need to stick to the newer model years (2018-2020). And this, of course, means you still face a beefy price tag.

What Are The Best Years For The Porsche Cayenne The Best Porsche Cayenne Year (So Far!)

Be sure to bookmark these related articles: Porsche Cayenne reliability, Common Problems with Porsche Cayenne, and check out the full Porsche Cayenne section on our website.

What is the best Porsche Cayenne year?

The best years for the Porsche Cayenne are, unfortunately, the newest and most expensive among the used selection. The 2018 through 2020 Porsche Cayenne model years – so far – have fewer reports of problems and are well-liked by most drivers. 

They also have a lot of low-range capabilities. But they still represent a mixed bag.

Which engine has been the most reliable on the Cayenne? And just how reliable is the Cayenne overall? Is an old Porsche Cayenne even reliable at all? 

Let’s dive deeper into these issues so that you can get a full scope of the Cayenne’s best years and why others should be avoided.

What is the Most Reliable Porsche Cayenne Engine?

When you buy a Cayenne, look for one powered by either the 4.8-liter V8 or VR6 engine.

A lot of other Cayenne engines are remarkably flawed, but these two are pretty decent. 

The ‘M48’ V8 comes as either a regularly charged (on the S) or turbo model (on the Porsche Cayenne Turbo). Before 2007, the Cayenne S models were notorious for Lokasil coating fails, leading to them scoring their cylinder walls. 

This V8 fixed that problem when it was introduced in 2008. The VR6 was also introduced that model year. While it is not a perfect engine, it provides ample power to the Cayenne. 

It does not have the same degree of ignition coil issues as its predecessor, but it is prone to PCV valve failure as the engine gets older.

The 2018 model still made use of these engines. This was the last year for the second generation. In 2019, the third generation was introduced, showing folks a whole new list of powertrain options. 

The base was powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine while the S received a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 engine. The E-Hybrid model’s electric motor was paired with the turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine for more efficient performance. The efficiency of electric power and the reliability of traditional fuel.

The Turbo trim got a twin-turbo V8 engine.

Professional Mechanic Performing Car Catalytic Converter Check

How Reliable is a Porsche Cayenne?

The Porsche Cayenne’s reliability is rather spotty

Even the newer Cayennes are showing a lot of problems with regard to quality control. On the 2019 models, people are having problems with the trunk randomly opening while the vehicle is still in motion. 

No error code gets issued, making this a rather dangerous problem to have happen. Porsche does know this is an issue in the 2019 and 2020 models but has yet to do anything to rectify it. 

Expensive repairs related to squeaky brakes are also being reported on the third generation of Cayennes. Having this happen at 80,000-90,000 miles is not normal and is not something buyers of these vehicles expect. 

ACC and PAS are prone to stop working, and even multiple module changes does not seem to fix the issue. 

On top of all that, the navigation screen will go blank on a whim and will not kick back on until after the vehicle has been restarted multiple times.

Other reports for the newer Cayenne models include the engine timing being off, which is also not something you should expect to have happen at under 100,000 miles.

Yet those are the “good” Cayenne years.

Is an old Porsche Cayenne Reliable?

Let’s get to the older Cayenne models. If you are wondering, “Is an old Porsche Cayenne reliable?”, it probably is not. 

The 2003-2006 model years all have problems with the fuel pump failing, which leads to the vehicle not starting or stalling out. 

The fuel pump has to be replaced and costs somewhere between an estimated $1,297 to $1,363. This usually occurs around the 90,000-mile mark.

Those same model years also have problems with coolant leaks. The leak will develop at the thermostat housing, just below the intake manifold gasket.

The cost to replace the thermostat housing is somewhere around $400, and the intake manifold can cost about $450 to replace. 

This issue can develop anywhere between 40,000 and 200,000 miles, sometimes higher, so it is certainly an issue to consider when buying an older Cayenne.

The Cayenne models from 2004 to 2014 are known for their rapid tire wear-down. While this varies a bit depending on your driving style, a more aggressive style of driving will lead to much quicker-than-usual wear in all four tires. 

This will require new tires, of course, as well as wheel alignment and tire rotation.

Along with the tires wearing out early, the brake pads and rotors tend to wear down prematurely as well. 

They can go about 25,000 miles before they are completely worn thin. Regular brake inspections are ideal for the 2004-2014 model years because of this common issue.

The Newer, the Better: the 2018-2020 Model Years

As we already discussed, even the newer used Porsche Cayenne models have their troublesome sets of issues. 

The 2019 and 2020 models have predicted 3 out of 5 reliability, which is slightly below average for the luxury SUV segment.

The upside is that the newer Cayenne models have superb handling capabilities when they are working as expected. 

And each of the available powertrains can deliver supple horsepower to the wheels with the help of the automatic transmission. 

The Cayenne has no problem sprinting up to 60 miles per hour in just 5.3 seconds. 

Porsche Cayenne Years You Should Avoid The Best Porsche Cayenne Year (So Far!)

However, if you floor it from a dead stop, you will feel a small amount of lag before the thing really takes off.

The adjustable chassis height and four selectable drive terrain modes help make the Cayenne a capable off-roader, which isn’t exactly something that is common in the luxury segment.

The optional air suspension lifts the Cayenne to a ground clearance of 9.4 inches.

In 2020, Porsche added a line-topping Turbo S E-Hybrid powertrain to the mix. It matches the V8 with a plug-in hybrid system for a power supply of 670 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque. 

Also, its performance-enhancing upgrades include Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control. 

Unfortunately, you will still be paying a hefty price tag for that vehicle.

And don’t even think of trying to flat-tow a Cayenne from any model year. You will botch the transmission system. 

You will need a flat-bed trailer if you want to tow the Cayenne anywhere – unfortunately, it does often need towing.

Closing Thoughts

Something with the name Porsche slapped on it should be a cool, solid buy, right? Wrong.

The Cayenne is proof that Porsche is struggling to make luxury vehicles that meet the high standards for reliability and safety. The newer model years are decent but still problematic. If you find an older Cayenne, you might want to pass on it and look for something else.


Is Porsche Cayenne high maintenance?

Porsche Cayenne vehicles, like any luxury car, require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance.

While maintenance costs can be higher compared to non-luxury vehicles, the exact maintenance expenses can vary based on factors such as the age of the vehicle, driving habits, and the specific model of the Cayenne.

It is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and use genuine Porsche parts to maintain the vehicle’s reliability and longevity.

Is buying a Porsche Cayenne with 100k miles bad?

Buying a Porsche Cayenne with 100,000 miles on the odometer is not necessarily bad, but it does come with some considerations.

The overall condition of the vehicle and how well it has been maintained are crucial factors. It is recommended to obtain a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection from a qualified mechanic to assess the vehicle’s condition, including the engine, transmission, suspension, and other critical components.

Reviewing the maintenance and repair history can provide insights into the vehicle’s past care. A well-maintained Cayenne with proper documentation and a thorough inspection can still offer a satisfactory ownership experience.

Why is Porsche Cayenne oil change so expensive?

Porsche Cayenne oil changes can be relatively more expensive compared to regular cars due to a few factors. Firstly, Porsche vehicles often require specialized synthetic oil that meets specific performance standards.

These high-quality oils can be pricier than conventional alternatives. Additionally, Porsche Cayenne models may have complex engine designs and require more labor-intensive procedures for oil changes.

The involvement of skilled technicians, specialized tools, and the use of genuine Porsche parts contribute to the overall cost. Despite the higher cost, it is essential to prioritize regular oil changes to maintain the performance and longevity of the Cayenne’s engine.

Is Porsche cheaper to maintain than Mercedes?

The cost of maintaining a Porsche Cayenne versus a Mercedes vehicle can vary depending on several factors, including the specific models, the age of the vehicles, and regional differences.

Porsche maintenance costs can be higher due to the brand’s focus on performance and engineering excellence. Porsche vehicles often require specialized parts, experienced technicians, and meticulous attention to detail during servicing.

However, it is worth noting that maintenance costs can also vary significantly based on individual circumstances, including driving habits, maintenance history, and the availability of independent repair shops. It is advisable to research specific models, compare maintenance costs, and consult with experts or owners to gain a more accurate understanding of the expenses involved.

Are Porsche Cayennes expensive to run?

Porsche Cayennes can have higher running costs compared to regular non-luxury vehicles. Factors contributing to the higher expenses include the cost of premium fuel required for optimal performance, potentially higher insurance premiums due to the vehicle’s value and performance capabilities, and relatively higher maintenance and repair costs associated with luxury vehicles.

It is important to consider these factors when budgeting for ownership, including routine maintenance, fuel expenses, insurance premiums, and potential repairs.

How often does a Porsche Cayenne need servicing?

The recommended service intervals for a Porsche Cayenne can vary depending on the model year and specific vehicle variant.

Generally, Porsche suggests a regular maintenance schedule every 10,000 to 20,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first.

However, it is crucial to refer to the owner’s manual or consult with an authorized Porsche dealer or service center for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the recommended service intervals for your particular Cayenne model. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines ensures that the vehicle operates at its best performance, reliability, and safety levels.

How many miles is a lot for a Porsche Cayenne?

Determining what mileage is considered high for a Porsche Cayenne depends on various factors such as maintenance history, driving conditions, and how well the vehicle

has been cared for. Generally, modern Porsche vehicles, including the Cayenne, are designed to offer robust performance and durability. Mileages of 100,000 or more are not uncommon, particularly when the vehicle has been properly maintained and serviced.

However, it is recommended to have a thorough inspection of the vehicle’s overall condition, including the engine, transmission, suspension, and other critical components, before making a purchasing decision. Additionally, reviewing maintenance records can provide valuable insights into the vehicle’s past care and help assess its potential longevity.

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