On the Road Paula Says
cars.com On the Road Weekly Publication
9:35 AM EDT, May 3, 2012
By Paula MacPherson
There’s a lot to like about the redesigned Porsche 911 Carrera S. Perhaps the most important factor is this: It still looks like a Porsche, which is to say that the lines and proportions are as beautiful today as they were 50 years ago.
I approached driving this car with a light heart. I might have been more serious had I known that with options, our review car had an estimated $116,000 price sticker.
For that money, you get lots of highly controllable power, a smooth shifting automatic transmission and idle stop-start. This was my first exposure to this system outside a hybrid. It turns the engine off at red lights, saving fuel. This feature can be disabled.
The 14-way power seats are adjustable in more ways than I could imagine. They were comfortable, but for a shorter driver, the side bolsters on the seat back rubbed against my elbows. Also, with the seat moved forward for me, the back would not fold forward all the way without first striking the sun visor.
Putting a passenger in the back seat required that I move the whole seat toward the rear so the seat back could be folded forward. Realistically, few 911 drivers will probably have back seat passengers, so this isn’t a major issue.
The steering feels great. Not only is the feedback top notch, but the width and feel of the rim are excellent.
Highway noise levels proved to be surprisingly high. It was all tire noise and while it did not quash conversation, it was louder than I liked, except when going over some freshly paved surfaces. The pavement mix the Connecticut DOT used on I-84 in East Hartford completely silenced the tires. Here, the smooth surface allowed this Porsche to deliver a luxury car ride.
My biggest surprise came when we refueled the car, with premium gasoline, of course. We averaged 24 miles per gallon, despite Jim’s occasionally heavy foot. Not that fuel savings will ever come close to offsetting the price of this sports car. However, we’ve had much less impressive cars that weren’t this fuel efficient.