Reviews: 2018 Porsche 911 Sport Car

2018 Porsche 911 Review
2018 Porsche 911 Review
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Pros & Cons

  • Terrific handling
  • Powerful engines
  • Stylish interior
  • Some rivals have better infotainment systems
  • Rear seats not hospitable for passengers

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New for 2018

  • No major changes

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The high-ranking 2018 Porsche 911 hits the mark for what a luxury sports car should be. It combines world-class athleticism and performance with a refined and posh interior.

Is the Porsche 911 a Good Car?
Yes, the 2018 Porsche 911 is a good car. The latest iteration of Porsche’s flagship luxury sports car lives up to its iconic heritage in a big way. There are a handful of muscular engines to choose from, and the 911’s sharp, track-ready handling lets you take full advantage of all that power. Also, its fuel economy is pretty good for the class.

The front seats have plenty of support for spirited driving, and there are stylish touches throughout the cabin. The rear seats are cramped, so you likely won’t want to use them much. The trunk has barely enough room for a few shopping bags. You may want to flip down the back seat for more storage space, which turns the 911 into a two-seat fun machine. Additionally, the 911 has a perfect predicted reliability score.

Should I Buy the Porsche 911?

The 911 is undoubtedly an awesome car, so your only hang-up for buying one should be how much you can (and want to) spend. The 911 has one of the highest starting prices among luxury sports cars, north of $90,000. Prices can exceed $200,000 depending upon how you configure the car. This Porsche is one of the most customizable cars on the market, with dozens of trim levels, performance models, and three body styles.

Should I Buy a New or Used Porsche 911?

If cost is one of the main reasons you’re apprehensive about buying a 911, consider an older model instead of the 2018. There were no major changes between the 2017 and 2018 models, so you can likely save money on a used model without sacrificing many features. Porsche gave the 911 a heavy refresh for 2017, which makes that model a better choice than the few model years prior.

A new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged engine replaced the standard 3.4-liter engine, bumping up the base model’s horsepower from 350 to 370. That twin-turbo engine is also in Carrera S and Targa S models (420 horsepower), as well as the GTS (450 horsepower). The 2016 model’s 3.8-liter engine was replaced by a 500-horsepower 4.0-liter engine in 2017 GT3 R and RS models. The 911 Turbo and Turbo S received more horsepower: 520 to 540 and 560 to 580, respectively.

Other improvements included a new active rear-wheel steering system, a new driving mode selector, newly available active safety systems, and an upgraded infotainment interface with standard Apple CarPlay.

The 911’s current generation began with the 2012 model year, and it is only the third original platform in the car’s history. To research some other models in this generation, check out our reviews of the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Porsche 911.

How Much Does the Porsche 911 Cost?

Luxury sports cars are expected to cost a bundle, and while there are a few class rivals that cost much more than the 911, it’s still one of the more expensive cars in the class. The 2018 Porsche 911 Carrera, which is the base model, has a starting price of $91,100. The highest trim is the 911 Turbo S, which starts at $190,700.

911 Performance

911 Engine: Making a Case for Raising the Speed Limit
The 911 gives you a choice of three six-cylinder turbocharged engines. The base engine puts out 370 to 450 horsepower, depending on trim, and it has all the athleticism you need for day-to-day driving. This engine is found in many of the staple trims like the 911 Carrera, 911 Carrera S, and the various Targa trims.

The other two engines – found in the 911 GT3 and 911 Turbo, among others – are high-performance options that range from 500 to 607 horsepower. They’ll throw you back in the seat with the kind of acceleration normally reserved for Vin Diesel movies, and they’re right at home at the racetrack.

A seven-speed manual transmission comes standard in most trims, and a seven-speed automatic (PDK) transmission is available. Both deliver smooth shifts, and the automatic is well-timed.

911 Gas Mileage: It’s Pretty Good
The base engine is the 911’s most efficient offering, and it gets better gas mileage than many rivals. According to Porsche’s estimates, it gets 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway (22/30 mpg with the PDK transmission). Those ratings are slightly better than the Jaguar F-Type’s 20/28 mpg city/highway (with an automatic transmission) and much better than the Lexus LC’s 16/26 mpg.

Fuel economy gets worse with the more powerful engines. The 911 Turbo gets just 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. Keep in mind that the 911 – as well as nearly every other luxury sports car – requires premium gasoline, so good mpg ratings don’t necessarily translate to low fuel costs.

911 Ride and Handling: Nobody Yada Yadas the 911’s Handling
The 2018 911 lives up to the car’s reputation as a legendary driving machine. With its sharp, responsive steering and buttoned-down handling, you’ll relish winding roads. The sturdy brakes provide plenty of stopping power, and the available Sport Chrono package lets you select different modes that alter driving dynamics.

911 Interior

How Many People Does the 911 Seat?
Almost all 911 models have four seats (the GT3 seats two). Notice we say, “they have four seats” instead of, “they seat four people.” That’s because the rear seats are about as big as a fun-size candy bar, but you won’t enjoy them nearly as much. It’s best to just leave them folded down for extra cargo space.

The front seats, however, are quite nice. They have plenty of head- and legroom, and the standard sport seats are extremely supportive. The available power-adjustable seats offer less support, but they do make it easier to find a comfortable seating position.

911 Interior Quality
The styling looks great, and the materials throughout the cabin are premium quality with a full leather interior. Porsche pays plenty of attention to detail as well, so even small trim pieces have a great look and feel.

911 Cargo Space
The 911 engine has its engine mounted in the rear, which means the trunk is in the front. There’s still not a ton of space, though – just over 5 cubic feet of room. That’s enough space for about four shopping bags or maybe a medium-sized cooler. The fold-down rear seats provide more cargo space if you need it.

911 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation
Standard interior features in the 911 include Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen and navigation. Available features include a sunroof and a 12-speaker Bose or Burmester audio system. The infotainment system has a learning curve, but it works well once you’ve mastered it. While Apple CarPlay comes standard, Android Auto isn’t even an option in the 911, though it is available in some other luxury sports cars.

911 Safety

911 Crash Test Results
The 2018 Porsche 911 has not been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

911 Safety Features
Standard active safety features include a rearview camera and front and rear park assist. Available features include adaptive cruise control, lane change assist, and a speed limit indicator.

Which Porsche 911 Model Is Right for Me?

There are more than a dozen trim options for the Porsche 911. Almost all of them come standard with rear-wheel drive and a coupe body style. However, all-wheel drive is available in most models, and many are also offered in cabriolet (convertible) body styles.

Choosing the perfect trim depends on several factors, but the differences between trims are largely about performance and style. The standard and available features are similar throughout the lineup. Because of that, several of the Carrera models (base Carrera, Carrera 4, and Carrera S) offer good value because they come with many tech and safety features, and they don’t cost nearly as much as some of the higher 911 trims.

In Conclusion

The 2018 Porsche 911 is a great car. It’s fast, it handles well, and its interior is stylish. It also has a perfect predicted reliability rating. For all these reasons, this Porsche is a top finisher in our luxury sports car rankings. But while there’s plenty to like, this is a class full of exceptional vehicles, and many others are worth a look.

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