Long-Term Update 7: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid
10 months and 21,437 miles
With a handful of major holidays, a few weddings, and a day trip vacation or two in the past few months, I've now put nearly 6000 miles on the Porsche and I'm running out of challenges to throw at it.
Thanksgiving saw an 1100-mile road trip rolling right up the middle of California to the Feather River Valley. While there, I indulged in some light off-roading, climbing the same rutted, muddy fire road I took with a Ram Power Wagon a few years ago. The Cayenne wasn't as sure-footed climbing the steep side trails I took the Ram up, but with a fair bit of wheel spin it clawed its way up, on totally road-biased summer tires, no less. Then I dropped it in Sport mode and it held its own around the curves heading down the canyon. I managed 545 miles on that tank of fuel despite more than 4000 vertical feet of elevation change, the off-roading, and the canyon carving. Not bad at all.
As mentioned in a previous update, we stopped in the middle of an 800-mile road trip before Christmas to cut our own tree. It spent 400 miles wrapped in a tarp laying across the cargo area and folded rear seats due to the lack of roof rails. A few weeks later, I pulled a similar trick balancing three snowboards and two pairs of skis over the rear seats and between the fronts while four friends and I craned around them for a trip up to the mountains for some night skiing. No snow on the road, so the summer tires weren't a liability, though it did drop just below freezing.
Most recently, I used it to help my brother move two hours north. In doing so, we learned that the Cayenne has about as much cargo space with the seats folded as a Honda Fit with its seats down. The 380-horsepower Cayenne S Hybrid was totally unfazed by the extra weight in the back, something that cannot be said for the Fit.
In all that, the only problem I had with the Caynne was the cargo cover. The issue comes in trying to remove it so you can load bulkier items, like a tree or a box full of sports equipment. To get the cargo cover out, you press a small button on the passenger side of the cover and pull inward on the housing. It only moves about an inch, which means the cover is just barely narrow enough to finagle out of the vehicle as long as you keep that spring-loaded housing pulled back. It's a small gripe, but when it comes time to use an SUV to actually haul something, it's a needless frustration.
All that's left now is to tow something with its Class 2 hitch. The Cayenne is rated to tow up to 7700 lbs, but with no trailer brake, it's limited to just 1650 lbs. Anyone want to lend me a jet ski?
|Months/miles in service||10/21,437|
|Avg econ/CO2||19.8 mpg/0.98 lb/mi|
|Energy cons||170 kW-hr/100 mi|
|Maintenance cost||$370.55 (oil change, inspection)|