It’s no secret that the Porsche 911 is widely regarded as sports car perfection by auto enthusiasts worldwide. Unfortunately, they aren’t exactly easily attainable. The starting price of a brand new Porsche 911 is over $100,000. So, it only makes sense to explore the used market to get an affordable taste of this icon. Currently, the most affordable generation of the 911 is undoubtedly the 996. Spanning from 1997 to 2004, the 996 offers rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, turbocharged, and track-focused variants. Even a basic model, though, nets the Porsche experience without breaking the bank.
This 996 is a great contender for the perfect budget entry into Porsche.
This 2001 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe is currently for sale on Cars and Bids. It’s a base model, which means its rear-wheel drive and naturally aspirated. However, it does have some additional equipment that just might make this the best entry-level Porsche currently on the market.
Given that it’s a base model, this 996 911 is Porsche’s most affordable trim level for this generation. Under the rear decklid is a 300 horsepower 3.4-liter flat-six engine that also makes 258 pound-feet of torque. Additionally, Porsche mated this engine to a six-speed manual transaxle assembly. Though it doesn’t have the roaring speed and power that a turbo model has, it can still sprint from zero to 60 miles per hour in a hair under 5 seconds.
Of course, a Porsche 911 isn’t just about straight-line speed. Porsche’s iconic handling characteristics come alongside that power and performance, thanks to its weight balance and suspension system. Though Porsche fans often look down upon the 996, it is still undoubtedly a 911. It loves to eat corners like nobody’s business!
This particular 996 911 has some great equipment, too. It has 18-inch sport design wheels that look absolutely stunning. Furthermore, it has heated sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum, and leather shift knob and handbrake handle upholstery, and flared rocker panels. Finally, it has the Technic package, which adds Litronic headlights, a hi-fi sound system, and the onboard computer system.
It also has some tasteful modifications. It has a Tubi exhaust system, a Flat Six Motorsports intake tube and high-flow air filter, and a short shifter kit.
Is a Porsche 996 reliable?
The most prominent issue you’ll see folks report about the 996 era Porsche 911 is that it suffers from IMS bearing failure. This is a bearing at the back of the intermediate shaft inside the engine. It’s a sealed bearing from the factor and does not use oil. As a result, they can sometimes fail. The worst-case scenario with a failing IMS bearing is often total engine failure.
However, this is what makes this 996 the perfect one to buy. See, there’s an aftermarket solution to the IMS bearing problem. It replaces the IMS bearing with an oiled bushing and adds an oiling system that feeds off the oil filter. This particular 996 has already had this upgrade done.
Other than the IMS bearing situation, the 996 Porsche 911 is widely regarded as an extremely reliable car. Many 996 models running around are far beyond 100,000 miles. So, the fact that this Cars and Bids bargain of a 996 has only 61,000 miles on it means it’s got years and years of playtime to come.
What’s more, is that it comes with maintenance history, a clean Carfax report, three keys, the original window sticker, owner’s manual, and even a Porsche car cover. This car’s previous owners undoubtedly loved and maintained it.
At the time of writing, this 996 has only one bid of $20,000. If luck is on the winning bidder’s side, there’s a chance this gorgeous car could find a new owner for under $30,000. For under a third of the cost of its latest equivalent, you’d be crazy to think this isn’t a great deal!