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Feedback after one week with my new 2017 911 / 991.2

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Old 06-18-2017, 01:34 AM   #1
droidfan
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Default Feedback after one week with my new 2017 911 / 991.2

Hello all,

Sorry if this is a bit long but I guess I want to give some level of details so that my feedback can be useful. I will also compare it with my old 2015 BMW M4.

So, I got a brand new 2017 911 one week ago. The car is having a few options like PDK, Sport Chrono, Power Steering Plus, nice 20inch Turbo wheels, Bose Sound System and more (but no Sport exhausts). I could not select those options on the car as it was prebuilt and available from the parking lot. I did extensive research on the car and what was available not too far from my home and I selected that car from Porsche Monterey.

I got also a decent deal and a good trade-in for my previous car. I was coming from many years with BMW and my previous car was a 2015 M4 with full options (but no Competition package nor ceramic brakes).

I was using the M4 mainly for commuting about 50 miles a day (full round trip) and it was a great car but I also got a few issues here and there: a couple of times I got a real "loss of power" when turning right at a traffic light and accelerating a bit (still being gentle); also I got an issue with the brake back plates that were letting some small gravels going between the plates and the brakes and resulting in some awful cracking noises; funnily BMW created a brand new back plate after my report of those issues and I got it installed and guess what ... it was still happening here and there. Not a big deal but still annoying a few times. The main issue I think was the loss of power and I am guessing the ACU and the other systems in the car where not cooperating correctly in that specific context (everything was in Sport Plus except the throttle which was in Sport only). It may also some to some software bug. Who knows...

I also ordered in April a brand new 2018 M4 with all options including the Competition package. As the car delivery was late by a good month, I finally decided to try it at another dealership before buying the 911 and was surprised how aggressive and not enjoyable it was. The 911 had plenty of power too but was delivering it in a more "linear" way compared to the M4.

Basically BMW increased everything by a good notch with that Competition package and the 2018 model and I did not like the way the power was "delivered" (yes I am well aware that there is some turbo here...). Hence, I canceled my order and decided to buy the 911.

You can see here my questions about finding a decent Porsche dealer in the SF Bay Area. That was something by itself:

https://rennlist.com/forums/991/9936...l#post14252195

So all in all I have this nice new 911 for one week and here is my feedback about it.

First, the sales experience was great and Porsche Monterey did a very good job. I got plenty of time for testing the car, I could even test drive a 2017 911 4S with lots of good options but it was missing some good seats so I finally decided for the basic non S one.

I put about 500 miles on the car in the week and all of those miles have been very enjoyable. I used the car on the highway and also for commuting in the south SF Bay Area.

Very remarkably the cabin is always sort of quiet even at decent speed and this is all good and you can enjoy a conversation with your passenger and/or listening to some music with a very good experience. You can hear the engine roar and this is all good. Yes I know the Sport exhausts will change that a bit.

The car handling is also gorgeous and it is obviously a notch ahead of the M4. I mean really. The 911 is obviously lighter by about 300 pounds and that shows a lot. I feel also that the 911 is much more "planted" and turns much easier in 90 degrees turns. Dont forget also that my tires (Pirelli P Zero) are barely worn enough to get an even better grip.

The PDK is great and comparable to the M4 double clutch but it is somewhat painful to go from Park to Drive or Neutral or Reverse. The M4 was way smoother in that compartiment. Also the M4 automatically goes to Park when the car is stopped. You dont have to touch the gear lever for going from Drive to Park.

What also is striking me a lot is that the driving experience is much more relaxing than the M4. This is something I cannot really explain why but my 50 miles commute feel less painful than before. You know what I mean if you leave in the south SF Bay Area.

The only concern I have is if I will be fine going from a 4p car with a good trunk space to a 2p car with limited trunk space. That, I cannot really answer now.

Also after those 500 miles, the 911 MPG is pretty good. I could easily achieve 24 MPG on the highway with decent speed and AC at 72F and about 19 MPG for commuting. That will improve after the "break in" period for sure. On the BMW M4 side, I could achieve about 30 MPG on the highway and about 21 MPG in commute (I have 3 years of data so it is pretty accurate for me).

One feature I really like on the 911 is the LCA (lane change assist). This is way better and easier to use than on the M4 where is was difficult to see as the warning lights are put next to the exterior mirrors themselves. Yes, having those 3 red bars on the inside of the 911 make the warning easier to see by a large margin because it is more in your field of vision.

Another basic feature which I love on the 911 is actually the ventilation system. The M4 (and all the BMW 3 and 4 series) one just suck and it is noisy and sometimes not even working correctly (it was fine in my BMW M5, but this is another story for that other car). On the opposite, the 911 ventilation system is quiet, gentle and very effective. This is top notch for the California weather.

Concerning the 911 dashboard I feel it is very easy to use and get what I want to see or do. Of course I got a bit some time for adapting myself and for dealing with it compared to the M4 dash but then this is all good even if feels a bit more "tiny" everywhere. The M4 is sort of more spacious in its own way.

I really like the right hand side roundy LCD screen on the 911 (to the right of the RPM counter) where I can have some useful infos about the car and the Nav in a quick and easy way. I love the rotating wheel on the Multifunction Steering Wheel. So smooth and easy to use.

I am still missing my M4 heads up display but I feel I can cope with it. I am also missing my "history of average MPG" which was great on the M4.

The PCM is pretty good too and easy to use and a notch over the last one on the older 911s as far as I know The 911 touch screen is a must for me and easier to use than the M4 with the central rotating wheel.

But I am still missing a few features too from what is available on the M4, especially with the 2018 M4 model where the system has been improved over my "old" 2015 model and it is amazingly fast.

For example, why voice commands are an option on a 911 ?!?. That should be installed for free in all 911s. And as it is only a software stuff I would not "buy" the explanation that the 911 is trying to make it "lighter" for the track.

I am also using a lot the "real time traffic informations" for commuting (yes traffic is a real pain in the south SF Bay) and I feel it is ok but not on par with the M4 version.

What is even more painful is that you need to have the "Porsche Connect Plus" to be able to get real traffic information. There is no other way to get it. Yes, there is a 1 year free subscription given to you but, man, this is a 100K+ car and that should be FREE for the life of the car (like it was for the M4).

Porsche Connect Plus is including plenty of services that you dont need for a normal usage of the car but real time traffic information are kinda crucial for using the Navigation System, right ?

BTW, it seems that it is a (bad) decision on Porsche USA and all European owners are getting those real time traffic information for free.

See it there:

http://www.porsche.com/usa/aboutpors...l-de&id=358304

So, why would I need to fork $189/year for having that feature which is free in Europe and free for other comparable brands and cars ?!? That blows my mind.

Concerning online services available in the 911, I also feel this is way less smooth compared to the BMW ones.

First my Porsche Connect Plus (PCP) free subscription was screwed up by somebody who enter my last name for my first name and my first name for my last name. That resulted to some pain and reconfiguration later.

Second, the PCP is grouping too many stuff in the same package and honestly I dont feel I would ever use Twitter access from my dash. That seem silly to me. All I care is real time traffic infos and eventually fuel prices or available Parking lots and maybe sometimes Weather. All of the rest is pretty non useful and I can understand that some people would like to have it but it should be part of another "package".

Third, you have to create an account for PCP and also another account for the Porsche Car Services. This experience is not good and for the M4 I just had to create one account and everything was good to go.

Fourth, for using PCM you basically NEED to have a SIM card plug into the 911. You have a free ATT SIM card given to you with a 3 month data subscription but after that you need to pay for your own data. That seems silly and again another cost when all of this is free in the M4. I have heard that you can use your phone as an access point for the PCM to get access to the Internet but I am not sure it would work the same way.

Concerning the Navigation System (Nav) I think it is pretty good but the 7inch display is sort of no match with the wide display on the M4. I have understood that the PCM electronics have been updated recently but it still feels a bit sluggish compared to the 2018 M4 (I would say it would be on par with my old 2015 M4).

One feature I like from Google Maps (desktop) is the capacity to send a "location" to your car (it is easier to prepare a trip from a desktop and see a big map) and it was working great with the M4. We have the same sort of feature for the 911 but the way to get the information in the Nav of the 911 was a bit more complicated than for the M4. The M4 get it thru something like a "message" and you can use it for the Nav thru a simple click. In the 911 it should go thru a POI and it took me a while to find where is was available in the PCM (Nav favorites actually, quite buried into some menus).

One great feature of the 911 Navigation System is the "online search" of an address so that can start entering an address and you will have some online search results. In that context, your Navigation System is never outdated (compared to a "fixed" one that you need to update at the dealership).

What is outdated in the 911 is the Map Data. There is a road next to my house that has been built about 1.5y ago and this road is not yet recognized by the Navigation System (and my 911 was build late 2016 and has the 2017 Map data).

Something that I feel is pretty bad is that Porsche Car Services (this is different from Porsche Connect / Connect Plus) are not free and it seems very silly for me to have to pay for some basic sort of remote assistance. For example, all recent BMWs have this button you can press in the car that can give you a direct access to an operator and this is crucial when you have a big issue. The BMW car is also automatically contacting the BMW center in case of an emergency. This is also free for BMW.

Porsche is giving you a 3 months free trial period for Porsche Car Services, but guess what, you have to activate it for the car and bring the car to the dealership for 1h for doing this activation thru a code given to you during the registration process. That all process does not make sense at all and it is also crazy to see that other dealerships will bill you $120 for this activation of a free trial. Yes this is insane.

Concerning Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Well, let's say up front that there is no Android Auto available and Porsche has decided to not support it in favor of Apple CarPlay. I think this is a very questionable and bad decision (there are much more Android devices in the wild than iPhones) and I would have expected to have both supported. As I am an Android user (see my handle), I feel it is not cool. Again, the 911 is a premium car and I would have expected support for both.

Now, concerning Apple CarPlay (I had to find an iPhone to test it) the experience was pretty good to my surprise and the switch between PCM and Apple CarPlay was very easy and intuitive. The only stuff I did not know was how to activate it and I finally got it by pluggin the iPhone thru a USB cable to the central console USB port and voila.

I used it with an iPhone 6s running iOS 11 beta and the Apple CarPlay Navigation was very good. The message App and the music App coming from the iPhone were both ok too. I am pretty sure Android Auto would offer similar experience too.

One thing to know is that if you dont want to pay for Porsche Connect Plus, you can use your iPhone and you would have real time traffic information parts of Apple Maps.

All in all, let's do a quick summary for my one week experience with the 911.

PROS

- great buying experience (this can obviously depends on the dealership you select)
- really awesome handling and driving experience. Better than the M4 actually.
- this car is freaking light
- great engine noise (even with no Sport Exhausts)
- potentially very good MPG
- very good dash ergonomics which are "competition oriented"
- cabin insulation is good and you can still hear the engine
- Bose sound system is real great
- the 911 is much more configurable compared to the M4 (but sadly there would be some serious money involved)


CONS

- much more expensive than the M4 (that is a fact, there is no jugement here)
- PDK gear changes (parking / forward / reverse / neutral) are somewhat not that smooth
- less "practical" compared to a M4 as only 2 seaters and less cargo space. I feel that Porsche could have made it a bit longer to have 4 real seats. Yes I know some people will just tell me I am crazy and the 911 should be even more nimble, but look at the M4 my friends. She has real 4 seats... and can still go on the track and shine. I also dont want a Panamera, as this is way too big for me.
- PCM is ok but so so for some features. I would have really appreciated a 9inch screen by the way.
- Porsche Online Services for the 911 are a real pain and not on par with what BMW is delivering and also it seems that Porsche USA is trying to "milk the cow" and this is totally uncool. This is quite concerning as the competitors are working on making their car great and easy to use with online services that are mostly free. A Porsche customer representative confirmed me over the phone that they are working hard on bringing it on par with the others but are still behind. This is sad in some way.


Now, would I ever go back to the M4 or some BMW in the future ? I dont think so as the 911 is clearly a superior driving experience so far. The 911 is that kind of car that pushed me to go out one evening at 11pm for driving non stop during 2 hours and come back home at 1am. That shows a lot.

Feel free to comment and / or contact me for more information if you want.

Cheers.

Last edited by droidfan; Yesterday at 12:01 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-18-2017, 01:59 AM   #2
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Great write up. Nice to hear reviews about daily driving. Every car magazine wants to talk about lap times but never about the air conditioning.

Too bad about Android. Porsche flat out refused to support it since it gathers so much data and sends it back to Google. It includes speed, throttle position, and, engine rpm. It's obvious you are going to stick with Droid but CarPlay works wonderfully. Google Maps should be the OEM Nav. Hopefully Android Auto will change it's terms of service or Porsche will loosen up.
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Old 06-18-2017, 02:04 AM   #3
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@Hula, thank you a lot. I am trying to stay practical and day to day usage in my review as there are already plenty of info about lap times and such. If I wanted a track car, I would go to a GT3 :-)

Yes I am aware of that Android Auto issue and agree with you that it would be great if the TOS was better.
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Old 06-18-2017, 02:31 AM   #4
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If your phone can generate a local hotspot (my iPhone 6 with Verizon can), you can connect the PCM to it and select google earth in the map options and have realtime traffic plus google maps. No need for Porsche's connect plus.

Edit: didn't see the other posts in time, sorry.
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:57 AM   #5
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To me a car's driving dynamics should be most important and that is the main reason we buy a sports car right. I wouldn't expect a Ferrari or Lambo to have a good nav system (they do not), but instead I get it due to the sheer performance. So I feel all your cons are something that can be overlooked when buying a sports car.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:38 AM   #6
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@mikex25 I hear you.

Performance is a key factor but if I wanted the best of it I would get a track car like the GT3 and in such a car all those infotainment systems would be obviously useless and cluttering the race experience. IIRC you have to pay Porsche to have them back in that car as they have been removed by default for having the car as light as possible.

I was also placing my review in the context of a sport car for everyday usage (commute or more) and thus I think those infotainment features do matter and a GT3 would be quite inadequate.

I think in 2017 we really need good dash systems in sport cars that can make those more practical and enjoyable.

Also the discrepancy between Porsche in Europe and the US is quite non acceptable. That should be fixed.

Seems like Porsche is starting to recognize the need (they would not survive with selling only GT3s and other pure racers, right) but there is still a lot of room for improvement. BMW, Audi, Mercedes and even Tesla have great dash systems for their sport cars and there is no reason why Porsche could not have them too. Maybe the Mission E will set a new bar for this.

All in all, for summarizing, I would like to have both cheese and desert :-)
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droidfan View Post
@mikex25 I hear you.

Performance is a key factor but if I wanted the best of it I would get a track car like the GT3 and in such a car all those infotainment systems would be obviously useless and cluttering the race experience. IIRC you have to pay Porsche to have them back in that car as they have been removed by default for having the car as light as possible.

I was also placing my review in the context of a sport car for everyday usage (commute or more) and thus I think those infotainment features do matter and a GT3 would be quite inadequate.

I think in 2017 we really need good dash systems in sport cars that can make those more practical and enjoyable.

Also the discrepancy between Porsche in Europe and the US is quite non acceptable. That should be fixed.

Seems like Porsche is starting to recognize the need (they would not survive with selling only GT3s and other pure racers, right) but there is still a lot of room for improvement. BMW, Audi, Mercedes and even Tesla have great dash systems for their sport cars and there is no reason why Porsche could not have them too. Maybe the Mission E will set a new bar for this.

All in all, for summarizing, I would like to have both cheese and desert :-)
i get what you mean, is your 911 your daily driver? My car is a weekend car and if it was my daily driver the infotainment would matter more

I came from a 2016 F80 M3 also and to be honest I only used the nav once on the idrive. I felt it was much easier to use my phone.
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:21 AM   #8
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@mikex25, yep daily driver :-)

The M3 and M4 nav are great and pretty easy to use and their info goes even into the heads up display. I personally prefer using the in dash nav for all my cars as having a phone on my dash seems very awkward and less ergonomic to me.
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:10 AM   #9
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Funny, I may have voice command in mine but I have not even bothered to look into it. I have to admit, I really like the sunroof and manual transmission. The .2 seems to feel all around better driving in town than the .1 S that I had before. I think the BOSE system is a pretty lame stereo but I do like the improved screen and I do like the 918 steering wheel and lane change assist.

What I especially like is the way the car handles, the way I can take a turn in my neighborhood at 50 mph and that is what the .1 version did.
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:37 AM   #10
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> PDK gear changes (parking / forward / reverse / neutral) are somewhat not that smooth

I also picked mine up a couple of days ago and have been having some issues "finding the spots" - turned the engine off while in Reverse thinking it was in Park. Previous cars BMW and Mercs.

Otherwise, just an incredible car. Great write up.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikex25 View Post
To me a car's driving dynamics should be most important and that is the main reason we buy a sports car right. I wouldn't expect a Ferrari or Lambo to have a good nav system (they do not), but instead I get it due to the sheer performance. So I feel all your cons are something that can be overlooked when buying a sports car.
That's what I like about the 911. It's all things to all people. Race car and boulevard cruiser. A commuter and grand tourer. A trophy. A toy. It's both flashy and discrete. You can haul kids, haul skis, or haul ***. More than a sports car, an everything car.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikex25 View Post
To me a car's driving dynamics should be most important and that is the main reason we buy a sports car right. I wouldn't expect a Ferrari or Lambo to have a good nav system (they do not), but instead I get it due to the sheer performance. So I feel all your cons are something that can be overlooked when buying a sports car.
I agree with you that driving dynamics are paramount in a sports car and at the top of my priorities. But there is no conflict between great handling and a great navigation system. Navigation and voice activation technology can be purchased and it's hard to understand why a $100,000 car can't match the voice control and navigation capabilities of a $500 phone.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:52 AM   #13
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@911sTO, ohhh tell me more about the PDK non smoothness.

BTW, any other drivers experiencing that ? Is that because the car is new ?
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:53 AM   #14
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@Hula, YES, exactly !
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:58 AM   #15
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@Valvefloat991 I like the way you have phrased it. Yes, there should be no conflict between the two.

Also it is hard to understand why Porsche (all about precision engineering and superior experience) would not deliver the basic free part of the infotainment system at minimum on par with the one from a M4 or "cheaper" cars in the same sport category.
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