Porsche Cayenne buying guide - Porsche Cayenne buying checkpoints

Everything you need to know about buying a used Porsche Cayenne

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Russ Rosenthal, JZ Machtech’s sales manager, stresses the importance of an independent inspection: ‘Many trade sellers won’t know the potential pitfalls, so they just give the car a polish, slap an AA warranty on it and hope for the best.’


Turbos and V6s are broadly trouble-free apart from the V8’s original plastic coolant pipes under the inlet manifold, which should have been changed to the later aluminium ones. Each spark plug’s individual coil pack can fail, too, leading to a misfire. The big problem is the S’s Lokasil cylinder-coating failure. It starts with a sudden appetite for oil and an increasing knock, followed by a misfire as the bores and pistons are shredded. From first signs to death can take as little as 500 miles, and the problem can strike from around 70,000 miles. Turbos and later S models have a Nikasil coating which gives no trouble.


Generally reliable, including the four-wheel-drive componentry, but the automatic gearbox’s valve block can fail. When this happens, drive is suddenly lost under acceleration then jerks back in again. Replacement is an £1800 job.Suspension and brakes

This is a big, heavy car that can consume brakes and tyres at a frightening rate if driven with vigour. A 10,000-mile life for pads and rubber is quite normal, so check there’s some meat left. The air suspension’s pump can get lazy with age, flashing a warning until pressure is built up. A new one is around £1600 fitted.

Bodywork and interior

The drains under the scuttle can get blocked – the tubes could sometimes get flattened from new because they were too long and got trapped behind the wheelarch liner. This causes water to overflow onto the fuse box and ABS controller. The tube to the rear washer, inside the right-hand A-pillar, can freeze, damaging the tube. It then drips over the main ECU. Symptoms are headlights immediately going to main beam and indicators flashing when you turn the lights on. If the parking brake light stays on, the gas strut that actuates the switch has gone weak.

Specifications2002-2007 Cayenne Turbo

Engine V8, 4511cc, twin-turboMax power 444bhp @ 6000rpmMax torque 457lb ft @ 2250-4750rpmTransmission Six-speed automatic, four-wheel driveTyres 255/55 YR18Weight (kerb) 2355kgPower-to-weight 192bhp/ton0-62mph 5.5sec (claimed)Top speed 165mph (claimed)Price when new £68,970 (2003)

Parts PricesSupplied by JZ Machtech. Tyre prices from blackcircles.com. All prices include VAT at 20 per centTyres £185.57 each (Continental Cross Contact UHP, fitted)Brake pads (front set) £244.67Brake discs (front pair) £374.71Oil filter £20.44Air filter (two required) £53.04 pairSpark plugs £131.71 setCoil packs £293.47 set


Prices from JZ Machtech20,000 miles £27040,000 miles £54080,000 miles £575

What to pay

There are many more V6 and S Cayennes on offer than there are Turbos, and prices for these naturally aspirated versions are similar to each other and significantly lower than a Turbo commands. You can get into a high-mileage Cayenne for just under £10,000 now, but tread with great care, especially if it’s an S. One with a replacement engine could, however, make a very good buy – just make sure it’s not a second-hand unit that could lead to the problem happening again. Cayennes with manual gearboxes are very rare; the Turbo is Tiptronic-only.

Turbos start around £13,000 for an early high-miler and peak, in original 4.5-litre form, at around £30,000 for a late Turbo S with low mileage. Most examples seem to be in metallic black with 20in wheels, which will no doubt also prove the easiest combination to sell on.

Useful contacts

 www.jzmachtech.com (sales and service) www.saxton4x4.co.uk (sales) www.cayenneforums.com (forums) www.porscheownersclub.org.uk (club)

Search all Porsche Cayennes for sale on evo.co.uk


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