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2008 Porsche Cayenne

Overview
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2008 Porsche Cayenne Review

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When in 1998 Porsche announced it was going to build an SUV, the proclamation was greeted with scoffs and pure horror. How could Porsche turn its back on its heritage by introducing a lumbering sport utility vehicle, many asked. But days after the vehicle, called Cayenne, came to market in 2002, it was clearly a success. It didn't so much change Porsche's basic character as extend it, because the Cayenne quickly became renowned as the sports car of the SUV set&#151a vehicle with off-road credentials that was also a fulfilling to drive. Now the second generation of the Cayenne has arrived, and though it takes a practiced eye to discern the changes from the outside, the changes on the inside have enhanced its previously high capabilities. For example, power and fuel efficiency are both up across the board.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you like the command-position of a taller vehicle and off-highway capability combined with an uncommon level of performance and handling, we think you'll like the Porsche Cayenne.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you seek an SUV for the ability to tote and tow giant loads while feeling like a rec room on wheels, you may not find all you seek in the Cayenne.

What's New for 2008

Porsche calls its 2008 Cayenne the second generation of the vehicle, but that is not nearly as noticeable from the exterior styling as it is from the engine choices and the new level of equipment.

Driving the Cayenne

Driving Impressions While we expected the Porsche Cayenne to excel in spirited on-road driving, it was the extensive off-road driving we did in the Cayenne that was a revelation to us. Thanks...

largely to its very sophisticated systems like the optional air suspension system, traction management and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, the Cayenne is a superior off-highway performer, making quick work of imposing grades. As you'd guess, the 500-horsepower Cayenne Turbo is an exciting performer, but buyers with smaller checking accounts (or perhaps simply more conservative with their auto expenditures) will find satisfaction in the V6-powered Cayenne and the V8-powered Cayenne S. In back-to-back comparison, the optional active Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control offers advantages in counteracting body roll but at a stiff price versus the already exemplary Cayenne suspension. For a vehicle with such a wide variety of capabilities, ride quality is excellent and attention to detail borders on sublime.

The Sport Button
There is something appealingly cartoon-like about a button on the dash that, when pushed, offers, as Porsche describes it, "extra dynamism." Who doesn't want that?

Real Off-Road Capabilities
It would have been simple for Porsche to go light on the all-terrain capabilities of its SUV, since it is likely many of its drivers will never venture off asphalt, so it is more than reassuring to know that Porsche engineers took their rough-country mandate seriously and created a vehicle that can slog through slime.

2008 Porsche Cayenne Details
Interior

While the Cayenne is the most commodious of all Porsche models, its interior retains the same sophisticated luxury feel offered by sports cars like the 911. In proper Porsche fashion, the ignition lock is placed to the left of the steering column, while the instrument faces have the no-nonsense look of a sports model. The switches that adjust the suspension are integrated into a busy center console. The "offroad switch" is a toggle that allows quick adjustment of various chassis and suspension settings, and it is accompanied by the Sports button, which alters the responsiveness of the engine and the suspension. Both rows of seats are finished in leather, and leather also decorates the steering wheel rim, door handles, grab handles and other areas where many luxury models use simulated coverings. With rear seats up, the Cayenne accommodates a substantial 19 cubic feet of cargo, but unlike several other European luxury SUVs there is no third-row option.

Exterior
2008 Porsche Cayenne photo

If you are a fan of the previous-generation Porsche Cayenne, you will like the new model. The changes are subtle, but they make both esthetic and functional sense. For instance, the headlights have been moved to the outside of the front fascia and covered with clear glass, improving looks and offering an aerodynamic benefit. The coefficient of drag has been lowered substantially offering potential fuel economy benefits. Even the standard 17-inch wheels have presence, but the available 20- and 21-inch wheels really show off the huge brakes and calipers that are fitted on the car, a utilitarian style statement.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Befitting a Porsche SUV, the Cayenne is fitted with a highly sophisticated four-wheel-drive system called Porsche Traction Management (PTM). Using a multiplicity of sensors and inputs, PTM determines the optimum front-to-rear power split with the ability to provide up to 100 percent of engine torque to the front or rear wheels. Also standard is Porsche Stability Management (PSM), which guards against rollover and increases the effectiveness of the brakes on loose and slippery surfaces. Safety gear includes airbags for driver and front passenger, two thorax side airbags and two side curtain airbags. A full complement of convenience items like power seats, power door locks power-operated rear lift gate and 12-speaker audio system are also standard.

Optional Equipment

The most notable of the Cayenne's options is the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) system, which uses computer-controlled hydraulics to counteract body roll in cornering and transient maneuvers. The system uses active, motor-driven anti-roll bars instead of passive anti-roll bars to aid the Cayenne in achieving flatter attitudes for a feeling of security. PDCC is only available on Cayennes affixed with the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) air suspension. Standard on the Cayenne Turbo and optional on Cayenne and Cayenne S, the system offers integrated self-leveling and ride-height adjustment depending upon conditions and driver desires. Somewhat more mundane but still useful options are a trailer hitch and a cargo-area management system.

Under the Hood

The engines in the various Cayenne trim levels represent an embarrassment of riches. All three&#1513.6-liter V6, 4.8-liter V8 and 4.8-liter biturbo V8&#151offer more overall horsepower and torque output and better fuel economy than the previous Cayenne engine lineup. One key reason is the use of direct gasoline injection technology, which results in up to 15 percent lower fuel consumption plus up to 12 percent better vehicle acceleration. Variable valve timing and a two-stage input in the naturally aspirated V8 are other contributors.

3.6-liter V6
290 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
273 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (manual and 6-speed automatic)

4.8-liter V8
385 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
369 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19 (w/6-speed automatic)

4.8-liter twin-turbo V8
500 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
516 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/19 (w/6-speed automatic)

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2008 Porsche Cayenne Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 157 Ratings for the 2003 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Great car

By on Sunday, December 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 183,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Very long lasting, comfortable attractive great ca"

Cons: "some repairs can be more pricey than with other ca"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've had this car for almost 7 years and it has been an awesome car. No real problems ever. It has 183k miles and still runs like a dream"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great SUV, powerful and fun.

By on Monday, December 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Solid German quality, fun to drive."

Cons: "Gets 14 MPG on Premium fuel."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I've had my Cayenne S for about six months and in that time I've driven it about 4000 miles. For peace of mind I did the required 80,000 mile service soon after I purchased it. The service was done at the local Porsche dealer. It was recommended that I replace the coolant pipes and I did so. The plastic pipes on first generation Cayennes are a known problem and are replaced with proper metal ones, and torqued properly! Other than that the headliner was replaced as it was sagging from 9 years in the Florida heat. Now I have a reliable fun vehicle which I love. No issues though admittedly my wallet is $4000.00 lighter."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Great deal for the dollars

By on Friday, November 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Look, interior finish, fun, price, reliability,"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I was looking for a fun, stylish but every day commute car. The Cayenne has always car I was looking at and I finally decided to go for one. I was a bit concerned about maintenance costs and reliability of a +80kmiles car, but gave it a try. I drive the 2006 Cayenne S Titanium edition and love it. It's been a year an a half and I never have any problems. The car is amazing, has a real luxury style and even with 8 years the car still looks sharp and sounds great. For someone who wants to own a Porsche and don't want to spend +80KUSD on a new one, the used ones are a very good deal. You don't need to maintain it with Porsche, but may find a local Porsche certified mechanics and he will take care of your ride for 50% less"

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

fun, enticing, rewarding, safe with utlity

By on Thursday, October 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Porsche - all I can say"

Cons: "make sure you can afford new tires and brakes 20K"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Love it, have had P cars since 2001 - this is my 3rd cayenne, I had a 04 CS, a 06 CTT and later a 09 CS. Loved each one, only got better with time, 2009 has a fantastic Nav, bluetooth and phone system in it. 2008 + have better MPG, better looks, better acceleration and better reliability. These cars love tires and brakes, other than that the car is solid. I did purchase a extended warranty and I am glad I did. had a few repairs and it was all covered by warranty. try buying it from a private party to save on taxes, fees and ensure the service is up to date."

9 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Love the look and feel!

By on Monday, October 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 142,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Expensive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"The main issue is cost of major repairs which on two occasions over ten years have cost $1,500 each. The car drives very well... feels like a sport car! It looks awesome and often gets me compliments from complete strangers"

3 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Awesome SUV!

By on Tuesday, September 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Extremely fast and fun to drive!"

Cons: "Poor gas mileage & expensive to service and repair"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"If you are going to purchase a Cayenne, I can only suggest you get a Turbo. Even if you do not want to pay new car prices, find one that is a dealer lease return with some factory warranty still intact. I would also advise getting an extended warranty. Mine has paid for itself...Nothing major as far as repairs, but the parts can be costly."

16 people out of 29 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?