Can the Porsche 911 Really Be A Family Car? Yes It Can Be, Sort Of.
No one in their right mind would try to pass the Porsche 911 off as a comfortable family sedan. I do believe though that there is something special about those back seats.
There have been countless articles and reviews written over the years about the Porsche 911. Although the articles vary from time to time they all generally praise Porsche's commitment to the 911's fundamental drivetrain layout, design, and commitment to performance. Of course there are all kinds of debates to be had. The Porsche Owners community love to debate the air cooled vs. water cooled engines or naturally aspirated vs. turbo, and PDK vs. manual. Those are just the debates that rage on within the owners club. Those on the outside like to point out the questionable engine placement and continued use of relatively small displacement of the flat six engines. Botton line is that there is enough discourse to go around, with the exception of one thing. It seems that both fans and critics of the 911 all believe the 911's back seats are completely useless, or are they?
My 2007 Corvette LT3.
My Argument To The Contrary
When my wife and I finally had made it to the point in our lives where we could afford to have a sports car for fun we landed on a lightly used and extremely well maintained 2007 Corvette LT3. The reason we chose a Corvette over other comparable sports cars or even a Porsche is a story for another day. Lets just say this car checked a lot of boxes for us. We were happy with it, and those that believe these cars to be anything less then stellar is still thinking of the Corvette C4 & C5s of old. My wife and I both loved the car, but there were a couple of problems that kept it in our garage more often than not. The car came with an inherent design flaw that we had failed to recognize in the excitement of the purchase, seating for my daughter and son.
Now yes, I know what you are thinking, there are date nights, track days, and the always frequent mommy and daddy getaways right, NOT. Blindly, without realizing it I had signed back up for another Motorcycle that I had gotten rid of when my daughter was born. I never had time to ride the motorcycle like I did before we had kids and the same thing was going to be the case for the Corvette. When it was all said and done the Corvette was with us for just over 3 years and in that time it went from 17,000 - 26,000 miles. This car was meant to be a drivers car, not a museum piece. With us just averaging 3,000 miles a year, any way you cut it, it just wasn't worth the payment, insurance, and property taxes. The Corvette had to go, it just wasn't pulling its own weight.
One of the last trips with both kids still in their respective setting positions.
So what's the solution for a family that wants a fun sports car, but has two small kids? Well, I think you already know. We bought our 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabrolet just over two years ago and have put just under 18,000 miles on it. Yes, I know that seems to be well over the norm for Porsche 911 owners, but we wanted a drivers car. For us, the 911 represented something that is both fun and usable. The majority of those miles were not logged on lengthy road trips, but in general day use. The kids at the time of purchase were ages 7 and 10. They could fit without issue or complaint and because the car was fun and cool it was the preferred vehicle for dinners, movies, day trips, you name it. We had multiple occasions when people would either stop and ask us about the back seats or just stare like the 4 of us were getting out of a clown car. It never bothered me because I was proud of the fact that we could all enjoy it together as a family.
Now that the kids are getting older and bigger it is becoming less practical with now only my 9 year old son not caring about the seating comfort. Also it was a sad day for my wife when my daughter passed her in height and proclaimed she needed the front seat in the Porsche going forward. That only happened a handful of times before we deciede to solve that issue with the purchase of our X5 M. This time however, the Porsche was not sold off or traded in, it has earned its keep and will always be part of the family.
The Fine Print
So, if I managed to convince you that there is some use to be had in those back seats and your starting to search for a reasonably priced Porsche 911 let me stop you right there. There are still somethings we need to go over. First, my family is short, really short. I am the tallest, topping out at a whopping "Hammsterish" 5'6" and it only nose dives from there. So I don't care how small your kids are if your 6' something your going to be pushing that driver seat back so far it isn't going to matter, its now officially a 2 seater for you. Second, this is a point in time success story. It helped that our kids were close in age and that we got the Porsche when they were still young, but we had a great time for the roughly 30 months that everyone was happy in the 4 seater. Finally, the longest road trips we would take as a family were about 4 hour long weekend trips and no more. If you think this still might fit the bill for your family then go for it. It was the best automotive decision we have ever made.
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