The facelifted 991-series 911 has never been cheaper. We're here to guide you to the right buy
John Evans
28 November 2019

As this is written, there’s a 2015-registered 911 Carrera 3.0 PDK with 28,000 miles and full Porsche service history advertised for £59,895. It’s an early example of the facelifted 911 launched in 2015. At close to £60,000, it’s not something you’d buy on a whim, although it’s certainly cheaper than it was new, when it would have cost £76,400.

Better still, like so many 911s, it’s not in standard trim. Instead, it has uprated wheels, a Bose sound system and the Sport Chrono package that takes the chassis, engine and transmission to new levels of responsiveness.

It’s a great example of the facelifted 991-series 911, whose most notable advance was the adoption of a 3.0-litre flat six engine fed by twin turbochargers. In standard Carrera trim, it produces 365bhp and has 20bhp and 44lb ft more than the naturally aspirated 3.4 that preceded it. The Carrera S uses the same engine but with bigger compressors to produce 414bhp and the same margins of improvement over its 3.8-litre forebear. If you find yourself poking around 2015-reg cars unsure whether you’re looking at pre- or post-facelift 911s, the latter have bigger engine grilles and extra vents to keep those big blowers cool.

Our Verdict

Porsche 911 Carrera S 2019 road test review - hero front

Wider, more powerful eighth-generation 911 is still eminently fast, and capable at all speeds

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Of the two facelifted versions, the more powerful Carrera S is, naturally, the more thrilling and also the more numerous. New, it cost almost £86,000, or £10,000 more than the Carrera, but today that gap has narrowed to the point that you can snag a pukka 2016-reg Carrera S PDK with 25,000 miles and full Porsche service history for £62,500.

The car we’re thinking of has £20,000 of options fitted to it as well, including adaptive sports seats, interior carbon package, Sport Chrono, illuminated privacy glass… It’s a good example of how, when shopping for a 911, more than comparing prices, it pays to compare specifications, too.

If you’re seeking an even purer driving experience than the S can muster, check out the Carrera T, launched in 2017. Based on the standard 365bhp Carrera, it weighs 20kg less by virtue of having no rear seats or infotainment system but has some vital kit as standard to the extent that it feels as fast as an S. A 2018-reg with 4000 miles costs around £75,000. (New, it was £85,500.) It’s a classic in the making.

For even more driver focus, there’s the 434bhp GTS (prices from around £70,000) while those of a more savage temperament are served by the twin-turbo 3.8-litre Turbo (532bhp) and Turbo S (572bhp). Used prices for these four-wheel-drive icons start at £87,000. Beyond them dwell the rarefied GT3 and GT2 RS.

And let’s not forget the four-wheel-drive Carrera 4 variants, the cabriolet and the Targa. The last two are very personal choices but the Carrera 4, in standard and S guises, has broader appeal, not least thanks to its sure-footedness in all conditions. All the same, a Carrera S is better.

Top spec pick

Porsche 911 GTS: Not as extreme as the RS, this more focused evolution of the Carrera S nevertheless boasts 434bhp. Crucially, though, it retains much of the everyday drivability of lesser versions.

Need to know

For the first time, rear axle steering became an option on Carrera S versions. It cost £1530 and its effect is to subtly increase stability at speed. Also, at low speeds, the rear wheels point in the opposite direction to the fronts, aiding parking.

The official three-year warranty on cars registered in 2015 will have expired but it is possible to buy an extended warranty (at a price) from Porsche that is comparable with the original one. The car will need to be inspected first.

Worthwhile options include lowered sports suspension (it cost £558 when new) and a sports exhaust (£1773). The PDK automatic gearbox has proved very popular but, in years to come, the rarer, standard manual may be more sought after.

Our pick

Porsche 911 Carrera S: Fast, familiar and, frankly, fabulous. It’s easy to buy and easy to sell on. There are lots to choose from but make sure, when shopping around, that you’re comparing Äpfel with Äpfel.

Wild card

Porsche 911 GT2 RS: With its 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged engine churning out 690bhp, this rival to the Lamborghini Huracán Performante can shrug off 0-62mph in 2.8sec on its way to a top speed of 211mph.

Ones we found

2015 911 Carrera S PDK, 28,000 miles, £59,895

2016 911 Carrera manual, 7000 miles, £71,850

2017 911 Targa 4 PDK, 4000 miles, £80,000

2018 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet PDK, 2000 miles, £100,000

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Comments
10

28 November 2019
Well written article and I agree regarding spec options but IMHO the 991.1 Carrera S, 4S or GTS are a much better buy and in the case of the latter, far more likely to become a classic in years to come.

The 991.2 may be slightly faster and the 3.0 turbo engine is more tractable at low revs but the naturally aspirated 3.8 in the 991.1 has miles more character, sounds epic (especially with optional Porsche Sports Exhaust) and could well be more reliable than the 3.0 twin turbo in years to come (there have already been reports of early wear of turbine shafts at 4k and coil packs rusted into place on the N/S cylinder head).

Whatever anyone claims down the pub about manual being more engaging, in the 991.1 or .2 Carrera PDK is better than the 7 speed manual.

Prices for the 991.2 have fallen, partly because like the Boxster/Cayman 718, people are buying the previous N/A cars.

If you're looking for a modern 911 and have between £60 - 70k to spend, forget the 991.2 and buy the 991.1 - it is the better car!

28 November 2019
MarkII wrote:

... and coil packs rusted into place on the N/S cylinder head). ...!

Well informed comments, being a bit geeky how do coil packs 'rust' in place, they're usually mainly plastic with just the well covered (and hidden from the elements) 'tip' being metal, but that barely connects to the spark plug, if they're bolt down types they'll use alloy bolts into a alloy head so I'm not sure how they will rust, plus, they get removed fairly regularly.

Just an interested motor enthusiast  

28 November 2019
xxxx wrote:

MarkII wrote:

... and coil packs rusted into place on the N/S cylinder head). ...!

Well informed comments, being a bit geeky how do coil packs 'rust' in place, they're usually mainly plastic with just the well covered (and hidden from the elements) 'tip' being metal, but that barely connects to the spark plug, if they're bolt down types they'll use alloy bolts into a alloy head so I'm not sure how they will rust, plus, they get removed fairly regularly.

Just an interested motor enthusiast  

 

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28 November 2019
Thanks! Regarding the coil packs, I haven't seen this particular issue first hand: The problem stems from the fact that the packs are bolted into place with a steel bolt running through a sleeve set into each coil pack.

Being a flat six, the coil packs (and sleeves) are horizontal and in the UK with our weather, the area is subject to a lot of moisture, especially on the N/S cylinder head.
The bolt corrodes inside the sleeve and snaps off when you try and remove it to change the plugs (which are only changed at the major service). Given that most owners will only use their 911 at the weekend that could be well beyond the initial 3 year warranty.

A stainless steel bolt would have been far better.

I love Porsche cars but in recent years the bean counters have saved pennies on fasteners/metal coatings, only to pass the cost onto future owners.

The 911 is a truly fantastic sports car but if you're considering buying one, join PCGB/Tipec first, talk to real owners, read the forums and unless you plan on keeping a maintenance fund on one side, consider buying the Porsche extended warranty - it could save you £££s down the line.

28 November 2019

While these rock solid residuals are great news for the original owner, I just can't see the logic of spending 80% of the new list price on a four year old, 28k mile, old shape car, presumably with no (or lesser) warranty. For a second hand buyer, it may be slightly cheaper than buying a new one but seems so much less like good value to me. 

28 November 2019

As indicated in the article, you need to compare prices with all the options taken into account. A vehicle with £20k of options on it will only be worth a couple of k more than a base spec vehicle come resale time. I bet none of those vehicles listed in the article that are £10k under their new price were base-spec vehicles...  Also, list prices of the new models have risen a bit since these older vehcles were first sold.

28 November 2019
Nickktod wrote:

While these rock solid residuals are great news for the original owner, I just can't see the logic of spending 80% of the new list price on a four year old, 28k mile, old shape car, presumably with no (or lesser) warranty. For a second hand buyer, it may be slightly cheaper than buying a new one but seems so much less like good value to me. 

 

I was tending to agree. So the 2015 model referenced was an 'S' then, presumably private, so the saving is greater but what makes 20k of options? Sports chrono okay, Adaptive seats? and illuminated glass (what those daddy?).

Nah, high miles and 4 years old but not a 12k saving on a stock carrera but 8?k plus options down to 60k. Still nah but I understand the point better.

Currently, a nearly new Cayenne or Cayenne S with roof and nice options are priced really keenly, in comparison. I helped a family collect a new Cayenne in May to drive their kids. I can't replace my 94 ZX petrol yet! but keep an eye on these for that upcoming Lotto win.

28 November 2019

You also have to take into account the price 'on the screen' of a secondhand Porsche isn't the price you'd get from either a private sale, or more likely, the trade in price

28 November 2019
xxxx wrote:

You also have to take into account the price 'on the screen' of a secondhand Porsche isn't the price you'd get from either a private sale, or more likely, the trade in price

 

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FM8

1 December 2019
Takeitslowly wrote:

xxxx wrote:

You also have to take into account the price 'on the screen' of a secondhand Porsche isn't the price you'd get from either a private sale, or more likely, the trade in price

 

And on that BOMBSHELL...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Someone managed to pull themselves away from Porn Hub?

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