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Porsche Cayenne: New vs Used

Chris Kaiser

The Porsche Cayenne sets the benchmark for sporty SUVs, but it also depreciates rapidly. Is it better to buy one new or used?

Muy Caliente, On a Budget

2018 Porsche Cayenne - carsforsale.com

2018 Porsche Cayenne – carsforsale.com |  Shop Porsche Cayenne on Carsforsale.com

The Porsche Cayenne ranks among the best luxury sports SUVs on the market. In fact, it might be the best driving SUV you can buy, such is the balance, power, and precision it offers. But, like most luxury cars, a new Porsche Cayenne depreciates precipitously in its first few years off the lot. The Cayenne can lose up to 50% of its value in just the first three years. While that’s a heck of a dive for owners, it’s a boon for would-be owners looking to buy a used Cayenne.

Another benefit of the steep decline in value is that you don’t have to look too far back into the Cayenne’s lifecycle to find something affordable. The Cayenne made a generational update for the 2019 models, which makes the second generation 2018 models perfect foil to contrast with the shiny new third gens of 2021.

2021 Porsche Cayenne - porsche.com
2021 Porsche Cayenne - porsche.com

We’ll do a full price breakdown below, but it bares mention here: buying a new Cayenne often means options, lots of options, and Porsche is notorious for the astronomical upcharges they get on their new cars. Expect to pay anywhere from $10-$50,000 on top of the initial sticker price for a new Cayenne. That’s right, in some instances, the options alone on a new Cayenne can equal the price of a three-year-old Cayenne.

Specs

2018 Porsche Cayenne 3.6L V6 - carsforsale.com
2018 Porsche Cayenne 3.6L V6 - carsforsale.com

2018 Porsche Cayenne

The base 2018 Porsche Cayenne starts with a 3.6L V6 making 300 horsepower. The S and GTS slap on twin-turbochargers onto that V6 to for 420 and 440 horsepower respectively. The Turbo and Turbo S offer a jump to the 4.8L turbocharged V8 at 520 and 570 horsepower. The plug-in hybrid option runs a 3.0L V6 and electric motor for 426 horsepower and a 14-mile electric only range. All Cayennes come with AWD standard and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

2021 Porsche Cayenne 3.0L V6 - carsforsale.com
2021 Porsche Cayenne 3.0L V6 - carsforsale.com

2021 Porsche Cayenne

The third generation of the Porsche Cayenne saw significant changes. The current iteration of the Cayenne starts out with a base 3.0L V6 making 335 horsepower. The S now sports a twin-turbo 2.9L V6 good for 434 horsepower. The GTS received an enticing 4.0L twin-turbo V8 and 453 horsepower. The Turbo tunes the same V8 to 541 horsepower and the E-hybrid Turbo S tacks on a 134-horsepower electric motor for a whopping 670 horsepower and an estimated 15 miles of electric driving.

Driving & Performance

2018 Porsche Cayenne - carsforsale.com
2018 Porsche Cayenne - carsforsale.com

Both the new and used Cayenne’s are excellent to drive. The second generation 2018 Cayenne holds its own against the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE. Of your choice of sporty Teutonic SUV, the Cayenne may be the best of the bunch. All that classic Porsche DNA is deftly translated into the SUV form with amazingly nimble handling, razor sharp steering, and a smooth and comfortable ride even in the sportiest versions.

2021 Porsche Cayenne - porsche.com
2021 Porsche Cayenne - porsche.com

Both the new and used Cayennes offer impeccable driving experiences. Unless you’re dead set on finding the fastest Cayenne you can buy, the 2021 E-hybrid Turbo S, you’ll probably be satisfied with the performance of any of the used V6 versions. They’re decently powerful, especially considering that the Cayenne weighs close to 5,000lbs., and aside from a few technical upgrades to the suspension and brakes, they deliver an almost indistinguishable experience on the road.

Comfort & Interior

The leap between the second and third generations of the Porsche Cayenne saw significant changes to the interior space. Much of these changes involve the dash controls and infotainment systems. The 2018’s basic seven-inch touchscreen looks more dated than it actually is, such is the rapidity with which those screens have grown in these few short years. The 2021 features a 12.3-inch touchscreen as well as digital version of many of the instrument and HVAC buttons. Though many of these digital buttons feature haptic feedbacks, they’re still infinitely harder to used while driving than the second generation with its actual buttons. Things do look sleeker and more modern inside the 2021 Cayenne, but the 2018 is by no means an ugly or dated vehicle (again aside from that small touchscreen).

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Trims & Features

2018 Porsche Cayenne base - carsforsale.com
2018 Porsche Cayenne base - carsforsale.com

2018 Porsche Cayenne

The base 2018 Cayenne came decently equipped even before tapping Porsche’s legendary options list. It featured satellite radio, navigation, and leather-trimmed seats. The Platinum Edition added a Bose stereo system, front and rear parking sensors, and heated front seats. The S trim added a panoramic sunroof and the twin-turbo V6. The GTS came with active air-suspension, Alcantara interior trim, and 20-inch wheels. The Turbo adds the 4.8L V8 with 520 horsepower. The Turbo S ups that to 570 horsepower.

2021 Porsche Cayenne base - porsche.com
2021 Porsche Cayenne base - porsche.com

2021 Porsche Cayenne

The current base Porsche Cayenne comes standard with leather upholstery, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay (sorry, no Android Auto), front and rear parking sensors, and rain-sensing wipers. The Driver Assistance Package ($6,250) adds items like adaptive cruise control, a HUD, navigation, and lane keep assist. There are also loads of stand-alone options including the impeccable Burmester stereo (just $7,000), rear seat entertainment, ceramic brakes, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, and rear wheel steering.

The S trim adds Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus. The GTS opens the door to the twin-turbo V8 with 453 horsepower along with adaptive air suspension, active suspension management, and torque vectoring. The Turbo adds still more horsepower, now 541 along with 18-way power adjustable front seats and the Premium package contents that include keyless entry, a panoramic sunroof and lane change assist. The E-hybrid Turbo S is where things get a little crazy with that 670-horsepower figure.

Prices

2018 Porsche Cayenne Platinum Edition - carsforsale.com
2018 Porsche Cayenne Platinum Edition - carsforsale.com

Whether to buy a new or used Porsche Cayenne comes down to one question. Are you comfortable buying a new minimally equipped base Cayenne or are all those high-end Porsche options non-negotiable? The reason the decision hinges on this question alone is elucidated by the numbers. To wit.

Used 2018 Porsche Cayenne’s typically start around the $45-$50,000 mark. Most of these will base and Platinum Edition examples with things like the Bose stereo system, heated front seats, sunroof, and the like may come included, depending on how they were originally optioned. The 2021 base Cayenne starts at $67,500 but rapidly balloons in price once you start adding options packages. Expect to walk out with even a base Cayenne costing you closer to $80,000. A roughly 40% difference among the base version is actually the smallest price gap between new and used Cayennes.

2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS - porsche.com
2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS - porsche.com

From there you have the GTS trim which typically goes for around $65,000 with approximately 50,000 miles on the odometer. New, it starts at $107,300 with the coupe version running $110,500. This might be the best deal if you’re really adamant about getting a V8 as even used Turbo Cayennes (the only place to get the V8 in 2018) still run about $100,000 or more. New Cayenne Turbos start at $127,800 before options and top out at the E-hybrid Turbo S starting at an eye-popping $167,000.

Conclusions

2018 Porsche Cayenne - carsforsale.com

2018 Porsche Cayenne – carsforsale.com |  Shop Porsche Cayenne on Carsforsale.com

Given the steep depreciation of the Cayenne, it makes a lot of financial sense to buy one used if you’re at all concerned about the cost. You can save anywhere from 40-50% off when buying a three-year-old version compared to buying new.

Buying a used Cayenne means purchasing someone else’s idea of the perfect Porsche. Because there are so many expensive features and packages available on the Porsche Cayenne, you’ll have to scrupulously read the features list of any used Cayenne to make sure you’re getting your must-haves without overspending on things you don’t really want or need. This attention to detail is important when buying any used car, but it’s doubly true when buying a used Porsche.

2021 Porsche Cayenne - porsche.com
2021 Porsche Cayenne - porsche.com

With that said, if you take your time searching for the perfect example to suit your needs, you can save between 40-50% off a new Cayenne. That’s a lot of money. And don’t worry, your used Porsche Cayenne will drive just (or almost) as marvelously as a new one would.

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Chris Kaiser
Chris Kaiser

Chris’ greatest passions include topiary, spelunking, and pushing aging compact cars well past 200,000 miles on cross-country road trips. His taste in cars runs from the classic and esoteric to the deeply practical with an abiding affection for VW Things, old Studebakers, and all things hybrid-crossover.

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