Crossover & Midsize

This Porsche Cayenne Story Proves How Cheap Luxury Can Be Expensive

Many would love to have a luxury vehicle but couldn’t afford one. Sometimes you can find a great deal on a used luxury vehicle. But is that great deal worth it in the long run? That’s the question one Porsche Cayenne owner had to ask. Sure, the luxury vehicle may have depreciated in such a way that it fits into your budget to buy it. But what would the experience be like in the years to come?

The tale of a used Porsche Cayenne

One Reddit user decided to buy a 2004 Porsche Cayenne Turbo when their 1998 Buick Regal was finally done. It wasn’t the least expensive model of the vehicle they could have found but they had a few preferences to meet. After meticulously searching for a vehicle with good services records, they found a two-owner Jarama Beige Metallic on Black 2004 Cayenne Turbo with 119,000 miles.

They paid $10,000 for the vehicle in 2019 that originally cost $93,755. It had a 4.5-liter twin-turbo engine that put out 455 hp. It also had a towing capacity of 7,700 pounds. They also bought $1,000 in extras, including all its service records, winter rims, a valet key, a certificate of authenticity, and more. 

The owner documented his first year of ownership. There were many things the owner enjoyed about the vehicle from the quality of the materials used, its amazing seats, and quiet ride. They enjoyed its speed, its handling in the snow, and the slew of features that it offered.

The high price of luxury vehicle maintenance and repair

RELATED: Why You Should Avoid the 2004 Porsche Cayenne

Looking over the records, the owner discovered that his Porsche Cayenne had an incredible amount of service done. One service visit was almost $6,500 and included new brakes, tires, front air struts, an oil change, and several other minor items. They also noted that most service visits were over $500 with the majority being over $1,000.

The owner did a lot of their own maintenance the first year, which helped keep costs down and used OEM parts. From May 2019, when they bought the car, through December 2019, they spent just under $550 for minor repair and service costs. The owner found the vehicle to be incredibly reliable too. They drove it back and forth from Minnesota to Colorado. They took it on several trips over three hours long with no troubles.

Then one day on their way to their job, the plastic coolant tees at the back of the engine cracked. Coolant spewed out and they ended up having to get the vehicle towed. By the time it was cleaned up, with new coolant Tees and a rebuilt starter, they had a bill of $1,157.

By May of 2020, a full year with the vehicle, the owner had paid a total of $3,279. Between January and May, the horn had been replaced as had the gasket. Other minor issues were addressed. 

Think before you buy

The owner of the Porsche Cayenne was able to do a lot of their own services and repairs where many people can’t. While they found the car worth the expense of keeping it running, they admitted that it required an open checkbook approach to do so. For those hoping to buy a good used luxury vehicle at a great price, the expensive upkeep may defeat the purpose.

While the Porsche Cayenne was reliable for that particular owner, often such reliability isn’t the norm. Luxury cars offer elaborate and state-of-the-art features that everyone wants when the vehicle is new. Things like navigation systems, air suspensions, climate control systems, and more can put big dings in your budget. A decade later when they need service or repair, it can cost thousands of dollars to do so.  

You must also factor in higher insurance and fuel costs. Luxury cars often require premium fuels. Considering many of them also have powerful engines, the fuel economy isn’t likely to be on your side. Since parts and repair cost more for luxury vehicles, be prepared to have higher insurance rates too. 

If you have your heart set on a used luxury vehicle that’s offered at a great price, consider having it evaluated by a mechanic to get an estimate of what costs you might be facing in the near future. You might also want to talk to your insurance agent and get a quote. Know what you might be facing before you sign the papers.