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Porsche 911

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  • eewatcheewatch Posts: 8
    Thanks for the info tomtomtom. Well, I've budgeted as if I won't get any discount, so even if they work it out to be a couple of extras on the lot for free then that would be good too. But I'd really like to get at least $2-3K off like you did. I don't care much for the options anyway, I'm just thrilled to be able to get a 911.
  • decisions1decisions1 Posts: 17
    MgC4S, Congrats on your selection, and the feedback on the ClearBra - I'll have to take a serious look at that. You've seen one with the ClearBra installed I take it, it doesn't affect the color perception at all I assume?

    I'm scheduled to pick up my C4S this Thursday morning. Like yours with atlas grey/all black leather sans a few of the options and with the S wheels.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I'm in the DC area, so your California prices might vary. But I think a $5-6k+ discount on an in-stock 2006 base coupe would be possible, given that 2007's will be arriving in 4 months. As for ordering a 2007, expect less, plus I suspect the price will go up.

    I got a great deal on a 2005 Cab S last September. It was loaded with a few options I could have done without, but the deal made it worth it. Also, even if you are on a tight budget, don't forego the $920 sport chrono option. You'll thank me the first time you press the sport button and feel the enhanced throttle response.
  • outamoneyoutamoney Posts: 7
    Picked up my 2S Coupe last night . . . awesome car. 1st impressions on the options I ordered it with:
    Nav is OK, seen better, more of a novelty, could easily do without.
    Bose sound, OK, heard better on lessor cars. Would have liked a direct IPOD connection.
    Sport Chrono . . an absolute must have!
    Sport Shifter: great
    Adaptive Sport Seats: nice, but don't know if I would order again, big increase to the cost. Although only 1st impressions, under 100kms, have not done a long trip yet.
    Seal grey with the sport wheels . . a thing of beauty.
    All in all, a wonderful sports car, awesome power & handling.
  • decisions1decisions1 Posts: 17
    Congrats Outamoney! Sounds awesome, enjoy.

    Anyone,

    Leaving aside cost, what's the thinking on the difference in power and/or acceleration between having the sports chrono and doing the whateveritis kit that bumps the S from 355 hp to 381 hp? I believe I recall a thread on this topic a few months ago, but do not recall what consensus, if any, was reached on the point.

    New C4S pickup manana.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "what's the thinking on the difference in power and/or acceleration between having the sports chrono and doing the whateveritis kit that bumps the S from 355 hp to 381 hp?"

    (1) The $920 sports chrono doesn't "officially" add any hp or performance to the 911S. But, with that faster throttle response, the car sure feels a bit quicker and definitely more responsive. The same is true for the $2,400 sport exhaust - no official power increase, but feels (and sounds) quicker.

    (2) The $16,000 +/- power kit adds 26 hp to the 911 S. That's 7%. I haven't seen any road tests, nor have I driven one myself, but that seems like a LOT of money for a marginal increase in horsepower. And, I seriously wonder if the actual performance difference would be as great as the perceived difference you get with the faster throttle response of sport chrono at 1/16th the cost.

    (3) If I had $16,000 blowing a hole in my pocket to spend on more power, I'd look in my other pocket for another $18,000 +/- and get a 480 hp 911 Turbo. It stickers for $41k more than the 911S, but includes standard features that would run an additional $5-7k on the 911S. Like that not so great navigation system and Bose sound.

    On a dollars per horsepower basis, the 911 Turbo makes a lot more sense (125 hp for $35k = $280/horse) than the 911 S power kit (26 hp for $16k = $615). And the best deal is going to the 911 "S", which gives you 30 more horsepower than the base for about $5.5k ($183/horse) once you factor out the standard xenons, 19" wheels, PASM, etc.

    My guess is that Porsche figured that if there were power hungry, financially challenged folks out there that were willing to spend $615 per horsepower for a power kit, who are they to deny them that imprudence. ;)

    Oh, and if you do find $18k in your other pocket for the Turbo, the $1,950 sport chrono on that car is worth checking between your sofa cushions. It adds another 30+/- hp boost for short power bursts. Yes, Don, that's another "bargain" at only $65 per horse. ;) ;)
  • kyingkying Posts: 61
    "I'm just thrilled to be able to get a 911."

    To eewatch:

    I love your attitude! My wife and I feel the same. We think a car with 325hp and going 0-60 in under 5 seconds is powerful enough and fast enough for our commutes. We have a 2004 Targa; to prevent more fights over who to drive which, we are going to add a 2006 C4. We bought it over the internet from Phoenix, and it will be shipped to our home in S. Cal next week.

    FYI, we got a no-haggle internet price with 7.6% off, but we have to pay $350 shipping. We think it is an OK deal. We couldn't get any discount close to that in California, including the Bay Area.
  • redsoxgirlredsoxgirl Posts: 67
    After a lot of debating with my inner self as to the appropriate car to replace my 2001 Boxster S with (now that I live in Boston), I've decided on a new 2007 997.

    I have tentatively ordered a C4S Coupe. But, I am now reconsidering an thinking in terms of a Cab, and possibly going with the "2" rather than the "4". About the only thing that I know I'll stick with is an "S", since I'd want the additional standard features and think the extra performance is worth the (net) $5,500 difference.

    kying - In my back to back test drives, there appears to be a noticable diminishment in acceleration going from the "2" and the heavier AWD "4". As a matter of fact, the base 2 seemed as quick as the 4S - an observation that my dealer agrees with. On the handling front, I never got either to the point of triggering more power to the front and, once again, my dealer indicated that you really have to push it on dry pavement to do that. So, why would you, living in beautiful southern California, go with a base C4 rather than a C2S for about the same price. Or just save the money and get a still quicker C2?

    For those of you that have a C4 / C4S in areas with more precipitation, has it made much of a difference?

    Lastly, the 997 Cab seems to have a more substantial top than my 2001 Boxster. But is it comfortable in a Boston like climate for year round driving?

    Thanks in advance for your responses and I look forward to staying in the Porsche family with the new 997.
  • kyingkying Posts: 61
    redsoxgirl:

    My wife drives a 150-mile commute each day, 5 days a week, over the "grapevine" from Castaic to Bakersfield. We are not fast drivers (85 mph cruising). She used to drive the 2004 Targa on dry days and a 2001 Audi TT Quattro on wet (and sometimes even snowy) days. The 2006 C4 is to replace the Audi, which we sold to my brother last week. (He came to our house a couple of weeks ago, pointed to the TT and said, "I want this car!" And that was that.)

    Performance wise, handling is our major concern, and power really takes a backseat. My brother thinks we should have traded in our Targa for a F430. Although it may sound silly for two Porsche drivers to think about gas mileage, we do. We have been averaging 23.5 mpg for our Targa (my own accurate large sample calculations, not from the car computer, which says 26.5 mpg!), and we feel it is marginally satisfactory for our "ideology" already. Anything less would be unacceptable for us.

    Also like how I commented about eewatch's attitude: We are just thrilled to own a couple of 911s!
  • dweiserdweiser Posts: 288
    kying & redsoxgirl, I got my 2006 C4 Cab last November. I live in the mountains of western NC and I drove it all Winter, many days in the 50s with the top down. Get heated seats with the Cab. I've been used to AWD vehicles (Subarus, Murano, Honda Element, etc.) and this Porsche tops them all for stability (even in the Winter, even in snow, even with standard tires)! If the snow is deep you could hang up on it but we didn't have that much this past Winter. The car is extremely stable in all conditions and the top is wonderfully tight, no rattles, no noises, no nothing after almost 6 months. If you have any questions I'll try to answer them as honestly as I can.
    And like kying said about 0 to 60, since my "normal" C4 will do almost 177 mph my silly joke is that if it ever sees anything close to that I hope the guy who stole it is safe and I'm home asleep in my bed.
    :)
    p.s. There are some pics of it (in the snow even) on Edmunds new www.carspace.com
    Just do a search on Porsche or try going directly here:
    http://www.carspace.com/dweiser/?50@@.59a4f04f
    How's that for a plug Steve?
  • kyingkying Posts: 61
    To dweiser:

    I appreciate your information about your C4 Cab. My wife has been doing the "grapevine" commute for 8 years now. For wet days, she started with a 1999 Subaru Forester, then the 2001 Audi TT that we sold to my brother. Grapevine gets snow for less than 10 days a year, and usually it's less than a couple of inches. However, it is very hilly and curvy, so I feel much better when she is driving an AWD on a wet day.

    That's why it is good to know that your C4 has the best AWD among all the AWDs that you have driven. I will be a less-worried man in the winters to come.

    To eewatch:

    There was a C4 cab in Stevens Creek with $9000 off (9.2% off). We thought about it for a while, but my wife doesn't like cabs, so we bought a C4. (When I drive the Targa with her, she wouldn't even let me open the "big glass.")
  • svinaiksvinaik Posts: 84
    I have a local car (MY 2004 C4S) with some basic options available. Trade in value looks like $58K but delaer has listed the car at $ 73K.

    Any suggestions from the members here in terms of what should be a good price. I also have a choice of ordering a C4 with minimum options.

    Thanks

    Sanjay
  • kyingkying Posts: 61
    To Sanjay:

    It depends on where you are; discount in markets like California is not very deep. But if I were you, I would order a 2007 C4.

    Before we decided to buy the C4 from Phoenix (we paid for it yesterday, and the car will be shipped to us after the holiday weekend), we configured a C4 with basic options that we like:

    (1) 19" S-Wheel
    (2) Bi-Xenon
    (3) Power Seat Package
    (4) Heated Seat
    (5) Self Dimming Mirror
    (6) Wheel Crest

    The 2006 MSRP with destination charge is $83135. We figures a 3% price increase from 2006 to 2007; that makes the 2007 MSRP $85546. A conservative 4% discount would knock it down to about $82K.

    Let say you can get the 2004 C4S for $70K. So for $12K more, you will have a car 3 years newer, with less than 10 miles on the odometer, and all the options that you like. But it won't be a C4S though.
  • kyingkying Posts: 61
    Dennis,

    I live in S. Cal and bought a 2006 C4 from Phoenix, but I didn't order one. I do know a salesperson in the Los Angeles area who sold us the 2004 Targa a couple of years ago. If we had decided to order a 2007 C4, we would have gone to him.

    Looking at your area code, you are somewhere near Palo Alto. I don't know whether you want to order your 2007 C4 with a L.A. area dealer; if you do, I can email you the name of the sales and his dealership.

    kying
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    But it won't be a C4S though.

    I'm not sure what the "S" designation bought you for the 2004 model year (996). It was not the 2005+ 997's more powerful 355 hp engine. I suspect it was enhanced suspension, wheels and a few other non-engine items. But I suspect that whatever it did buy you would likely be more than offset by the significant improvements in the new 997 vs. old 996.

    I fully agree with your advice to Sanjay. Unless he could save at least $25,000 to $30,000, buying a new 2007 997C4 makes more sense than buying a 2004 996 C4S.

    P.S. You are NOT getting the Sport Chrono package on your C4?? Of the $13,000+ worth of options on my C2S Cab, it is by far the best bang for the buck in terms of driving enjoyment. I only have the PASM set on the "sport" setting 10% of the time, but I have the Sport Chrono set on sport about 80% of the time. I'd use it 100% of the time if it didn't also activate the sport exhaust option in my car, which is a little load in the neighborhood. It's your money, but I'd bag 19" wheels or heated seats in a coupe before I'd give up Sport Chrono.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Let me ask a couple of dumb questions:

    1) Leather package. I like it but it seems that merely selecting the "leather package" gets leather on the dashboard top and maybe the doors. The rest of the available leather seems to be sold on an a la carte basis. I'm on a budget and while I like the Terra Cotta, if I'm not going to buy the rest of the leather should I pass on the leather non-package?

    2)Are there just three seating options: manual seats that come standard, electric power seats with memory and then the adaptive seats with the adjustable F4C Phantom type bolters?

    3)Living in the Northeast, I initially liked the idea of AWD. Then I thought about it. With a rear engine and RWD the traction on snowy, icy days won't be that bad and on real bad days, who would want to risk a new 997 to beater pick ups, chunks of ice, salt trucks, etc? Clearly ground clearance is also going to limit you. So, unless you are going to drive it come hell or highwater, wouldn't a C2 be just as good? Less money, less road noise from the rear tires, etc.

    4) Bose. Serious audiophiles think that ol' Armand Bose is selling snake oil and don't think much of Bose systems. Although do do a nice job with surround sound (e.g., the 901 speakers from grad school days) and in a closed car where the system designer knows where the listeners are seated this is easily done. What about foregoing the Bose option and throwing in some better aftermarket speakers if one really needed better speakers for the talk radio and exhaust sounds that most of us listen to?

    I know that a lot of people have weighed in on the necessity of the S package and the sportschrono. I don't get it. I just can't understand the huge cost to get some minimal extra performance. Obviously a C2 can be faster to 60MPH with the right driver than both a C2S and definetely a C4S. Afterall we are talking two tenths of a second here, guys. From my perspecitve, 0-60 or whatever is not an issue.

    Its seems to me that Porsche has a variant of a bait and switch. They offer a great car at a fairly attracive price (e.g., 71K or so for a 997) with a great resale (50% return after 5 years!). Then they use an allocation system to motivate dealers to order optioned up cars. No dealer in his right mind is going to order a 71K C2 997 for stock and probably few would discount a special order for one because they would lose "an allocation". Hence, we live in a world of 110K 997s!
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 975
    Folks, please don't post your email addresses or phone numbers in any public Forum -- doing so is inviting spammers and prank callers to contact you. It's okay to recommend a dealership where you've had a good experience, as long as you don't provide salespersons' names or contact info.

    MODERATOR
    Need help getting around? claires@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • eewatcheewatch Posts: 8
    Thanks to kying and habitat1 for your advice.

    Sounds like the key to savings is timing and in-stock purchases. I'm definitely going to look around for dealerships in the west. If I find a good deal in Oregon, Washington, Nevada or Arizona I'll make a trip out of it...I'll fly over there, pick up my car and make a road trip out of it back home!

    Also, after reading into it and seeming the video on Porsche's website, the sports chrono looks pretty damn cool ($920 on a >$720 car doesn't seem like much I guess, especially if I'm able to save a few bucks on the MSRP).

    By the way, I need to better understand the standard options...but what material are the seats covered in in a standard car (no extra leather options)? Does it come with leather standard or the fake leatherette stuff? Thx.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Not dumb questions, and my subjective response:

    (1) Leather package and leather trim options are, IMO, where Porsche really hits your pocketbook. I've seen cars with the full leather dash and center console, etc. They look very nice. But the price is several thousand. If I had the cahnace, I might not have ordered the $1,500 +/- leather seats that came in my car. The standard seats, with leather sides and bolsters and a leatherette insert look almost as good.

    (2) Yes, three basic seat options. When you get the adaptive sport seats, you are really getting both the "power seat" and "leather seat" options on the more heavily bolstered seats with adjustable sides. I'd consider it, but try them out first.

    (3) I happen to agree with your assessment on the "2" vs. the "4".

    (4) Bose - the more I listen to it, the less I am impressed. I have to set the fader almost all the way to the rear just to hear the back speakers. Generally, the sound seems to be very much coming from the front center speaker and certainly doesn't give me the concert hall sound I would expect from a $1,200+ upgrade to a base 9-speaker system. As a matter of fact, where the hell are the 13 speakers that are supposed to come with the Bose upgrade? Don, you have a Cab with Bose, I think. How many speakers do you count and is your impression the same as mine?

    (5) Sport Chrono / "S": "How much is enough?" when it comes to power is very subjective. However, don't make your decision based upon the 0-60 times in the back of the Porsche brochure. Test drive the cars yourself, if possible. Porsches published figures do not accurately reflect my test drive impressions. My dealer, a former Porsche factory driver, agrees. In particular, between the extra weight and lower drive train efficiency, he claims the "4S" models are more comparable to the base "2" models and the "2S" are noticably quicker. If that doesn't matter to you, so be it. But the faster throttle response of the $920 sport chrono is about the cheapest way to get the feeling of a quicker, more responsive car. And, after all, the 911 is a sports car, not a family sedan.

    (6) I haven't seen any "stripped" $71k 997's out there, but have seen some with as little as $2,500 worth of options. Check the web. On the other hand, I got a nearly $10k discount on my new 2005 C2S Cab with $13k in options, putting the final price in the low $90's. There aren't too many $110k 997's that actually sell for that price.
  • kyingkying Posts: 61
    habitat1:

    Our 2004 is a Targa (996); we just added a 2006 C4 (of course 997).
  • outamoneyoutamoney Posts: 7
    After one week with my new C2S Coupe, my impressions are:
    Adaptive seats . . . very nice, memory options work for my wife & I.
    Nav. . . could do without, more of a novelty
    Bose . . . not worth the extra cost, typical Bose IMO (I have found I very rarely have the stereo on as I prefer the sound of the engine!)
    Bi-Xexon . . .Must have, any car that I can have them on I will. Have them on our Acura TSX. Standard equipment on "S".
    Rain sensors . . . work excellent
    Sport Chrono . . . . I believe this is a must must must have! (Keep in mind, at least in the Canadian version there is more to it than just the extra feel of power. There are a lot of additional programming featurs on the PCM that come with it)
    Enjoying!
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Habitat1, thanks for the realistic response. Sometimes some of these posts read like the poster is spending funny money and just checks off all the options, even those which by all agreement (e.g., the NAV) are second rate or foolish vanity (embroidered head rests).

    Now, about the rear window wiper option?? Necessary? Or is there an electronic defroster built into the glass. (Only Porsche would have the gumption to charge extra for a rear window wiper.)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Hey, watch it, I have those vain "Porsche Crest in Headrest". And the equally useful "Aluminum Sill Plates w/ Model Designation", just in case I need to be reminded that I have a "Carerra S" when I open the door. ;) ;)

    I wouldn't have ordered either of these items, but given the magnitude of my discount, I effectively got them and the $2,400 sport exhaust and a few other goodies for free compared to the custom order price.

    Regarding navigation, the Porsche system is far behind our Acura(s)'s in usefulness. But given that I have taken the car on quite a few "adventures", I still find the system worthwhile. The idea of trying to flip though an atlas while you are shooting through Virginia, Maryland or Pennsylvania backroads doesn't work for me.

    I have a Cab, so no rear wiper option. My personal opinion is that it detracts from the clean look of the coupe. Reminds me too much of my old 1984 Supra or the 928. That's one in which I would save the bucks and buy a nice Seal Grey ice scraper. FWIW, my rear window defroster works great on condensation and frost.
  • esuomm1esuomm1 Posts: 5
    I live in So Cal and got the C4 Cab. All the C's are plenty fast for me but the C4 is a bit wider and I like the wider look and the way the 305's look in the wheel wells. Since I never plan to race or track it, the performance I found to be adequate for my kind of driving.

    Thanks,

    J
  • dweiserdweiser Posts: 288
    blckislandguy, you're correct, I have a 997 Cab and the Bose. Going to show my ignorance here but I do know this, however many speakers the coupe w/Bose has, the Cab has one fewer (in the rear due to the top). I'm positive about the one less speaker, sorry I can't be more specific as to which one is omitted in the Cab.
    I find the Bose to be o.k., not sure it's worth the money, never heard the standard P-car stereo. It's not an upper-end system, I can definitely say that, but it's not awful either. I have a Bose Acoustic Wave radio in my bedroom (it's playing the new Mark Knopfler/Emmy Lou Harris CD as I type) and I've always thought the sound from it was way over-rated.
    As for options, I'm sure Porsche thinks of these as the gravy train. I'm kind of surprised tires and brakes aren't optional! However, one man's useless option is another's must have so options are a matter of personal taste.
    As for the C2 vs. C4 debate I agree with the comments above from esuomm1. I like having AWD and I LOVE those wider hips!
  • podiatronpodiatron Posts: 1
    People I need some advice. Especially from Habitat.
    I am going to buy one of these cars in the next week I am turning in my 2001 M5 which I love.
    I live in Northeast but I will not drive this car in the snow ever if I can help it. Rain yes snow no!!
    So, which car will be a better choice for me performance wise if we assume I would drive it mostly in dry weather? I also want to have the best ride (softer) I would rarely use a sport mode if I had it)
    Is the sport exhaust option only available with sport chrono package? I do not think I need PASM and not sure what other essential options I would need except for maybe 19" tires.
    Also does anyone know if the rear body of the S and the Carrera are the same in style? Any thoughts or ideas would be helpful. My dealer is going to give me 8% off MSRP of whatever I choose. So any other thoughts are appreciated.

    Thanks
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Sounds like your dealer is willing to give you a nice discount - perhaps he could also give you test drives of the various models? Although it's preferable to drive cars past their break in period so that you can get a real feel for the differences.

    In my opinion, the difference between the Carerra (3.6 / 325hp) and Carerra S (3.8 / 355 hp) is noticable, but really only when you push it a bit. For the roughly $10k difference, you are also getting xenons, 19" wheels, PASM, sport steering wheel. So you can do the math and figure out what the "net" cost of the added horsepower/performance would cost you. I would have bought all of those items anyway, so the net for me would have only been about $5,500.

    The "2" vs. "4" has a lot of factors:

    -Wet weather performance will be better in the 4. But of my 6,500 miles in the past 8 months, less than 100 have been in the rain and even at that, my "2" feels a lot more solid and stable than my former Honda S2000. I have not had a situation where I wished for the "4" for stability reasons, given my driving habits.

    - The "4" body is roughly 1.75" wider in the rear, with 305 vs. 295 rear tires (265 on the base "2"). If you can tell the difference and like the look, that's a factor - but remember ALL 997's are wider than the old 996, so they all look good to me.

    - The "4" is roughly 130 lbs heavier than the "2". And 5% of the power is always going to the front, which results in a slightly less efficient drive train (maximum horsepower "at the wheels" is lower for the "4" than the "2"). Based upon my test drives, the base "2" and the "4S" feel similar in quickness, the base "4" a notch slower and the "2S" a notch quicker. But none are slouches.

    - FWIW, I have heard the "2" is more fuel efficient on the highway than the "4", but that's anecdotal. I get 26 +/- mpg at 70-75 mph on the highway with my "2S". Maybe someone else can post their experience with a "4".

    - The "4" loses room in the front trunk due to the additional drive train components. I'm about to head out on a 3 day golf outing, with a buddy. We'll need every nook and cranny to fit 2 golf bags, 2 duffle bags and other junk. So having a deeper trunk will prove beneficial.

    On your other questions / comments:

    - PASM is standard on the "S" models. I have mine set on "normal" 80% of the time, which is slightly softer than the non-PASM suspension. Switching to "sport" on smooth roads and the highway produces a noticably firmer suspension and is better for "spiritied" driving. If you get a non-S model and don't get the PASM option, you might want to re-think 19" wheels if you are looking for a softer ride. Also, on the appearance front, PASM lowers the car (1/2" +/- I think). A little more aggressive look (i.e. like the wider "4").

    - I am pretty sure that the sport exhaust is a stand alone $2,400 option. But I would put the $920 sport chrono ahead of the sport exhaust on my priority list.

    - The rear of the base and S are the same. It's the "4" that is wider than the "2".

    Like I said, 8% discount on a new custom ordered car is quite good. Take your time and some test drives to make sure you get the best car for YOU. I have absolutely no regrets for getting a "2S", but neither does dwieser for having gone with a base "4". Good luck.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Habitat1, you the man.

    In the C2 vs. C4 discussion, what about hydroplanning? A base C2 with the 265 rear tires should give a softer ride, less tire noise, be cheaper to replace, and resist hydoplanning better than the bigger 305 sneakers, right? This ought to make it better in not only rain but slushy snow.

    (Man, if my thinking is correct, a base C2 sounds better and better. Maybe I'll even have enough money left over for the monogrammed head rests!)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    In the C2 vs. C4 discussion, what about hydroplanning? A base C2 with the 265 rear tires should give a softer ride, less tire noise, be cheaper to replace, and resist hydoplanning better than the bigger 305 sneakers, right? This ought to make it better in not only rain but slushy snow.

    I think you better consult with an "aquatic engineer" on that question. ;) Or, more likely, an ME with a good understanding of fluid dynamics. I'm just an MBA. And I like the bigger sneakers for dry handling, although there is obviously a lot more difference in going from 265 to 295 (base to S) than 295 to 305 ("2" to "4").
  • dweiserdweiser Posts: 288
    "I also want to have the best ride (softer) .... "
    The ride with the 18" wheels (I have been told by many) is softer than the ride with the 19" wheels.
    Habitata1 offers excellent advice (as usual), see if you can drive the non-S and the S, the C2 and the C4, to really judge for yourself in important areas like acceleration, ride comfort, handling, etc.
    Both the C2 and the C4 will be two of the most stable vehicles you've ever driven, I can almost promise you that. I just happen to prefer AWD.
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