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Stuttgart Struttin': Porsche Prestige for Under $50,000


By: Anthony Fongaro

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Porsche, the brand from Stuttgart that creates high-performance vehicles ranging from a compact SUV to the iconic 911 and the new all-electric Taycan. Porsche utilizes a combination of performance and luxury to deliver compelling vehicles that win a plethora of awards. The problem with those award-winning vehicles is, they aren’t exactly cheap... It easy to add more than $40,000 in options when ordering Porsche and it's not unheard of to option a car out to cost over $200,000. Since they are so expensive, let’s go all the way to the bottom of the barrel. Let’s look at...a base Porsche vehicle. Exciting.

According to Porsche.com, the entry-fee into Porsche-land is the $51,000 base 2020 Macan. Since this is a Porsche, let's look at the stats. The base Macan is equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-4 producing 248 hp and 273 lb-ft. A 7-speed PDK double-clutch gearbox and all-wheel drive are standard. With these, the Macan can go from 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds before maxing out at 141 mph. With that measly power, 141 mph is going to take a while.

This may be the entry for Porsche, but this is a Porsche so we have to add everything we want in a 2020 vehicle. Let's add some options! Exterior wise, we are going to give the Macan some Sapphire Blue Metallic paint ($700). The 18” Macan S wheels look much better than the standard 18” Macan wheels, so let's add those ($600). For the interior, let's go with the Leather Package in Black/Mojave Beige. For now, this adds the options of heated seats in only the front and rear, but in three sentences, that's going to change. Think this is cheap? For a Porsche, sure ($2,450). The final option includes a panoramic sunroof which is a necessity for a luxury SUV ($1,670).

These days, most cars on sale have either Andriod Auto®, Apple CarPlay ®, or both for free but why would you want something like that for free in your Porsche? Instead of doing a stand-alone option, the Premium Package chucks this in along with heating those rear seats, a Bose® Surround Sound System, Auto-Dimming Mirrors, and the Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus, or (PDLS+). To get a little more confusing, this package can add even more with the options within a package of an upgraded PDLS+ in black and a double upgraded Burmester ® High-End Surround Sound System, but those aren't worth the added $5,220 and the package has all that we want ($3,110). There are over $13,000 options in Performance, but we are going to skip those because they aren't necessary for the options most buyers may want.

Assistance or safety systems are, of course, all optional extras. These include Lane Keep Assist ($700), Adaptive Cruise Control ($1,170), and Porsche Entry & Drive ($800). I do have reasons why I added these three options. Lane Keep Assist is a convenient system to, of course, keep you in your lane. I love Adaptive Cruise Control because it makes cruising on the highway easy using radars to keep you at the same speed as the car in front of you. Finally, Porsche Entry & Drive is convenient because you can keep the key in your pocket to unlock and lock your fancy SUV.   

Now, remember these are basic options. You can go crazy building out a Macan to well over $75,000 fully loaded. Thankfully, this build is a scant $62,960. That seems like an obscene amount with over $12,000 worth of options, but let’s not go new. Instead, let’s look at the second-hand options. 

Porsche 911

The ground rules are simple. Around or under $50,000, under 60,000 miles, and including all vehicles that Porsche creates. I’m sure we are going to find a more powerful Macan, but no promises. With that said, it’s time to find a 911! We should also look at Macans, Cayennes, Boxsters, Caymans, and the absolutely breathtaking for the wrong reasons Panameras. Since Porsches are in fact scattered throughout the good ol’ U.S of A., we are going to include the entirety of the country, including the best state: Montana. 

The iconic 911 is a Porsche fan’s dream. Looking at the price of around a base Macan, you can have one! One thing: if you want one in an automatic, avoid the older 5-speed Tiptronic. While it isn’t a terrible transmission, the PDK dual-clutch automatic is a much better transmission since it is more sporty. Some of the ones I found are between 2010-2014 Carreras and Carrera S models. There seems to be a split between manuals and automatics with a scattering of convertibles. Although the options are light with automatic upgrades and navigation systems, the 911 is a driver’s car. Most of the ones I found are rear-wheel drive which makes the car even more fun to drive. Although you can find more powerful GTS and Turbo models, they either have over 85,000 miles, are much older at around the year 2002-2004, or both. I would avoid those since they are higher miles and the newer ones will be just as fun though a little slower.  If you want the best car that Porsche offers, you can definitely find one with around 50,000 miles and less than 10 years old.

Next, the second and third sports cars that Porsche makes: the Boxster and Cayman. There are two different types of Boxster and Caymans. The first is the newer 718 models while the second is the older names Boxster and Caymans. Since Boxsters and Caymans, 718 or otherwise, are essentially the same, we are going to look at them as a whole. First are the 718 Boxsters and Caymans. Ranging from 2017 to 2019 models, these have between 30,000-50,000 miles. They’re also mostly base models with either automatic and manual transmission, navigation systems, and backup cameras. The older Boxster and Caymans at the top end will also have both transmissions, navigation systems, and backup cameras. The upgraded S models are more available compared to the 911 which isn’t surprising since the 911 is more expensive and powerful. The Boxsters and Caymans tend to be 2016 models with around 25,000-50,000 miles. 

Leaving the sports cars, we skip to the only sedan Porsche has made. The Panamera is a controversial car but can be had in a few interesting flavors. First, we have the GTS model which is the sportiest looking and performing large sedan. Next are the powerful turbo and turbo S models that produce over 500 hp. Finally, there is the Panamera I would recommend if you desperately want a Panamera which is the e-hybrid S. Unlike the 911 and Boxsters and Caymans, the Panamera should be had with all-wheel drive. Also, the e-hybrid S is the sweet spot because it still has options like a backup camera, navigation, heated seats, and a sunroof. Along with this, it has the power that you want in a luxury sedan while getting much better fuel economy than the GTS and Turbo models. Models are 2015-2016 models with 30,000-60,000 miles. Do I actually recommend the Panamera? No. It’s too ugly and there are better options from the other Germans in terms of a luxury sedan. 

We started with a Macan and we are going to continue with the Macan! Any model of the Macan lineup can be found including the S, GTS, and Turbo. A 2017 Macan GTS with 30,000-40,000 miles can be found quite easily for under $50,000. What does this offer than the brand-spanking-new base Macan? Quite a lot. The 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 creates 360 hp and 369 lb-ft. Also AWD like the new Macan, the GTS model goes from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 156 mph. Not only is this model significantly faster, some of the options include adaptive cruise control, backup camera, sunroof, and Porsche’s Sports Crono Package. I highly recommend the GTS over a new Macan for the performance and added features.

Porsche Cayenne

Finally, we have the Cayenne. This SUV helped Porsche to create some excellent high-performance vehicles because it was the highest-selling Porsche before the Macan came around. Similar to the Panamera, higher-end used Cayennes can be found in all trims including hybrids, GTS, Turbo, and Turbo S versions. Those are all fun and interesting, but I’m going to stick with the regular S model. There really isn’t any need for a high-performance version when an S still has a 3.6-liter turbo V6 with 420-hp and 406 lb-ft. Vehicles between 2016-2017 have 30,000-50,000 miles and backup cameras, navigation, heated and cooled front seats, and HID headlights. The Cayenne is a great mid-size SUV that has a combination of Porsche power, handling, and luxury. 

It makes sense that in the used car world, you can get a Porsche for around $50,000. All models can be found throughout the United States. Do I recommend all of them? Of course not. Do I recommend most of them? Sure! The two that I like the most are the 2016 Boxster/Caymans S and the 2017 Macan GTS. Boxsters and Cayman S models can have manuals for the purists, automatics for people like me, and have the added performance of being an S. Mancan GTS are a great combination of sporty and luxury. They’re also massively more powerful than the base Macan we looked at above. Now if you excuse me, I’m going to go find a Cayman S...in a few months. 

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