Porsche 911 (996) (1997 – 2004) Review

Looking for a Porsche 911 (996) (1997 - 2004)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Porsche 911 (996) (1997 – 2004) At A Glance


+Porsche driving pleasure with precise, mechanical feel. Fierce performance yet docile enough for daily use. Solidly built.

-Ugly. Understeer. Very expensive problems with oil/water contamination and Nickasil bore liners. Noisy drivetrain on four-wheel-drive versions. Iron discs rust.

Looking for a Porsche 911 (996) (1997 - 2004)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Car seat chooser

Child seats that fit a Porsche 911 (996) (1997 – 2004)

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.

Which car seat will suit you?

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

We need your help with our latest Satisfaction Index, so that we can help others make a smarter car buying decision. What's it like to live with your car? Love it? Loath it? We want to know. Let us know about your car - it will only take a few minutes and you could be helping thousands of others.

Help us with the Honest John Satisfaction Index now

Ask Honest John

I'm looking for a fun convertible for £14,000 - what do you advise?
"I've got £10,000 - £14,000 to buy a car that's a bit of fun. It won't be driven over huge mileages - I've got a diesel Skoda Superb for that. But I've never had a vehicle that's been genuinely exciting. It has to have four seats and my son is keen for it to be a convertible. I was thinking maybe an Audi S4."
I'd be tempted to invest in a classic (or future classic) that's bottomed out in value. Something like a Porsche 996 911 or Mercedes-Benz R129 SL will be a lot of fun, while also being very different to your Skoda Superb. They'll take a bit more maintenance and you'll need to do your research before buying one, but buy well and you won't lose a penny in depreciation. Combine this with cheap classic insurance and you could be onto a winner.
Answered by Andrew Brady
How do we go about restarting a car that's being stood for several years?
"In 2012 our older brother bought a tatty 2003 Porsche Carrera 996. He had the engine completely rebuilt and was well into the restoration when he got ill. It seems he's not going to get well enough to continue working on it so my other brother and I want to get the car going for him. The last time it was started was about two years ago. The cooling system has been drained down and the air con system does not have any pressure. Any idea what checklist we need to go through before turning the key? We're both retired engineers so we have time and are practical. The car has been kept in a modern dry garage. We did contact the local Porsche dealer for advice but they would only say they would collect it on a trailer and go through in the workshop - but to expect a bill around £500 - £600. We think we could do this work ourselves. It's the 3.6L Carrera 2 Targa."
You are in a position to start the engine if all the all bodywork, braking system and steering have been checked. You'll also need to check the tyres and exhaust system and the condition of the battery. And think about how old the fuel in the tank is. If you're unsure, drain and refill it with fresh fuel. First, remove the plugs and put a small amount of engine oil into each cylinder and turn the engine over by hand a few cycles so making sure that the cylinders are not too dry. Then carry out a complete check (or replacement) of the ignition system. Remove and test the Injectors (if not done on the rebuild) and drain and replace the engine oil plus filters. Replace the fuel filter and also check and replace the air filter if necessary. Next check or replace any coolant hoses and change the brake/clutch fluid. It's wise to change any drive belts as required and carry out a pressure test on the cooling system . There may be other areas that we have not covered, so you may want to contact the Porsche owners club, as we are sure they will have more detailed information. Hopefully the Porsche will be back on the road soon.
Answered by Alan Ross
Buying a used sports car - Porsche or TVR?
"My father, brother and I are looking to buy a sports car mainly for weekend driving. We are looking to spend around £25,000- £35,000 (maximum) and are looking at Porsche 911 997s and even some 996s. We have also thought about a TVR Tuscan or similar. What are the risks of the above and are we missing something obvious? "
Always get a 997 over a 996, regardless of the spec of the 996. A TVR will be a lot more trouble, but some people like constantly working on them, which is why they buy them. See the car by car entries for what goes wrong and how much it can cost. http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/porsche/ http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/tvr/
Answered by Honest John
Can I fit winter tyres to my Porsche 911?
"I own a 2003 Porsche 911 C2, with 18 inch wheels. I want to run the car in the winter and fit winter rims and tyres. Can I reduce the diameter and width of the rim for winter tyres?"
Not on this model. Smaller rims won't fit around the brakes. I've driven a 911 991 Carrera S on 20" Alpin P4s in Latvia and it was remarkable. But low profile 18 inch cold weather tyres will be expensive.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Porsche 911 (996) (1997 – 2004) cost?