The Warrior

The 2008 Cayenne S is not my oldest car or even my oldest Porsche, but it has been a hardworking vehicle since I bought it. Now with almost 300,000 kilometres, it will soon be replaced with a new Cayenne GTS in the spring, from Porsche Downtown Toronto. It is a very basic spec — no sunroof, no premium leather or upgraded sound system, no navigation, no premium wheels — but has just what I need: a V8, heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

The body now has myriad scratches and dents. It has towed cars on trailers for about 65,000 kilometres including over very hilly terrain. Never garaged, it has stood outside in Canadian winters and blazing Arizona heat. It has gone off-road in canyons and has run through very deep snow in its life. I have other Porsches and, for all, I stick rigidly to full dealer servicing, apart from tires.

How reliable has it been? It has never failed. At about 200,000 kilometres it had major work to replace camshaft lifters, and since then has had replacement power steering and completely new brakes. The rest has been routine. I recently did an 8,000-kilometre run through the United States and the vehicle behaved as new despite its fairly shabby appearance. It will cruise all day at high speeds in the more lenient speed limits in places like Texas and still burns no oil. It will not win at a concours unless there is a congeniality award.

I think what makes the Cayenne such an exceptional vehicle is the ability to drive over 1,000 kilometres in a day and still arrive without being overly tired. The SUV is quiet, has very well-designed seats and highly predictable handling. The time has come to move on, but this has been without doubt the most reliable vehicle I have owned, with 13 years of bullet-proof performance. </>

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