Forget your prejudices about Porsches and German engineering. With the 996 and the Boxster (water cooled Porsches for over a decade until 2009) Porsche built and sold a car it knew had a self-destructive intermediate shaft bearing that could easily and without visible warning destroy the engine on any car, and has not issued a recall to correct the design defect. It has also not recalled the more common leaky main bearing seal. This is especially egregious because the 996 has the highest gross profit margin of any automobile ever in production. They could have replaced every engine on every 996 sold and still made a handsome profit. And yes, it is a hoot to drive.
The performance and handling of the Porsche 911 border on telepathic! It deleivers on the promise of exception performance, comfort nad reliability. This is a true driver's car; not Spartan but neither is it burdened with clutter and unecessay bells and wistles. What is most remarkable is that such a capable sports car can be so civilized!
With the x-50 horsepower package this car @ 450 hp has all the performance and high end torque you'd ever need unless you're an F-1 driver. The car has immense practical driveability as an everyday car. Rattles - a service department that has a hard time listening and a car that died with a mechanical failure at 4,000 miles leaves a little bit of a bad taste though-maybe a Ferrari next time?
After driving a Merecedes, then a Corvette, my husband suprised me with a 1990 911 Cabriolet. That was three Porsches ago, and now my 2003 is my baby. My husband drives a 1996 993 Twin Turbo, so we are a Porsche family all the way! A benefit of this car that I would not tell my husband is that men check it out ALOT...which has made for some interesting conversations at red lights. ;)