We drove to Leicester to look at a ML350 which was the wrong side of scruffy, especially at an asking price north of £7000. The same dealer did have a Land Rover Defender 50th Anniversary for sale at £30,000, a price that represented a £120k saving on the V8-powered one Land Rover has just made for the iconic 4x4’s 70th birthday. Not enough to persuade Mrs R.
Our interest in another ML350 waned when it became clear that the selling dealer was flogging the car for a mate and the price was north of £9000. ML500s were next on our list, but we decided we didn’t want a V8.
For a brief period we considered a Lexus RX, even if it is rather dull. A hybrid version was a temptation, but ones that are more than a decade old might need some battery parts and I read online about someone who spent £2000, which put me off.
All this time my mate Bradley was sending me details of motors hot off the part-exchange merry-go-round. The best was a Range Rover Vogue, which looked lovely, but it was still a Land Rover and, despite the BMW 4.4 V8 under the bonnet, it wasn’t enough to make me take the plunge. Then Mrs R saw a Porsche Cayenne and we were off. As I mentioned earlier, we didn’t need a V8, so we spent a day shopping for a V6, rejecting one on the grounds that it was rather too black and scruffy.
Then we went and bought a 2006 example with issues. On the test drive, it made a woofling sound that seemed to be something to do with the air intake. There was also a ding or two and it needed a service so we agreed to let them sort it out. We sold the X5 and waited. And waited. They said they were buying a special tool from America to stop the woofling... so we unbought it.
It turned out that we did want a V8, after all. There was one that was pricey, fairly close to home. Oddly enough, it had the same ‘woof ling induction sound’, plus the tailgate would not stay open. If you’d seen the number of Cayennes we had, that was a pretty standard issue. The dealer wanted £9800 for a 2006 car but, for that kind of money, we wanted things fixed. They looked at us like we were too much trouble and never called back. Perhaps they weren’t car blokes, although they virtually high-fived me for turning up in my E21 3 Series.