1987 Porsche 944 S 2.5 from North America

Faults:

Previous owner had cam chain tensioner failure, causing timing belt and valve failure.

Total clutch failure.

Typical German auto electronic issues.

General Comments:

Incredible fun car to drive and own. With that said, one would expect that an auto manufacturer with such fame would put forth more effort in designing an interior that doesn't feel like it came out of an economy car. Cheap, cheap, cheap, and poor quality as well. Fabric seams all split, dashboards crack horribly, and any interior part, be it a hinge or switch, will break.

Be prepared to do all of the mechanical work yourself, or pay big bucks to a garage to do the work for you, that is if you can find one that is willing to take on the job.

On the plus side, the handling is great, and performance for a 4 cylinder is good. I was getting over 30 MPG on 89 octane gas. Also, there is the feeling you get, just knowing that you own and drive a Porsche.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th January, 2013

1987 Porsche 944 2.5L SOHC from North America

Summary:

Super cool, fun, reliable, stylish, and economical

Faults:

All the problems I have had (which were few) stem from a minor crash it had. Other than those problems, it has been perfect.

General Comments:

I can't say enough great things about this car! For starters, mine has 210,000 miles, and it doesn't burn a drop of oil, It never has any problems, and it turns heads everywhere I go. What other 23 year old car still can impress girls!!!

If this thing had a tail, it would be constantly wagging; it's rev happy, and loves being tossed into corners and run through its gears. The Porsche also has huge torque from foolishly low RPMs; I accidentally started off in 4th once; drivability is tremendous!

The 944 slides very predictably, and is quite gentlemanly when taking a fast corner, inspiring confidence that transforms even the most meek motorist into a hero.

Finally, I have discovered it is easy to service. If you can make toast, you can work on this car; the mechanic was in mind during design. Economy was also taken into account; I get 25mpg combined, and 30 highway, all the while driving like my hair is on fire. :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th October, 2010

1987 Porsche 944 Turbo 2.5L 4 cylinder turbo from North America

Summary:

A formidable high-performance sports car that ranks as one of the best sports cars of all time

Faults:

Nothing in about 5,000 miles of driving so far.

General Comments:

The 1987 Porsche 944 turbo is an amazing high-performance bargain, a true Porsche, and one of the best handling sports cars on the planet at any price.

Mine is an extremely well-maintained Guards Red/black leather survivor that's been performance modified with OEM Porsche parts by the original owner. It has a larger than stock turbo (a KKK "K27-6" with a 3/8" shimmed wastegate), Porsche Turbo Cup performance chips, a Lindsey Racing boost enhancer and a beefed up suspension including Koni turbo cup coil over shocks, 600lb front and 400 lb rear Eibach springs springs, larger than stock Weltmeister anti-sway bars front and rear & it's 4-wheel corner balanced.

The result is 0-60 mph at 4.4 seconds, top end of 177mph, 300-330hp at the rear wheels at full boost (17lbs.) and phenomenal handling pulling at or just above 1.0 g.

I drove the car 1500 miles home from out west after buying it in April of 2010 and four days later left on a 3,000 mile-plus vacation roadtrip to Florida via Kentucky's Cumberland Gap and Tennessee's Smoky Mountains. Not a single mechanical issue the whole time and I drove it hard and fast as Dr. Porsche intended!

I'm a performance enthusiast, so I happily live with the racing suspension. But the car really is a comfortable touring sports car. It's nimble, refined & smooth. I plugged a Garmin GPS unit into its cigarette lighter and an aftermarket stereo allows an i-pod to be plugged in and ran from the stereo. The i-pod stays in the glove box.

Docile as a VW Bug or Toyota Corolla around town, it turns into a raging nuclear-powered Hulk of a Guards Red rocketship when you hit the turbo's full boost sweet spots, redlining it in every gear. I hit speeds of over 130mph on wide open and empty western highways and this 23 year old car stayed firmly planted, totally predictable and rock solid with plenty of power left to explore.

This car is in exceptional mechanical shape with a recent timing belt service. If you're careful when you buy yours, you will have a reliable machine. It's not exactly cheap to maintain (I've owned two previous NA 944's). But after-market parts are abundantly available and it won't break your bank as long as you save a little for the inevitable repairs.

I owned a 1988 Corvette Z51 before buying the 944 turbo. My modified 944 turbo will out-accelerate the Vette after giving up a length or two at the jump off the line. The Vette is wonderful with its howling growling American V8 modded with a freer flowing exhaust, but the Porsche is like using a scapel to make the cut rather than a Bowie knife. And top end in the Vette is a lower 155 mph.

On my long road trip a new Mustang GT and I were literally the only cars in sight on a long flat stretch of two-lane freeway in South Dakota.

I slowly passed him in the left lane and watched in my rear view mirror as I cruised at 75 mph in 4th gear. He suddenly accelerated, and when he pulled alongside me in the right lane, I downshifted to third and floored it. The turbo boost whooshed and felt like a jet afterburner as it hurled the 944 forward. 80 - 90 - 100 mph and I had about an 8 length advantage, I hit 4th gear 110 - 120. The Mustang still had not gained on me. 125 mph, 130. At just over 130 mph the Mustang GT gave it up and dropped back.

In the mountains of Tennessee I ran with a BMW 5 series and a 2002 Pontiac Trans Am WS6 for many miles of steep, sweeping curves on a well-built, smooth freeway-type surface. The WS6 accelerated briskly and maintained a pace ahead of me in the straights. Then we saw a sign warning of steep curves for the next several miles.

As the Trans Am WS6 slowed for the curves, I downshifted and punched it to accelerate ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE CURVES! This was steeply downhill, and the Porsche blew past the Trans Am WS6 at 90-105 mph. My 1987 Porsche 944 turbo stays flat and well planted, sticking to the road with no hint of drama as it accelerates all the way through mountain curves headed steeply downhill.

The Porsche "purists" can keep their 911's. I'll give them a good rear view of my 944 turbo!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th May, 2010

8th May 2010, 12:11

The 944 was a relatively inexpensive Porsche too. Sure, the 911 is often considered the 'true' Porsche, but the 944 still feels and drives like a fine German sports car. And if you can find one in good shape, it could make a great fun-mobile. Certainly the handling and shifting are its high points. And because it's a four-cylinder, the fuel economy can be good as well.