Insty posted a link to the Car & Driver long-term road test of the Porsche Cayenne SUV, and while I am generally a fan of Porsche (other than their Germanic penchant for over-engineering and the fact that all their cars are pig-ugly), there were still a couple of things pointed out in the study which set my teeth on edge, to whit:
The perfect long-term car is one that delivers 40,000 happy miles, and our 2019 Cayenne is well on its way to achieving that platonic ideal. It’s never left us stranded, and so far all of our gripes have been handled by the dealer.
You know what? That reliability is a given nowadays, thanks to manufacturers like Honda and Toyota, In fact, after shelling out the ~$100K for a fucking SUV, I would demand that nothing breaks in the first 40,000 miles. But that’s not the end of it.
While that 10K service and recall work didn’t come with an invoice, the 20,000-mile service reminded us that Porsche ownership is just as expensive as it sounds. It set us back $632. In addition to the work done at the 10K visit, the 20K visit calls for replacement of both the cabin and the engine air filters. The dealer also replaced some worn-out wipers for $82.
I know, I know: if you can’t afford the maintenance, don’t buy the car. Over six hundred for a lousy 20k service, and eighty-plus bucks for a pair of windshield wipers? Ah don’ theenk so, Manfred.
But that’s not the worst of it. Enter the most useless fucking technology ever inflicted on car owners, all for the sake of eco-consciousness:
An aggressive stop-start system often kills the engine too early, and the restart occasionally comes with a horrible driveline thud. Disabling stop-start eliminates the thud, but we can’t help but wonder if the occasional transmission stumble on cold mornings is related and a sign of something else going on with the ZF automatic.
I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: if I buy any car, this stupid stop-start bullshit would be turned off before I left the dealership. (And if it couldn’t be turned off permanently, it’s to a different car brand I’d be going.) As for the Cayenne, any kind of “driveline thud” is a Bad Thing. I can’t believe the C&D testers didn’t address the issue after the first hundred miles, let alone after forty thousand. (Don’t even get me started on the engineering philosophy behind an “aggressive stop-start system, or we’ll be here all day.)
I seldom pay much attention to new-car tests because all new cars are going to be okay. It’s the long-term tests that are interesting because that’s what exposes faulty materials, engineering or design.
And I’m sorry, but all the joys of “90mph cruising” (with the concomitant shitty fuel consumption) don’t compensate for all the above.