Porsche 911 review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
The 911’s rear-engined layout yields more practicality due to small back seats and a decent front boot
The Porsche 911’s cabin space ultimately limits it to being a two seater with very occasional rear seats only able to fit small children, but this still gives it a leg up against two-seater rivals, and the seats can be folded if a more flexible space is needed.
Another typical 911 trait is its brilliant visibility. Because there’s no engine in front of you, the scuttle can be placed low down, giving you a clear view of the subtle humps that house the headlights and the road ahead. The rear window isn’t quite so low, so rearward visibility is more restricted than in some modern sports cars, but with comparatively big rear windows it’s easy to see out.
Drivers that like to sit low will be mightily impressed by the ability to sink the seat extremely far down into the cabin. The basic driving position is pretty much perfect, too, with the steering wheel having lots of adjustment and coming out to you at an almost perfect 90-degree angle.
If you plan to use your 911 as a GT car, though, it’s worth noting that the enormous rear tyres do mean that road noise in the cabin is something of an issue. Carreras and Turbos are the most refined, but even with the laminated glass option, don’t go expecting Bentley Continental GT levels of calmness. Cars fitted with the lightweight glass or reduced sound deadening – that’s basically the Carrera T and GT models – well, best fit the optional Bose sound system as the tyre roar will overwhelm the interior ambience.
Car group tests
- Porsche 911 Sport Classic 2023 review
- New Porsche 911 Carrera T 2023 review
- New Porsche 911 Dakar 2023 review
- New Porsche 911 GT3 RS 2022 review
- New Porsche 911 GTS 2021 review
- New Porsche 911 GT3 Touring Package 2021 review
Used car tests
In terms of ride, 911s at their best could be called supple, but certainly not soft. With a vast majority of models running on the larger wheel size, the PDCC adaptive dampers do impressive work to buff away the sharpest edges of the ride, but the spring rates are always firm, and you can feel that in every bump or pothole. It’s not prohibitively stiff, though, and Combined with the respectable efficiency it’s worth mentioning that the 64-litre fuel tank will give the 911 a decent cruising range.
In its evolution to the 992 generation, the 911 has grown, but then alongside the bloated dimensions of most modern cars its still relatively small. At 4,519mm long, it’s around 200mm shorter than a BMW 3 series, and its width is only just over a centimetre wider than a Volkswagen Tiguan.
Compared to sports and supercar rivals, the 911 is much easier to drive around smaller roads and in cities, as mid-engined rivals have much more compromised rear and rear side vision, while front-engined rivals like the Aston Martin Vantage or Mercedes-AMG SL have very high scuttles and large dashboards to look out over the top of.
For the first time, the non-GT 992 911s also use different sized front and rear wheels. Most leave the factory on a staggered set of 20- and 21-inch wheels – the latter using huge 305-section tyres, which partly explains its great traction. The fact that the 911 rides so well on huge alloys like this is very impressive, too. Only the entry-level Carrera can be optioned with a smaller set of 19/20-inch wheels, and then there’s the Dakar on its knobbly all-terrain tyres.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
Cabin space in the front is good. There are no complaints here and the ergonomics are fundamentally sound. While Porsche has changed the cabin design, the layout is basically identical. This 911 is actually 4mm taller than its predecessor, so there’s a little more headroom too.
The trademark small rear seats mean this is a sports car that can easily carry a young family if your children are small. Not many rivals can do that. There’s not much room in the back for adults, however, and access isn’t the easiest either. But the seats are OK for short journeys around the corner. The rear chairs also double as extra luggage space should you need it but the 911 is actually relatively functional in that regard too.
Due to its rear-engined layout, the 911’s luggage space is in the nose – and there’s 132 litres available. But what you need to know is that there’s enough space for two bags and a few other items, so weekends away or a small shop won’t be a problem.
Of course, there are always those back seats to use if your bags spill over into the cabin. The back rests can be folded down to create a flat ledge that runs to the base of the tapered rear glass, while the space underneath the folded back rests can be packed with stuff too. Or you can just leave them in place. The boot itself is easy to load as the nose is low, it’s a regular shape and access is simple.
In this review
- 1Porsche 911 reviewIt’s the consummate sports car for a reason. The 911 is beautifully built, engaging to drive, desirable and available in just about any form you could wish for
- 2Engines, performance and driveAll 911s have impressive performance, but different engines respond in different ways
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsStringent emissions regulations continue to put the squeeze on Porsche’s engines, but that does yield improved efficiency
- 4Interior, design and technologyMore digital functionality gives the new 911 a cleaner, less cluttered feel, while there’s more tech on offer too
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThe 911’s rear-engined layout yields more practicality due to small back seats and a decent front boot
- 6Reliability and SafetyHoned engine, chassis and interior tech – plus reputation for longevity on the race track – mean the 911 should be reliable