Review: Porsche 911 (2015)
New turbocharged engines have more power and torque. As impressive to drive as ever with great everyday comfort alongside superb balance in corners. Still sounds and feels like a normally aspirated 911.
Turbo models are phenomenally quick but also incredibly expensive.
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Porsche 911 (2015): At A Glance
- New prices start from £78,776
- Contract hire deals from £964.85 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 49–50
- On average it achieves 83% of the official MPG figure
This 911 probably represents the biggest change to the iconic Porsche in decades. Not because of any daring alteration to the looks - as you can see, this is merely a nip and tuck of the version launched in 2011 - but because of the changes under the bonnet.
Porsche has ditched the normally aspirated engines that have until now powered the 911, replacing them with a new 3.0-litre engine fitted with twin turbochargers. So on paper this provides more power and better economy than the old 3.4-litre and 3.8-litre engines.
As you can imagine, this has set alarm bells ringing for Porsche purists, but get behind the wheel of this generation 911 and you'll discover that the addition of a smaller turbo engine only brings benefits.
It's still a flat-six engine with that distinctive sound and, while you can hear a faint bit of turbo whistle when accelerating, it's not an unpleasant or intrusive noise. And the performance benefits more than outweigh this. There's better response from low down and thanks an easier gearchange, the 911 is now even easier to drive in city traffic.
This all round ability has always been what's made the 911 so impressive and popular. And this 911 continues in the same vein. It's just as happy pottering around town as it is tackling a series of enjoyable corners. Make no mistake, this is still a serious performance car, it's just one that happens to be very comfortable and useable everyday.
The handling is as sharp as ever. This updated Carrera also sits 10mm closer to the road and features Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) as standard, designed to improve handling with variable performance modes.
The Carrera model has 370PS and manages 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds, if you go for the PDK gearbox. That's hardly slow but the Carrera S is the one to go for if you can afford it. It develops 420PS and takes less than 4.0 seconds to get to 62mph. Economy is unlikely to be a priority if you're buying a 911 but it has also improved with the manual Carrera averaging a claimed 34mpg.
The 911 may not be the most exclusive performance car around. In fact it has become a common sight compared to alternatives like the Jaguar F-Type or an Audi R8. But there's a reason for that. It's arguably the best all-round performance car on the market and has proved hugely popular. Don't let that put you off though - the 911 is easy to own and always a joy to drive.
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Porsche 911 (2015): What's It Like Inside?
The interior of the this 911 is near identical to its pre-facelifted counterpart. That's no bad thing though, it means it gets the same lovely low slung driving position, lots of seat adjustment and a high centre console with lots of buttons on.
Porsche says that while many manufacturers have gone for minimalist interiors, moving functions from buttons to touchscreens (the Audi TT being a prime example), it is sticking with clearly labelled old school switches for all the main functions. The idea being to make things clear and easy for the driver, letting them focus on driving.
There are some changes over the original 991 including a new steering wheel design, complete with a dial control if you choose the optional Sports Chrono pack - which we reckon you should do. It's a nice feature but oddly the quality of the switch isn't in keeping with the rest of the interior and so feels a little cheap. It's disappointing on a car at this price, especially given that it's a function the majority of drivers will use often.
Maybe we're being a little picky here, but the 911 is that good that anything which isn't up to scratch stands out even more. Not that practicality is an issue. The 911 may be a high performance coupe but it's also useable every day.
The rear seats may be useless for people, but they're handy as extra storage space for things like laptop bags. The luggage area at the front is deep and ideally suited to a standard aircraft cabin-friendly suitcase with room to spare. You can also get a decent weekly shop in there.
Other neat features include Isofix points on the rear seats. Isofix is also available for the front passenger seat 'on request' from Porsche (unless you go for the sports bucket seats). If you have younger children in rear facing seats it means you can still drop them off at nursery.
But the biggest change is the Porsche infotainment system. These have never been great and often lagged behind when it comes to connectivity and useability. Fortunately the fourth generation of PCM (or Porsche Communication Management) is a massive step forward.
It's no longer the weak point of the interior, with a far superior display, easier to navigate menus and extras such as Apple Car Play. The high resolution screen is bigger, like an iPad-mini has been placed on the dash, and it's now a touchscreen, so no more scrolling with a dial. There's a USB or aux-in and you can easily connect your phone (or iPod if you're old school like us) to play music plus, of course, there is Bluetooth for music streaming.
All 911 models come with leather interior, sports seats, Porsche Communication Management (PCM) including satellite navigation system with seven-inch colour touchscreen, universal audio interface offering telephone module and MP3 connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control, Sport, xenon headlights, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Porsche Stability Management (PSM), tyre pressure monitoring, Porsche Vehicle Tracking anti-theft system, three year warranty and three year roadside assistance package.
Child seats that fit a Porsche 911 (2015)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Porsche 911 (2015) like to drive?
No 911 model is ordinary but the 'standard' 911, as we'll call it, is the Carrera. Now while it's easy to lust after the ever more powerful models, the Carrera has all the power you'll ever need for every driving. The new 3.0-litre turbocharged engine produces 370PS - hardly what you'd call paltry - and with the standard seven-speed manual gearbox, it will accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds.
Seven-speeds on a manual gearbox might seem overkill, indeed it does take a little getting used to, but top gear is essentially just for motorway cruising if you want to save fuel. The gearbox itself has been carried over but improved with an easier shift making it less work in traffic or at low speeds.
In fact at low speeds, the 911 is as simple to drive as a Ford Fiesta. The clutch is easy, those gear changes light and the brakes nice and progressive. It may be a serious performance car, but it's a docile puppy around town.
The move from a normally aspirated engine to a turbocharged unit only being benefits to the 911. The engine has more torque low down so there's better response when you need it. It still sounds and feels like the older, larger engines - this is still a flat-six after all - but it's also more powerful and more economical. Basically it's a win win.
To make things even easier, Porsche offers the 911 with the seven-speed PDK automatic gearbox. This has been massively improved since it was first introduced in the 911 in 2009 and now offers much crisper and more eager changes.
Whether you want an automatic in your 911 is down to preference. We'd always go for the manual, just for the extra sense of involvement and enjoyment. But what the PDK does give you is better performance - on paper at least. Add in the Sport Chrono pack (with launch control) and it will accelerate from 0-62mph in just 4.2 seconds.
The PDK also sees claimed economy improve from 34.0mpg to 38.2mpg. Few people buy a 911 for the economy but at least these figures make the Porsche useable as every day car and mean you won't be visiting the local petrol station every five minutes...
The Carrera S uses the same engine but power is boosted to 420PS while torque goes up to 500Nm from 450Nm in the Carrera. Thanks to the turbocharger, that torque is available from low down at just 1700rpm, meaning better acceleration when coming out of a slow corner.
Thanks to the fact this is still a flat-six engine is has that characterful Porsche noise. There is a slight turbo whistle if you listen out for it, but most of the time that's drowned out by the lovely exhaust note.
As before, the 911 is beautifully balanced and a joy to drive. Get it out onto an empty sweeping road and you'll enjoy every corner. The 911 turns in with great response, the steering has plenty of feel, plus there's huge amounts of grip, even though this is a rear-engined car. Of course for added traction there are the Carrera 4 models, with all-wheel drive.
This updated Carrera also sits 10mm closer to the road and features Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) as standard, designed to improve handling with variable performance modes. It makes the 911 even more confidence-inspiring yet enjoyable to drive even at moderate speeds. This is not a car that has to be driven to its limits to be appreciated.
|Carerra 4 Cabriolet GTS||29 mpg||4.1 s||220 g/km|
|Carerra 4 Cabriolet GTS PDK||31 mpg||3.7 s||196 g/km|
|Carrera||34 mpg||4.6 s||190 g/km|
|Carrera 4||33 mpg||4.5 s||201 g/km|
|Carrera 4 Cabriolet||32 mpg||4.7 s||206 g/km|
|Carrera 4 Cabriolet PDK||36 mpg||4.3 s||182 g/km|
|Carrera 4 GTS||30 mpg||4.0 s||216 g/km|
|Carrera 4 GTS PDK||32 mpg||3.6 s||192 g/km|
|Carrera 4 PDK||37 mpg||4.1 s||177 g/km|
|Carrera 4S||32 mpg||4.2 s||204 g/km|
|Carrera 4S Cabriolet||31 mpg||4.4 s||208 g/km|
|Carrera 4S Cabriolet PDK||35 mpg||4.0 s||184 g/km|
|Carrera 4S PDK||36 mpg||3.8 s||180 g/km|
|Carrera 4S PDK Cabriolet||-||-||206–207 g/km|
|Carrera Cabriolet||33 mpg||4.8 s||195 g/km|
|Carrera Cabriolet GTS PDK||34 mpg||3.8 s||190 g/km|
|Carrera Cabriolet PDK||38 mpg||4.4 s||172 g/km|
|Carrera Cabriolet S PDK||30 mpg||4.2 s||214 g/km|
|Carrera GTS||30 mpg||4.1 s||212 g/km|
|Carrera GTS PDK||34 mpg||3.7 s||188 g/km|
|Carrera PDK||38 mpg||4.2 s||169 g/km|
|Carrera S||33 mpg||4.3 s||199 g/km|
|Carrera S Cabriolet||32 mpg||4.5 s||202 g/km|
|Carrera S Cabriolet PDK||36 mpg||4.1 s||178 g/km|
|Carrera S PDK||37 mpg||3.9 s||174–205 g/km|
|Carrera S PDK Cabriolet||-||-||208 g/km|
|Carrera T||30 mpg||4.5 s||215 g/km|
|Carrera T PDK||33 mpg||4.2 s||193 g/km|
|GT2 RS||24 mpg||2.8 s||269 g/km|
|GT3||22 mpg||3.4 s||288 g/km|
|GT3 R||21 mpg||-||296 g/km|
|GT3 RS||22 mpg||3.2 s||291 g/km|
|Targa 4||32 mpg||4.7 s||206 g/km|
|Targa 4 GTS||29 mpg||4.1 s||220 g/km|
|Targa 4 GTS PDK||31 mpg||3.7 s||196 g/km|
|Targa 4 PDK||36 mpg||4.3 s||182 g/km|
|Targa 4S||31 mpg||4.4 s||208 g/km|
|Targa 4S PDK||35 mpg||4.0 s||184 g/km|
|Turbo Cabriolet PDK||29 mpg||3.5 s||216 g/km|
|Turbo PDK||29 mpg||3.4 s||212 g/km|
|Turbo S Cabriolet PDK||29 mpg||3.2 s||216 g/km|
|Turbo S PDK||29–31 mpg||2.9–3.1 s||212 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Porsche 911 (2015)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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