The 2004 Porsche Cayenne S. The very car that saved Porsche from its impending doom in the 90s and 2000s. With the economy souring in the 90s, sports car sales were falling rapidly and Porsche had no other option but to make their own Sport Utility Vehicle. The Boxster helped in some way but the Cayenne nearly fixed Porsche’s debt of $128 million. Two thirds of Porsche buyers owned 2 or more cars, one being an SUV. Therefore there was no reason for Porsche to let its rivals take away a major market from them. With German rivals such as BMW and Mercedes hopping on the SUV craze early on with the X5 and M class respectively, Porsche knew it had to be done.
The Porsche Cayenne was developed hand in hand with the Volkswagen Toureg, making development costs cheaper by spreading it over 2 companies. To make sure people knew it was a true Porsche, they opened a $124 million plant in Leipzig to show that the Cayenne was proudly made in Germany. Porsche didn’t want its car to be labeled as an upscaled Volkswagen so only some parts of the drivetrain and minor parts were shared. The engine, styling, and interior was undoubtedly Porsche.
My Porsche Cayenne is the S model, meaning it has a 4.5L naturally aspirated V8. The V8 makes 340 horsepower and 310 lb/ft of torque at 6,000 rpm. And what a V8 it is. The exhaust sounds like a mix of an Italian sports car and the muscle of a German V8. For weighing almost 5,000 pounds, the car still has some grunt to it. It’ll do 0-60mph in 6.8 seconds. However, in traffic, it’ll easily overtake anyone with a flick of the throttle. An SUV from 2004 has tiptronic paddle shifters on the steering wheel. It has a maximum towing capacity of 7,716 pounds which means it’s on par with the Chevrolet Suburban, Dodge Durango, and Toyota Land Cruiser. I love this powertrain, but the gas mileage is by far the worst of any car I’ve driven. It has a 27 gallon tank and only gets 14mpg city. A full tank in that car costs about $120 in California.
The styling of the first generation Porsche Cayenne was very controversial. Porsche tried to keep the signature styling but apply it to a larger body. Stretching the already ugly 996 only made it worse and many agree the Cayenne looks like a bloated frog. On the other hand, the interior is a masterpiece in my eyes. Every possible surface is covered in leather. The steering wheel is covered in leather, the door panels, the center console, even the dashboard. Some cool quirks and features of the car’s interior are that it has 5 sun visors, two for the windshield, two for the windows, and one for the rear view mirror. A car from 2004 has parking sensors in the front and rear. 2004! It even has a cooled glovebox. Most new luxury cars don’t even have that. It comes with a built in ski bag that goes through the trunk into the rear passenger room. It also has privacy shades for the rear passenger windows.
My favorite feature of the car is the sound system. It has 15 Bose speakers throughout the car. It is by far one of the best sound systems I’ve ever heard in ANY car. It will blow any new BMW or similar out of the water. The infotainment screen isn’t that dated being from 2004. It’s a 7 inch screen that has all of your basic necessities, such as a navigation system, a trip monitor, and various settings. The car has a 6 CD changer in the trunk as well as AM/FM radio. Being from 2004, it doesn’t have neither aux or bluetooth, meaning you have to buy CDs to run your own music. That was almost a deal breaker for me.
In the end, I’d say this car is an amazing bargain for what you get. People think it costs a lot more than what it really is worth and it’s great for a tight budget. If you ignore gas prices it is a great daily driver and I suggest it to everyone looking for an SUV. The powertrain is perfect and merciless when you put your foot down, all while the beautifully crafted leather interior cocoons you in comfort. My 2004 Cayenne S is for sale for $12,000. It has just hit 81,000 miles and I’ve put a brand new driveshaft into it. It is a great car and a very memorable one at that. The price is negotiable and the location is in Burbank, CA. Please dm @rsreportblog on instagram for more information or if you are interested!
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