Porsche 911 Carrera S as a motorway cruiser

Hi all, been doing a lot of thinking and originally wanted a cheap sub-£10k motorway cruiser with good MPG. I have the funds to buy something a little nicer and feel now is the time to just take the plunge and get my dream car.

I am looking at a 2012-2014 911 Carrera S with the automatic gearbox. How are these cars in terms of reliability? Looking at forums claim to get around 35-40 MPG on a motorway run which isn't too bad for the type of car it is. 

Anything else to look out for?

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Comments

  • Servicing costs
     Car Tax bracket
    Routine “consumables” such as tyres,brakes

    Whilst the purchase price may be attractive, you might find the running and maintenance costs to be prohibitive 
  • facade
    facade Posts: 6,902
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    edited 26 September 2023 at 10:55AM
    Didn't Mike Brewer and that mechanic with zero personality get one "cheap" because the engine had an expensive but common problem? I forget what it was but it needed at least one piston & liner IIRC

    Make sure you get one with a comprehensive warranty that actually works, and it will need phenomenally expensive servicing. Premium brands come with premium costs.
    I want to go back to The Olden Days, when every single thing that I can think of was better.....

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  • Goudy
    Goudy Posts: 1,430
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    edited 26 September 2023 at 11:19AM
    The 911 version between these dates is the 991.
    Carrera has a 3.4 flat six and the Carrera S has a 3.8 flat six.

    These engines are better than the previous versions which suffered a few serious issues (like the IMS bearing, but the 991's cams are driven directly off the crank)  but can still suffer from some cooling issues.

    The radiator design and position are a bit of a comprise and the water pump is a known weak spot. The whole cooling system requires regular maintenance and the water pump replacement sooner rather than later.
    Any over heating issues causes some serious engine damage, like bore scoring.

    The auto gearbox or PDK is a dual clutch system and is generally reliable though early cars tended to need software updates to solve some shifting hesitation and they all need regular servicing.

    This model used electric power steering and apart from it feeling much number than the old system Porsche used, it can through up some glitches.
    It's very power hungry so the electrical system needs to be in tip top condition.
    A lot are Sunday cars so those tend to suffer due to low battery charge as they are prone to drain, but that's not to say the electric motor isn't failing.

    You will find most cars this age are now out of the dealer network for servicing, some of these will have some flaky history from then on. Be wary of lots of receipts for simple "oil and filter change", they require a lot more servicing checks than that, chances are it's all been skipped.
     
    The cars worth interest would be the ones that either stayed in the network or made their way directly into independent Porsche specialist hands.
    They'll tend to have quite large receipts for servicing and checks with hopefully just a few parts listed like filters and oil.

    You will also need to consider "Porsche Tax".
    They do take some very expensive care but that still doesn't mean they won't need some very expensive work on them sooner rather than later.
    They can eat tyres for fun and it's nailed on you'll need the alignment checking every time it's in for them, not something you want Baz down a Quickifit doing.

    I've had a couple of Porsches, a 986 Boxster S and a 997 Carrera.
    I've enjoyed them for a short while but they all tended to be a bit of a financial nightmare. 
    It's a bit gut wrenching staring at some very large parts bills for everyday items even though I did most of the labour on them.
    If you can afford it and have your eyes open, do it.
    If not, perhaps leave it as a dream.

    Oh and I would take those MPG results with a large pinch of salt.

  • Goudy
    Goudy Posts: 1,430
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    facade said:
    Didn't Mike Brewer and that mechanic with zero personality get one "cheap" because the engine had an expensive but common problem? I forget what it was but it needed at least one piston & liner IIRC

    Make sure you get one with a comprehensive warranty that actually works, and it will need phenomenally expensive servicing. Premium brands come with premium costs.
    The last one they did was a 2007 black and gold 997, but as already mentioned poor cooling results in the same problems for the 991.
  • Herzlos
    Herzlos Posts: 14,618
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    Honest John's figures put the real mpg at 22mpg, which sounds about right:


    It'll be fine cruising on the motorway, and be pretty nice to drive, but it will not be cheap in any way.


  • Wonka_2
    Wonka_2 Posts: 610
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    There's no such thing as a cheap Porsche - but you balance running costs (of a good one) vs depreciation and feelgood factor whilst recognising you need the access to funds if you get a bad one.

    I've put 25k miles on a 2009 2.9 Boxster in the last couple of years - at the best on a 400 mile motorway trip I managed 38,6mpg but usually I'm sub 30mpg (and round town/in traffic in the low 20's)

    I bought with low mileage, have paid Porsche service prices (but discounted as it qualifies for the classic register) and with 18" wheels the tyre prices are acceptable.

    I've no plans of swapping it in the near future but even if I did it's cost me less than most of my previous cars over similar lengths/terms of ownership

    That said would I look to do it in something higher value/more complex - not a cat in hells chance. Your economy expectations are way out of line, depending on the engine VED could be £600+ with insurance to match and your consumable costs are likely to be significant.

    Apart from anything else although they're a pleasant place to sit they're wasted on a motorway - always have more fun on the A38 over Bodmin Moor than on the 6hrs of motorway before I get there :) 
  • I've had a 986 Boxster S for 19 years, done 100,000 miles in it and for about 70% of that time it was my daily driver, so I have some experience of the brand and the flat six engine.  35-40mpg from a 3.8L is pie in the sky.  35mpg on a 400 mile journey to Edinburgh on the motorway was the best I ever achieved from mine with the 2.7L engine, doing a leisurely 60mph the whole way as I tried to make it on a tank (I just made it). It's not really a motorway mile-eating car though, it's much more enjoyable on twisty stuff.  Around town 25mpg was normal, less if the journeys were under 10 miles as there's a lot of water to get up to temperature, and 30mpg is about what to expect at normal motorway speeds not exceeding the legal limit in any meaningful way.  It drops quickly as your average speed increases though.

    Servicing costs are not the horror story that some are painting, at least not from independent specialists.  £200 for a minor, £350 for a major, I don't have stamps for recent services as the book is full now.  I had some maintenance bills that scraped into four figures, like when I needed to replace one of the (three) radiators which was weeping and did the other two at the same time, and both aircon radiators (or whatever you call them)  as they were looking their age and they are all stacked at the front of the car so while it was apart I thought I might as well get the whole lot down, as well as some other jobs.  That was a once in 20 years job though, so I don't begrudge it.  Clutch replacement at 98k miles was £750 etc.

    It has been the most reliable car I have ever owned, and in terms of total cost of ownership divided by time, the cheapest and my others has been much less interesting (repmobile spec Cavalier, Pug 405, Audi A6, Citroen BX etc).

    After a few years I went down from 18" wheels to 17" for a bit more sidewall depth, which barely affected the on the limit handling but definitely improved the ride quality (still have the sport classic II wheels in the garage though).  I've always bought the Michelin Pilot Sport tyres they recommend and can't fault them.  15-18k for the rears and at least 50k for the fronts (the sidewall rubber starts to split before they get down to the wear indicators in my experience)  

    Insurance cost had been steady at £199 for several years, though it dropped to £178 this year for no apparent reason.

    Absent a mechanical catastrophe and using independent garages, they aren't inherently massively more expensive to run. More expensive, yes, but it's a more expensive car.  Modern Porsches (anything post 993)  are built to do 20,000 miles a year just like a Mondeo, and will do exactly that if maintained properly.
    Proud member of the wokerati, though I don't eat tofu.Home is where my books are.Solar PV 5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.Mortgage free July 2023
  • Dave_5150
    Dave_5150 Posts: 246
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    edited 28 September 2023 at 2:31PM
    Expect to pay around £55k for a decent one at the moment (used Porsche prices are currently bonkers) and put away a minimum of £4,000 per year for basic running costs. MPG will be low 20's.

    But if it's your dream car and you are happy with the above then fill your boots  :)
  • motorguy
    motorguy Posts: 22,441
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    edited 27 September 2023 at 9:27PM
    Hi all, been doing a lot of thinking and originally wanted a cheap sub-£10k motorway cruiser with good MPG. I have the funds to buy something a little nicer and feel now is the time to just take the plunge and get my dream car.

    I am looking at a 2012-2014 911 Carrera S with the automatic gearbox. How are these cars in terms of reliability? Looking at forums claim to get around 35-40 MPG on a motorway run which isn't too bad for the type of car it is. 

    Anything else to look out for?

    Running costs will be collosal.  

    Buy the "wrong" 911 and you'll suffer heavy depreciation.  Some are prone to throwing big bills depending on year, engine size, etc.

    To be honest it would be a bit of a minefield to traverse and would cost you a lot more than you'd think.

    You're buying a 10 year old car with £150K car running costs.  Maintenance will be pricey - try to get it done cheap and it'll affect the resale, do it right and it'll cost you an arm and a leg.

    Buying a 911 is only the start of your costs.  

    Odd going from a 2004 Yaris 1.33 to perhaps a Citroen HDI diesel, and now a £50K 911?

    You seem to be jumping about quite a bit...
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