1998 Porsche 911 996 Carrera 2 Convertible 3.4 from Germany


Practical super-car, I think so


Nothing - still early days.

General Comments:

This car exceeded my expectations in just about every way. Previously I had an M3 E36 and I thought I would have to compromise cabin ergonomics and comfort, especially having been in 911's, 964's and a 993 before, which frankly have solid, but slightly agricultural feels to them. I was wrong. The build quality and detailing is excellent, the controls thoughtful and ergonomic. The M3 looks dated and inferior quality both inside and out in comparison. It's easy to drive with no nasty quirks, and the limiting factor is you, not the car.

And the performance. On paper similar to the M3 but in reality massively better in terms of handling, driving sensation and not being geared to 155 mph, almost unending acceleration. It's the difference between feeling like you're in a performance car, and a super-car - maybe a bad analogy, but it's just in a different league.

Based in Germany I have the luxury of being able to drive fast. Without trying you can reach 170mph (c.270kmh). No dramatics, no "land speed record" scariness (you have to do it with your new car), it really is that effortless. The handling was still rock solid.

On B roads this car is incredible fun.

Maybe muted compared to previous Porsches, but relative to BMW's and other makes, the engine sounds great. I'm still at the stage where I turn the stereo off and put the window down every once in a while to get the whole effect.

Again, with CD and D-S-P the stereo is excellent quality and easily comparable to (say) BMW's E40 H-K sound upgrade.

The hard-top is not quite as quiet as a coupe, but it's certainly still a pleasure to drive at speed on the autobahn, still hear the stereo or have a conversation. For the most part it feels like a coupe, although there are probably a few more creaks.

It's definitely not a raucous racer, it doesn't have the rawness of a Ferrari 355 or T.V.R., and it won't give you the go-kart feel of a Elise. But I drive this to work every day, service it once every 12 months, and look forward to driving it at the weekends.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2004

14th May 2004, 06:29

Comprehensive review. Your English is pretty good for a German bloke as well!

Have you had any problems with the soft top?

This has to be the sexiest car for the money.

26th Oct 2013, 06:00

Interesting assumption that a review on a German car from someone living in Germany, would necessarily lead to believe that they are German.

1998 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.4 from UK and Ireland


Needs to feel more stirring


Paint quality issues: When the car was delivered the dealer explained a very obvious paint blemish on the passenger door would be fixed under warranty. It never was.

Sunroof: The roof pulsed at exactly 30mph when fully open. Brilliant. You had to adjust the size of the aperture depending on how fast you were going.

Switchgear: The driver window switch packed up. The tachometer was replaced at first service to cure a wagging needle.

Brakes. I was never satisfied with the jittery braking of the car at low speeds and continually pestered for something to be done about it. Having read reviews here and magazine comments I realise it's a quirk of the car. Some quirk!

Headlamp assembly covered in condensation first morning after taking delivery. Engine bay looked filthy dirty after 100 miles. Shoulder of front passenger tyre showing signs of wear by the time I sold up.

General Comments:

Drive the dream... or not. The 911 is icon but the 996 is not the car you think it is. It's quick but doesn't transmit any feeling of speed. It's a status symbol but now commonly seen ferrying kids to school. You can fork out for the hi-fi stereo upgrade and revel at the background thrum of tyres and engine. I can still remember the feeling of being frazzled after long journeys.

As mentioned in other reviews here, the quality of the cabin really lets it down. For reasons given above the Carrera is no longer a sports car and at £60,000 there's no excuse for such a spartan interior.

To sum up, it was a let down and I never felt as though I was treated properly by the dealer. A top of the line Beamer is a far better, safer, quieter, more comfortable, all-round bet. And just as fast. And with better brakes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th January, 2003

7th Sep 2005, 05:54

I appreciate this review if only because there are relatively few negative reviews of the 911 and I really want to know what the issues are.

Having said that, I can't see how you could possibly compare a 911 to a "top of the line" BMW. Presumably you were referring to an M3 or M5 as opposed to a 7 series. And you would have a point. But lets face it: no matter how good a BMW may be, it won't be a Porsche!

1998 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 3.4 from UK and Ireland


Noisy and lacking comforts. For dry weekends only

General Comments:

Although the 911's boxer engine has a unique whirr to it, it's too noisy on the outside and tyre roar is numbing on longer journeys.

The rear engine, rear drive layout takes some getting used to, and at times seems like a design flaw rather than a feature.

For an expensive performance car, the cabin is extraordinarily cheap: the indicator and light stalks feel fragile, the plastic is cheap and squeaks down bumpy roads. The switchgear is also nasty.

The car is also not as exclusive as dealers would have you believe. Both Boxtsers and 911s are everywhere on British roads.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th March, 2001

29th Mar 2001, 08:44

If you want a luxury car buy a Jaguar or Rolls. Porsches are for drivers and race tracks.

2nd Apr 2001, 16:29

I have a '72 911. This comment merely demonstrates where Porsche have gone wrong with the 996. It attracts the wrong sort of buyer - really they want an XK8 but like the idea of a Porsche.

With a 993 you were in no doubt as to where you were - pure sports car and enthusiasts with the money bought them. The 996 just seems to capitalise on the Porsche image to create a high speed luxury cruiser with a mere nod to its heritage.