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Porsche 911 beats out 'Vette and Viper

Old 09-03-2006, 02:19 PM
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Default Porsche 911 beats out 'Vette and Viper

Interesting comments on the Viper but I know some people do not trust Consumer Reports.

If I had a choice, I would have picked the Porsche Cayman which is not listed.


Porsche 911 beats out 'Vette and Viper

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- In testing the most expensive group of cars the magazine has ever purchased, Consumer Reports rated the Porsche 911 as the top high-performance sports car.

The 911 was tested against the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, the Dodge Viper and other performance vehicles in a competitive test of luxury sports cars.

The prices of the eight cars in the magazine's most recent tests ranged from $45,545 for a Lotus Elise to $105,855 for a Mercedes-Benz SL550.

In the magazine, those results are combined with those of six other luxury performance cars tested previously to provide a 14-car ranking of high-priced performance cars.

Consumer Reports, published by the non-profit Consumer's Union, purchases all the vehicles it tests for the magazine. The vehicles are bought anonymously from retail auto dealers.

Photos:Consumer Reports Supercar Test

Cars are tested on public roads as well as at the magazine's test track facility in Connecticut. Cars are put through a variety of tests, including high-speed maneuvering, braking and cornering.

The scoring system used for these cars was different from that generally used by the magazine for minivans and sedans, said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center.

While the scoring was still heavily weighted toward safety, including emergency handling, factors like acceleration were given more importance than, for instance, trunk space, Champion said.

Comfort, convenience and day-to-day drivability were still factors in the rankings, though.

Performance battle
"The 911 wowed us enough with its acceleration, handling, and braking for us to rate it our top sports car," said Champion. "The 911 is also easy to drive, but its much less expensive Boxster sibling performed almost as well."

The 911 cost about $87,500 as tested. The Corvette Z06's price was about $77,000.

The Corvette impressed the magazine's test drivers with its powerful acceleration and stable feel. The magazine called its handling "less precise" than the 911's, though.

The magazine called the Corvette Z06's predicted reliability "Poor," which prevented them from actually recommending the car in spite of high scores for performance and comfort.

The V-10-powered Viper ranked as the fastest car ever tested by the magazine with a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds. But it was only a tenth-of-a-second quicker than the Corvette Z06 and beat the 6-cylinder 911 by just two-tenths.

In other performance measures, it was no better than those cars, according to the magazine, in spite of a price that was $15,000 higher than the second-ranked Corvette Z06.

Ultimately, the Viper ranked second-to-last out of the 14 in the magazine's point system.

The Viper was rated as "Poor" in most "Comfort and Convenience" areas including "Ride," "Noise," and "Front seat comfort."

Still, Champion said, "I really liked the Viper."

The V-10-powered Viper has the kind of personality that's lacking from more coolly competent cars like the top-ranked Porsche 911.

"It's brutal," he said. "Everything about it is brutal."

The Lotus Elise, the cheapest car on the list, ranked last because of its extreme nature. The Elise's ride is extremely harsh and getting in and out of the tiny, low-slung car is difficult.

If pushed behind its high handling limits, the Elise resists attempts to get it back under control.

"We thought it was a little too tricky for most people to drive," said Champion.

Of the 14 cars tested, only three actually got a "Recommended" check mark from the magazine. To be recommended a car must have good crash test scores and good "Predicted Reliabi
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:22 PM
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Default RE: Porsche 911 beats out 'Vette and Viper

Porsche 911 Carrera S
Price as tested: $87,520
Powertrain: 355-horsepower 3.8-liter 6-cylinder engine, 6-speed manual transmission
Photos and details

Rank: 1 out of 14
Highs: Handling, acceleration, braking, visibility
Lows: Highway noise, narrow seats

Not recommended due to insufficient reliability data

Consumer Reports praised the 911's handling and called its brakes "among the best we've ever tested."

"The relatively compliant suspension makes it stable even in bumpy corners and provides a more comfortable ride than in most sports cars," the magazine said.


[IMG]local://upfiles/17/2DA8F4ED6F824307A3DBBC4BEBDA2B4D.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:24 PM
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Default RE: Porsche 911 beats out 'Vette and Viper

Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Price as tested: $76,730
Powertrain: 505-horsepower 7-liter V-8, 6-speed manual transmission
Photos and details

Rank: 2 out of 14
Highs: Acceleration, handling, controls
Lows: Fit and finish, turning circle, reliability

Not recommended due to poor predicted reliability

Consumer Reports called the Z06 "stable and predictable with lots of grip and extremely high cornering limits."

In overall performance and comfort its score was very close to the 911's. The magazine complained of cheap-seeming interior quality.


[IMG]local://upfiles/17/528EA4D37426466CAB211E0D91FDA5A8.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:26 PM
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Default RE: Porsche 911 beats out 'Vette and Viper

Mercedes Benz SL550
Price as tested: $105,855
Powertrain: 382-horsepower 5.5-liter V-8, 7-speed automatic transmission
Photos and details

Rank: 4 out of 14
Highs: Acceleration, handling, ride, quietness, fit and finish, seat comfort
Lows: Controls, reliability

Not recommended due to only fair predicted reliability.

"The SL feels agile despite its considerable size and hefty weight," Consumer Reports said.

The magazine called the SL's steering "well weighted, responsive and direct" and noted that it demonstrated "impressive grip and stability and very high handling limits."

The SLs controls are awkward and confusing, the magazine said, and its cupholders are flimsy.


[IMG]local://upfiles/17/85AC5BF889DC4776AF05532CF8C50BCA.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:26 PM
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Default RE: Porsche 911 beats out 'Vette and Viper

BMW 650i
Price as tested: $77,440
Powertrain: 360-horsepower 4.8-liter V-8, 6-speed automatic transmission
Photos and details

Rank: 5 out of 14
Highs: Powertrain, ride, fit and finish, front-seat comfort, quietness
Lows: Frustrating and complex iDrive control, cupholder design

Not recommended due to insufficient reliability data.

The 650i's "360-horsepower 4.8-liter V-8 delivers smooth, powerful performance and sounds great," Consumer Reports said.

"The iDrive system, which uses a large multidirectional knob on the console to enter commands into a glare-free center-mounted dashboard screen, is a disaster," the magazine said. Even simple functions for the radio and climate are too complex and distracting.


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Old 09-03-2006, 02:28 PM
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Default RE: Porsche 911 beats out 'Vette and Viper

Jaguar XK convertible
Price as tested: $86,300
Powertrain: 300-horsepower 4.2-liter V-8, six-speed automatic transmission
Photos and details

Rank: 10 out of 14
Highs: Ride, powertrain, quiet interior, fit and finish, front-seat comfort
Lows: Rear visibility with top up, controls

Not recommended due to insufficient reliability data.

The XK was completely redesigned for the 2006 model year so there wasn't enough reliability data for the magazine to base a recommendation on.

"Handling is quite nimble, especially considering the Jaguar's comfortable ride," Consumer Reports said.

The magazine called the XK's steering light at low speeds but noted that it's responsive and gives good feedback at higher speeds.

The XK's brake performance was called "excellent."


[IMG]local://upfiles/17/9245FA1818C04CABB536E32C1A568FAF.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:29 PM
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Default RE: Porsche 911 beats out 'Vette and Viper

Lexus SC430
Price as tested: $67,084
Powertrain: 288-horsepower 4.3-liter V-8, six-speed automatic transmission
Photos and details

Rank: 11 out of 14
Highs: Controls, impeccable fit and finish, reliability
Lows: Fidgety ride, handling, tight cockpit

Recommended

The SC doesn't really qualify as a sports car, Consumer Reports said.

"Handling feels no more agile than an ordinary sedan, with noticeable body lean and steering that lacks feedback and requires large inputs," said the magazine.

Still, the magazine called the SC's ride "uncharacteristically harsh for a Lexus."

It does provide a quiet ride for its occupants and its controls are easy to use.


[IMG]local://upfiles/17/64296D2C11B8457EA8E167AB96E79D89.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:29 PM
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Default RE: Porsche 911 beats out 'Vette and Viper

Cadillac XLR
Price as tested: $77,290
Powertrain: 320-horsepower 4.6-liter V-8, five-speed automatic transmission
Photos and details

Rank: 12 out of 14
Highs: Uses regular fuel, powertrain
Lows: Lacks agility, slow top operation

Not recommended due to insufficient reliability data.

Calling the XLR an "elegant poser," Consumer Reports called its handling "sound but not sporty.." The magazine called the car's ride "OK, but a bit unsettled."

The XLR is based on the underpinnings of the Chevrolet Corvette. The Corvette actually has more occupant space, the magazine notes, in spite of being much more of a performance car.

While the interior is "plush and inviting," the magazine said, some plastic parts seemed cheap or didn't fit well.


[IMG]local://upfiles/17/F4A5B2545E644B6199334D9CD86C5386.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:30 PM
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Default RE: Porsche 911 beats out 'Vette and Viper

Dodge Viper SRT10
Price as tested: $91,990
Powertrain: 510-horsepower 8.3-liter V-10, six-speed manual transmission
Photos and details

Rank: 13 out of 14
Highs: Explosive acceleration, handling, braking, exhaust burble, in-your-face styling
Lows: Burning-hot side sills, ride, noise, access, Spartan interior, driving position, visibility

Not recommended due to insufficient reliability data.

The Viper ranks as the quickest car Consumer Reports has ever tested. The magazine's test drivers took it from zero to sixty miles per hour in just 4.2 seconds.

Its brakes were also praised.

"Stopping power is awesome, with some of the shortest stopping distances we've ever recorded on dry pavement," the magazine said.

Despite performance numbers that ranked near the top of the group, the Viper lost points for poor visibility, uncomfortable seats, awkward controls and difficult access over scalding-hot side-mounted exhaust pipes.


[IMG]local://upfiles/17/1AA076047D1742DABF5D9047154CE354.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 09-04-2006, 10:39 PM
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Default RE: Porsche 911 beats out 'Vette and Viper

This is why I don't like Consumer Reports. A super car is about pure performance not comfort. I also have trouble believing the Porsche is more reliable than the Corvette. If I understand things correctly, Porsche owns a portion of VW and VW's quality is in the toliet.
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