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    2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the buck?

    As an Engineer, it's my nature to analyze things from every possible angle. Until a week ago I was the owner of a Boxster S and for me, the extra $5K - $6K that I paid back in 2001 was worth it to get more HP, a better suspension, better brakes and 6-speed transmission. However, while researching my purchase of the new FL 997.2, I can no longer justify the move up to an S - at least not for an extra $10,600. If you add up the extras that you get with the S and then assign a value to the extra HP, I just don't think you come up to a $10K premium. Porsche has added several features to the 997.2 base model that were previously standard (or optional) on the S - Xenon headlights,correcting X-tend clutch, and wider rear wheels. There are probably more, but these are the one that come to mind. As a technology junkie and someone who was able to justify an S upgrade on a previous Porsche, I think people like me should be the target buyer for an S. In past years, I think the S was worth the extra $$$, but I think this year the base 997 is the real value and the S is just overpriced. Or maybe I'm just getting tighter with my $$$.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the buck?

    Your analysis makes some sense, however, if you're truly concerned with the best value for money you'd be far better off buying a used 911 (of your preferred vintage).

    Buying a brand new car is almost never financially savvy (unless it's a Ferrari or maybe GT3RS), so when making such a purchase it's important to make sure you limit your regrets as much as possible (i.e. will you regret not having the extra power of the "S").\

    If I were to buy a brand new Porsche, I think the 3 best values in descending order would be GT3 (current one with GT1 motor), Cayman S (pending model with newly available LSD and DI motor), then Carrera, then Carrera S.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the bu

    Get the S and be happy. It is worth the premium.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the buck?

    I still see the value in the S. The horsepower disparity is now 40 rather than 30. The torque is much better in the S, which is something the car needs anyway, imo. The S still gets better brakes, 10mm lower suspension, and wider, 19 inch wheels. In today's high tech auto world this is a lot for $10,600, imo, even if it's PAG asking.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the buck?

    Resale value on the S is better too.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the buck?

    I bought a Boxster and traded it in on an S a year later. This time I bought the 997S out of the gate and don't regret it. After the analyzing is said and done, go with your heart.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the buck?

    I think my question - "Best bang for the buck?" isn't sufficient to formulate the best answer. You first need to define the purpose for which the car will be used.

    • Daily Driver
    • Weekend pleasure craft
    • Track car
    • Poseur
    • Other (I'm sure there are several others)



    You get the idea. So let's clarify the question for my purposes. Suppose the car will for a long-time Porsche owner (911 & Boxster) who is no longer interested in track events - just wants a fun daily driver and a car that will be comfortable on long, multi-day road trips with the wife. I mention long-time Porsche owner because since I drove my first 911, I didn't want to drive any other brand. I was afraid that someone might pipe in and suggest I buy a Jaguar. Not happening. I'll always have a Porsche in the garage (or one on order). My wife is a loyal BMW owner, but that's another story...

    BTW: I notice that 90% of the people posting on Rennteam own an S, so I'm not sure I'm asking an impartial crowd.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the buck?

    Quote:
    devo said:
    ... The S still gets better brakes ...



    Aren't the brakes identical now?

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the buck?

    You should keep in mind that the 997.2 Carrera and Carrera S engines no longer share the same stroke. The new 3.6 remains a long stroke and the new S is now a short stroke (relatively). Buy what suits you needs stroke-wise.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the bu

    Quote:
    TheJazzMan said:
    As an Engineer, ... I just don't think you come up to a $10K premium. Porsche has added several features to the 997.2 base model that were previously standard (or optional) on the S ...



    From a cold, analytical, perspective you may be right. From an emotional perspective, only you know.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the bu

    Great analysis. I have a friend who has raced his own Porsches for years, and he buys good used ones after getting the Porsche 100 point inspection, and he usually gets really good deals from private parties as a result.

    That said (and he told me this before I signed my contract), I ordered a new 911S in late 2005, took delivery in late February 2006, and am not sad I did that, even if the car has depreciated more rapidly. Maybe my lack of confidence in my own ability to evaluate used cars, even with a good inspection, held me back. In any case, I got the car the way I wanted it and didn't have to get any mods done afterwards.

    So I think getting a new one, especially if you intend to keep it for some time, is worthwhile.

    Jim

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the bu

    Porsches are a luxury item IMO. While I can appreciate the painstaking analysis and 'best bang for the buck' approach you are going to, with the greatest respect, I think it's missing the point.

    I would buy the car that gives me the most fun (even for daily driving and multi day trips with one's wife) and the widest smile that I could afford. Life is too short to say I am happy with a more limited performance car. If it's new or used, that may not matter, provided that it's a well cared for car in great condition.

    Buying used will enable your budget to reach for even higher performance. For example, you could perhaps get a 2 year old used 997TT for the price of a 997 Mk2 Carrera...

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the bu

    If and when i buy my 911, it will be an S...if you're willing to shell out for the non-S, why not just add $10k more and get the S? In addition to the additional HP, i love the 19 inch Carrera S II wheels that are come stock on the S, so my decision is a no-brainer.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the bu

    +1 for the S

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the bu

    Quote:
    jjl said:
    If and when i buy my 911, it will be an S...if you're willing to shell out for the non-S, why not just add $10k more and get the S?


    Why not just add $10k more than that and get a GT3

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang

    Thanks for the replies. I realize that there is definitely an emotional factor here and that's why I was trying to approach it analytically. My ego says, "Get the S!!!", but my brain says I don't need it. I agree that used is always a good option where budget is an issue, but it isn't for this purchase. I just don't want to spend $10k on features and performance I don't need. The primary reason I'm buying a 997.2 is PDK (the better fuel economy is also a big plus).

    I was just curious to see if anyone else was having these internal conflicts.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang

    For a different opinion...if I was buying, it would be the base 997.2 with PDK and sports seats....that's it, no other options, no 19", no PASM, (I'd buy LSD, if I could get it w/o 19" wheels), no appearance stuff....white exterior, black interior.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang

    Agree with JazzMan. The base 997.2 is a better buy than the S this time around. From what I've read, the base 997.2 should be as fast as the previous 997S, so buying the new base 997.2 is more tempting than buying a preowned 997S.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang

    Quote:
    TheJazzMan said:
    Thanks for the replies. I realize that there is definitely an emotional factor here and that's why I was trying to approach it analytically. My ego says, "Get the S!!!", but my brain says I don't need it. I agree that used is always a good option where budget is an issue, but it isn't for this purchase. I just don't want to spend $10k on features and performance I don't need. The primary reason I'm buying a 997.2 is PDK (the better fuel economy is also a big plus).

    I was just curious to see if anyone else was having these internal conflicts.



    I was definitely in the same boat when the 997 came out. I sold my 996 and thought I would go for the S. But, having driven both I was content with the 3.6 car and being a long term owner I can honestly say, I liked the way the engine worked higher up in the revs on the 3.6 - don't know how to describe it - the S seemed to always come down a gear ( too fast in 3rd on some mountain roads) where the 3.6 felt right. Maybe its my lack of experience, limited driving capabilities.....

    Also, the cost factor was key, in Tokyo the 3.8 costs a HUGE USD 26K more than the 3.6 and when it comes time to sell - you loose way more money because the TAX is so much higher on a car thats $26K more.

    Sadly, I think I will not be buying the new 997 this time - need a change - will wait for the 998 or whatever they call it!

    So in a nut shell, if its only a 10K difference - NIKE - just do it! And buy the 3.8.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang

    Quote:
    TheJazzMan said:
    I was just curious to see if anyone else was having these internal conflicts.



    I'm with you Jazz Man. I don't want the 19" wheels (Chicago potholes and winter tire need). The US is the only market with the smaller brakes on the base model and I can't figure out why you can't have LSD with the 18" wheels. The price differential seems steep, even for Porsche. On the other hand, I'm toying with a paint to sample since its not much more than the special paint. I recall seeing somewhere that the US gets the S 5 to 1 over the base so it would appear most buyers feel its worth it.

    I'll test both and decide but already suspect it will be a right-brain decision.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang

    Quote:
    waiting for PDK said:
    I'm toying with a paint to sample since its not much more than the special paint.



    You bring up an interesting point - paint color. I had a tough time selecting a paint color for my 2009. I wasn't crazy about any of them, but the penny-pincher in me couldn't see spending $4000+ for custom paint. And I didn't want the car delayed 3 - 6 months. I went to the dealer last weekend to place an order for a Basalt Black Coupe with Black full leather interior, but once I got there either changed or lost my mind. I fell in love with a car on the showroom floor that was Meteor Grey with a Black/Terracotta interior. That's what I ordered. I decided on the grey because it looked different in various lighting conditions. It looked like a light moss green indoors and a medium to dark grey outside. The terracotta interior was just stunning - so much better looking in person than in photos. It's not a color I would normally pick, but I just kept coming back to it thinking, "Wow, that is hot!". It is a very expensive, custom look.

    What was my original point?

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang

    Quote:
    TheJazzMan said:I fell in love with a car on the showroom floor that was Meteor Grey with a Black/Terracotta interior.


    Sounds very nice

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the buck?

    Here's another take on it- I wouldn't get the S because it comes standard with PASM. I don't want PASM. Therefore if I was on the market for a 911 I'm forced to get the base.

    David

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang

    In the end, the logic of going with a heavily optioned base Carrera just didn't add up - especially when I added on the 19" Carrera Sport wheels. Also, having gone through the S vs. non-S debate with my Boxster purchase (I bought the S), I didn't want to have any regrets. As much as I enjoyed the Boxster S, I always felt like I was driving an entry-level Porsche and I didn't want to end up back there again with an entry-level Carrera. I thought that at age 50 I was mature enough to be satisfied with the more than adequate base Carrera, but it seems I'm not.

    Here's to being old, immature and happy... Cheers!

    Porsche Carrera S Coupe

    9Q Meteor Grey Paint
    AT Black Full Leather
    250 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK)
    XRR Carrera Sport Wheels
    672 Navigation Module for PCM
    P15 Power Comfort Seats with Driver Memory
    686 XM Radio
    680 Bose
    870 Universal Audio Interface
    267 Self Dimming Mirrors
    810 Floor Mats Interior Color
    176 Sports Exhaust System

    November delivery.

    Thanks for the helpful advice!

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang

    Quote:
    TheJazzMan said:
    In the end, the logic of going with a heavily optioned base Carrera just didn't add up - especially when I added on the 19" Carrera Sport wheels. Also, having gone through the S vs. non-S debate with my Boxster purchase (I bought the S), I didn't want to have any regrets. As much as I enjoyed the Boxster S, I always felt like I was driving an entry-level Porsche and I didn't want to end up back there again with an entry-level Carrera. I thought that at age 50 I was mature enough to be satisfied with the more than adequate base Carrera, but it seems I'm not.

    Here's to being old, immature and happy... Cheers!

    Porsche Carrera S Coupe

    9Q Meteor Grey Paint
    AT Black Full Leather
    250 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK)
    XRR Carrera Sport Wheels
    672 Navigation Module for PCM
    P15 Power Comfort Seats with Driver Memory
    686 XM Radio
    680 Bose
    870 Universal Audio Interface
    267 Self Dimming Mirrors
    810 Floor Mats Interior Color
    176 Sports Exhaust System

    November delivery.

    Thanks for the helpful advice!


    Good decision to go for the bigger engine.

    I would add another two optional extras: Sport Chrono Plus, because it adds more possibilities to the PDK. And LSD because it is an extra suited to Porsches.

    As far as I know the Sport Exhaust will be available as from 11/08 in production. So perhaps your delivery might be 12/08 at the earliest?

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the bu

    Aaaaahhhhhh! Dealer just emailed me to say the the Carrera Sport wheels are not available on the Porsche order system yet. Anyone have a similar problem? This is a show-stopper as I don't have a second favorite.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the bu

    I love the XRR wheels, but I think I actually prefer the new "standard" wheel. I would add the 5mm spacers to these. Definately get SC. It's a must with PDK. I wouldn't even consider any carrera without it, but a PDK car without SC will really hurt resale.

    Your specs look great to me. I would just add crests head rests (minimal cost) and LSD. Oh, be sure to add CDZ! (gearshift leather trim) It is a must have with full leather. CDZ will bring the gearshift stitching together with the PCM surround stitching.

    On a side note, I would rather have a six speed S than a PDK non-S. Saving the $4k on PDK would pay for close to half of the S.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the bu

    Just remembered that you are getting PDK, so CDZ may not be a consideration.

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the bu

    Way to go.... You figured it out...

    The trick, when contemplating a new vehicle purchase, is to LEARN from your past purchases, to ask yourself "why am I now tired of my current ride, and what specific attributes will make this new one more-perfect long-term than the last one?"....

    Then try and spend your money in a manner that addresses past buyer's-remorse issues...

    Don't worry, this type of forward-thinking utilizing past-experience works very well in reverse...

    I can just as easily cause myself to spend LESS on what I use for a "daily-driver", knowing that when I spend exponentially more, I tend to get used to it and don't really get enough value from the money spent to justify the premium...

    That's why I tend to drive durable "blue-jeans-and-tennis-shoes" style musclecars for the daily-grind, and keep my perfect little chunk of German sculpture around to spoil/treat myself from time-to-time...

    It makes the driving more sweet for the Carrera, and keeps my obsessive-compulsive neurosis at calmer levels...

    Re: 2009 Carrera Base Model - Best bang for the bu

    JazzMan,

    Congrats on new 997S order. I also agree to get the new standard wheels as they will be more rare. It should be easy to get the XRR wheels on ebay or so.

    BTW, age 50 is far from old, it is just the beginning. I plan to get a PDK GT3 before I hit 50.

     
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