For $16,999, Pick a Peck of Porsche Pepper

On the Scoville Scale of Chilli Pepper heat, the Cayenne pepper ranks about midway. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Porsche Cayenne is likewise the mid-model S, and you can decide whether its price is hot or not.

Some people love spicy food, while others, whether due to constitution or the taste, can't stand it. When Porsche introduced their first four-door, and it turned out to be a Sport Utility, the general reaction was pretty much the same. Regardless, the Cayenne has turned into a major money maker for the Stuttgart brand, bringing whole new categories of buyers into the Porsche fold - people like soccer moms, dentists, and celebrity teens.

For $16,999, Pick a Peck of Porsche Pepper

And while Porsche has made its reputation in sports cars, the sport in sport utility isn't in reference to driving heroics, but to the vehicle's ability to bring its passengers to places where they might engage in other sporting activities. To that end, a sport utility is typically 4-wheel, or all-wheel drive, the better able to get to the ski slopes. It also typically has some sort of towing capacity, making the trailering of lake lice jet skis or a speed boat possible. Or, perhaps it's the ample roof space and rack mounts allowing for the transport of bicycles or JATO-equipped toboggan. Whatever the use, most sport utilities weigh heavily on the utility portion of the name.

For $16,999, Pick a Peck of Porsche Pepper

Not so the Cayenne. Even in the 2004 mid-level S trim - there's also a V6-powered Cayenne cheapie, and the gnarly Turbo - this five-door estate puts the sport before the ute. This one has nearly a hundred grand on the odo, but still looks freshly popped from its blister pack, aside from the typical hazing of the headlamp covers. Behind those lights beats the Cayenne's heart, a 340-bhp, 4,806-cc V8, and backing that up is Porsche's 6-speed Tipronic and a dual range 4-wheel drive system. Taking learnings from the 911 and heroic 959 4-wheel drive systems, the nominally 38% front/62% rear, computer controlled center diff puts the power where it's needed, and when it is. That makes it capable of moving the 5,300-lb Porsche to sixty from a standstill in under 7 seconds, and insuring confidence both on and off road. Of course disc brakes all around make scrubbing off that speed about as easy as making it.

For $16,999, Pick a Peck of Porsche Pepper

This 2004 champaign over biscuit Cayenne should be comfortable no matter where you go or how fast you get there. The dealer has done a nice job of prepping the car - unlike many sellers who seem confident that the family of raccoons living in the footwells and I <3 BDSM bumper sticker evident in the ad photos won't affect shopper's perception of their car.

For $16,999, Pick a Peck of Porsche Pepper

For $16,999, Pick a Peck of Porsche Pepper

And now it's time for you to weigh in on your perception of this clean Cayenne, and its $16,999 dealer asking price. It may be helpful to note that, when new, this Porsche went out the door for close to seventy grand, making its depreciation over the past seven years almost 75%, or about 10% per year. With that kind of a curve, in a couple more years these things should be in the same category as apartment-dweller offered 928s, and about as scary to buy. This one is in amazing shape - at least in the pics - and barring any funky OBDII codes it throw up, unfathomable electrical gremlins, or smoky exhaust, it should be good for a few more miles at least. And it costs about as much as new Toyota Crapolla.

So what do you think, is $16,999 a deal for this hot Porsche pepper? Or, does that price leave you cold?

You decide!

San Francisco Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears.

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