Want a unique car that is also practical? This is the SUV for you.
We've lost count the number of times people have asked us what car they should buy. Often it's help solving the typical American cay buyer's dilemma of whether to buy a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, while enthusiast buyers want help pinpointing the next instant collectible. Enthusiasts want everything - an affordable car that is practical enough to drive everyday, yet unique enough to actually make them some money one day. Finding a car like this is no easy task, but we may have something for them to think about.
A future collectible car isn't typically attainable, because most of the limited edition supercars that end up increasing in value are expensive, sold out, and impractical to drive everyday. What we have chosen here is not a limited run supercar. Instead, we present a run-of-the-mill luxury SUV that you can find parked on every Beverly Hills street corner: the Porsche Cayenne. You may be wondering how such a mass-market luxury SUV could possibly be a future collectible. For that, we have to look back a few years in the Cayenne's spec sheet to find a very intriguing option: a manual transmission. Few people know this, but the Cayenne was actually available for several years with the option of a stick.
Porsche sold a Cayenne with three pedals specifically for enthusiasts, so why don't more people know about it? For starters, almost no one actually opted for the manual transmission, making a three pedal Cayenne quite the rare find. Secondly, the most powerful Cayenne Turbo and Turbo S were never offered with the manual, which likely disappointed most of the wealthy enthusiasts who may have bought one. Finally, even today few enthusiasts realize that the Cayenne ever came with a manual transmission option because they are extremely difficult to find on the used market. This is partly due to the car's rarity, but mainly it's a result of a major flaw in most dealership and used car listing websites.
Anyone who has ever shopped for an E46 M3 knows that used car listings are notoriously incorrect when listing the transmission. Most dealerships make their used listings before pictures of the car are available, and their system defaults to the base transmission offered on that trim level and model year. In the case of the M3, many SMG cars are listed as manual because that was the base transmission option. Likewise, when we searched for manual transmission Cayenne models for this article, we had to sift through dozens of interior photos to discover which cars actually had the manual transmission and which were simply labeled incorrectly.
All told, there are three types of Cayenne models offered with a manual, one of which could well end up being a valuable collectible. Here's why the other two won't be. When the Cayenne was first released back in 2004, only the base model with the 240-horsepower 3.2-liter V6 was available with a manual transmission. We found a 2005 example for around $9,000, but it is realistically too slow to be a collectible. However, in 2008 Porsche revealed the GTS, which came with a 4.8-liter V8 producing 405 hp. This is the Cayenne you want to buy. Joy of joys, the first generation Cayenne GTS was sold with a six-speed manual transmission option.
We sifted through dozens of Cayenne GTS listings, but we could only find a single example with this rare transmission option. The car is a white 2009 model with around 74,000 miles on the odometer. The owner, Jeff, is currently asking $29,995 because he knows what he has. Nearly $30,000 is a lot to spend on a first generation Cayenne, considering a used Turbo can be purchased for around half as much. We think it may be worth the price considering its rarity and the proclivity for Porsche models to increase in value. To this day, the naturally aspirated GTS is one of the best sounding Cayenne models ever produced.
Just imagine hearing this V8 sound track with the added pleasure of rowing your own gears. When the Cayenne reached its second generation, it was once again offered with an extremely rare manual transmission option.
Unfortunately, this time around the GTS was automatic only, leaving the manual for the base 3.6-liter V6 with 300 hp. 300 hp and a manual transmission could make for some fun, but we still don't think it will be worth big money in the future. We managed to find a white 2014 with 60,000 miles on the odometer for $31,998 at a dealership in Florida. If you adon't mind sacrificing over 100 hp for a more modern vehicle with better technology and a nicer interior, the second generation Cayenne isn't a bad option.