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6 Months With the Cheapest Porsche Cayenne Turbo in the USA

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author photo by Tyler Hoover November 2017

I suppose if my hooptie fleet had an MVP, it would be my 2004 Porsche Cayenne Turbo. It's been six months since I purchased the cheapest Cayenne Turbo in the United States -- and despite being comprised of a giant conglomeration of aging German electronics eager to destroy any hope of my daughter having a college fund, it's been totally reliable. I've used it tow vehicles and trek through rugged trails -- and I've driven it 6,000 miles across five states. Since I haven't spent any money repairing it, I've decided to reward the Cayenne with some upgrades -- or downgrades, depending on how you interpret my terrible decisions.

But before I go over six months with my Cayenne and the changes I'm making, I wanted to mark the 1-year anniversary of my start with Oversteer. After begging Doug for weeks to become a weird sideshow to his main attraction, I think he grew tired of my daily 1,000-word emails and finally gave me a shot. Oversteer has allowed me to document my descent into madness (and it probably triggered it) -- but it's truly been the happiest year of my life. For those wondering, Doug is just as affable and goofy in person -- and as a boss. Despite his insanely busy schedule, he took way more time than he should've to help develop my writing and coach me on the wacky world of YouTube. I tried to give him my Chrysler Lebaron as thanks, but he politely refused. I literally can't even give that junker away.

Anyway, back to the Cayenne, which has miraculously been a joy to own. After sorting its minor needs and having one vacuum-line crack in the first week of ownership, it's never given me a lick of trouble over six months and 6,000 miles. Luck certainly has something to do with this -- especially with the massive amount of technology and electrical accessories inside -- but I also think the Cayenne Turbo was way overbuilt. The 450-horsepower turbocharged V8 is still impressive 13 years later, and I imagine the engineers at Porsche went overboard with the powertrain to make sure it could handle all that power. It was also built to be a very capable offroader, even though most Cayenne models will never leave pavement -- which surely contributes to its durability, as well.

Another anomaly I've noticed with this Cayenne is the air suspension, which seems to have a much lower failure rate with age compared to its Mercedes and Land Rover counterparts -- leaving me to wonder what exactly Porsche did differently.

In my quest to improve the looks of my Cayenne, the air suspension was one of the items I modified. By inserting longer rods that connect the height sensors to the axles, which tricks the computers into thinking the vehicle is sitting higher, this Porsche can have a slammed look similar to any car with an aftermarket air-ride system. About 5 millimeters of extra length on the sensor rod results in a suspension drop of approximately two inches. By installing 22x10.5-in wheels, fender gap is completely eliminated with the suspension set to the lowest setting. Since the Cayenne has five height settings, it's easy to raise the car back to a more stock height for normal driving.

The decision to buy new aftermarket wheels was brought on by worn tires, and the original 19-in wheels had endured several violent assaults with the curb. I wanted black wheels, partially because Doug said he hated black wheels -- and I couldn't miss the trolling opportunity. But I also wanted to give this Cayenne a more modern look.

The headlights on my Porsche were a huge eyesore -- even more than they were new -- since they were cloudy and water was starting to collect inside. In this case, the aftermarket has saved the day, creating a modernized headlight setup that resembles a newer Cayenne -- complete with the goofy LED running lights and turn signals. Once I finish the transformation by painting the silver trim black to match the blacked-out theme, this Cayenne should look much newer.

In other words: Even with total reliability, I still found a way to throw money down the drain. I look forward to using my jerry-rigged factory suspension setup to occasionally join stance nation -- without losing any of the Cayenne's practicality. Although, with the fancy new shoes, its mountain climbing days are probably over.

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6 Months With the Cheapest Porsche Cayenne Turbo in the USA - Autotrader