2005 Porsche 911 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Pinpoint steering, effortless acceleration, awe-inspiring brakes, the rhythmic sound of a powerful flat six, comfortable cockpit.
  • Relatively small fuel tank, useless rear seats, outlandish option prices.
List Price Estimate
$16,329 - $31,239

Used 911 for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Receive offers from our dealer partners fast.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

Still the quintessential sports car after four decades, the 2005 Porsche 911 has a unique blend of style, performance and sound that's unmatched by anything on the road.

2005 Highlights

While the traditional 911 lines have been retained, just about everything else has changed on Porsche's flagship. Notable changes to the 2005 Porsche 911 include more powerful engines, a new transmission, variable-ratio rack-and-pinion steering, an adjustable suspension and new seating options in a redesigned passenger compartment.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2005 Porsche 911.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Owner
2 door coupe,04/04/2009
Replaced transmission at 19000 miles and again at 46500 miles the total cost for the repair was $13500. Porsche refused to collaborate.
Finally got one
d1coach,09/29/2012
After forty years of wanting one badly, I bought my Porsche 911. Low mileage well cared for Tiptronic Coupe. So much fun to drive, fast without a lot of noise or fuss. Plenty of cabin and head room even at 6'3.
The most satisfying car to own
art_from_fl,12/07/2010
I bought a used 2005 (997) 911 Carrera Coupe with Tiptronic 7 month ago. This is my first Porsche, and can't deny I expected to be a nice experience; this car has given me a lot of satisfaction and went beyond my high expectations. The handling at any speed is amazing.
Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet
turbo s cab,04/19/2005
Although I have had the car only a little more than 1 week it has been entirely great. The performance is as expected, awesome, and everything works as it should, no complaints. There is no other supercar that you can drive as easily and non- tempermentally. I chose a 6 speed, would recommend since the tip I find dull although the performance is right up there for most drivers. The car can be bought without the high priced options without fear of adversely affecting the car or your enjoyment. Mine came with optional paint and the large aluminum package, neither are needed and cost over $5,000. I think I will enjoy the cab along with my 993 turbo.

Features & Specs

MPG
14 city / 21 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed manual
Gas
444 hp @ 5700 rpm
MPG
16 city / 24 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed manual
Gas
355 hp @ 6600 rpm
MPG
16 city / 24 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed manual
Gas
325 hp @ 6800 rpm
MPG
14 city / 21 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed manual
Gas
415 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2005 Porsche 911 features & specs
More about the 2005 Porsche 911
More About This Model

For carmakers, pulling off a "radical" redesign is not easy in the 21st century. There are two basic reasons for this. First, because most modern cars are already quite good; they rarely justify a thorough (and expensive) redo at the end of a product cycle. Second (and more importantly), once a model has been well received by its target market segment, any change to the status quo has the potential to drive away as many, or more, buyers than it brings in.

Porsche knows all about the precarious pitfalls that come with redesigning a legend. The last time the company introduced a new 911, in 1999, many of its traditional customers balked at the radical design changes, including the first application of a water-cooled engine and large headlight clusters with integrated turn signals (a styling cue lifted directly from the 1997 Porsche Boxster). It is worth noting, however, that despite grumblings from the self-appointed "real" Porsche guys, the 1999-2004 version (known internally as 996) sold over 60,000 units, with 12,000 units selling in the year 2001 alone. Porsche officials told us they consider the 996 a highly successful model, which is all well and good…until you remember condition number two above. Put simply, if the existing 911 is doing so well, how does the company make it better without risking the current car's level of success?

The answer seems straightforward enough: improve the areas that need work without upsetting the areas that already work quite well. If you've read anything about the new C6 Corvette, you already know GM operated under a similar philosophy when it redesigned that sports car. But things aren't as clear cut with Porsche buyers. For instance, adding water cooling to the 911 clearly improved the car's performance potential, but that didn't stop a certain percentage of Porsche buyers from turning their backs on the car. The same could be said about taming the car's dicey at-the-limit handling nature that comes from its rear engine layout. Both changes ostensibly made the car "better," yet both caused undeniable strife within the 911's fan base.

For all the turmoil experienced by many of these so-called 911 "traditionalists," we continue to believe that a faster, nimbler, more refined and better-behaved sports car is superior to its predecessor, tradition be damned. Thankfully, Porsche designers agree, as seen by the 2005 911 Carrera (dubbed the 997 internally).

Within moments of seeing the car, you are assured that, at least externally, the designers in Stuttgart got it right. Ferry Porsche, who penned the original 911, is said to have described that model as "an honest and a clear shape." Thankfully, the current designers didn't muck up Ferry's "clear shape." They merely improved the areas that needed work (headlight design and side panels) without upsetting the areas that worked quite well (overall shape and proportions). Everything but the roof on the 2005 model is new, yet the car retains its trademark style.

While the round headlamps and slimmer waist look better, they also incorporate functional improvements. The car's overall coefficient of drag has been reduced from 0.30 on the 2004 models to 0.28 for the new Carrera and 0.29 for the Carrera S. Wider front and rear wheel arches not only give the car a more muscular look but also incorporate one-inch-wider tracks and an updated, wider suspension design for improved stability and ride comfort. The larger wheels (standard 18-inch on Carrera and 19-inch on Carrera S) further enhance the 911's look and performance, and standard variable-ratio steering causes the front wheels to turn faster when the steering wheel moves more than 30 degrees off center.

Other not-so-obvious changes include a reworked underbody tray, redesigned rear spoiler and new side mirrors that reduce lift and cut wind noise at highway speeds and beyond. The active spoiler deploys at 75 mph and retracts when vehicle speed drops below 50, though a dash-mounted switch can be used to raise the spoiler even at a standstill. On Carrera S models, the exhaust system ends in twin round tailpipes on each side of the rear fascia while Carrera models feature twin oval pipes. The new exhaust system is also 12.1 pounds lighter than before.

Emanating from those pipes is the sound of a more powerful flat six engine, whether in Carrera or Carrera S form. For the first time since 1977, Porsche is offering two different power plants in the 911. The Carrera starts with a 3.6-liter version that is fine-tuned for an additional 10 horsepower over the 2004 model, giving the car 325 hp at 6,800 rpm; peak torque remains at 273 pound-feet. Porsche says the new Carrera will get to 60 mph in about 5 seconds. The engine in the Carrera S features a displacement bump to 3.8 liters, along with a new intake manifold and a revised fuel delivery system. The result is 355 hp, 295 lb-ft of torque and a 0-to-60 time of 4.8 seconds. The Carrera S engine also features a vibration damper and an improved cooling system.

Transmission choices continue to be either a six-speed manual transmission or five-speed "Tiptronic" automatic. While the gear choices are the same, the design of the six-speed manual is all new, with thicker shafts and wider gears, along with strong steel gear synchros with carbon-coated first, second and third gear rings that resist wear. These changes are designed to shorten the shifter throws and reduce the effort required to row gears. The Tiptronic continues with minimal changes, though Porsche says it will now hold first gear until 7,200 rpm at wide-open throttle, rather than shifting at 6,900 rpm as in previous years.

Perhaps the most important mechanical feature added to the 2005 911 is the one called Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). The system, standard on the Carrera S and optional on Carrera models, is designed to offer 911 operators the choice of "two distinct driving personalities at the touch of a button." By pressing this button, located on the center console, the system switches from "PASM Normal" to "PASM Sport," lowering the car by 0.39 inch and incorporating firmer damper control. Porsche claims the system has cut lap times at the Nurburgring test track by 5 seconds compared to a 911 with the standard suspension.

PASM's continuously variable shock absorbers use multiple sensors to measure everything from steering wheel angle to road surface conditions to body movement. Even when the system is in "Normal" mode, it will modify suspension settings to account for emergency maneuvers, bumpy roads and heavy braking. This system works in conjunction with Porsche Stability Management (PSM), which returns on the 2005 Carrera and Carrera S, but with refinements of its own. New wheel sensors now allow it to react faster when a loss of traction occurs.

Both the exterior and the mechanical changes are subtle, but an all-new interior is what vaults the 2005 model ahead of previous versions. We've long considered the car's cabin its Achilles' heel, but we'll have to find a new area to harp on with the 997. First, the basic materials are improved with softer leather and a classic dash design that is more compact than in recent models. The steering wheel is lighter, offers tilt and telescoping adjustments and can be ordered with multifunction controls to operate the audio, navigation and telephone systems. The front seats have received a much appreciated upgrade with wider seat bottoms and seat backs, higher side bolsters and a lightweight design. Buyers can also opt for sport seats that offer more lateral bolstering, as well as adaptive sport seats with full power adjustments.

Further interior improvements come in the form of a larger gauge cluster that is easier to read and relocated window switches (from center console to driver door) that are easier to use. Standard audio includes a nine-speaker system with a single CD player and prewiring for easy installation of a CD changer. The navigation system is now DVD-based, and an optional Bose surround sound system bumps the speaker count to 13 while adding AudioPilot technology that is designed to compensate for wind and road noise inside the vehicle. Heck, the car even has two semifunctional cupholders that can retract and disappear above the glovebox when not in use.

Those seeking the ultimate interior toy can opt for the Sport Chrono Package Plus. Part of this package includes revised settings for PSM and PASM (if equipped) to allow for more aggressive driving styles. But the package's most unique interior feature comes in the form of a digital/analog combination stopwatch mounted at the top, center part of the dash. By using a stalk on the steering column a driver can control the stopwatch to theoretically record lap times. It's not quite as accurate as fixed timing lights located on the driving course, but the system will provide real-time updates and display the results on the car's central screen. After driving one lap, the system will have a sense of where the turning and braking points are on a road course, allowing it to tell the driver how fast he is going compared to previous laps. Of course, serious drivers know they should be focusing on the road, and not on a digital readout, when driving hot laps….

Our limited seat time in the new 911 didn't allow for a final assessment of its abilities, but we can tell you that the PASM system effectively alters the car's driving characteristics, the new six-speed manual works better than ever and the variable-ratio steering gives the car a more responsive demeanor. And while we're big fans of the updated interior design, the Sport Chrono Package Plus needs a consistent trigger system to provide the kind of race-day functionality and accuracy needed to justify its cost.

But the most important question about the new 911 was answered during our brief time behind the wheel — the legend still lives. Sure, the traditionalists will no doubt bemoan the improved cupholders as yet another sign of the car's evaporating soul, but the rest of us know it is simply a better sports car than the previous version…again.

Used 2005 Porsche 911 Overview

The Used 2005 Porsche 911 is offered in the following submodels: 911 Coupe, 911 Turbo S, 911 Convertible, 911 GT3, 911 GT2. Available styles include Turbo S AWD 2dr Cabriolet (3.6L 6cyl Turbo 6M), Carrera S Rwd 2dr Coupe (3.8L 6cyl 6M), Carrera Rwd 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl 6M), Carrera S Rwd 2dr Cabriolet (3.8L 6cyl 6M), Carrera Rwd 2dr Cabriolet (3.6L 6cyl 6M), GT3 Rwd 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl 6M), Turbo S AWD 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl Turbo 6M), Turbo AWD 2dr Cabriolet (3.6L 6cyl Turbo 6M), Targa Rwd 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl 6M), GT2 Rwd 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl Turbo 6M), and Carrera 4S AWD 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2005 Porsche 911?

Price comparisons for Used 2005 Porsche 911 trim styles:

  • The Used 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera is priced between $26,995 and$26,995 with odometer readings between 66676 and66676 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2005 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) 2005 Porsche 911 for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2005 911s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $26,995 and mileage as low as 66676 miles. 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 2005 Porsche 911.

Can't find a used 2005 Porsche 911s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Porsche 911 for sale - 12 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $25,081.

Find a used Porsche for sale - 3 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $21,840.

Find a used certified pre-owned Porsche 911 for sale - 7 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $20,847.

Find a used certified pre-owned Porsche for sale - 5 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $21,749.

Should I lease or buy a 2005 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