I’ve never owned an SUV before, and as someone who favors luxury cars and sports cars, it was hard to find something in my budget that had all of the amenities that I was used to, along with the driving experience I craved. After spending countless hours search and almost buying a car completely online, I found myself looking at used Porsche Cayennes. I’ve heard both positive and negative things about the Cayenne from friends who work at dealerships and people who currently own, or have owned, older model years. I was shocked to see some Cayenne models within my budget, and after digging into Consumer Reports to see how they really ranked for reliability, I realized that while some years are a complete bargain, others are a total nightmare.
Years of the Porsche Cayenne you should definitely avoid
Now don’t get me wrong, I ended up buying a used Porsche Cayenne in the end, and though I haven’t had it very long I’ve loved it so far. I wanted something that was reliable, so I heeded warnings from websites like Consumer Reports and used them to guide me away from unreliable model years — because lets face it, they’re expensive to buy and expensive to maintain.
The 2014 Porsche Cayenne was the first big red dot that caught my eye when I checked out the car on Consumer Reports. There are two active recalls on this year for issues with the instrument cluster and the brake system, and owners made a lot of complains about needing constant, expensive repairs.
The 2016 and 2017 model years weren’t much better for the Cayenne, unfortunately, with more recalls, more complaints, and overall just as many issues as the 2014 model year had. If you can find a car that has had all of the recalls serviced and feel comfortable taking care of everything that owners have complained about, these model years are still a bargain compared to the original price.
Avoid buying a used model because the sticker price looks great
The worst thing you can do is buy a car that you can’t actually afford to maintain just because the sales price is within your budget. You can buy an older Cayenne for $15,000 or less, but your general service like oil changes, brake pads, and rotors will cost you significantly more than doing maintenance on your standard Toyota Prius. The second worst thing you can do is to buy an unreliable car that is almost guaranteed to break down when you can’t afford the repairs.
Buying a used luxury car rather than a new one can save you a lot of money upfront, but if you’re not careful you can be left with a car that is far too expensive to maintain. Even worse, you could end up with a total lemon that is constantly needing repairs that total up to more than what you bought the car for. A used Cayenne can be a great bargain, but if you’re not careful it can also be a big nightmare.