Good for California Winters - 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Good for California Winters

December 13, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I'm a wuss when it comes to the cold but I come by it honestly: I'm a native Californian, and I break out sweaters when the temperature drops below 70.

We had a "cold" snap recently, which meant the morning temperature was in the mid-to-high 40s, but sunny and beautiful. For a freeway-avoiding drive from Orange County to Long Beach, I took down the top on our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, engaged the electrically powered wind deflector and cranked up the heater and seat heaters. I like how little time the cabriolet operation takes: 2 seconds for the deflector to rise.

Thanks to the windows-up position and the wind deflector, it was a deliciously cozy drive. I felt little eddies of fresh, cool air slip into the cabin. I could hear bits of conversation from bicyclists that I passed. I smelled air, sea, trees and coffee as I wended my way north on Pacific Coast Highway. Heavenly.

Now I'd be willing to try top-down driving at even lower temperatures. I noticed, however, that Porsche warns against operating the cabriolet top at temperatures below 32 degrees. I gather below-freezing temperatures play havoc with the top and its mechanisms.

If you have a convertible, how low does the temperature have to go (on a non-rainy/snowy) day before you put the top up?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @ 20,901 miles


  • jasond52 jasond52 Posts:

    In my Miata daily driver, my limit is 50 degrees IF it's sunny, but seat warmers have to be on and the heat on what Mazda calls "Open Mode". If it cloudy top up until it's in the 60's.

  • bryan__t bryan__t Posts:

    True coastal California wimp here. My convertible stays in the garage if the morning temperature is below 60 or above 75...

  • s197gt s197gt Posts:

    The coldest my wife and I drove in our Z3 was in 60 degree weather on the interstate. It was fine until the sun went down. A hat would have helped a lot.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    The coldest so far was 37 degrees. After that, I was too afraid of damaging the vinyl top when putting it back up (and it also resists latching when the vinyl is really cold). The hard top is now on for the winter on my old Miata. And part of driving in the cold is just to prove that I'm certifiably insane.

  • aqeelzam aqeelzam Posts:

    I live in Beaverton, Oregon where it rains a lot, is sunny for a few months in the year, and is wet / cold the remaining months. Not really the ideal weather for a convertible if you want to drive the with the top down for most of the year - you can only do this in the summer months and early fall (July - early Oct).

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    I've been relishing the 40 degree temps in the mornings and evenings in my Miata. The top goes down, heater goes on, and all is suddenly very right with Southern California. Now we're back in the 80s again and I'm reminded how absurd this place really is.

  • diigii diigii Posts:

    California winter? Is there such a thing? :)

  • 85se 85se Posts:

    I'm good to go topdown down to low to mid 40s in my Miata. Living up and out here on the extreme East coast of Canada (Newfoundland - the most easterly point of North America is a 20 minute or so drive from where I live), we rarely see temperatures above mid 80s so it's top down as often as possible for the six months of the year I use the car.

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