It’s a question I’m often asked – and ask myself: What’s the best buy, a Porsche 997 Carrera or a 996 Carrera 4S? You can pick up either for about the same money – under £25,000.
It’s a tough one. The logical choice as to be 997, as it’s the newer and more modern Porsche with, everyone says, the better looks and better interior. And early 997s are getting very affordable, with high-mileage 2004 examples touching £20,000. However, I usually steer people away from super-low-priced Porsches – they’re cheap for a reason. It’s usually better to pay a bit more for a well-maintained example in good condition.
Which takes us to the 996 Carrera 4S. You can pick up a beautiful example with a proper service history for well under our £25,000 budget. OK, you get the previous-generation 911 but you do get a relatively rare (and sought after) model with a great-looking rear end. As for the interior, well I rather like the 996 dashboard and, dare I say, in some ways prefer it to the fussier-looking 997 version.
The cars offer a similar driving experience. The 997 has the edge, but the 996 Carrera 4S is my favourite of the 996 Carreras to drive, as it has the benefit of Turbo suspension and brakes – which make more of a difference than you’d expect.
Finally, I know it’s a cliche, but will the 996 Carrera 4S become a future classic that people want to own? Possibly, but don’t expect to use one as a retirement fund.
Which would I choose? You know, I’m not sure! 🙂