- Telepathic handling
- Comfortable ride
- Not a bad engine pick
- Classic style...
- ...but not very imaginative
- Many, expensive options
- No back seat
The 2017 Porsche 911 is a toe into the waters of modernity with a base turbo engine that gets good fuel economy. Don't be fooled; it's every bit the super car it always has been.
The 2017 Porsche 911 marks one of the most significant changes for the sports car in recent history, but you may not know much by looking at it from the exterior.
The same teardrop shape remains, same Coke-bottle curves. But under the hood (which is in the back, by the way) is a 3.0-liter turbocharged flat-6 as standard. Yup, there are turbo 911s, then there are turbo Turbo 911s.
Our 7.8 overall rating reflects our feeling for the Porsche 911's superlative performance and great features. Predictably, a car that's looked relatively the same since the 1960s won't win many beauty pageants and it's not the most comfortable long-distance cruiser, but no one is perfect, right? (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Styling and performance
The details on the 911 read wider and lower this time around. Horizontal elements outside the car help make the 911 look wider and meaner, punctuated by a new set of taillights borrowed from the incoming Panamera. The interior looks the same: classic, and great—in any color you like.
The aforementioned engines are the headline. A turbo-6 is the base engine and produces 370 horsepower and can rocket the car up to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds. More potent 420-hp Carrera S models do the same sprint in 3.7 seconds, and Turbo S models—the mountaintop of 911 spec hunters—with 580 hp make the dash in 2.8 seconds.
The base 911 is rated at 30 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined, which is impressive for a performance machine. Most 911 models hover around 20 mpg combined, including the 911 Turbo super cars.
The engines are only half the story. The other half is told by the 911's amazing chassis and ride, its ability to shrink around the driver, and its stop on a dime. Of course, none of these things come cheaply, but even base models are more sports car than many mortals will ever approach.
If we can offer some wisdom: all the power under the hood should be corralled by equally impressive brakes. Ceramic composite pinchers cost a pretty penny (nearly $9,000) but are a must for 911 owners with dreams of taking their car to the track. Confidence in the brake pedal is hard to put a price on, especially in a six-figure ride.
Comfort, safety, and features
The 911 is fit for a king, queen, or both, just not more than that please. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, able to take a long drive and soak up the miles. Even long-legged drivers will find enough room behind the wheel, assuming you take the rear seats at face value: they may as well be painted on. When folded down, the rear seats become an addendum to the 911's up-front storage "frunk," and two people for a weekend should have no problem hauling clothes and supplies.
Like many sports cars and super cars, the 911 hasn't been evaluated by either major safety rating organization, so we can't predict much about its safety if worst comes to worst. The 911 has an exemplary set of airbags and it's very maneuverable—the first line of defense in avoiding a crash.
A 911 options list reads like the SATs and takes at least as long. The car can be customized in myriad ways (probably literally) but there are a few options worth considering. Luxury buyers will likely ponder a premium package that adds comfort features such as heated seats. Performance buyers will likely consider the Sport Chrono package that taps the 911's true potential via programming.
Beyond those two packages, the rest is gravy—we like the $530 body-color painted keyfob, personally. And then there are the leather-wrapped seat belt buckles. Really.