April 22, 2014
When we last saw our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, it was being loaded onto a transport truck. The truck driver told us it would take two to four weeks to reach Pittsburgh, its final destination. Now, about four weeks later, the Porsche 911 has finally arrived.
Here's a note from its new owner, Tom:
March 19, 2014
Our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet has a new owner and is headed to Pittsburgh. Sorry Gslippy and Noburgers, but we didn't go back to CarMax. The buyer, Tom, contacted me on Autotrader and paid to have the pre-purchase inspection that we reported earlier. The 911 earned a clean bill of health, but Tom hadn't yet made an offer. All that remained was agreeing on a price.
March 11, 2014
An out-of-state shopper contacted us about the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera and asked if we would take it in for a pre-purchase inspection. No problem, we said. If you're considering spending $83K for a used car, it's a good idea to give it a thorough inspection by an expert. We told the shopper to set up an appointment and we would take the car to the dealership.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be a bit more involved. Three dealerships turned down our shopper's request. Finally, Circle Porsche in Long Beach, agreed to do the inspection. Here's what they found.
February 18, 2014
Our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet never sat parked in our garage for big stretches of time. It was one of the most popular vehicles we've had around here and deservedly so. That's great for us, but when it comes to selling the car, not so much.
I took the 911 to CarMax for an appraisal the other day, filled with confidence for the price it would fetch. After all, it's a Porsche 911. These things keep their value like a champ, right? But now it seems I might have drunk some Porsche owner's Kool-Aid, or should I say sparkling wine?
February 12, 2014
I had driven our 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet once before. Well, "driven" isn't the most accurate description of the experience. More like, "moved the car 10 feet to another parking spot." I don't think my feet even touched the accelerator. But, with the car's retirement date fast approaching, I knew I wouldn't get another shot. This is the story of how I got lost on the way to the gas station and ambled up and down Pacific Coast Highway one lazy morning in January.
February 5, 2014
Scheduling conflicts left our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet in the garage too much of the time this past month. (Shame, I know. We're all heartbroken).
January 23, 2014
It's the first rule you hear about 911s, right? When the back end starts sliding, resist your instincts and push through it. That back end is the only thing propelling you forward. It's one thing to initiate rear-wheel drift, quite another when it's unexpected. So in the few times I drove our former 1985 Porsche 911 in the rain, I'd always remember the story of my father's friend, who long ago stuffed his late-1970s 911 into the guardrail of a freeway transition on a wet day.
January 22, 2014
There's not much in the way of stowage compartments in our 2013 Porsche 911. A center console will typically have one or two open cubbies and/or a pair of cupholders. These are usually big enough to securely stash my phone, garage door opener and office garage key card.
The 911's console has no cupholders (they are hidden within the passenger's side of the dash) and has only a small covered compartment along with a tiny open cubby. The former is shallow and not as easily accessed as an open compartment while the latter is suitable for holding a few sticks of Dentyne. All is not lost however...
January 21, 2014
Adaptive headlights, or headlights that move in the direction that you're steering, are often underappreciated. It's easy not to notice them once you've driven a car that has them for a while, you just think it has really great headlights and forget about the fact that they follow your every move.
January 07, 2014
As our 2013 Porsche 911 long-term test nears its end, the miles are still racking up nicely. We added about 2,000 ticks to the odometer with a variety of driving. Our overall mileage number bumped up slightly to 21.1 miles per gallon which is still well below its EPA estimate for combined driving.
January 1, 2014
I've written before about how our 2013 Porsche 911's automatic "PDK" transmission is one of the best ever built. And after over 20,000 miles it still serves up incredibly quick shifts that are always perfectly timed.
But it's not without its issues. Recently I've noticed that it seems to be getting a little clunky at slower speeds. And by slower speeds I mean parking lot speeds, roughly 5-10 mph. There are occasional "thunks" from the gearbox that remind me of our long-term Nissan GT-R. That car also had a double-clutch automatic gearbox, but it was clunky from the start.
Our 911 merely feels like it has loosened up just a bit, something you only notice when it's trying to slip the clutch during a three-point turn. The rest of the time it's business as usual.
Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 21,263 miles
December 30, 2013
I admit, I sorta mock other publications when they occasionally sound the alarm for the endangered manual transmission. "Save the Manuals," they exclaim, with a cute graphic and some melancholy rumination about the slow death of the three-pedal box. Mercedes and Google will have us in autonomous cars within 10 years. These quaint protests are sweeping the tide with a broom.
December 26, 2013
Sad to say, I spend much more drive-time commuting compared to driving. What's the difference? In Los Angeles, about 35 mph. While commuting to the office, I rarely hit speeds above 30 mph. It takes a 5:30 a.m. departure from my house to even near the 65-mph freeway limit.
December 24, 2013
Although I generally agree with Carroll's sentiments about our 2013 Porsche 911's limited abilities as a cargo hauler, I was determined to make our cabriolet work for a couple of kid-related errands I had planned over the weekend.
See, a friend and I went halfsies on a pair of pre-owned (but in good condition and still very safe) rear-facing infant seats. I also got three car-seat bases out of the deal, which is very useful given how many cars my husband and I have between us. My friend figured we'd use her Accord to haul the seats away.
"No, no," I insisted. "They'll fit in the Porsche. I just need to lower the top."
December 23, 2013
Getting comfortable in our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet takes no time at all. Last spring I drove the car from Los Angeles to New York, so I know exactly how I like the seat.
Many miles have gone by since then, but the Porsche's interior looks the same with one exception. The leather lateral bolsters on the seat-back cushion are showing some wear. And oddly the outboard bolster on the passenger-side seat is significantly more worn than the one on the driver seat. In fact, I think a little leather conditioner would eradicate most signs of wear on the driver-seat bolster.
December 20, 2013
We recently took our 2013 Porsche 911 in for its 20,000-mile service. After the service, however, we noticed that the tires were aired up (at 39 psi front / 46 psi rear) to beyond max spec. We don't recall entering the 911 in a fuel economy contest or wanting to see how it handled the slalom with contact patches the size of silver dollars, so we checked into this.
December 19, 2013
I have patiently waited 359 and a half days to drive the long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet, but who's counting? I wasn't a fan of the last 911 I drove, but this one was far more modern. Would it be worth the wait?
December 16, 2013
Could our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet be a workable daily driver? After driving it for four days in a variety of circumstances, I give it a qualified yes.
December 13, 2013
I'm a wuss when it comes to the cold but I come by it honestly: I'm a native Californian, and I break out sweaters when the temperature drops below 70.
We had a "cold" snap recently, which meant the morning temperature was in the mid-to-high 40s, but sunny and beautiful. For a freeway-avoiding drive from Orange County to Long Beach, I took down the top on our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, engaged the electrically powered wind deflector and cranked up the heater and seat heaters. I like how little time the cabriolet operation takes: 2 seconds for the deflector to rise.
December 11, 2013
We're coming up on a year in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, and we ticked over the 20,000-mile mark recently. That meant it was time for the 20,000-mile "Intermediate" maintenance visit. I took the car to the Newport Beach dealership from whence we bought it. Now, after Beverly Hills, Newport Beach is renowned for its pricey ways, but here's why I decided to go there.
There are three Porsche dealerships within a 20-mile radius of where I live. The closest is very small, and while the service team is great, you need to schedule your maintenance and repair visits well in advance. Loaner cars are nearly impossible to get there. Another store has a bigger service department, but in this case, the dealer couldn't supply a loaner car. So Newport Beach Auto Center it was. The service department is huge, and Rick, the excellent service advisor, said a loaner would be no problem.
December 06, 2013
"Which would you rather have?" my mother asked. She wanted me to choose between two of our long-term cars: the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. I knew immediately what my answer was.
December 03, 2013
We added just over 1,300 miles to our 2013 Porsche 911 convertible in November.
Our best and worst fill numbers haven't changed since last month but our overall fuel economy dropped slightly to 21.0 mpg. We're running slightly behind the EPA combined estimates.
November 26, 2013
I've been using cruise control with much more frequency lately. In most cases, it keeps me from inadvertently exceeding the speed limit, which is easy in some of the more powerful cars that roll through the Edmunds lot.
On the way home one night in our 2013 Porsche 911, I discovered a minor peculiarity.
November 25, 2013
In some instances, it's better to hit the gas to avoid a collision rather than the brakes. There I was, cruising up the highway in seventh gear, when an inattentive driver alongside me started drifting out of his lane and into mine. I hit the gas to keep him from contacting the Porsche.
November 15, 2013
A month ahead of schedule, our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 has hit the 20,000-mile mark. Evidently, piling up the miles on this sports car is no sweat. Yes, that cross-country road trip certainly helped. But that journey and just living with the car on a daily basis both highlight one of the 911's most endearing qualities: its split personality.
November 14, 2013
When you buy a Porsche, you're expecting to get a boat-load of superlatives regarding performance. But would you expect the same regarding the interior controls? Probably not. Yet I'm actually quite impressed with our 2013 Porsche 911's electronic interface.
November 13, 2013
We've posted updates on our 2013 Porsche 911's performance previously. In our track testing, the car accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a quite respectable 4.7 seconds. Even better than that is the way the 3.4-liter flat-6 sounds as it sings towards redline. It's just awesome and pleasingly unique.
But I could also see where the 911's real-world performance would leave somebody wanting.
November 8, 2013
A sure way to burn away a solid half-hour out of your day (or more) is to fantasize about what your dream 2014 Porsche 911 would look like and then build it out on Porsche's Web site. (And if you don't need to fantasize because you already own your dream 2014 911, well, I tip my hat.)
Our introduction details how we ended up with our 2013 Carrera convertible. But I'm curious: if you could order your own 911, what would it be? Would you keep it simple or go all out on a 911 Turbo S or GT3? What options would you pick?
November 5, 2013
We added about 1,200 miles to our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera convertible during October. It didn't make any big road trips, so that mileage was largely racked up by our typical commuting within Southern California.
For the month, we averaged 20.9 mpg. That's close to our lifetime average since we started the test back in January.
November 1, 2013
A couple of years ago, Porsche ran a campaign, Engineered for Magic Every Day, where owners could submit real stories of using their cars. One promotional commercial at the time showed a guy buying bags of cement with his Cayman and a mom picking up kids at school in a 911 Turbo.
It's a clever commercial, but the funny thing with having a 911 Carrera in our fleet is that we've pretty much validated the whole concept. For instance, the past week I've used the 911 to take my two kids to school every morning, and it's been great.
October 29, 2013
Have you ever driven a car that seems to have a devilish personality? One that's always whispering in your ear for you to drive faster? Well, for me, our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera is like that. And it takes a lot of mental restraint to ignore it.
October 22, 2013
I've taken my mother in several of our long-term cars, but this was her first time in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera convertible. She screamed with fear when I put my foot in to the loud pedal of our SLS AMG Roadster. She squeaked with glee (and likely a little fear, too) when I showed our Cadillac ATS some corners and she couldn't stop staring at the Tesla Model S when we took it out to get frozen yogurt.
But I've never seen my mother as happy in a car, as when I put the 911's top down, turned up volume on the new Avicii single and drove her home from brunch.
October 21, 2013
I meant to show this when we last Track Tested our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. What you see here is a graph of two acceleration runs with time on the X-axis and speed on the Y. The red line shows the result of utilizing Launch Control.
October 17, 2013
I like simple things that work well. Resetting the trip meter in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet requires only one press by one finger.
October 16, 2013
It's no secret that our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet has cupholders, but they are hidden from plain site.
Tucked away in a space above the glove box, two bottomless cupholders will pop out if you press on the narrow chrome strip. While they will hold a cup or bottle, they are no good for storing change, keys, phones, or other trinkets while driving.
October 15, 2013
I don't care what the technical name is for the aerodynamic bumps you see from the driver seat of the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, but they are quite handsome.
October 7, 2013
Our managing editor, Donna DeRosa, went back and forth on whether to put our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet's top down. While I understood her dilemma, I had a much easier time making this decision last weekend.
October 3, 2013
Our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet has performed relatively the same as last month. We're averaging a little below the EPA combined estimate, as we have all along.
In August we drove our Porsche 1,170 miles, using about 64 gallons of 91-octane fuel.
October 2, 2013
Last Wednesday I was hot-lapping our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet around The Streets of Willow, a tight small racetrack 100 miles northeast of our Santa Monica office. I had checked the tires and the tire pressures before the car touched the track.
That night I drove the 911 home. 110 miles. No problem.
October 1, 2013
The steering. The sound. The physical sensation of sitting forward of both the motor mass and drive wheels. These are the traditional characteristics to crush on in our 2013 Porsche 911, or any 911.
September 27, 2013
One specific element of the exterior design on the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera that I can't stop admiring is the taillights.
September 23, 2013
When I signed out our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet, I completely forgot that I'd be picking up my wife from the airport. Uh oh.
September 18, 2013
You know when I said I never put the top down on our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet.
September 16, 2013
I had the very good fortune of driving around in the new 2014 Cayman S recently. Now I'm in a quandary. Which would I rather have, a Porsche 911 or a Cayman S?
September 4, 2013
Our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet is running just below the EPA expectations for combined city/highway driving.
I've been driving it for the past few days and I can tell you I've been cranking the A/C in our 911 because of the late summer heat wave we've been having.
September 3, 2013
Yesterday I had a lot of city driving to do. I took my 6'1" brother to the eye doctor, which was 22 miles from my house. They warned him that he would need someone else to drive when he was done. So, I drove him to his appointment in our long-term 2013 Porsche 911.
Due to congestion, you never know how long it will take to get from place to place in Los Angeles, so we gave ourselves plenty of time. Turns out we had a nice stretch of open highway on the way to the appointment and arrived 45 minutes early. This car loves the open road and despite him being nervous about his appointment, we enjoyed the drive listening to satellite radio and passing commuters in the carpool lane.
September 2, 2013
It's nice to have a navigation system that tells you the local traffic conditions. Even if you can't do anything about it (which is the case about 99% of the time) just knowing what to expect is oddly soothing.
Then again, that's assuming that the system is accurate. That's not always the case in our 2013 Porsche 911. More than once I've been sitting in stop-and-go traffic while the navigation screen says it's green sailing ahead.
August 30, 2013
This 911 is better than ours for four reasons. Its color is number four. You guess the first three.
August 29, 2013
I'm an extremely pasty person. I can get sunburned just looking at a picture of the beach. So, while I enjoy the feeling of the free, fresh wind in my hair and life without care, I find I never actually drop the top on our Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet.
August 28, 2013
Is there anything worse than curbing a gleaming new wheel? In the grand scheme of things, yes, there are many. But confine the circumstances to driving and parking a valuable sports car and the wheel damage issue is always there.
August 23, 2013
Despite the support from the commenters here (thanks!) I still felt like a bit of a weenie for not taking the Tesla up to Monterey for the big Pebble Beach Weekend.
So, instead of doing something difficult, I hopped in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, which I know has 500 miles of range, and had some fun.
August 16, 2013
No boring low fuel warning message from Porsche. When our long-term 2013 911 Carrera dipped too low into its tank last night, it politely asked me to, "Mind remaining distance."
August 15, 2013
We've had our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet for 8 months and just a smidge more than 15,000 miles. In that time it has been overall an impressive drive, and nearly trouble-free to boot. The only unscheduled stop attributable to the car has been for a check engine light related to the fuel tank diagnostics module.
July 12, 2013
I like to use my left foot for braking. It feels natural once you get used to it and it's safer. There are plenty of people who will tell you differently, but to each his own.
As you can see, our 911 doesn't exactly accommodate left-foot braking. The brake pedal is clearly cheated over to the right. This obviously makes for easy to swap between the accelerator and the brake pedal with your right foot, but trying to squeeze both feet in there isn't very natural.
July 8, 2013
So I caught the Science Channel's How It's Made program a few nights ago. The program is currently showing a series called Dream Cars and features the Porsche 911 assembly plant in Stuttgart, Germany.
It made me laugh.
June 26, 2013
Last week I wrote a long-term update stating that Porsche doesn't clutter the 911's steering wheel with buttons.
I was wrong.
June 24, 2013
This morning I checked the Porsche's oil level. The entire process took about one second and I never left the driver's seat.
June 21, 2013
There's one thing a Porsche 911 can do that a Chevy Corvette, Porsche Cayman, Mercedes SLS, Mercedes SL, McLaren MP4-12C, SRT Viper, any new Lamborghini, and even a Nissan 370Z cannot: Take my kids to a ball game.
June 20, 2013
The coat hooks embedded in the 911's seat backs aren't especially useful. You can forget about using a nice hanger, as the cheap wire one seen here had to be severely misshapen to only slightly fit and even then, it quickly dislodged after only a minor jostle. Joan Crawford would not approve. Using them with a coat's internal tag hook works better, but the garment itself doesn't really have enough vertical real estate to hang down.
June 18, 2013
Porsche's 911 lacks even a single steering wheel button. This, I'd wager, is a choice. Possibly Porsche knows that a steering wheel's function is so fundamental to what happens while driving that cluttering it up with a bunch of buttons is something it refuses to do.
June 17, 2013
The presence of LATCH fasteners in our Porsche 911's back seats (I use the term loosely) means somebody thinks it's possible to put a child seat back there.
Here's the reality...
June 12, 2013
I'm not really a convertible kind of guy. I don't like roasting in the sun, I'd rather not have the wind in my hair, and the noise on highways gets old quickly. Now, I do appreciate the top-down experience more in cooler months when I can bundle up, throw on a hat and enjoy the car at slower speeds on a scenic and/or twisty road. There is certainly a more engaging experience one enjoys. Unfortunately, my wife takes little joy at any time of the year. She doesn't tolerate the cold and I certainly understand why she might not relish having long hair constantly whipping about her face. Put together, we are not ideal candidates for a lengthy drive in a convertible.
Nevertheless, the Porsche 911 Cabriolet turns out to be an exception.
June 10, 2013
There have been a few times now when I've gotten out of our 2013 Porsche 911 after driving it and found myself saying out loud (to myself, but hey, nobody else was around), "Man, this car is cool."
June 7, 2013
If you remember, Beverly Hills Porsche told us the cause of the check engine light on our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet was a faulty tank leakage diagnostics module. Apparently this has been an all-too-common problem on the 991 generation.
June 6, 2013
Porsche can make a damn fine sports car, but when it comes to cupholders, it doesn't waste much time on them. The fold out contraptions used in the 911 are marginal at best, so they don't stand a chance against the monstrous Styrofoam cups used at a local teriyaki bowl stand I splurge on every once in a while.
June 5, 2013
Whenever I drive our 2013 911 Carrera I'm always struck by how well Porsche's engineers sweat the details. It's evident throughout the cabin and it almost makes it feel like it's worth over $100,000.
June 3, 2013
Now that our Porsche 911 has settled back into daily driver duty after its cross country trip, its mileage has suffered a bit. Its overall mileage number dropped from 22.8 to 22.4 after several tanks of, uh, let's call it aggressive driving.
May 31, 2013
On a recent weekend morning I was out driving our long-term 2013 Porsche 911. It was a beautiful day. Sunny, 76 degrees and pretty blue sky and clouds. Ideal, you might say, for a convertible sports car such as our 911.
May 30, 2013
If you're fortunate enough to have a 2013 Porsche 911 at your disposal, I suspect you'll always been on the lookout for extra opportunities to drive it. Maybe your household needs some milk, or a drug prescription picked up. Exciting or mundane, it doesn't matter. All you need is an excuse.
May 29, 2013
A friend of mine owns an older 911, a 1983 911 SC. Curious to get his thoughts on our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 and 30 years of 911 progress, I suggested we go to lunch.
May 24, 2013
Cross country in a 911? Erin Riches and I did it around the time of the 2013 New York Auto Show in our Long-Term 2013 Porsche Carrera Cabriolet.
May 24, 2013
All right, so this is a lousy photo to illustrate my point, but you've seen a 911 before. You know what its hips look like. When we think of curves, we think Italian or maybe Jaguar (pound for pound, does anyone bend sheet metal better than Jaguar?).
May 23, 2013
For a car that's has so much history behind it, it's inevitable that car enthusiasts are going to have preconceived notions about the Porsche 911. From some of the comments we've read or heard, it seems our long-term 911 is seen as a "lesser" car by a few people.
It's the base model, not the high-output S, they say. It has the automated PDK transmission, not a traditional manual. It's a convertible. It's got the big, flashy 20-inch wheels.
This is the 911 you assume smarmy Hollywood agents buy simply because it's a "Porsch."
Maybe those agents do just that. But if you were to drive our 911, you'd realize that it still has more pure sports car genes in it than just about any other competitor.
May 22, 2013
Our 2013 Porsche 911 has driven through freezing temperatures, ice and snow, thanks to its trip to New York. Now, a couple of months later, you can add "forest fire!" to its check-off bucket list.
Actually, it was more of a 4,100-acre wildfire that I encountered about 80 miles north of Edmunds' Santa Monica, CA, office. There was no imminent danger to motorists at the time, but it made for some very interesting scenery.
May 20, 2013
As you've read before, finding the correct tire pressures for our 2013 Porsche 911 is no easy task.
We're currently running our tires at 31 psi front and 34 psi rear according to the "comfort, part load" specifications. In conversations with Porsche, they suggested that we use this tire pressure for our testing as well as it should give us the best results.
We could take their word. Or we could try it out for ourselves.
May 17, 2013
I took our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet to our friends at Beverly Hills Porsche. And like some kind of automotive Dr. House, assistant service manager Erik rendered a probable diagnosis without even looking at the car.
May 17, 2013
Takahashi noted it first, and although I always hope for spontaneous remission of car problems, there has been no self-healing here. The "check engine" light in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet continues, in its very correct German way, to covey both information and blame.