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Used Porsche 911 (997, 2004-2013) review

The Porsche 911 997 can be had second-hand from £20,000, here's everything you need to know when buying a used Porsche

You can’t buy or run a Porsche 911 on a shoestring, but it makes more sense than you may think – financially and in terms of usability. While prices are likely to dip further, early 997 models now represent excellent value for money, and if you buy well major depreciation shouldn’t be an issue – although newer cars will continue to lose value. The key is to buy a car with a full history, maintained by a Porsche expert. There’s a bewildering choice of models, so it’s important to buy the 911 that’s right for your needs.

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The words ‘legendary’ and ‘iconic’ are frequently overused in the motoring arena, but they’re thoroughly well deserved where the Porsche 911 is concerned. For 50 years it’s captured the imagination of driving enthusiasts, with its beguiling blend of supercar pace, grand touring usability and brilliant build quality.

It’s already more than a year since the sixth-generation, 997 version of the 911 went out of production, and with early examples now dipping below the £20,000 barrier, these flat-six cars make very tempting used buys for keen drivers. However, as with any second-hand supercar, you must approach potential buys with extreme care.

History

The 997 911 coupé debuted in September 2004, in 321bhp 3.6-litre Carrera and 350bhp 3.8 Carrera S forms. By spring 2005, there was a Cabriolet, too. All these first cars had rear-wheel drive, but from November 2005, the 4WD Carrera 4 and 4S models arrived.

The Turbo and GT3 appeared in 2006, and in 2009 came more powerful, more efficient engines (341bhp for the Carrera; 380bhp for the S). The Turbo was fitted with a 3.8-litre at the same time, plus the brilliant PDK dual-clutch box replaced the Tiptronic auto.

Alternatives

The 911’s configuration is unique, but front-engined rivals include the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and Jaguar XKR, which are ferociously quick grand tourers rather than outright supercars. The same goes for the Maserati GranTurismo and the BMW M6, but they all mix performance and usability – and are expensive to run.

The Nissan GT-R is similarly fast and practical, and don’t let the badge put you off – it’s engaging and very easy to drive quickly. If pleasure behind the wheel is your priority, though, the mid-engined Audi R8 is for you.

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