One of the most beautiful shapes in automotive history. Performance is equal to that of supercars costing twice as much.
Cramped, somewhat dated interior.
The only change to the 1997 Porsche 911 is the availability of a Porsche-engineered child seat that will deactivate the passenger airbag when it is in place.
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 2dr Convertible AWD and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.11 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Anyone accustomed to driving in ho-hum fashion, steering with a lazy finger, should steer clear of Porsches completely. To operate a 911 at all, much less seize the maximum from its potential, demands effort. You have to pay attention. Manipulate the clutch and gears with skill and caution, and you're rewarded with an unrivaled motoring experience.
Acceleration is simply phenomenal, provided that you stay in each gear for a suitable span of time, and avoid letting the rear-mounted engine over-rev. No one could ask for a sweeter gearshift lever; one that traverses through six speeds by way of long, visceral flicks of the wrist. The stiff clutch demands a strong foot, but engages gracefully.
Everybody knows that handling is Porsche's prime talent, but you must experience it to believe. Steering doesn't require a lot of effort, but you feel every last imperfection from the pavement in the steering wheel, never losing intimate kinship with the road. Sixteen-inch tires grasp the road like pincers, and 17 and even 18-inchers are available for the hard-to-please. Brake response is astounding.
In the city or on rough roads, the ride gets harsh; even shaky. Yet on the highway, a 911 is surprisingly comfortable. The car tries to ride right over the top of bumps, to maintain the best possible grip.
Back support couldn't be better, in a superlative driving position. Seats feel molded to your body; the point of perfection between stiffness and softness. The driver faces a big 8000-rpm tach head-on. To the side sits a 180-mph speedometer; a realistic figure, since the base 911 can reach 168 mph.
As for criticisms, the gearbox doesn't like to shift into reverse, an obstacle that could be avoided by selecting a Porsche with Tiptronic transmission. Engine and tire noise can get downright screechy, though Porsche fanatics revere such commotion. Grievances pale, however, in comparison with the car's striving toward perfection. Expert at handling, created to enhance the joy of driving, this precision machine stands near the pinnacle of sports-car excellence.
Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Porsche 911.
I am a life long PORSCHE owner...27 in all over a span of 50 years. I bought my 1997 993 C2S, 6-speed air conditioned garage queen from another Porschephile (its an emotional problem). This is a car that has been truly loved since day one, no rain, minimal sun...presents as new. I am at 40K miles now, and have had to do a few things like cooling fan items ($1200) and surprisingly an … alternator replacement (my first in a 911@ $1300) and updated shocks ($3200), but this is a 21 year old automobile, so what the hell? Overall, these are exceptional automobiles in every way. My opinion comes from over a million miles of driving my various 911's of every utility (daily drivers, concours, new purchases, used purchases and racing). The 993 series 911 are exceptional vehicles of the entire 911 range (1964-present) the 993 have had the benefit of evolving over the prior 3+ decades (1964-1997) and that evolution is to your benefit on almost every angle. If your concerns are cupholders and such, I think you are looking in the wrong box....these are a drivers' automobile. These automobiles are meant to be driven and enjoyed...(all the while paying close attention!). I have read where some say the interior is "dated", I think that depends on your perspective. When I slide into my 993, I fall back into my late teens, to my 67 911-S, the seats are familiar; the panoramic five instruments present themselves as "ready", the gear lever falls to my hand like an old friend and the ignition key is exactly where it has always been... and should be...on the left. A twist of the key and a marvel of machinery instantly bursts to life and I am off on another soul satisfying rolling adventure. Life should be so good for all! I think a 993 which has been properly maintained/serviced and inspected will provide you with the most satisfying and fun automotive experience of your lifetime. As for expense: "the only thing more expensive than a NEW Porsche, is a CHEAP OLD Porsche". That is a personal quote based upon decades of experience and personal observation. Go forth and DRIVE a 993, you will wonder why it took you so long to do so.
4.75 out of 5 stars
Best 911 model hnds down
Big Ed, 08/31/2010
1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S 2dr Coupe AWD
Buy one now before the price goes up and don't worry about the mileage if serviced properly. A lot of folks will recommend buying the "newest 911" you can afford. Don't believe it. My car has 180,000 miles and the only service has been oil changes. Keep the revs over 3,000 rpms. My local Porsche dealership manager drives one. This is last of the air-cooled 911's and this car has … evolved to perfection with over 20-years of continuous engineering improvements that came from Porsche's racing engineering history. The new 911's (997 series) are made to look like these. Why? Because it is a mobile Object D'art. My car is 14yo and still folks jaws drop at the gas pump and heads turn.
4.88 out of 5 stars
1996 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa 2dr Coupe
I test drove dozens of Porsche's & read a lot about all models, from early 993's, 996's, Turbo 996's and a couple of 997's. There is nothing that compares to the style, sound, power, build quality of the amazing 993 car. It is practical and fun to drive. In my opinion the last of the air cooled Porsche was and still is the best, most stylish all round sports car on the road. Every time I … get behind the wheel I am glad I bought the "old school" model, it has a style and personality that will never be manufactured again. It took me 6 months to get used to it but I just love this car.
4.75 out of 5 stars
Camry reliability/Ferrari performance
1997 Porsche 911 Carrera 2dr Coupe
After 9 years of ownership, here's what I conclude. (1)Annual inspections by a competent 911 technician are very important for spotting oil leaks, etc., in the early stages. (2)Avoid cars that have been tracked or modified...these can be a money pit for subsequent owners. Otherwise, the type 993s represent the best sports car for the dollar available.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 1997 Porsche 911, so we've included reviews for other years of the 911 since its last redesign.