December 11, 2013
We're coming up on a year in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, and we ticked over the 20,000-mile mark recently. That meant it was time for the 20,000-mile "Intermediate" maintenance visit. I took the car to the Newport Beach dealership from whence we bought it. Now, after Beverly Hills, Newport Beach is renowned for its pricey ways, but here's why I decided to go there.
There are three Porsche dealerships within a 20-mile radius of where I live. The closest is very small, and while the service team is great, you need to schedule your maintenance and repair visits well in advance. Loaner cars are nearly impossible to get there. Another store has a bigger service department, but in this case, the dealer couldn't supply a loaner car. So Newport Beach Auto Center it was. The service department is huge, and Rick, the excellent service advisor, said a loaner would be no problem.
December 06, 2013
"Which would you rather have?" my mother asked. She wanted me to choose between two of our long-term cars: the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. I knew immediately what my answer was.
December 03, 2013
We added just over 1,300 miles to our 2013 Porsche 911 convertible in November.
Our best and worst fill numbers haven't changed since last month but our overall fuel economy dropped slightly to 21.0 mpg. We're running slightly behind the EPA combined estimates.
November 26, 2013
I've been using cruise control with much more frequency lately. In most cases, it keeps me from inadvertently exceeding the speed limit, which is easy in some of the more powerful cars that roll through the Edmunds lot.
On the way home one night in our 2013 Porsche 911, I discovered a minor peculiarity.
November 25, 2013
In some instances, it's better to hit the gas to avoid a collision rather than the brakes. There I was, cruising up the highway in seventh gear, when an inattentive driver alongside me started drifting out of his lane and into mine. I hit the gas to keep him from contacting the Porsche.
November 15, 2013
A month ahead of schedule, our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 has hit the 20,000-mile mark. Evidently, piling up the miles on this sports car is no sweat. Yes, that cross-country road trip certainly helped. But that journey and just living with the car on a daily basis both highlight one of the 911's most endearing qualities: its split personality.
November 14, 2013
When you buy a Porsche, you're expecting to get a boat-load of superlatives regarding performance. But would you expect the same regarding the interior controls? Probably not. Yet I'm actually quite impressed with our 2013 Porsche 911's electronic interface.
November 13, 2013
We've posted updates on our 2013 Porsche 911's performance previously. In our track testing, the car accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a quite respectable 4.7 seconds. Even better than that is the way the 3.4-liter flat-6 sounds as it sings towards redline. It's just awesome and pleasingly unique.
But I could also see where the 911's real-world performance would leave somebody wanting.
November 8, 2013
A sure way to burn away a solid half-hour out of your day (or more) is to fantasize about what your dream 2014 Porsche 911 would look like and then build it out on Porsche's Web site. (And if you don't need to fantasize because you already own your dream 2014 911, well, I tip my hat.)
Our introduction details how we ended up with our 2013 Carrera convertible. But I'm curious: if you could order your own 911, what would it be? Would you keep it simple or go all out on a 911 Turbo S or GT3? What options would you pick?
November 5, 2013
We added about 1,200 miles to our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera convertible during October. It didn't make any big road trips, so that mileage was largely racked up by our typical commuting within Southern California.
For the month, we averaged 20.9 mpg. That's close to our lifetime average since we started the test back in January.
November 1, 2013
A couple of years ago, Porsche ran a campaign, Engineered for Magic Every Day, where owners could submit real stories of using their cars. One promotional commercial at the time showed a guy buying bags of cement with his Cayman and a mom picking up kids at school in a 911 Turbo.
It's a clever commercial, but the funny thing with having a 911 Carrera in our fleet is that we've pretty much validated the whole concept. For instance, the past week I've used the 911 to take my two kids to school every morning, and it's been great.
October 29, 2013
Have you ever driven a car that seems to have a devilish personality? One that's always whispering in your ear for you to drive faster? Well, for me, our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera is like that. And it takes a lot of mental restraint to ignore it.
October 22, 2013
I've taken my mother in several of our long-term cars, but this was her first time in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera convertible. She screamed with fear when I put my foot in to the loud pedal of our SLS AMG Roadster. She squeaked with glee (and likely a little fear, too) when I showed our Cadillac ATS some corners and she couldn't stop staring at the Tesla Model S when we took it out to get frozen yogurt.
But I've never seen my mother as happy in a car, as when I put the 911's top down, turned up volume on the new Avicii single and drove her home from brunch.
October 21, 2013
I meant to show this when we last Track Tested our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. What you see here is a graph of two acceleration runs with time on the X-axis and speed on the Y. The red line shows the result of utilizing Launch Control.
October 17, 2013
I like simple things that work well. Resetting the trip meter in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet requires only one press by one finger.
October 16, 2013
It's no secret that our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet has cupholders, but they are hidden from plain site.
Tucked away in a space above the glove box, two bottomless cupholders will pop out if you press on the narrow chrome strip. While they will hold a cup or bottle, they are no good for storing change, keys, phones, or other trinkets while driving.
October 15, 2013
I don't care what the technical name is for the aerodynamic bumps you see from the driver seat of the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, but they are quite handsome.
October 7, 2013
Our managing editor, Donna DeRosa, went back and forth on whether to put our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet's top down. While I understood her dilemma, I had a much easier time making this decision last weekend.
October 3, 2013
Our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet has performed relatively the same as last month. We're averaging a little below the EPA combined estimate, as we have all along.
In August we drove our Porsche 1,170 miles, using about 64 gallons of 91-octane fuel.
October 2, 2013
Last Wednesday I was hot-lapping our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet around The Streets of Willow, a tight small racetrack 100 miles northeast of our Santa Monica office. I had checked the tires and the tire pressures before the car touched the track.
That night I drove the 911 home. 110 miles. No problem.
October 1, 2013
The steering. The sound. The physical sensation of sitting forward of both the motor mass and drive wheels. These are the traditional characteristics to crush on in our 2013 Porsche 911, or any 911.
September 27, 2013
One specific element of the exterior design on the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera that I can't stop admiring is the taillights.
September 23, 2013
When I signed out our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet, I completely forgot that I'd be picking up my wife from the airport. Uh oh.
September 18, 2013
You know when I said I never put the top down on our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet.
September 16, 2013
I had the very good fortune of driving around in the new 2014 Cayman S recently. Now I'm in a quandary. Which would I rather have, a Porsche 911 or a Cayman S?
September 4, 2013
Our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet is running just below the EPA expectations for combined city/highway driving.
I've been driving it for the past few days and I can tell you I've been cranking the A/C in our 911 because of the late summer heat wave we've been having.
September 3, 2013
Yesterday I had a lot of city driving to do. I took my 6'1" brother to the eye doctor, which was 22 miles from my house. They warned him that he would need someone else to drive when he was done. So, I drove him to his appointment in our long-term 2013 Porsche 911.
Due to congestion, you never know how long it will take to get from place to place in Los Angeles, so we gave ourselves plenty of time. Turns out we had a nice stretch of open highway on the way to the appointment and arrived 45 minutes early. This car loves the open road and despite him being nervous about his appointment, we enjoyed the drive listening to satellite radio and passing commuters in the carpool lane.
September 2, 2013
It's nice to have a navigation system that tells you the local traffic conditions. Even if you can't do anything about it (which is the case about 99% of the time) just knowing what to expect is oddly soothing.
Then again, that's assuming that the system is accurate. That's not always the case in our 2013 Porsche 911. More than once I've been sitting in stop-and-go traffic while the navigation screen says it's green sailing ahead.
August 30, 2013
This 911 is better than ours for four reasons. Its color is number four. You guess the first three.
August 29, 2013
I'm an extremely pasty person. I can get sunburned just looking at a picture of the beach. So, while I enjoy the feeling of the free, fresh wind in my hair and life without care, I find I never actually drop the top on our Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet.
August 28, 2013
Is there anything worse than curbing a gleaming new wheel? In the grand scheme of things, yes, there are many. But confine the circumstances to driving and parking a valuable sports car and the wheel damage issue is always there.
August 23, 2013
Despite the support from the commenters here (thanks!) I still felt like a bit of a weenie for not taking the Tesla up to Monterey for the big Pebble Beach Weekend.
So, instead of doing something difficult, I hopped in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, which I know has 500 miles of range, and had some fun.
August 16, 2013
No boring low fuel warning message from Porsche. When our long-term 2013 911 Carrera dipped too low into its tank last night, it politely asked me to, "Mind remaining distance."
August 15, 2013
We've had our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet for 8 months and just a smidge more than 15,000 miles. In that time it has been overall an impressive drive, and nearly trouble-free to boot. The only unscheduled stop attributable to the car has been for a check engine light related to the fuel tank diagnostics module.
July 12, 2013
I like to use my left foot for braking. It feels natural once you get used to it and it's safer. There are plenty of people who will tell you differently, but to each his own.
As you can see, our 911 doesn't exactly accommodate left-foot braking. The brake pedal is clearly cheated over to the right. This obviously makes for easy to swap between the accelerator and the brake pedal with your right foot, but trying to squeeze both feet in there isn't very natural.
July 8, 2013
So I caught the Science Channel's How It's Made program a few nights ago. The program is currently showing a series called Dream Cars and features the Porsche 911 assembly plant in Stuttgart, Germany.
It made me laugh.
June 26, 2013
Last week I wrote a long-term update stating that Porsche doesn't clutter the 911's steering wheel with buttons.
I was wrong.
June 24, 2013
This morning I checked the Porsche's oil level. The entire process took about one second and I never left the driver's seat.
June 21, 2013
There's one thing a Porsche 911 can do that a Chevy Corvette, Porsche Cayman, Mercedes SLS, Mercedes SL, McLaren MP4-12C, SRT Viper, any new Lamborghini, and even a Nissan 370Z cannot: Take my kids to a ball game.
June 20, 2013
The coat hooks embedded in the 911's seat backs aren't especially useful. You can forget about using a nice hanger, as the cheap wire one seen here had to be severely misshapen to only slightly fit and even then, it quickly dislodged after only a minor jostle. Joan Crawford would not approve. Using them with a coat's internal tag hook works better, but the garment itself doesn't really have enough vertical real estate to hang down.
June 18, 2013
Porsche's 911 lacks even a single steering wheel button. This, I'd wager, is a choice. Possibly Porsche knows that a steering wheel's function is so fundamental to what happens while driving that cluttering it up with a bunch of buttons is something it refuses to do.
June 17, 2013
The presence of LATCH fasteners in our Porsche 911's back seats (I use the term loosely) means somebody thinks it's possible to put a child seat back there.
Here's the reality...
June 12, 2013
I'm not really a convertible kind of guy. I don't like roasting in the sun, I'd rather not have the wind in my hair, and the noise on highways gets old quickly. Now, I do appreciate the top-down experience more in cooler months when I can bundle up, throw on a hat and enjoy the car at slower speeds on a scenic and/or twisty road. There is certainly a more engaging experience one enjoys. Unfortunately, my wife takes little joy at any time of the year. She doesn't tolerate the cold and I certainly understand why she might not relish having long hair constantly whipping about her face. Put together, we are not ideal candidates for a lengthy drive in a convertible.
Nevertheless, the Porsche 911 Cabriolet turns out to be an exception.
June 10, 2013
There have been a few times now when I've gotten out of our 2013 Porsche 911 after driving it and found myself saying out loud (to myself, but hey, nobody else was around), "Man, this car is cool."
June 7, 2013
If you remember, Beverly Hills Porsche told us the cause of the check engine light on our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet was a faulty tank leakage diagnostics module. Apparently this has been an all-too-common problem on the 991 generation.
June 6, 2013
Porsche can make a damn fine sports car, but when it comes to cupholders, it doesn't waste much time on them. The fold out contraptions used in the 911 are marginal at best, so they don't stand a chance against the monstrous Styrofoam cups used at a local teriyaki bowl stand I splurge on every once in a while.
June 5, 2013
Whenever I drive our 2013 911 Carrera I'm always struck by how well Porsche's engineers sweat the details. It's evident throughout the cabin and it almost makes it feel like it's worth over $100,000.
June 3, 2013
Now that our Porsche 911 has settled back into daily driver duty after its cross country trip, its mileage has suffered a bit. Its overall mileage number dropped from 22.8 to 22.4 after several tanks of, uh, let's call it aggressive driving.
May 31, 2013
On a recent weekend morning I was out driving our long-term 2013 Porsche 911. It was a beautiful day. Sunny, 76 degrees and pretty blue sky and clouds. Ideal, you might say, for a convertible sports car such as our 911.
May 30, 2013
If you're fortunate enough to have a 2013 Porsche 911 at your disposal, I suspect you'll always been on the lookout for extra opportunities to drive it. Maybe your household needs some milk, or a drug prescription picked up. Exciting or mundane, it doesn't matter. All you need is an excuse.
May 29, 2013
A friend of mine owns an older 911, a 1983 911 SC. Curious to get his thoughts on our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 and 30 years of 911 progress, I suggested we go to lunch.
May 24, 2013
Cross country in a 911? Erin Riches and I did it around the time of the 2013 New York Auto Show in our Long-Term 2013 Porsche Carrera Cabriolet.
May 24, 2013
All right, so this is a lousy photo to illustrate my point, but you've seen a 911 before. You know what its hips look like. When we think of curves, we think Italian or maybe Jaguar (pound for pound, does anyone bend sheet metal better than Jaguar?).
May 23, 2013
For a car that's has so much history behind it, it's inevitable that car enthusiasts are going to have preconceived notions about the Porsche 911. From some of the comments we've read or heard, it seems our long-term 911 is seen as a "lesser" car by a few people.
It's the base model, not the high-output S, they say. It has the automated PDK transmission, not a traditional manual. It's a convertible. It's got the big, flashy 20-inch wheels.
This is the 911 you assume smarmy Hollywood agents buy simply because it's a "Porsch."
Maybe those agents do just that. But if you were to drive our 911, you'd realize that it still has more pure sports car genes in it than just about any other competitor.
May 22, 2013
Our 2013 Porsche 911 has driven through freezing temperatures, ice and snow, thanks to its trip to New York. Now, a couple of months later, you can add "forest fire!" to its check-off bucket list.
Actually, it was more of a 4,100-acre wildfire that I encountered about 80 miles north of Edmunds' Santa Monica, CA, office. There was no imminent danger to motorists at the time, but it made for some very interesting scenery.
May 20, 2013
As you've read before, finding the correct tire pressures for our 2013 Porsche 911 is no easy task.
We're currently running our tires at 31 psi front and 34 psi rear according to the "comfort, part load" specifications. In conversations with Porsche, they suggested that we use this tire pressure for our testing as well as it should give us the best results.
We could take their word. Or we could try it out for ourselves.
May 17, 2013
I took our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet to our friends at Beverly Hills Porsche. And like some kind of automotive Dr. House, assistant service manager Erik rendered a probable diagnosis without even looking at the car.
May 17, 2013
Takahashi noted it first, and although I always hope for spontaneous remission of car problems, there has been no self-healing here. The "check engine" light in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet continues, in its very correct German way, to covey both information and blame.
May 16, 2013
So here's a check engine warning that popped up in our long-term Porsche 911 when I started it up this morning. The 911 ran just fine on the drive into the office, so hopefully it's nothing major. Stay tuned.
May 15, 2013
Before Erin and I shuttled our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet cross-country, we took it to the track for our usual instrumented testing.
And for fun, we decided to compare it against a more powerful 991 911, a 2012 Porsche Carrera S Cabriolet.
May 15, 2013
Most hardcore sports car fans would call the rear seats in the Porsche 911 useless. And they would be right to a large degree. You can't fit adults in them and even kids need to be small to wedge in there for any length of time.
May 14, 2013
As you can see, there's not much sidewall to the tires on our Porsche 911. A set of 20-inch wheels doesn't leave much room for such extravagances. The result is a slightly jarring ride depending on what you consider jarring.
Personally, I think our 911 rides exceptionally well given its combination of paper thin sidewall and firm suspension. It's an easy everyday driver, even on the beat-up, concrete highways here in Southern California.
May 13, 2013
Our long-term 2013 Porsche 911's braking ability is outstanding in virtually every way. But there's that word: virtually. The one thing that could be better is the way our car approaches a halt in that tiny window of time just prior to when the tires stop rolling. Ideally you want a jolt-free stop, a result that comes from easing off the brake pedal ever so gently just as the car stops. The car then seamlessly transitions between rolling and stopping. In the trade this graceful halt is described as a "limousine stop."
May 10, 2013
This is nothing but nitpicking, but sometimes a car in this price range deserves it. I'm a little annoyed by the side mirrors on our Porsche 911, mainly because the bottom half of each mirror is covered in a big hunk of black plastic.
May 9, 2013
Both Erin and Mike said the frunk in our Porsche 911 Cabriolet held their carry-on bags but not much else. They had to use the interior for extra cargo space.
May 8, 2013
Before my cross-country drive in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, I read through our long-term posts to see what I was getting myself into. One thing that stood out was a post by Erin, who was taking the car to NY for me, and addressed the Porsche's lack of garment hangers.
May 7, 2013
After our cross-country road trip the Pirelli SottoZeros were still showing good tread and hadn't suffered much wear over the past 6,500 miles. Still, we'd had enough with driving on winter tires. They were darned good when the weather got cold or when we hit bad weather, but the summer tires we had on our stock 20-inch wheels just grip so much better.
Mark and I took the car down to our shop, threw it up on our Rotary Lift and swapped the wheels in about ten minutes. (And for those looking closely, yes, I forgot to bring the center caps and had to install them back at the office. That took another 45 seconds.)
I still think the 19s look better. We're considering getting a set of summer tires for these wheels as well. What say you?
May 6, 2013
At the tail end of the road trip, our 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet declared that it needed service.
This wasn't an unexpected warning as we knew full well that the 911 requires a service at 10,000 miles and another one at 20,000 miles. We're not going to argue with a 10,000-mile service interval.
So, I got back to L.A., washed the car a few times and then called Beverly Hills Porsche, our closest dealership, to set up an appointment.
May 3, 2013
Between Erin and me, we drove our long-term 2013 Porsche 911Carrera Cabriolet from L.A. to New York to Maine and then back to Los Angeles. We covered 6,608.6 miles in less than two weeks and hit exactly zero car washes.
At the end of the 7,000+-mile Road Trip to Alaska in our Jag, the car looked like it had survived Superstorm Sandy after being fished out of the Hudson. This is why people hate black cars.
After 6,600 miles in the Porsche...it actually looked okay. Even the winter-spec tires weren't showing any wear from the days-upon-days of high-temp highway running.
The slippery Porsche shunned any real bug splatter and the light greyish color really hid the road grime. The only time you'd notice it was if you happened to touch the paint. Oh, the wheels were also a mess; had to hit them with $5 worth of that highly caustic (probably) green stuff from the self-wash just to make them presentable.
It took three carwashes to get it back to normal. Next stop: Porsche Service.
May 2, 2013
With the last few tanks of our cross-country road trip figured in, our 2013 Porsche 911 has now bumped its lifetime fuel economy number up another notch. Unlike last month, however, this time it was a mere tenth of a mile per gallon, from 22.7 to 22.8.
April 30, 2013
To be fair, I didn't know we were competing on fuel economy until I read Erin's post after I'd gotten home. I didn't know I was supposed to be trying for fuel economy.
I just knew this was a Porsche and that, after the first day's error, my radar detector was working very well.
April 29, 2013
Day 3 started off much like day 2 of my leg of the cross-country road trip in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: I woke up long before my alarm clock was set to go off and I was feeling good. By day 3 of me and Kurt's road trip to Anchorage I contemplated faking a seizure so that I wouldn't legally be allowed to drive home.
I hopped into the Porsche that third morning like it was my first time driving one. The car and I were ready to go.