Vital Stats

Engine:
3.8L Flat-6
Power:
400 HP / 325 LB-FT
Transmission:
7-Speed DCT
0-60 Time:
3.9 Seconds
Top Speed:
184 MPH
Drivetrain:
All-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3,230 LBS
Seating:
2+2
Cargo:
4.41 CU-FT
MPG:
19 City / 26 HWY
Base Price:
$105,630
As Tested Price:
$145,305
I don't care who you are; when a new Porsche 911 rolls up in your driveway, that's a pretty good day. This was my very first experience with Porsche's 991 911, and after having spent time with just about every tune and trim of the last car, I was hotly anticipating comparing and contrasting.

Somehow (I don't remember sending out any cash-filled, unmarked envelopes) I'd scored a week in the 911 Carrera 4S over a long holiday weekend, too. That meant that I'd get to A) log a ton of miles in one of the best cars in the world, B) get to show-off the Porsche to family and friends and C) tempt cops in three states to pull me over. Good thing I've got the Autoblog traffic lawyer on speed dial...

Driving Notes
  • I've never been one to find every-single 911 ever completely attractive – I find the 996 Cabriolets are a particularly bad representation of the legend's style – but I think the 991 generation is sexy as hell. When my test car showed up in Guards Red over black wheels, I was smitten right away. Silver or black might be safer choices with this body shape, but I can't help but think the profile of the car – sleeker than ever now – is nearly perfect. With that said, erecting the retractable rear spoiler completely ruins the body line, even if it helps keep the car pinned to the Earth at triple digit speeds.
  • The longer wheelbase of the 991 Carrera does set the car up as a better all-around driver and grand touring car than its 997 predecessor. On the negative side, this means that this 911 doesn't feel quite as quick to turn in and rotate on a dime. Also, slightly more grown-up chassis and suspension tuning mean that I get less of a sense of overall road feedback, too. The positive side of that trade-off is a greater level of high-speed stability, with what remains an ultra-smooth, ultra-confident driving experience on the best of roads. And, while the electric power steering system's feel might not be quite as good as the last-gen 911's hydraulic setup, or the current Boxster and Cayman, it's still light years ahead of many other sports cars.
  • I put more than 700 miles on this Porsche over the long 4th of July weekend, with a trip to Chicago from Ann Arbor, including plenty of backroads along the way. It's not particularly sexy to say so, but the Carrera 4S is as just about as practical as anything in the "near-supercar" category is likely to get. Seats for the two passengers up front are comfortable and supportive, with plenty of head, elbow, and leg room for a car this size. Visibility is actually pretty decent, too, considering the silhouette of the machine. I was shocked to see highway fuel economy over the EPA estimated rating of 26 miles per gallon, especially considering I was doing a pretty steady 80 miles per hour most of the time I was on the interstate. And, it's a story you've heard before, but there's more than enough luggage space for two people as long as both occupants can get along with two standard-size rollerboard suitcases.
  • Of the roughly $40,000 worth of options on my 911 4S (stickering at $145,305 over a base of $105,630), perhaps the best value was the $360 rear windshield wiper. (In fact, in terms of German-car options sheets, that's downright thievery.) Every car should have a rear wiper – I'll now be saddened every time I see a 911 without one, knowing the owner was just a couple hundred bucks away from all-weather rear visibility.
  • There aren't too many cars in the world that are this fast and this grippy. I had to resort to flooring the throttle, with a whole handful of lock on a wet road to kick the heavy tail out with any conviction. The all-wheel-drive system is impressive, to be sure. And, considering the output figures of 400 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque aren't all that impressive by modern sports car standards, this Carrera 4S still feels astonishingly quick from point to point. Wide open throttle – in Sport mode with the exhaust opened all the way up – sounds about as close to perfect as it gets, too. If you have the chance, drive this car.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 71 Comments
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I know I am not the target demographic for this car, but the prices for Porsches seem to be wayyy out of control. Looking at this car brings me back to arguably my favorite Porsche ever: the 993 Turbo. On the Turbo, you got: AWD Twin turbo flat 6 400/hp/400 lb-ft 0-60 in less than 4.0 seconds And that model cost $100k Now, we have arguable the same car 15 years later and it costs $45k MORE? It could be my nostalgia peeking through, but man, I just don't get it. Time to search the classifieds for a 993 Turbo in good shape.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        [blocked]
        sparrk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        15 years of inflation, also 15 years ago the US Dollar was still strong.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @sparrk
          [blocked]
        Ask Bjørn Hansen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        100k in 1998 is, adjusted for inflation $143 today, so it actually costs the same.
      Rob J
      • 1 Year Ago
      People harp on the optional rear wiper but there are plenty of people who will buy a 911 and not drive it in the rain all that often so it makes sense not to have one. And the price is really high, but that is probably not much more than it would add to the price of the car if it was standard. And finally, the 911 is still one of my favourite sports cars made today. I don't care if it is not as fast as a Corvette, Viper or GTR, having driven a 996 with a 6 speed, I instantly fell in love with the rear engine feel and the tingling sensation I felt in my spine. That being said, RWD>AWD for this stuff. But to each their own.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob J
        Rob, Good point about not driving in the rain. I would counter that, if you're only going to drive when the sun is out, don't bother with the AWD either. Thanks for the comment and for taking the time to read. -Seyth
      MMM
      • 1 Year Ago
      Amazing! Sunning! If I was in the market for a two seater sports car either 911 or Audi would be my top choses. GTR is a great car, but I do not feel any desire to own one when I see it. GTR as VIper are great for track. For everyday I would go for a 911 or Audi
      EB110Americana
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not sure I agree with the luggage space claim. 4.4 cubic feet of storage is nothing to brag about. The rest of the 911 is awesome, but that's the price you pay for a rear-engined sports car.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EB110Americana
        A fair criticism about the trunk. I suppose I mean that there’s plenty of room for storage to do the type of driving that I imagine people really do in a 911 – short road trips and grand touring kinds of things. It’s definitely not a lot of trunk space in an absolute sense. Its just enough to not be a pain in the ass. Thanks for reading! -Seyth
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Lachmund
        • 1 Year Ago
        funny name you got there little troll. aren't you getting tired of it?!
      Bandit5317
      • 1 Year Ago
      The statistics imply that this car is about as quick as the C7, which is half the price. The Porsche doesn't even appear to be more luxurious.
        chuckccole
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bandit5317
        The typical comment from a Corvette owner.
          Bandit5317
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chuckccole
          I don't own a Corvette. In general, I'm a fan of fast cars with incredible value. The Camaro ZL1, Mustang GT500, and (priced closer to the Porsche) GTR all offer similar or superior performance for less money.
          Lachmund
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chuckccole
          you seem to have a different definition of value than I have
          Bandit5317
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chuckccole
          I'm still waiting for someone to make a legitimate argument to justify the price. How about mentioning how this car is superior to its competition in any the following areas: practicality, fuel economy, luxury, driving dynamics, looks, or outright speed. These are examples of metrics which can be used to justify a car.
      Jay
      • 1 Year Ago
      It funny how the GTR comes up in every >$100k car review, yet Nissan didn't even sell 1500 of them last year in the US. Obviously people that can actually afford these cars are telling you what they would rather spend their money on.
        superchan7
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jay
        I've said it before...the GT-R is an amazing track machine, but it doesn't offer anything unique in the real world. Porsche offers a rear-engine froggy with a raspy boxer-six, Ferrari has screamer engines and a lot of red paint, Lambo has special windshield rake angles and scissor doors. The R35 GT-R offers monster track times, but do monsters really sell? Even the R34 and earlier GT-Rs played much better in their lower price bracket as surprisingly fast AWD sports cars. At $100k+ in the US, you need to offer something unique and stylish, not just "fast."
        Cayman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jay
        Agreed. If I needed a car to be the absolute fastest around the Nurburgring in order to make a living and had around $100K to spend, I'd probably go with a GT-R or a Corvette. If I wanted a car to drive every day, have some fun on mountain roads and occasionally take it to the track, I'd go with a 911 (probably RWD though).
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 1 Year Ago
      The people complaining about this car's price just don't get it. You're not just paying for a spec sheet with this car. I don't know why that's so hard to understand. No, you're buying much more than that- quality, refinement, heritage, and yes, brand cachet. I promise you that a 911 owner doesn't care that a Corvette is as fast for half the price. Or that a GT-R has 911 Turbo performance for the same money. That's the last thing that crosses their minds.
      techie69
      • 1 Year Ago
      Porsche you got to move on with the times, those black wheels to replicate the past looks awful on the new model!
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's really hard to see the justification for the price of this car. You can get a Cayman S for half the price, or for just a bit more you can step up to a true exotic like the R8 V10. Porsche had the sweet spot in the high end sports car market for so long. Now they've gotten greedy and pushed themselves out of it.
        telm12345
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ferps
        I hate to agree with that comment because Porsche was just great at knowing where to be. Is this VW in action? Just curious.
      Ross
      • 1 Year Ago
      $ 145k? hahahaha How does Porsche get away with that? WOW
        sparrk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ross
        That happens when you build a good quality product that many people want.
          sparrk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @sparrk
          Rear engine it a lot more fun than mid engine. And how many rear engine sportscars are on the market today ?
          Ross
          • 1 Year Ago
          @sparrk
          Not disputing it's a good quality product. But so is the Cayman and for a whole lot less. Mid engine I might add... :)
          Helix
          • 1 Year Ago
          @sparrk
          A good marketed product. That's much more important.
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