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Old 03-21-2016, 04:01 PM   #1
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986 or maybe a 996

I know that some of you have experience with both cars. I like my 986S even with it's tiptronic. I'm looking at a Carrera 4 which looks okay (yes, I know my way around these engines). I'd like some opinions and experiences that compare these 2 similar but yet very different animals.

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Old 03-21-2016, 05:59 PM   #2
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I nearly bought a red C4S with tan interior back in early 2008. I always loved the flared rear fenders of the 996 C4 (or anniversary 996). I figured it would be my winter car. I looked at the deprecation rates and the car was holding value pretty darn well. But at work I started getting some early signals of trouble in the economy. Which got me thinking of the credit markets and what I thought was a bubble in car prices from the ease at which people were getting car loans. Well long story short, I figured the car would be a lot cheaper in a year. Boy was I ever right. The car lost over $20K in value by the end of 2009. Needless to say I wasn't going near anything 996. In comparison Boxster/Cayman prices didn't crash as hard because they weren't priced at such as premium to begin with. The market corrected the price of the non-Metzer engines vs. mass produced 911 engines in a hurry.

As far as the car itself... as I typically do, I did a test run in my car, and then the same route in the test drive car. The power was big, no surprise there. But so was everything else, it did not have the sharp turn in I took for granted (I was no R compound tires on the Boxster so that had a lot to do with it). But the whole weightyness of the car seemed very boring to me. And of course in a spirited turn if the back end stepped out power was cut to the rear precisely when you needed it most which gave you even more understeer. Who came up with this?? But that just underlines the point that the cars are apples and oranges. One is a grand touring that is plush for going in straight lines. The other is a cheetah in comparison. The interiors were exactly the same, in fact my Boxster had nicer options (carbon fiber shifter, painted center console, full leather, gauge rings, etc. But the C4S on mesh BBS wheels to me is still the nicest looking of all the air-cooled 911's. When I once spoke to my mechanic about maintenance costs vs. the Boxster he was not encouraging.
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Last edited by Perfectlap; 03-21-2016 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:09 PM   #3
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I've had both the Boxster and the 911.......

The Boxster has the inherent advantage of having a mid-engine placement, giving it a major advantage in cornering. You'll have to decide whether the 2 trunks are as valuable to you as they have been to me. Very few sports cars, if any, have comparable trunk space.

The water/oil cooled 911 has a real power advantage, with 296 hp in its first year of introduction (1999). However, you have to work harder with the 911 to take advantage of its power....the car just plain feels heavier as you try to fling it around corners. As a plus, I always found the space behind the front seats to be very convenient for storage (for purses, brief cases, coats, duffle bags, luggage, etc) and also allowed the seat backs to be reclined when you need to rest on a long trip.

Both cars have provided me with much joy and pleasure.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:19 PM   #4
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Reference the 986 vs 996,

1. Have a 1999 Boxster (tiptronic) with 269,000 miles.
2. Saturday, 19 Mar 2016, I purchased a 2000 Millennium Edition 911 with 110,000 miles.
3. I am not comfortable enough with the 911 to toss it around like I am with the Boxster. The Boxster handles like it is on rails. But even with the 18 inch wheels the 911 has a smoother ride than my Boxster with 17 inch wheels.
4. My 911 is a manual and the clutch is rather heavy...much like one on a big block mid-year Corvette or early big block C3.
5. The other big difference between the two is the interior noise. My Boxster is very loud. I attribute that to the engine right behind your seat, the convertible top and the after-market muffler I installed.
Just my two-cents
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:54 PM   #5
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And there is your answer: get both (I should have never sold my Boxster)
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Old 03-22-2016, 06:00 AM   #6
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Thanks! My Boxster is a 2001S, tip, which I track a few times a year. Unfortunately, I can't afford 2 of these these rather expensive toys. The 911 in question is a 2000 C4. I admit, I love the lines: it's a beautiful thing. But, if I trade, will I regret it? Anyway, I'm only window shopping at this point. Must be spring.
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:53 AM   #7
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As I have both a Boxster S and 996 Targa, they are slightly different animals.

The 986 is pure pleasure driving and well you all know how well they handle
The 996 is a lot of fun to drive and I certainly enjoy having an extra 60 hp or so over my 986 S

Our Targa has a Tip and the Box a 6 speed. When I go up to LA and have to deal with the crappy bumper to bumper traffic, I often take the Targa because of the TIP.

A C4 is also a different animal from a C2 as it has all wheel drive.

A 911 will have a bit more power oversteer as well as a greater tendency for the rear to slide out if you lift in a corner. You can uses that tendency to corner faster once you learn how to control it. I do like the extra space in the back seat for going shopping and you can put stuff back there and not worry about it getting cooked like in the trunk of the Boxster. On the Targa since the rear window opens like a hatchback also makes it easier to load stuff in the back. On a C2/4 you have to deal with the front seats to get something in the back

For me, if I can only have 1, it would be the Boxster
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewArt View Post
Thanks! My Boxster is a 2001S, tip, which I track a few times a year. Unfortunately, I can't afford 2 of these these rather expensive toys. The 911 in question is a 2000 C4. I admit, I love the lines: it's a beautiful thing. But, if I trade, will I regret it? Anyway, I'm only window shopping at this point. Must be spring.
If it's going to be your only Porsche i would recommend you skip the C4 entirely and go for C2S. Instead of spending the extra money on more complicated (out-of-warranty) all wheel drive gear, your money will instead get you the extra oomph of the 3.8 engine on a more agile car than the C4. that way you'll miss the precise mid-engine handling of the Boxster a little less. I would bump up to the facelifted 2002-2004 years which will do better on resale than the first gen 996 because they have the Turbo headlights which make the car look newer.

But a 997S.1 is probably the best deal going. Park a 2005 997 with a nice set of BBS mesh wheels next to a 2015 991 GTS and the average guy walking by couldn't tell the difference despite one costing 1/4 the price of the other. Depreciation alone would buy you a used 997.1.
2005 997's start in the mid $20K's, less mileage obviously raises the price into the low $30K's.

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