Road Trip to New York, Day 1 - 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to New York, Day 1

April 9, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Days ago, I told you the long-term 2013 Porsche 911 and I were on the road to Midtown Manhattan for the 2013 New York Auto Show. Well, we made it there. Although, as with most road trips, a few things didn't go according to plan. But the Porsche is alive and well, and if you follow @Mike_Magrath on Twitter, you also know that it escaped the city and went on to have more adventures on the journey back to the West Coast.

Now, we bring you the story of the 6,000-mile road trip in our 991-generation 911 Carrera Cabriolet. I'll tell the first half. Mike Magrath will tell the second half. At the end, we'll total up the miles, gallons, mpg and dollars spent on premium fuel, and ask you to vote on which editor you'd rather ride with on a cross-country road trip. Kidding. But I guarantee you will like one of us less after you read about this trip.

Here's how it started.

It's Saturday morning and I'm supposed to leave the house at 7 a.m. sharp. My destination for the night is 973 miles away in Salida, Colorado, at the bottom of the Monarch Pass. Most of the drive will be on fast sections of Interstates 15 and 70, but U.S. 50 through Colorado will be slower and snow is in the forecast.

But I wake up feeling under the weather and convince myself that a couple more hours of sleep is a good idea. Because of the dual-purpose nature of this trip, I can't just throw jeans and t-shirts into a duffel bag. I have to bring suits for the auto show. So my 24-inch rollaboard bag is in its expanded state, and it just fits into the 911's frunk. Getting it in and out of the frunk at each nightly stop turns out to be a mini-ordeal, as I'm determined to avoid both scratching the car's paint and throwing out my back. But whatever, I'll deal, because it's not like I want to ride with the bag in the passenger seat.

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Finally, I'm on my way at 10:42 a.m. Twenty minutes in, I realize I've forgotten to get gas and pack the radar detector. The former is no problem, because the 911 has a 16.9-gallon fuel tank (plus a reserve tank) and a ton of range. I fill up in Baker, California, for peace of mind through the desert, and don't stop again for 91 octane until I'm in Richfield, Utah. Not having the radar detector is a disappointment, but there's no time to go back. I'll just have to drive smart and pay attention for the next three-and-a-half days. Which I should probably be doing anyway, right?

Right away, our 2013 911 Carrera Cabriolet feels like it's going to be a wonderful road trip car. For starters, it's very quiet with the top up. Anecdotally, it's the quietest soft-top convertible I've driven in the last five years. And it's quieter than a lot of cars with fixed roofs, with our long-term Toyota Prius C and Scion FR-S as obvious and convenient examples.

The other thing I notice is the 911's throttle response. Wow, is it sharp. Come to think of it, this is my first time in a 991-generation 911, and I'm certainly not disappointed by the directed-injected, 3.4-liter horizontally-opposed six-cylinder mounted behind me. This is a great engine with a fantastic mid-range. It's a very effective tool for getting around slower traffic and it makes good sounds when you're accelerating with commitment. This is why you choose a Porsche 911, regardless of body style.

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

The instrumentation in our Porsche is a blend of old and new. The large analog tachometer in the center makes you feel right at home if you've ever driven a 911 before, while the trip computer on the right is totally modern. It can be an auxiliary navigation or audio display if you want or you can look at this trip history display, which tracks your driving time and doesn't reset when you stop for food or fuel (based on my experience during this trip, it resets only when you park the 911 for a sustained period of time, overnight in my case).

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I feel encouraged seeing my average speed and accumulating mileage, but then I look over at the navigation screen and notice how far I still have to go. And what's with the estimated arrival time at 2:10 a.m. Maybe the car is taking into account the switch to mountain time? Nope. The clocks haven't changed. I really am looking at rolling into the Salida Super 8 at 3 a.m. Surely, it won't take me that many hours to get through Colorado. The Porsche must be wrong.

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 4,170 miles


  • s197gt s197gt Posts:

    You had to stay at a Super 8? I did that once and will never again.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    I don't know what part of LA you live in, but the starting at the junction of 605 and I-10 and traveling via US 50 to Salida, Google says it is 952 miles and would take 14 hours and 45 minutes. Given your start time, a stop at Baker and any other comfort and food stops, I think the Porsche has it about right. Taking a Porsche and staying at a Super 8 does not add up somewhere. I assume you are not taking I-70 all the way to avoid boredom.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    I assume you're being ironic're going over 900 miles in a single day, you don't get on the road until a quarter to 11 in the morning, have to bake in an extra stop for gas...and can't believe you're looking at a 3 a.m. ETA? Personally, I won't take trips like this anymore - logging that many miles per day is just punishment. Too much superslab and its attendant boredom, too much driving in the dark, too much opportunity to nod off, etc. You can't even enjoy the trip, which for me is why you do this kind of trip by car instead of flying.

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