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Porsche’s Most Hated Car Might Become a Cult-Favorite

Doug DeMuro has 3.45 million subscribers to his YouTube channel and often offers unique insight and reviews of the most iconic vehicles. In a recent video, and article for AutoTrader, he challenges the haters of the notorious Porsche 996, a model some consider to be the worst of all the 911 variations. People may have developed a disdain for this Porsche over the years, but DeMuro hits each complaint head-on. This car may actually become a cult-favorite in the face of historic rejection.

A quick look back at the Porsche 911 family

There were seven generations of the 911 in total, beginning with the original version in 1963. Porsche enthusiasts have their favorites of the seven, including the wildly popular 993 or the turbocharged 930.

The one that seemed to garner the least appreciation was the 996, launched in 1999. In fact, many fans turned their noses up at the lineup until late 2005, when the 997 came on stage, with an homage to the traditional design. The 991 is the latest variety of the 911s, with the most power and tech of them all.

The headlights weren’t so bad

One of the most common complaints among Porsche 911 fans was a cosmetic one — the headlights. The 996 came out with headlights that weren’t round like those of its predecessors. The new design had consumers rumbling and immediately set the critical tone for the rest of the car.

Doug DeMuro suggests the headlights are different, yes. But they’re not that bad. And, considering how sleek and stylish the rest of the car is, especially in the back end, he says ruling out this 996, means ignoring its overall attractiveness.

The interior didn’t measure up

With an already critical eye for the headlights, consumers began complaining about the Porsche 996 interior as well. The most common opinion is that the inside ‘feels cheap.’

DeMuro tackles this notion and considers it laughable. He does admit the interior quality may not have been of exceptional quality. However, he continues to point out that the other 911 versions weren’t hitting home runs in the quality interior either. In fact, he suggests the 993 is much worse in terms of dashboard layout, three-button console, and unattractive steering wheel lines.

Wait, the engine blew up?

Ok, there was one significant and legitimate concern with the 996. There were some models, post-1999, that presented with an intermediate shaft (IMS) flaw within the engine. It was pretty serious, too, and ran the risk of exploding and destroying the engine entirely.

Doug DeMuro addresses this complaint, also, and does agree with its legitimacy and severity. But, there is a replacement for the faulty IMS that’s worth factoring in as a preventative measure.

His silver lining perspective suggests spending the extra $2,000 for the fix is well worth preserving the engine. And, once the IMS is remedied, there really isn’t much left to hate about the 996.

How it drives, according to Doug DeMuro

Once he debunked the series of complaints, Doug DeMuro took the Porsche 966 out for a spin. The first sentiment he shared was one of comfort behind the wheel and ease of predicting the car’s response. He reminds consumers that even if you don’t like the headlights, this 996 still drives like the 911 model you know and love.

He expresses his understanding of design preferences and criticisms of many in the past. But he goes on to say, those who complain probably haven’t driven one.

The Porsche 911 is a quick and powerful generation of cars overall. Despite receiving the least amount of praise over the years, the 996 is a great car. Doug DeMuro adopts a fresh perspective, and for anyone able to look beyond some of the cosmetic differences, the 996 might end up being a true cult-favorite.