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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited September 2014 in Porsche

image2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

When we were buying our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 many members of our editorial staff were passionate about the steering wheel.

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Comments

  • Scott, you are both right and both wrong, though for the 911 I tend to agree with your staff. In my opinion, the SportDesign wheel is optimized for performance driving with proper shift paddles. And when you're doing performance driving, you should NOT be messing around with audio or bluetooth buttons.

    Now, if you're just putzing around on a Sunday cruise or stuck in traffic on your daily commute, then yes the standard wheel is better.

    The 911 was made to driven hard on race tracks and fun roads. The Cayenne was not. Therefore, I believe the 911 was proper optioned with the SportDesign wheel.
  • cjasiscjasis Posts: 274
    Scott - your staff was right and with all due respect, you are COMPLETELY wrong here.

    The sport wheel should be the standard wheel on any Porsche offered. The tiny cockpit of the 911, Boxster and Cayman mean that you barely need to reach to adjust the climate control, radio, etc. Besides, you're in a sports car! Stop farting around with your Enya tracks on the Ipod and DRIVE!
  • Best configuration: Manual shifter, clutch, and steering wheel audio controls. This is probably the cheapest too. :)
  • evodadevodad Posts: 135
    How hard is it to reach for a button? Scott I think you're way wrong on this, unless if you're buying this car because you want the looks and name of a porsche. If you're buying this car because you actually enjoy spirited driving or the occasional track day you have the right wheel.
  • I am curious about the shift action of the standard buttons, which I never really understood from reading. If you are shuffling the wheel at the truck, is it natural and quick to find the buttions and order the shifts?
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    Nope - dumb that this has no buttons on it just because it has shift paddles - there's probably 30 different cars that have shift paddles AND buttons on the wheel. It's bad in the Toyobarus and five times as dumb here because the car is five times as expensive. I have driven on track days in cars with buttons on the wheel and ones that don't, and the experience and performance is exactly the same in either case - it's not like the buttons jump off of the wheel and interfere with you catching the rear end stepping out on a turn exit.
  • I know I will get flamed, but you don't have the wrong steering wheel, you have the wrong transmission. The 911 with manual is driving nirvana. Only way I would get PDK or other "automatic" tranny, as good as they are (yes, they are faster), is if I lost use of my left leg. :)
  • sharpendsharpend Posts: 177
    Porsche, as they often do, gets it wrong again with ergonomics. They simply just need a paddle shift steering wheel with control buttons. Duh.

    Then again, they can be so arrogant and think that their total dork-meister thumb shifters are better than the well established paddle shifters.
  • In addition to having the best roller buttons (like the scroll wheel on a computer mouse) the multifunction steering wheel is only one that can be heated. The heated steering wheel is one of the most inexpensive totally worthwhile Porsche options and makes it truly all weather friendly. For anyone who has had a heated steering wheel in cool/cold climates, there is no going back. I always get the heated multifunction steering wheel unless it is a dedicated race/track vehicle then the paddles are okay too.
  • I agree with you Scott. The shifter buttons are lame but the other controls on the steering wheel are more important for a road car.
  • DLuDLu NHPosts: 94
    Sure, it's no big deal to reach over and push some buttons on the center stack. It's also no big deal to crank your own widows or run around to manually lock all your doors. But a new car in this era, even at half the price of this car, rarely forces you to have to choose one or the other. This is, IMO, just Porsche being cocky and not caring to be accommodating. As has been mentioned, sometimes people are actually not driving a sports car on a track and would appreciate the little niceties.

    The people who are basically saying, "the best automatic is a manual," are just annoying. The manual transmission is quickly becoming the fun (as in less practical) setup for the rare discerning owner who enjoys a manual. It's like the horse -- it's not a great mode of transportation, and most people don't ride a horse to work anymore. However, many people enjoy the bond with their horse and ride for fun. That's why I have an RX-8 R3.

    An automatic is a very important option in most cars. I am glad even the automatic FR-S/BRZ are being reviewed (occasionally) by journalists.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    I'm sorry but you're wrong. Steering wheels are for steering. Especially on Porsches.

    That said, either way you can still work the PDK with the stick, which is more like what you'd do with a real manual anyway. What's the big deal?
  • Any readers here actually used the buttons? Were you able to get used to them?
  • brians01brians01 Posts: 1
    As I continue to look around at Porsche's, I have been dead-set against the multi-function wheel because of the look/plastic-ky appearance. I think the sport design wheel w/the aluminum accent looks beautiful. My previous car (Porsche Cayman) had no buttons/controls on the wheel, and I got used to it. My current car (BMW) has many controls on the wheel, which is very convenient. I guess I'm a purist and would be willing to give up the buttons for a slick looking donut. -Brian
  • I drive a 2013 911 S Cabriolet with the multifunction wheel. The picture above looks exactly like my car. It took a while for me to get use to the shift buttons and the PDK in general. I have allways had manual Porsches. The more I beat on it the more I like the whole set up. It really does shift fast and catches the gears just right. When blasting into a turn you can use the programmable button,hit it with your left thumb,to change the display to the G meter and measure how close to the limit you are. I don't think you can do this as quickly the other control for the mutifunction display. You can also leave it in G meter display and use another button on the wheel to reset the max g level before the turn so you don't have to be looking at the meter during the turn.
  • I know this is an old thread, but even in 2015 the Porsche shift buttons are annoying! I have a 997.2 (2009) with the PDK, I also have a 2006 Audi A3 3.2 with DSG that I have owned since new and have thoroughly enjoyed paddling my way around. Even after 6 months with the 911 I still find myself changing down when trying to change up as the buttons just are not intuitive. Saving my pennies to upgrade to a sports steering wheel has now become a priority, as I consider the current configuration totally unacceptable.
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