Last week, I unveiled my latest crazy purchase to the world: a 2004 Porsche Cayenne Turbo with 144,000 miles, which cost me only $6,100 — making it the cheapest turbocharged Porsche available in the United States. After spending very little money to fully sort the Cayenne, I was eager to prove its viability — so I planned to take it on a 1,000-mile work trip. Unfortunately, it broke the night before I was supposed to leave.
Less than a week into my ownership with the Cayenne, this hooptie fleet owner was greeted with a familiar sight: a check-engine light, along with a loud sucking noise at idle. I plugged my code scanner into the Porsche and it told me both cylinder banks were reading too lean on oxygen. These codes and the sucking noise suggested a vacuum leak — and sure enough, a vacuum connector had broken off on the back side of the engine. This plastic line, which has become brittle with age, goes deep into the back of the engine and looks very difficult to replace — so I did what any sensible owner would do: I duct-taped it back together.
Yes, I used duct tape on a high-performance SUV that, when new, costs nearly $100,000. I really wanted to use this thing for my work trip, and the repair seemed to hold. I still haven’t gotten around to properly repairing it yet. My apologies to all the fanatical Porsche fans who just fainted.
In the process of driving over a thousand miles, I became very smitten with my new Cayenne. In the video, I rescue a store running out of product, I appear on the local news again and I list the five things I love about the Cayenne — along with the five things I hate. For those who hate the sound of my voice, I kindly list the five things I love and hate below:
5 Things I Love About My $6,100 Cayenne Turbo:
1. The engine is magnificent in every way, with great power and an intoxicating exhaust note. It’s also one of the few modern engine bays that’s absolutely gorgeous to look at.
2. The key looks like a little Porsche Cayenne, and it’s fun to play with.
3. Engineers still put the ignition switch on the opposite side of the steering wheel, like any proper Porsche.
4. With the heavy body and air suspension, the Cayenne feels fantastic on the highway — and they somehow still made it nimble.
5. The interior is very comfortable, with high-quality materials that held together really well for the past 13 years.
5 Things I Hate About My $6,100 Cayenne Turbo:
1. The rear seats do not fold even close to flat, and the cargo area seems smaller than its competition.
2. The original infotainment system has not aged well — and it’s also kind of broken.
3. In terms of exterior styling, there are some awkward angles that no Instagram filter could hide.
4. The Cayenne only has half a keyless go system. A proximity sensor detects the key unlocks the Cayenne when you pull on the handle, but you still need the key in the ignition to start the engine — which makes the whole system totally pointless.
5. My rear hatch struts are dead, and it looks like the Cayenne tries to eat me when I’m loading stuff in the cargo area.
None of these problems make me regret my purchase in the slightest, however — and overall, the trip with my cheap Cayenne Turbo was a fantastic experience. This little jaunt was just a preamble of things to come, as I really pack on the miles and test the limits on the cheap Cayenne Turbo later that weekend. Stay tuned… Find a 2004 Porsche Cayenne for sale
Tyler Hoover went broke after 10 years in the car business and now sells hamburgers to support his fleet of needy cars. He lives in Wichita, Kansas.