Trucks & SUVs

Why You Should Avoid the 2004 Porsche Cayenne

Porsche has built the Cayenne for about 17 years. The luxury SUV draws many people every year, the Cayenne grabs them with its performance and top of the line amenities. 

However, like many other vehicles in the automotive industry, not every model year is perfect. CarComplaints.com gathered data from their site and found the 2004 to be the worst Cayenne model year. Here’s what gave that model that title. 

Why the 2004 Porsche Cayenne is rated the worst model?

CarComplaints.com has the most complaints reported against the 2011 model. But they rated the 2004 as the worst version because of the higher cost to repairs and the severity of the problems this year brought, especially with the lower mileage. 

There were two main problems that plagued the 2004 Porsche model. The second worst issue that owners had to deal with was with the drivetrain. The center bearing had a tendency to break, causing issues with the car.

The bearing itself was a rather inexpensive part, but Porsche didn’t build their vehicles to replace single parts like that. In order to resolve it, you had to replace the entire drive train, which could cost around $2,400 to fix. 

Owners were none too happy about the situation because the carrier bearings would break with a range of 68,000 to 134,000 miles on the car. There were some that just got done paying over a thousand dollars to have other items fixed, only to return to the dealer within a few weeks to shell out more money for the drive train issue. CarComplaints.com rated it with a severity of pretty bad, according to the scoring scale.

The worst problem for the 2004 Porsche Cayenne

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The worst problem for the Porsche was an issue seen for the model years of 2003-2006. These models all had plastic cooling tubes installed at the factory. The tubes ran through the engine bay where it would get very hot and would end up cracking the pipes.

Then, the coolant would either drip or pour out of the pipes depending on how severe the damage was. This, rated really awful by CarComplaints, would happen with only 37,000 to 75,000 miles on the car. 

Porsche apparently knew about the issue, because they sold repair kits, later on, that are aluminum to replace the plastic ones. But they didn’t cover the replacement costs. Owners paid for the expensive kits, which cost $3,600 with labor.

Since it was a known issue that numerous drivers had to face, a lawsuit came out against the company. In 2014, Porsche agreed to pay a portion of the costs to replace the tubes and would also pay toward the reimbursement of those who already paid, they made claims their claims quickly.

How does the 2020 Porsche Cayenne compare?

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Fast forward about 16 years and Porsche rolled out its new 2020 model of the Cayenne. Things have definitely improved with this SUV, but they’re not exactly fool-proof yet.

J.D. Power rates them a 3 out of 5 for reliability, which lands it in the average range. So, it’s not that great, but not half bad either. Porsche is doing something right nowadays.

As U.S. News and World Report says, fuel economy doesn’t impress much with 22 mpg on the highway. If you choose the Turbo, it’s worse, you’re getting only 19. But performance is what makes this SUV stand apart.

The Cayenne has a standard 3.0-liter engine and the Cayenne S has a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged motor. The Turbo tops them all with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 under its hood. 

The Porsche Cayenne had a rocky start in the early 2000s. Over the years and many problems later, the Cayenne is making a name for itself. With more improvements under its belt, they may just have a top contender in the luxury midsize SUV class in the future. In the meantime, if you want more bang for your money, look toward another Porsche, like the Carrera