The Porsche File Porsche-o-phile

2009 Porsche Cayenne Diesel - Welcome Czar!

With my renewed focus on motor sport for at least this year and next, combined with Robin's recent successes and enthusiasm for more equestrian competitions, I am now without a tow car and driver. Tragedy...

So I started looking around for something that can tow 3500 KG, that I can afford and would like to drive.... After some searching, I ruled out the X5, various Audis, an ML, the Jeep range and then started to worry. Of course I would like a Porsche, but they are a bit pricey and I wasn't sure that even if I could afford a diesel I wasn't sure that I would like to own it / drive it. And the sharp-ish looking current body shape was well out of my price range (sorry to continually sound cheap) which left with a superseded looking model. And a diesel. A re-think perhaps...

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Fortune favours the fortunate... Calvin, the former owner / principal of the Porsche service specialist that looks after the Boxster, Bruiser and 4S (and the former 'keeper' of my GT3) was selling his 2009 Cayenne Diesel and wondered if we would be interested. What can I say to be polite.... Robin likes Calvin and the great work he has done looking after our cars over the years, and STRONGLY suggested that we should have a test drive. Totally unprepared for the event I agreed.

For such a Porsche fan as myself, I am surprised that I should have been shocked at how well the vehicle drove. Nearly five years old and 145,000 kms there was not a rattle, the interior and exterior were in fantastic condition for age / usage, the standard / optional kit seemed extensive and the performance was most impressive. A second drive a few days later clinched the deal and on March 27 we were the proud owners.

So what is it? It is a 2009 Porsche Cayenne, with a 3.0 Turbo diesel engine, six speed Tiptronic transmission. Sand white exterior over black interior with aluminium highlights. Included features to name a few: Porsche Communications Management (PCM) with bluetooth phone, satellite navigation, CD/DVD-A stacker, iPod and auxiliary inputs, heated / folding side mirrors, roof rails, aluminium look roof rails, front & rear parking sensors, Porsche carpet mats (plus additional rubber mats) and moulded cargo area insert, rear cargo blind, cruise control, dual zone climate control, colour-coded front and rear valances and headlight surrounds, tinted glass, rain-sensing wipers, factory-fitted Porsche tow bar and integrated electric brake controller and more I am sure! The only component that may be deemed 'low rent' are the standard 18" wheels which Calvin assures me are a much more practical options than the 20" inch-ers that he tried.The included Pirelli rubber is near new.

What is most surprising is the way it drives. Compared to Robin's wonderful 200-series Toyota LandCruiser Sahara diesel, the Cayenne steers and stops like a sports sedan, albeit weighing 2,300 KG. The Bruiser, a twin turbo diesel V8 certainly has the Cayenne for outright torque but drivability easily goes to the Porsche. After just a few days I am not missing the smoothness and luxury of the Lexus (as sweet as it is) as the Cayenne isn't tangibly behind in driver comfort or overall performance. It is not going to win any 'traffic light Grand Prix' but at 80-90km/h the overtaking torque is powerfully reassuring.

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OK, all good so far, but is there anything not to like? The most obvious weakness is the low-speed speed ride. Most reviewers have commented on this aspect of the car's performance and the description is 'jiggly'. Mostly suspension related plus a little drivetrain 'roughness' on very light throttle opening. From a personal point of view, I have to get used to the size of this beast, especially without the benefit of a reversing camera (a la Lexus). At least the parking sensors are very loud!

The rest of my 'complaints' are about the vintage of the vehicle versus newer models. It could be more fuel efficient, newer models are more attractive (both inside and out) and are packaged more efficiently. Just pay twice the price!

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While I am sure that 'Czar' will be a keeper, one can only dream about how special the current model Cayenne Turbo must be...

The next step is to check the mechanical and electrical coupling with our Featherlite car trailer. Fingers crossed! More pictures and ownership comments as they come to hand. Colour me happy so far!