Internet says these cars blow up but it's just not the issue the purists would have you believe. Stories stem from early IMS history, but failure rate is really much lower than Toyota and other "reliable" manufacturers. This is the car that saved Porsche in 1999. I've owned 2 other Toyotas and have never really had a sports car- Im 60 years old now, not a wealthy person, but mostly been on the conservative side of family car type ownership. I love this car because it is an icon, beautiful, comfortable and untouchable from a performance and racing legacy point of view. I would buy another. Buyer beware however, these cars are often abused, but they can take it like no other make. Personally I think the 996s are one of the best 911 designs, because it was the first thoughtful departure from the old VW bug aesthetic...from the 1998 models forward, the Porsche became a modern car. Porsche sold more of this 996 series than all other series prior, so they did something very right. Just look at the brand new ones 991 model, they are very similar to the innovative design of Pinky Lai and that design language is carried on today. The 996 headlights were a style complaint from many of the owners of the 1999 model - but Porsche fixed that the following year of the new 911- the design is not ugly (subjective), but again innovative for the time. In fact, the lights came directly from the GT1 high performance exotic Porsche. Then the lights were moved to the Boxster - which preceded the new 996 911 and was considered a good thing. Owners of the pricier 911 didn't want their ride to look like the cheaper Boxster from a distance. Water cooled is a more reliable than the air cooled and interior comfort is on par with modern vehicles. The interior is very comfortable. I drove from Boston to Hershey Pennsylvania - 7 hours and didn't feel stiff or achy at all. Very surprised, but pleased. Only real complaint is that cabin noise had a lot of engine and wheel/ tire noise and can be tiresome after many miles of highway driving. On the flip side it's sound is intoxicating when accelerating and cornering, giving occupants the visceral feeling of driving in a true race car legend. I now have 94,000 miles on this car and this is my daily driver- 90 miles per day all year round. We live in New England where snow and ice is a regular occurrence. Super stable in the snow and wet for such a light car. After all these years, I still get thumbs up from all age drivers and pedestrians. The 4S model (mine) is the Turbo look style so it has all of the great wide body wheel wells, has Turbo (large) brake discs, Turbo clutch, sits very low and was like that stock in 2004. All the rage these days , racer boys slam their rides to the ground for the right stance. Porsche figured that out ages ago and the car still looks and performs better than any modern car today. I've had two main problems though: a torn CV boot on the front wheel viscous drive transmission, caused a bearing to fail and killed my FWD. I replaced that with a used unit for $3K. A recurring thing has been the power steering fluid seems to get low every few months. There are no leaks, but the fluid is cheap enough to replace at every oil change. I love this car. After changing away from the summer sticky tires to all weather radials, the noise in the car is now very tolerable by -10dB from before and the tire wear is superb. Finding replacement parts has been easy for plastic, light bulbs and small parts. Transmissions, glass and remarkably, carpet is hard to impossible to find. Gas mileage is very good at 31 mpg with Premium, and about 23 with middle grade unleaded (89 octane). I frequent PCA club events and car shows as a spectator, but people ALWAYS say you should be showing that car, because it is extraordinary in its lines, color (Midnight blue metallic-special order color and Natural All leather interior) and sound. If you can get one, do it. The 996 is an incredible deal right now because the purists are poo-pooing the water cooled machines driving the price down. Btw: air cooled may be interesting from a design point of view but the reason Porsche is still in business and still the king of racing is because the water cooling allowed more horsepower in a smaller engine size which translates to a better power to weight ratio. Interestingly, new 911's have a smaller block, with turbo and automatic transmissions - because they are faster and again lower power to weight ratio. Still water cooled, just like all other cars on the planet. Whats the point in having a great car and keeping it in the garage? I say get one of these, get a boost to your street cred, have FUN driving EVERY day and enjoy that rush acceleration and flat hard cornering gives you. No one drives this car without finishing the ride with a big grin on their face. I think that if a car makes you smile after every drive, many years of ownership, many miles, it is a very good value indeed.
Love this 40th Anniversary 911... It is a blast to drive and been reliable driving all over east coast... Rides great for a true sports muscle car. Ice cold A/C I did change the Navigation Head unit, get one with a radio it looks better and it does not not get outdated . The car is beautiful a head turner acceleration is instant in any gear the clutch is crisp...
During this past year I test drove and researched every Porsche made from 1996-2007. I chose the 2004 Anniversary. I loved its price, acceleration, styling, engine sound, aggressive exterior, and interior creature comforts. It has the most bang for the buck without all the added expenses of a turbo which will be my next Porsche, a 993TT. Maintenance has been marginal and fuel economy exceptional for a sports car. Heads turn wherever I go, including from other Porsche drivers trying to fiqure out what type of Porsche I'm driving. It's a novelity Porsche that packs plenty of horsepower. "She's a lady when she has to be and a whole lot more when she needs to be."
I bought this Porsche second hand after test driving every model from the 993TT, GT2, GT3, Targa 996, and Carerra 997 with everything else in between. Even went to the Porsche Driving School for two days to try out the newer 997's and for the money, this Porsche Rocks!!! She is fulled loaded with everything Porsche could throw into a car plus additional HP with X51 Power Boost. She is a joy to drive with incredible handling, acceleration, and a smooth ride. Beautiful color outside and top quality all leather inside. Downsides, the usual complaints....bad cup holders and the 996 narrow body. Otherwise I have no regrets ever with this purchase!! Test drive one if you can find one!!
This car is everything I dreamed it would be, and more! It drives like a dream and when it's on open road it just wants to go. Interior is designed beautifully. The wide body and fat rear rubber of the S are the icing on the cake. The new age 911s are a perfect blend of the 911s of the past and the grand touring vehicle the 928 was intended to be. This car is world class!