The 996-Gen Porsche 911 Is Much Better Than What Haters Would Have You Believe

The 996 generation of the Porsche 911 was built right after the beloved 993 and preceded the critically acclaimed 997 and it never quite hit a sweet spot with purists.

However, Doug DeMuro disagrees with the notion that the 996 deserves to be the worse 911 model, and it all starts with the number one complaint, which is that its interior looks a bit outdated.

He begins by saying that since most Porsche purists who complained about the 996’s cabin were 993 owners, they should perhaps take a closer look at their own dashboard layout before criticizing a newer car.

Moving up to complaint no.2, it’s the headlights of course. Strangely, DeMuro brushes over that by saying that you might as well just admire the car from its rear 3/4 angle, from which he thinks this is the best-looking 911 of all time. How do you feel about that?

There are of course a few more complaints to cover, but we’ll let you see what those were for yourselves by watching the video. As for the way the 996 drives, well at least this reviewer seemed to enjoy every second of that experience.


  • Six_Tymes

    The “driven by” joke is hilarious, Good one Doug! He does make a few fair points.

  • An Existing Person

    The 996 is in fact the worst 911 generation, but it is still a great car.

    Also, this video still supports the idea that Doug doesn’t know what he’s talking about most of the time.

    • SteersUright

      Exactly right in everything you said. Doug is likable, but his reviews severely lack substance. Unlike Chris Harris, Tiff Needle, Harry Metcalfe, etc., his lack of experience and knowledge results in lighthearted and pleasant if not rather insubstantial and pointless reviews. I never take away anything of much value, nor get to know the car being reviewed as I do from some of the more seasoned veteran auto journalists.

    • pcurve

      I like his reviews because he covers small details that other reviewers don’t cover. I think that’s his forte.

      (on a side note to carscoops editor, ads on this page is making this page scroll to top automatically. I had to turn Adblock on to fix it)

      • Auf Wiedersehen

        On your side note: That is the very reason I left Autoblog…it’s maddening.

  • SteersUright

    Is Porsche or Autotrader having a hard time with the bad rap 996’s get and so they solicited Doug? The 996 is a fun car to drive, nobody every argued that. But it IS indeed the ugliest 911 ever made and DOES indeed have the most hideous interior in any 911 ever made, steering wheels aside. The 997 was a return to form precisely because Porsche’s wacky design experiment failed and 911 owners protested loudly resulting in the 997, an infinitely more beautiful car. Also, his comment about the IMS failure being uncommon and “fixable” for $2k is complete nonsense. You need to continue to replace the IMS every 50k miles because even the aftermarket ones can fail and take out the entire engine. And every single Porsche specialist I’ve spoken to (Im a current 911 owner) told me they have all come across many 996 and 997 models with destroyed motors thus creating a rather robust secondary market for cheaper, more reliable, and more powerful LS3 V8 swaps once the flat-6 craps out.
    Lastly, Doug never even addresses the bore scoring issue that can also grenade the motor.
    The 996 and 997 generations are very fun cars sold at a massive discount not just because they are old Porsche’s, but because they are perceived by most buyers as the unreliable, goofy looking (996) ticking time bombs of the 911 family. Also, along with all 911’s, they still cost a small fortune to maintain if you want to daily drive them, engine and/or transmission replacements aside. All 911’s are truly fun cars, loaded with character and charm. Just budget properly and do a ton of research before committing, then set aside a hefty maintenance and repair budget.

    • Stephen Baxter

      Well said

    • BGM

      Good explanation bud. Do you mean to say the 997 is *unreliable*? Never would have believed it of a 911. What about the 991?

      • SteersUright

        911’s do what they were designed to do, offer an uncompromised sports car experience. But, they were never meant to replace your Honda or Lexus for daily driving duties. Sure, they’ll do a ton of miles if you put enough cash into them and even then some will luck out with minimal repairs. Most, however, will frequently be reminded they are driving in $100k sports cars no matter how cheap they picked up their used 911 the minute their first major repair bill comes due. For example, 911’s experience everything from transmission failures (PDK & manual) and engine issues and failures, typically as the miles pile on, though some even at low miles. Unlike most other performance cars like an M3, where a transmission will set you back $2k, in a Porsche its $10-$12k with labor. If your rod bearings take out your M3 motor you can find a used one for $5k. The Porsche will run you closer to $15k. See where Im going with this? The 997 is a beauty, one of my favorites. But it also introduced 1st gen of PDK, 1st gen of DFI motor (already experiencing carbon build up issues as it doesn’t have dual fuel injection set up to keep intake clean), newer PCM system (prone to failure with age & expensive), etc. If you pick up a clean unabused 997 to drive 200-300 miles on the weekends I think you’ll likely be just fine. If you plan to put 15k miles per year on it, you might get away with it but I’d certainly generously pad a rainy day fund for when your day of reckoning comes. To be clear, all high performance cars perform at much higher limits and it isn’t just 911s that need pampering and repairs here and there. Its just that when you approach semi-exotic territory, the repairs start to become cost prohibitive, even if you can find a used one on the cheap.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Yes, the 997 is better but you still would, right, I mean for what 911s are changing hands for?

  • pcurve

    the bit about 993’s side by side hvac+radio was hilarious! But 993 interior is better. Much more classy looking than 996.

    • BGM

      The 993 is the classiest 911 for a reason. There’s just something about it. And the Turbo… Aside from the 360 Modena the 993 Turbo is the sexiest car ever made.

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