2003 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S AWD 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl 6M)
Forget your prejudices about Porsches and German engineering.
With the 996 and the Boxster (water cooled Porsches for over a decade until 2009) Porsche built and sold a car it knew had a self-destructive intermediate shaft bearing that could easily and without visible warning destroy the engine on any car, and has not issued a recall to correct the design defect.
It has also not recalled the more common leaky main bearing seal.
This is especially egregious because the 996 has the highest gross profit margin of any automobile ever in production. They could have replaced every engine on every 996 sold and still made a handsome profit.
And yes, it is a hoot to drive.
While on warranty, Porsche was responsive to the leaky seal and, by reputation, to people whose intermediate shaft bearing failed.
Give all 996 owners an engine fix to correct the design defects.
The Porsches since 2009 appear to have corrected these design defects.
The 911 body could use a hatch like the Cayman to make access behind the seats useful.
The jump seats are useless and should be eliminated to create more room.
The 2003 transmission is notchy and rough, giving the car a feel more like a muscle car than a 356 or air-cooled 911.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.