The standard Carrera model undercuts more exclusive rivals such as the Aston Martin Vantage and Audi R8 by a wide margin, but does look quite expensive next to the Jaguar F-type Coupe.
The meagre amount of standard equipment (more on that later) means it’s easy to add thousands of pounds to the price, and discounts are hard to come by. Porsche also tightly controls the number of cars built, so waiting lists are usually at least three months. However, this does mean that resale values are consistently strong. Just bear in mind that depreciation becomes a bigger issue as you move up the range towards the Turbo versions, which (while cheaper than similarly rapid supercars like the McLaren 570S) are expensive to buy and run. An Audi R8 is cheaper to buy and better equipped as standard, which is another reason we favour it over the Porsche 911 Turbo.
Other running costs are comparatively good. Automatic rear-wheel-drive models offer the lowest CO2 emissions, while the Carrera PDK auto promises more than 38mpg (although you won’t see anywhere near that in real-world driving).
Porsche 911 equipment
Some basic items aren’t fitted as standard
We’d go for the entry-level Carrera version, which offers the best value for money and comes with leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, a touchscreen sat-nav system and bi-xenon headlights. Several desirable bits of equipment aren’t included, though; cruise control, heated seats and rain-sensing wipers are all on the options list, as are parking sensors.
Despite a big price increase over the entry-level car, the Carrera S still doesn’t come with electrically folding door mirrors, rear parking sensors or a rear wiper as standard.
In fact, only the flagship Turbo models come with a substantial list of equipment – as you’d expect of any car that costs considerably more than £120,000.
Porsche 911 reliability
Reliability record isn’t good; expensive repair bills
Porsche had to fix a high-profile reliability problem with the 911 GT3 after several cars caught fire due to a faulty engine part. Also, Porsche as a brand came towards the bottom of all the manufacturers featured in our most recent reliability survey. So despite the solid-feeling interior, it seems the 911 is not free from mechanical issues. Repairs or replacement parts from a main dealer are expensive, too.
On the plus side, the 911 comes with a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty covering all of its major mechanical parts (you can also pay extra for an extended warranty), plus you get three years’ European breakdown cover.
Porsche 911 safety & security
The key safety features are standard
Six airbags are standard, as is a sophisticated stability control system. There are also Isofix child seat-mounting points on each rear seat; an Isofix point on the front passenger seat is a cost option.
The options list doesn’t include some of the more advanced safety aids such as blindspot monitoring or lane-keep assist that are available on several rivals, but you can get adaptive cruise control, which will automatically apply the brakes if it senses an impending crash.
The 911 hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP, so no scores are currently available.
An engine immobiliser and an alarm are standard, but if you want more protection you can pay for Porsche’s vehicle tracking system, which makes it possible to trace stolen vehicles across most of Europe. Thankfully, the 911 will be a hard car to steal; security experts Thatcham awarded it five out of five for resisting being stolen and being broken into.
The basic 911 comes with 19in alloy wheels, leather seats, sat-nav and a DAB radio as standard. It’s our favourite version although, at the very least, you’ll want to pay extra for cruise control, parking sensors, heated seats and rain-sensing wipers.
3.0 Carrera S
Comes with 20in alloy wheels, leather seats, sat-nav and a DAB radio as standard. However, at the very least, you’ll want to pay extra for cruise control, parking sensors, heated seats and rain-sensing wipers.
It comes with a PDK automatic gearbox; a manual ’box is not available. The motorsport-influenced GT3 is cheaper and more sparsely equipped than the Turbo models, but it’s also more fun to drive.
4.0 GT3 RS
It’s a riot to drive but extremely limited number mean that, unless your name is already in the waiting list, you won’t be able to buy one. You don’t even get air-con as standard, although this can be added as an optional extra.
This model gets a bespoke chassis set-up complete with adjustable suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes, carbonfibre body panels, GT3-style wide body, and full carbonfibre bucket seats. You can add the colour touchscreen and nav module for no extra cost, on top of the standard electric windows and manual air-conditioning.
Like the Turbo S, it comes with four-wheel drive and a PDK automatic gearbox. The Turbo 911 has a wide rear wing, side air vents and four exhaust pipes to help distinguish it from other versions. Full-electric seat adjustment and rear parking sensors are also standard, as they should be for the price.
3.8 Turbo S
You’re firmly into supercar money by the time you get to the 911 Turbo S, and the equipment list reflects that, with yet more leather (even compared with the Turbo’s cabin) and a Bose surround sound infotainment system.