By on 2021-03-05 -
Porsche 911 - Used
I'LL never forget the day I first had a drive in a Porsche 911. It plastered a grin on my face that was still there two days later.
And that was a long time ago, when the cars were not easy to drive, with very difficult clutch and brake pedals coming up out of the floor.
Driving a 911 on a good road is like a birthday every day for anyone who loves cars as I do.
But let's face it, they are about as family friendly as a pushbike - and there are probably lots of other downsides - if I could only think of them. Talk about rose tinted glasses.
The 911 has been around forever and most have been cherished by loving owners at great expense.
So that means even though they might have been driven hard, they have also been properly taken care of at the right regular intervals.
And not surprisingly, that means you can buy one for much less than you might think, and be pretty sure it's going to continue being reliable.
But always make sure any secondhand model you are interested in has the essential full service history, either from a dealer or from one of the many Porsche specialists around the country. Any owner who hasn't kept it up to date deserves to lose a lot of money.
For this appraisal, I'll concentrate on the cars built between 2013 and 2019 and the figures are all for the coupe.
But of course, during that time, there have also been cabriolet, targa, turbo and GT3 models available.
And prices for earlier cars - complete with service history - are down to under Â£10,000 at mileages of around 120,000 to 130,000.
Between 2013 and 19 the standard Carrera was available with two or four wheel drive and with either a seven speed manual or a seven speed PDK automatic gearbox.
Many cars will have the auto and these are almost as fast as the manuals. The 4WD versions gain little over 2WD apart from greater security in slippery conditions.
The lowest powered is the 3.4-litre Carrera 2, but lowest is relative in this context, when you find that it comes with 345bhp, and covers the 0 to 60 sprint in 4.5 seconds.
Next comes the 3.0-litre, which, though smaller, has 364bhp and covers the sprint in 4 seconds. The most powerful is a 3.8 with 493bhp, which brings that figure down to 3.7.
The 3.4 will do 34 miles per gallon, while the 3 litre raises that to 38 and the 3.8 drops it to around 21.
So, in a straight line, there is little on the market to match the performance you get from a 911. If that was all, we would all no doubt be hugely impressed.
However, the handling and roadholding are so good that it is one of the most involving and entertaining cars ever made, and feels as stable at 130 miles an hour on the autobahn as it does parked outside the house.
Older models are noisy and have so much power that care is needed in wet weather, but by this era all had the electronic safety devices to keep you safe. Also, for such an out and out supercar, comfort in most is very good.
The 911 has been one of THE supercars of every era since it was launched, well able to hold its own against all the rest.
But standard equipment has not been the best down the years, so make sure the one you intend to buy has extras like cruise control, parking sensors or anything else that you want.
Pay about Â£30,000 for a '12 12-reg 3.0 Carrera manual, or Â£53,000 for a '16 16-reg Carrera 4 S PDK automatic.
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