£105,931 - £113,847 Price range
29 - 33 MPG
The Porsche 911 Cabriolet is almost exactly the same as the 911 coupe – it’s a quick sports car that isn’t a pain to live with every day – except it has a soft-top roof that can be dropped or raised in 13 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph.
Quite how quick the Cabriolet is is entirely up to you and your wallet. The range starts with the 370hp Carrera 2 and gets progressively faster (and more expensive) as you move up through the 420hp S, 450hp GTS, 540hp Turbo and the 580hp Turbo S models.
The latter can get from 0-62mph in three seconds dead, but even the entry-level Carrera 2 can hit that benchmark in just 4.8 seconds. All models have plenty of performance at way beyond legal speeds and the Porsche’s six-cylinder howl is even clearer with the roof down.
The engine lives where you’d expect to find the boot. That used to be an issue – classic 911s had a charming habit of unexpectedly flinging their owners off the road in corners. But the setup’s since been refined giving the Porsche lots of grip – you can power out of bends quicker than pretty much anything else on the road – and no nasty surprises.
There’s very little lean in bends and all models get powerful brakes that can bring the 911 to a halt from huge speeds. Four-wheel drive is an option that’s worth considering if you often drive on slippery roads, because two-wheel drive models can spin up their wheels if you’re not paying attention.
The 911 is much easier to drive in town than other performance cars. Its body is relatively small, making it easy to manoeuvre, and it can easily squeeze through width restrictions and take speed humps in its stride. Add Porsche’s optional seven-speed automatic gearbox (a substantial £2,483) and you can cruise around town without getting leg ache from using a clutch pedal.
There aren’t many roads that will phase the Porsche. It cruises well on the motorway and is reasonably quiet, although there’s some wind noise that you wouldn’t get in a convertible with a metal roof, such as a Mercedes SL or BMW M4. What wind noise you hear is mostly drowned out by the road noise from the big tyres.
The convertible shares the Coupe’s interior design, so it has a high quality feel to match that found in Mercedes and BMWs. Leather upholstery is standard, but the 911’s interior offers a wide range of customisable options so you can make it look exactly how you want it, although doing so can add a lot to the price.
The front seats are easy to get comfortable in, and the steering wheel and driver’s seat offer enough adjustment to get exactly the driving position you want. The back seats, however, are extremely tight – even small kids will feel cramped and they’re more useful as an extra storage space to add to the 145-litre boot.
Despite the small back seats, the 911 Cabriolet is pretty practical for a convertible sports car – and few alternatives can match it for performance, quality or sheer fun.