1997 Porsche 911 Review

Pros & Cons

  • One of the most beautiful shapes in automotive history. Performance is equal to that of supercars costing twice as much.
  • Cramped, somewhat dated interior.
List Price Estimate
$12,867 - $28,421

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

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.

1997 Highlights

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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Porsche 911.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

A garage Queen that makes me feel like a Prince!
Jamie Levy Farrell,05/28/2018
Carrera 2dr Coupe
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.
Camry reliability/Ferrari performance
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.
A modern classic
Turbo 2dr Coupe AWD
One of the most enjoyable cars that I have driven. It is both an exotic in its performance and modernly comfortable its demeanor. Outstanding acceleration and handling. Great for the open road and fun along the switchbacks. As a city car it is less enjoyable with poor mileage and constant attention. Overall, however, it can not be beat for bringing a smile to your face.
Nearly perfect
John D, Berkeley,06/30/2002
Carrera Targa 2dr Coupe
I bought my Targa as a year-old car with 12k miles. This car does so many things well that it would be hard to criticize anything. I have used it as one would a Camry for the last four years. The car now has 52k miles and hasn't let me down once. The Targa is my daily commuter for a 100 mile round- trip commute in the Bay Area. It also takes me up and down California Highway one from Monterey to San Luis Obispo. The fact that it does both things equally well should tell you everything you need to know about this car.


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1997 Porsche 911

Used 1997 Porsche 911 Overview

The Used 1997 Porsche 911 is offered in the following submodels: 911 Coupe, 911 Turbo S, 911 Convertible. Available styles include Carrera 4 2dr Convertible AWD, Carrera 2dr Convertible, Turbo S 2dr Coupe AWD, Carrera 4S 2dr Coupe AWD, Carrera 2dr Coupe, Turbo 2dr Coupe AWD, and Carrera Targa 2dr Coupe. Pre-owned Porsche 911 models are available with a 3.6 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 424 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1997 Porsche 911 comes with all wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Porsche 911?

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Which used 1997 Porsche 911s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Porsche 911 for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Porsche 911.

Can't find a used 1997 Porsche 911s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Porsche 911 for sale - 2 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $7,396.

Find a used Porsche for sale - 1 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $24,829.

Find a used certified pre-owned Porsche 911 for sale - 6 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $20,460.

Find a used certified pre-owned Porsche for sale - 7 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $24,885.

Should I lease or buy a 1997 Porsche 911?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Porsche lease specials
Check out Porsche 911 lease specials