2018 Porsche 911

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MSRP: $91,100 - 203,000

2018 Porsche 911 Review

The high-ranking 2018 Porsche 911 hits the mark for what a luxury sports car should be. It combines world-class athleticism and performance with a refined and posh interior.

9.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.5
Performance: 9.3
Interior: 8.1
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Terrific handling
  • Powerful engines
  • Stylish interior
  • Some rivals have better infotainment systems
  • Rear seats not hospitable for passengers

Is the Porsche 911 a Good Car?

Yes, the 2018 Porsche 911 is a good car. The latest iteration of Porsche's flagship luxury sports car lives up to its iconic heritage in a big way. There are a handful of muscular engines to choose from, and the 911’s sharp, track-ready handling lets you take full advantage of all that power. Also, its fuel economy is pretty good for the class.

The front seats have plenty of support for spirited driving, and there are stylish touches throughout the cabin. The rear seats are cramped, so you likely won't want to use them much. The trunk has barely enough room for a few shopping bags. You may want to flip down the back seat for more storage space, which turns the 911 into a two-seat fun machine. Additionally, the 911 has a perfect predicted reliability score.

Should I Buy the Porsche 911?

There’s no denying that the 911 is an awesome car, so your only hang-up for buying one should be how much you can (and want to) spend. The 911 has one of the highest starting prices among luxury sports cars, north of $90,000. Prices can exceed $200,000 depending upon how you configure the car. This Porsche is one of the most customizable cars on the market, with dozens of trim levels, performance models, and three body styles.

This class has some of the best cars on the market, so some rivals are certainly worth a look. The all-new Lexus LC doesn't yet have the brand cachet that the 911 does, but it serves up dynamic performance, a top-notch interior, and head-turning looks. If you're looking for something a little friendlier to your wallet, check out the Jaguar F-Type. It cost tens of thousands of dollars less than the Porsche and should still satisfy most sports car enthusiasts.

Compare the 911, LC, and F-Type »

Should I Buy a New or Used Porsche 911?

If cost is one of the main reasons you're apprehensive about buying a 911, consider an older model instead of the 2018. There were no major changes between the 2017 and 2018 models, so you can likely save money on a used model without sacrificing many features. Porsche gave the 911 a heavy refresh for 2017, which makes that model a better choice than the few model years prior. A new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged engine replaced the standard 3.4-liter engine, bumping up the base model's horsepower from 350 to 370. That twin-turbo engine is also in Carrera S and Targa S models (420 horsepower), as well as the GTS (450 horsepower). The 2016 model's 3.8-liter engine was replaced by a 500-horsepower 4.0-liter engine in 2017 GT3 R and RS models. The 911 Turbo and Turbo S received more horsepower: 520 to 540 and 560 to 580, respectively. Other improvements included a new active rear-wheel steering system, a new driving mode selector, newly available active safety systems, and an upgraded infotainment interface with standard Apple CarPlay. 

The 911's current generation began with the 2012 model year, and it is only the third original platform in the car's history. To research some other models in this generation, check out our reviews of the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Porsche 911. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Porsche 911 »

We Did the Research for You: 54 Reviews Analyzed

For our 2018 Porsche review, we researched dozens of professional evaluations, along with safety scores, reliability data, and fuel economy estimates, to help you make the best buying decision possible. This 2018 Porsche 911 review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2012 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles for a decade, and our team has more than a combined 75 years of experience in the automotive industry. To maintain objectivity, we don't accept incentives or expensive gifts from car companies, and an outside team handles the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Porsche 911 Cost?

Luxury sports cars are expected to cost a bundle, and while there are a few class rivals that cost much more than the 911, it’s still one of the more expensive cars in the class. The 2018 Porsche 911 Carrera, which is the base model, has a starting price of $91,100. The highest trim is the 911 Turbo S, which starts at $190,700.

For comparison, the most expensive cars in this class – the Acura NSX and Audi R8 – have base prices north of $150,000. However, many other cars – like the Jaguar F-Type, Alfa Romeo 4C, and Chevrolet Corvette – have starting prices under $60,000.

If you’re interested in a middle trim, we have good news. There are literally a dozen trims between the base Carrera and the Turbo S, including the 911 Carrera S, 911 Carrera 4, 911 Targa 4, 911 Turbo, 911 GT3, 911 Carrera GTS, and the 911 Targa GTS.

Once you’ve chosen a trim, there are available features and packages that you may want to add. These will add anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars to the price tag, depending on which features you want. Many trims are also available in cabriolet (convertible) models, which cost $12,300 more than their coupe counterparts.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Porsche dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Porsche deals page.

Porsche 911 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Porsche 911 or Lexus LC?

The Lexus LC is an all-new model for the 2018 model year. As Lexus’ halo car, it’s one of the best cars in the class. The base engine puts out a whopping 471 horsepower that gets the LC moving briskly, though the LC can't match the 911’s handling ability or fuel economy. Still, there is a hybrid LC available. The Lexus' interior is full of high-end materials, and unlike the 911, the LC's back seat can actually fit adults (though how comfortably is up for debate). Both cars have a similar starting price, but a fully loaded LC is much less expensive than higher trims of the 911. You really can’t go wrong with either of these supercars, so choosing between them is largely a matter of what kind of performance or styling you prefer.

Which Is Better: Porsche 911 or Jaguar F-Type?

Like its Porsche rival, you can get the Jaguar F-Type as a coupe or convertible. This sports car is available with your choice of several powerful engines, culminating with the high-performance F-Type SVR trim’s 575-horsepower V8. Though the F-Type is muscular and athletic, its ride gets a little rough at times, and it can't match the 911's fuel economy ratings. Interior accommodations are comparable between the two cars. Both offer front seats that are spacious and supportive, and each has a handsome interior. The F-Type only has two seats, but since the 911’s rear seats are practically useless, you probably won’t need to worry about that. The big differences between the 911 and the F-Type deal with the dollars and the reliability. The Jaguar has a starting price of just under $60,000 – more than $30,000 below the Porsche – and a meager predicted reliability rating of two out of five. Overall, the 911 is clearly a better vehicle, but the differences may not be big enough to justify the huge price jump.

Compare the 911, LC, and F-Type »

911 Performance

911 Engine: Making a Case for Raising the Speed Limit

The 911 gives you a choice of three six-cylinder turbocharged engines. The base engine puts out 370 to 450 horsepower, depending on trim, and it has all the athleticism you need for day-to-day driving. This engine is found in many of the staple trims like the 911 Carrera, 911 Carrera S, and the various Targa trims.

The other two engines – found in the 911 GT3 and 911 Turbo, among others – are high-performance options that range from 500 to 607 horsepower. They'll throw you back in the seat with the kind of acceleration normally reserved for Vin Diesel movies, and they're right at home at the racetrack.

A seven-speed manual transmission comes standard in most trims, and a seven-speed automatic (PDK) transmission is available. Both deliver smooth shifts, and the automatic is well-timed.

911 Gas Mileage: It's Pretty Good

The base engine is the 911's most efficient offering, and it gets better gas mileage than many rivals. According to Porsche's estimates, it gets 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway (22/30 mpg with the PDK transmission). Those ratings are slightly better than the Jaguar F-Type's 20/28 mpg city/highway (with an automatic transmission) and much better than the Lexus LC's 16/26 mpg.

Fuel economy gets worse with the more powerful engines. The 911 Turbo gets just 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. Keep in mind that the 911 – as well as nearly every other luxury sports car – requires premium gasoline, so good mpg ratings don't necessarily translate to low fuel costs.

911 Ride and Handling: Nobody Yada Yadas the 911's Handling

The 2018 911 lives up to the car's reputation as a legendary driving machine. With its sharp, responsive steering and buttoned-down handling, you'll relish winding roads. The sturdy brakes provide plenty of stopping power, and the available Sport Chrono package lets you select different modes that alter driving dynamics.

Read more about performance »

911 Interior

How Many People Does the 911 Seat?

Almost all 911 models have four seats (the GT3 seats two). Notice we say, “they have four seats” instead of, “they seat four people.” That’s because the rear seats are about as big as a fun-size candy bar, but you won’t enjoy them nearly as much. It’s best to just leave them folded down for extra cargo space.

The front seats, however, are quite nice. They have plenty of head- and legroom, and the standard sport seats are extremely supportive. The available power-adjustable seats offer less support, but they do make it easier to find a comfortable seating position.

911 Interior Quality

The styling looks great, and the materials throughout the cabin are premium quality with a full leather interior. Porsche pays plenty of attention to detail as well, so even small trim pieces have a great look and feel. 

911 Cargo Space

The 911 engine has its engine mounted in the rear, which means the trunk is in the front. There’s still not a ton of space, though – just over 5 cubic feet of room. That’s enough space for about four shopping bags or maybe a medium-sized cooler. The fold-down rear seats provide more cargo space if you need it.

911 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard interior features in the 911 include Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen and navigation. Available features include a sunroof and a 12-speaker Bose or Burmester audio system. The infotainment system has a learning curve, but it works well once you've mastered it. While Apple CarPlay comes standard, Android Auto isn’t even an option in the 911, though it is available in some other luxury sports cars.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

911 Reliability

Is the Porsche 911 Reliable?

The 2018 Porsche 911 has a perfect predicted reliability rating of five out of five from J.D. Power.

Porsche 911 Warranty

Porsche covers the 2018 911 with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty. That’s similar to the warranties of many other luxury sports cars.

Read more about reliability »

911 Safety

911 Crash Test Results

The 2018 Porsche 911 has not been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

911 Safety Features

Standard active safety features include a rearview camera and front and rear park assist. Available features include adaptive cruise control, lane change assist, and a speed limit indicator.

Read more about safety »

Which Porsche 911 Model Is Right for Me?

There are more than a dozen trim options for the Porsche 911. Almost all of them come standard with rear-wheel drive and a coupe body style. However, all-wheel drive is available in most models, and many are also offered in cabriolet (convertible) body styles.

Choosing the perfect trim depends on several factors, but the differences between trims are largely about performance and style. The standard and available features are similar throughout the lineup. Because of that, several of the Carrera models (base Carrera, Carrera 4, and Carrera S) offer good value because they come with many tech and safety features, and they don't cost nearly as much as some of the higher 911 trims.

Porsche 911 Carrera

The 911 Carrera is the base trim, and it has a starting price of just over $91,000. It includes all the standard features listed above, and there are several packages that add a variety of comfort, convenience, and safety features. These features include premium audio systems, adaptive cruise control, lane change assist, and heated and ventilated front seats with power adjustability. These packages cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

The 911 Carrera 4S has a starting price of $112,000. It has basically the same standard and available features as the base Carrera. It also has the same engine, but in the Carrera 4S, the engine produces an additional 50 horsepower (420 instead of 370), and the 4 designation means it has all-wheel drive.

Porsche 911 GTS

The 911 GTS has a starting price of $120,700. The main difference between the GTS and the Carrera trims is the engine. It has the same displacement, but it puts out 450 horsepower. Like the lower trims, a seven-speed manual transmission is standard, and a seven-speed automatic is available.

Porsche 911 GT3

The 911 GT3 has a base price of $143,600. This is one of the 911's high-performance trims. The GT3 features a 500-horsepower, six-cylinder engine. Unlike in lower trims, there is no cost to upgrade from the manual transmission to the automatic.

Porsche 911 Turbo

The 911 Turbo starts at $161,800. It features a 540-horsepower engine and has many of the same standard and optional features as the lower trims. A manual transmission isn’t available in the 911 Turbo, which instead comes standard with the seven-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is also standard in Turbo models.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Porsche dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Porsche deals page.

See 2018 Porsche 911 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Porsche 911 is a great car. It's fast, it handles well, and its interior is stylish. It also has a perfect predicted reliability rating. For all these reasons, this Porsche is a top finisher in our luxury sports car rankings. But while there's plenty to like, this is a class full of exceptional vehicles, and many others are worth a look.

The Lexus RC delivers a terrific blend of performance and interior quality for about the same price as the 911. The Jaguar F-Type may not be quite on the 911's level, but it costs $30,000 less. The Chevrolet Corvette might be more athletic than the 911, and the Mercedes-Benz SL has one of the nicest interiors of any car on the road. That's not to say that you should buy one of these instead of the Porsche; only that comparison shopping is worth your time. If you do end up choosing the 911, it's a decision you're unlikely to regret.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Boasting exceptional handling, classic styling, a luxuriously trimmed cabin and powerful engines, the 2017 Porsche 911 is a serious performance car that will leave you looking for reasons to drive it. When it comes to sports cars, there are few cars on the road that will satisfy you like the latest Porsche 911." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Having spent quality time with the refreshed Porsche 911 Carrera, the car offers necessary if not entirely welcome improvements. Consider this new 911 a positive sign of things to come from Porsche, a company that has no choice but to find balance between customer demand for performance, federal regulations, and the continuation of its rich sports car heritage. And trust that if all future updates to Porsche models prove as refined in terms of execution as those applied to the 2017 911, then we should all be excited to drive whatever's next." -- New York Daily News (2017)
  • "Either way, there's a new 911. The dang thing remains one of the best cars on earth. You have our permission—as if you needed it—to get worked up." -- Road and Track (2017)
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