Porsche Cars You Should Avoid Buying

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 11/25/20 •  6 min read

Porsche is such brand that has a long history of making exciting cars that are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. They are engineered to provide sheer driving pleasure and for decades they have been the number one choice for buyers interested in buying a car that provides luxury as well as superb performance.

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The brand’s success speaks for itself. According to a reliable database company Statista, Porsche sold nearly 280,800 vehicles worldwide in 2019. It is a 10% jump from the previous year 2018. However ,there are some porsche cars you should avoid buying . The brand performed poorly in terms of reliability, according to Repairpal the brand scored only 2/5 in terms of reliability score, which places it at the last of all the car brands. The average Porsche visits a repair shop nearly 0.8 times a year for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and about 21% of repairs are considered severe.
Porsche was ranked as #28 brand in terms of reliability by Carwow:

Porsche Cars You Should Avoid Buying

Why Are Porsche Cars Unreliable?

One reason why Porsche has ranked as one of the most unreliable car brands is the cost of repairs and the number of maintenance issues per 100 vehicles. Germans are known for over-engineering their vehicles in order to set them apart from other competitors and Porsche is no exception. The automaker uses some of the most modern electronics in its cars which often breakdown and cost a fortune to repair. Some of Porsche’s cars are fitted with nearly 100 computer modules for a variety of functions to provide a better driving experience. The average repair cost for some of Porsche’s luxury SUVs such as the Cayenne and the Macan is approximately $1000, which is pretty expensive.

Listed below are the Porsche models that you should avoid buying as they have received the most number of complaints according to carcomplaints. These models can in fact be termed as the most unreliable Porsche vehicles:

Why Are Porsche Cars Unreliable?
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⦁ 2011 Porsche Cayenne
⦁ 2003 Porsche Boxster
⦁ 2004 Porsche Cayenne
⦁ 2011 Porsche Panamera
⦁ 2000 Porsche Boxster

2011 Porsche Cayenne

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The 2011 Porsche tops the list of least dependable Porsche cars. Porsche Cayenne was probably the first luxury SUV offered by a German automaker. Most reported complaints are related to the engine when the engine completely died due to a malfunction. The average repair cost for this particular problem was $1100.

At number second lies the premature brake wear whose repair cost averaged at a whopping $3000. Worthy to mention here is the fact that all of these problems occurred between 15,000-50,000 miles which is worrisome as most of the Japanese luxury cars have no complaints at this stage.

Overheating and windshield related problems combined were the third most occurring faults. The sealant around the windshield was not properly applied which caused excessive wind noise at higher speeds. The repair costs for the overheating issue are estimated at $1600 whereas the fixing cost for the windshield problem isn’t available.
Other problems related to the transmission and the safety systems were also reported, but they are a minority compared to the faults mentioned above.

2003 Porsche Boxster

Porsche Cars You Should Avoid Buying
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Porsche’s luxury mid-engine two-seater sports car ranks second in the list of least dependable Porsche vehicles. The severity rating for 2003 Boxster stands at “really awful”, with electrical problems being the most reported ones. The electrical problems are not related to short circuits but are rather connected to some knobs and ignition key malfunctions.

As expected, the engine problems also bugged most of the users as they lie in the number second spot. Intermediate shaft bearing and rattles were most commonly reported, with the shaft repair cost standing at a whopping $14,200. Like the Porsche Cayenne, all of these malfunctions resulted in rather low mileage Cayennes, and fortunately, some of them were covered in the warranty.

2004 Porsche Cayenne

Porsche Cayenne is one of the best-selling Porsche vehicles and coincidentally one of the least reliable Porsche vehicles. The first attempt of Porsche at making a luxury SUV was plagued with a long list of faults, the most common of which was the cooling system, which can be attributed to the extensive use of plastics in the cooling system.

The drivetrain and electrical faults do not lag far behind and also make a successful entry to the list. Like many German counterparts, the majority of the problems were reported when the car started to age, with an average repair cost costing approximately $3000.

Porsche Cars You Should Avoid Buying
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2011 Porsche Panamera

The S-class and the 7-series competitor, the Porsche Panamera was no exception when it comes to reliability. Some reported problems started to emerge when the car was relatively new and had only clocked 1000 miles e.g. sensor issues. This again can be attributed to the inclusion of several sensors in German cars that are prone to fail anytime.

Some other malfunctions in the 2011 Panamera are complex and cost thousands of bucks. Some notable examples are engine problems, transmission problems, and suspension issues. The repair cost for engine issues is estimated at $6,700 whereas the cost for other malfunctions isn’t available but it is safe to assume that they will also cost a small fortune as they are major issues.

2000 Porsche Boxster:

The iconic 2000 Porsche Boxster ranks last on the position of top 5 unreliable vehicles. Like most of its siblings, several issues were related to the cooling and electrical system, with engine & transmission problems also agitating the owners. As one would expect, the most expensive repair was the engine failure which cost approximately $8000 to fix, although it appeared at quite a later stage. Other minor issues such as alarm control unit and loss of engine power due to a fault in fuel supply popped up at rather an early mileage of approximately 35,000 miles.

Future Prospects

Porsche Cars You Should Avoid Buying
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The prospects look pleasant for Porsche as in recent years the company has focused on their shortcomings. In 2017, J.D Power ranked the brand on top of their dependability study which is no mean feat for a brand that has consistently ranked on the bottom of these studies for several years. The above list also proves that the later model Porsche cars are more reliable compared to the older ones, for which the brand should be applauded.

Another factor that may contribute to a better reliability rating in the future is the gradual shift towards EV technology. Porsche Taycan may prove to be much more reliable than other Porsche models as there are fewer moving parts and as a result, there is less wear & tear. Only time will tell whether the Taycan will be able to improve the image of Porsche regarding reliability.

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.