The Porsche Cayenne is a luxury mid-size SUV and one of the most popular Porsche models ever. The first-generation Cayenne was introduced back in 2003 and was in production until 2010. The first-gen Cayenne is now a relatively unpopular car besides its badge because it looks a bit weird and is not the most reliable car out there.
The second generation of the Cayenne was introduced in 2011 and was in production until 2018. This generation of the Cayenne is now a very popular car as looks a lot better and is a lot more reliable. The current generation of the Cayenne is the best Cayenne model yet and is available either as a coupe or a regular SUV.
Design-wise, the Cayenne is striking, dynamic, and luxurious. All the interior materials are second to none and the overall interior design is both state-of-the-art and subdued at the same time. The first-gen Cayenne is the most problematic one, the latter two generations seem to be a lot more reliable.
All in all, the Cayenne is a desirable SUV both because it is a Porsche and because it is a great SUV overall. The second generation of the Cayenne is now fairly attainable and it is the one to get especially the post-facelift version.
1st generation of the Porsche Cayenne – 2003-2010
The first-gen Cayenne is available in a few different engine choices ranging from the entry-level 250hp 3.2L V6, the mid-level S model with a 4.5L V8 with 340hp, and the Turbo models that offer between 450-550hp from the range-topping 5.4/5.8L twin-turbo V8.
The 1st gen Cayenne is available either as the 955 pre-facelift or the 957 post-facelift 2010 and on models. The 957 is the most desirable car right now because it is more reliable and it offers a few more modern design and technology touches. All in all, the design is questionable, but the overall execution is indeed impressive.
You can buy a 1st gen for $4,000-$18,00 for the pre-facelift models and $8000-$25,000 for the post-facelift models. Reliability-wise, the 1st gen is relatively reliable, but only if maintained correctly, but given the fact that these are now really attainable, most people don’t maintain them all that well.
The automatic transmission is known to have issues, especially in earlier models. If you are interested in buying one, pay close attention to service details and always do a pre-purchase inspection as these cars are still really expensive to own.
2nd generation of the Porsche Cayenne – 2011-2018
The 2nd generation of the Porsche Cayenne is a far more popular model compared to the fist-gen, both because it looks nicer and because it is more reliable. Furthermore, the second generation is far more dynamic, more luxurious, and more efficient.
There are also quite a few engines on offer starting from a 3.5L V6 with 300hp and going all the way up to a 4.8L twin-turbo V8 with 570hp. The entry-level Cayenne with the aforementioned 3.5L and the Cayenne S with a 3.6L twin-turbo V6 with 420hp are the two most popular models on the 2nd hand market.
Design-wise, the second generation of the Cayenne is better from almost every perspective. It looks nice from the inside as well as it resembles the current generation of the Cayenne quite a bit. Reliability-wise, it is a lot better than its predecessor, but it also costs a lot of money to maintain.
Value-wise, the second-gen Cayenne can be had for between $17,000 and $70,000 depending on the model, the mileage, and the overall condition.
3rd generation of the Porsche Cayenne – 2018-present
The current generation of the Porsche Cayenne introduced a coupe body style in order to make it more competitive with the likes of the BMW X6, the GLE Coupe, and the Audi Q8. The current Cayenne offers more powerful, but smaller and more efficient engines when compared to both of its predecessors.
The most popular Cayenne and Cayenne S models use a 3.0L turbo V6 with 340 and 440 horsepower. The top-of-the-line Cayenne Turbo GT offers a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 with 640hp. The third-gen Cayenne also introduced quite a few hybrid models with the Turbo S E-Hybrid being the most powerful Porsche SUV with 700hp.
The third generation of the Cayenne is a true modern-day car which means that’s you are getting all the features and technologies you’d expect from a new Porsche model. The prices range from the mid $50,000, all the way up to more than $200,000 for some more special models.
Reliability-wise, the 3rd gen Cayenne is still under warranty for most people, but overall, it is the most reliable Porsche SUV yet.
Which Porsche Cayenne should I buy?
If you want the best, newest, and most amazing, go for the 3rd gen Cayenne because you will not be disappointed. However, if cashing out more than $50,000 for a used car is an issue for you, you should take a look at the post-facelift 2nd gen Cayenne models as they are much more fairly priced, but not all that different from 3rd gen models.
The first-gen Cayenne is an acquired taste as some people deem it to be boring and ugly while others deem it as great value.
How expensive is the Cayenne to own?
No matter which generation you go for, you will have to set some money aside for maintenance costs as these luxury SUVs can cost quite a lot of money to maintain. The Cayenne is Porsche which means that the running costs are substantial.
First-generation models are cheap to buy, but they are not all that cheaper to own compared to later models, even if they do stand the test of time.
Is the Porsche Cayenne better than its competition?
The Porsche Cayenne rivals the BMW X6, the Mercedes GLE Coupe, the Audi Q8, and potentially even the Lamborghini Urus for the higher-end models. The X6 started this market and the current generation X6 is a tremendously impressive car while the GLE is in my opinion, a bit less exciting.
The Q8 is arguably the best looking one of the bunch and it is the most popular Coupe SUV at the moment. The Urus is the most exciting option, but it costs quite a bit more. Overall, the Cayenne is more than able to compete with these and even surpass them in many segments such as quality and badge appeal.