Premium sporty/performance car; Built in Germany
  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door coupe
  • longitudinal rear-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $12,200 – $34,000*


1998 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe 2-door coupe


1998 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet 2-door convertible


1998 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa 2-door coupe


1995 Porsche 911 interior


1995 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet 2-door convertible

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Antilock brakes
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Instruments/controls
  • Noise
  • Price
  • Ride

For this level of performance blended with such a renowned heritage, Porsche is practically in a league of its own. Yes, they’re expensive; and yes, they require a certain level of skill to drive properly. But 911s also hold their value well and are known for durability.

Overview

The first 911 went on sale way back in 1963. In this improved rendition for the late ’90s, a rear-mounted, 3.6-liter air-cooled flat 6-cylinder engine produced 270 horsepower. Both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive Porsche 911 Carreras were marketed, in hardtop coupe and Cabriolet (convertible) form. The engine switched from solid to hydraulic valve lifters and a new dual exhaust system reduced back pressure while softening noise. A new 6-speed manual transmission replaced the prior 5-speed. In addition to the manual, rear-drive Porsches could have a Tiptronic 4-speed automatic transmission, which permitted changing gears manually by flicking a console shift lever or pushing fingertip switches on the steering wheel. Antilock all-disc braking was standard. An optional limited-slip differential incorporated an automatic brake differential, which used the brakes to prevent wheel spin at low speeds.

Yearly Updates

1996 911
A 911 Turbo arrived early this season, with the same $99,000 price tag as the prior Turbo. In addition to two twin turbochargers, able to whip out 400 horsepower, the new one featured permanent all-wheel drive and a familiar “whale-tail” spoiler. Hollow-spoke wheels held 18-inch tires.The nonturbo engine gained power this year, now rated at 282 horses in the rear-drive Carrera Coupe and Cabriolet as well as the AWD Carreras. A new Carrera Targa went on sale, with its entire retractable roof made of tinted glass. Electric motors slid the roof beneath the back window for open-air motoring. Also new was the Carrera 4S, an all-wheel-drive model with a front air dam, flared back fenders, and 18-inch wheels.
1997 911
Midyear brought a pair of new models: the Turbo S and Carrera S. Unique bodywork featured unique front and rear spoilers, and the engine got a boost to 424 horsepower. The 911 Carrera S incorporated the wide front and rear bodywork of the 911 Turbo and 911 Carrera 4S, featuring a split rear spoiler grille and 17-inch tires.
1998 911
Minor restyling marked the 1998 models, as Porsche planned to unleash a redesigned 911, as an early ’99 model. No turbo engines were issued this year.

Engines

longitudinal rear-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive

Plain Porsches made do with a normally aspirated 3.6-liter horizontally opposed engine, mounted at the rear. Initially rated at 270 horsepower, the basic engine’s output rose to 282 in 1996. The engine in a Turbo is identical in displacement, but twin turbochargers help push output to a whopping 400 horsepower. The Turbos S of 1997 got a 424-horsepower version of that engine. Turbos came only with 6-speed manual shift, but regular 911s could have Porsche’s Tiptronic automatic transmission instead.

ohc H6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/220
Engine HP 270-282
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 243-250
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
4-speed automatic
17/25
17/24
16.2
16.8
Turbocharged ohc H6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/220
Engine HP 400-424
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 400
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual

13/19

14.7

Road Test

What do you get in a 911? Premium performance, for starters, plus a pedigree that’s matched only by such brands as Ferrari.

This version is more civilized and easier to handle than older 911s, but still demands more driving skill on wet roads than tamer sports cars. Is it noisy? Definitely–but it’s the kind of sound that’s music to the ears of the discerning driver. Ride quality, too, is less than genteel but wholly satisfying to enthusiasts.

Plain Porsches made do with a normally aspirated 3.6-liter horizontally opposed engine, mounted at the rear. Initially rated at 270 horsepower, the basic engine’s output rose to 282 in 1996. The engine in a Turbo is identical in displacement, but twin turbochargers help push output to a whopping 400 horsepower. The Turbos S of 1997 got a 424-horsepower version of that engine. Turbos came only with 6-speed manual shift, but regular 911s could have Porsche’s Tiptronic automatic transmission instead.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 9
90%
Fuel Economy - 3
30%
Ride Quality - 2
20%
Steering/Handling - 9
90%
Quietness - 2
20%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Rear - 1
10%
Cargo Room - 1
10%

Other

Value - 3
30%

Total: 39

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
89.5 167.8 68.3 51.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
4.6 19.4 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
NA NA NA NA
2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
89.5 167.8 68.3 51.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
4.6 19.4 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
NA NA NA NA
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1997 911 Targa/Coupe 2-door coupe

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 202
Injury 39
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Alternator belt
Description: The alternator belt makes a squealing noise, requiring replacement of the belt and pulley. (1995-96)
Fuel odors
Description: Gasoline odors may be due to a hole in the filler-pipe neck or hose connections. (1995-98)
Steering noise
Description: Noise from the steering column when turning is caused by a bad ball bearing in the steering tube. (1996)
Vehicle noise
Description: A creaking or grinding noise comes from the front end and revised rubber stabilizer-bar mounts should eliminate it. (1995-96)

Recall History

1995-98 911 Cabriolet
Description: Soft-top structure catch lever tension could ease, resulting in a crack that could allow top to open inadvertently.
1996 911
Description: Airbag can deploy inadvertently.
1997-98 911
Description: Contact buckle supplied with child-seating system airbag-deactivation kit does not deactivate the airbag.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.