2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

2013 Porsche 911: Wrong Steering Wheel

February 15, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

When we were buying our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 many members of our editorial staff were passionate about the steering wheel. "Scott, whatever you do don't get a car with the standard wheel with those weird shift buttons," they told me several times. "Make sure we get the SportDesign steering wheel with the real paddle shifters."

I resisted, but after a couple of weeks of constant drilling they convinced me the buttons were undesirable because of their unconventional action which allows both the left and right side button to up or downshift the transmission. You pull either to downshift and push either to upshift.

The paddle shifters on the other hand work as expected. Pull the left paddle to downshift and the right to upshift. But the optional wheel also has a downside. Besides the extra $490 it costs, it is unavailable with any other controls like radio or Bluetooth buttons. Order the SportDesign wheel and you have to reach for the center stack old school.

After overthinking it, I decided to only shop cars with the optional SportDesign wheel with the real paddle shifters and that's ultimately what we bought.

I regret it. It was a mistake. I just spent a weekend and 600 miles driving a Porsche Cayenne diesel equipped with the Multifunction Steering Wheel that's standard on the Cayenne (and 911 Carrera S) but a $615 option on our 911. Yes, it?s got the weird buttons.

I loved it. Sure, pushing a button to upshift takes a little getting used to, but I acclimated quickly and I very much appreciated the radio and Bluetooth controls on the wheel.

If I had to buy our 911 over again I would buy one with the Multifunction Steering Wheel. Our staff was wrong, turns out the SportDesign wheel just isn't worth the investment.

2013 Porsche 911

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 1,204 miles

Most Recommended Comments

By yaymx5
on 02/15/13
9:09 AM PST

Best configuration: Manual shifter, clutch, and steering wheel audio controls. This is probably the cheapest too. :)

Recommend  (14) (1)

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Porsche 911 in VA is:

$210 per month*
* Explanation