By on December 28, 2010

The other day, when a popular blog mentioned that the Porsche Boxster was judged to be the car most likely to last 200,000 miles I did a double take. You don’t have to spend very much time in the comment sections of the major car blogs or on enthusiast forums to know that German cars have, at least to enthusiasts, a reputation for being prone to frequent and expensive maintenance and repair. Likewise, a simple internet search for [porsche boxster engine problems] puts paid to any notion that the average Porsche owner has an 85% chance of his or her car lasting to the 200K mark.

So I followed the link, which ended up at a Yahoo Autos page hosting a story by Hannah Elliot, originally sourced from Forbes, titled Cars That Will Make It Past 200,000 Miles. The story was picked up by blogs, Porsche fan sites, and import auto dealers’ trade groups, as well as a variety of news outlets like Yahoo and MSNBC, who added the title Porsche among road warriors that won’t die,

Ms. Elliot’s lede in the story is well written, no doubt. She starts by introducing a surprising proposition only to buttress her argument with a supposedly impeccable source:

Want a car that will last a long, long time? Buy a Porsche.

According to Consumer Reports’ latest reliability survey, all cars and SUVs made by the Stuttgart, Germany-based automaker are rated average or better when it comes to longevity. One car in particular–Porsche’s $47,600 Boxster–stands above the rest. It has the best predicted reliability of any vehicle tested by Consumer Reports this year.

I don’t know anything about Elliot beyond her writing. She seems to have at least a clue about cars and car culture, at least the carriage trade parts, but I think that if she spent more time hanging around with actual auto enthusiasts like she did in her article about muscle cars than with the T-Pains, Jeff Koonses or Ralph Laurens that she mentions in her thumbnail bio sketch, that she’d know better than to take Consumer Reports at face value, at least when it comes to Porsche reliability.

This is how a meme gets started. CR says something, a reporter picks that up and uses it as a hook for a story, other new agencies carry the story and as it proliferates through the internet the meme becomes conventional wisdom. “Hey, did you hear? Porsches are the most reliable, longest lasting cars. I read it in Forbes/Yahoo/my favorite fanboy site.”

TTAC has already looked into Consumer Reports’ somewhat dubious coverage of Porsche reliability. When CR first issued their press release, Porsche car aficionado and Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG critic Jack Baruth expressed surprise at Porsche’s high rankings. Following up on Jack’s surprise, TTAC editor Michael Karesh (who operates TrueDelta, a site that directly competes with CR in terms of collecting and providing reliability statistics for car owners and buyers) looked behind the press release and into CR’s actual stats.

Michael discovered that CR was ranking the entire Porsche lineup as second best in terms of reliability when that ranking was based on the data from a single model year of a single model:

Number of 2009s with enough responses: 1

(a solid black blob for the 911)

Number of 2010s with enough responses: zero

Consumer Reports’ response to virtually any critique has long been the large size of their sample. Yet their coverage of recent Porsches is almost nonexistent. CR’s predictions are based on however many of the three most recent model years they have sufficient data for. The prediction for the 2011 Boxster is entirely based on the 2008, because that’s the only year they have enough data for. Yet the 2009 included significant revisions. They have no reliability ratings for the Panamera or the all-new Cayenne. So they have little basis for ranking the entire Porsche’s 2011 line. Even so, they rank Porsche second from the top.

So while Consumer Reports does not have any data at all on the Cayenne or Panamera, and the only 2009 or 2010 Porsche that they have sufficient data for is the ’09 911, actually rated “much worse than average”, CR gives a stellar ranking to the entire Porsche lineup, a ranking based almost solely on results for the ’08 Boxster.

What makes Elliot’s hyping of supposed Porsche durability almost ridiculous is just how the average Porsche owner uses his or her car. According to driver submitted data at TrueDelta, the average Boxster is driven only 5,000 miles a year. Two hundred thousand miles is an irrelevancy to almost all Porsche buyers.

I’m not trying to attack Hannah Elliot. She was provided with information from a seemingly reliable source. However, by not looking deeper into the statistics, or not even checking with Porsche enthusiasts, she gave Forbes’ approbation to CR’s shoddy work. She also compounded the error in saying that the Boxster had the “best predicted reliability of any vehicle tested by Consumer Reports this year.” That implies that CR’s rankings were based on tests of MY 2010 Boxsters, something that Michael has pointed out is simply not true. The error is squared by trumpeting that “all cars and SUVs made by the Stuttgart, Germany-based automaker”, were more reliable than average when CR simply doesn’t have enough data on all Porsche models to make that statement. Yahoo and MSNBC added their endorsements and now the next time one of their buddies with a Boxster complains about breaking engine shafts your average non-enthusiast will say, “What are you talking about? I read in Forbes that Consumers says that you can’t beat Porsche reliability.”


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83 Comments on “Forbes Touts Consumer Reports: Porsches Will Last 200,000 Miles...”


  • avatar
    jmo

    And this other long term durability study.
     
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/18/most-reliable-cars-2010-t_n_504221.html#s74578
     
    If you have other data, I’d like to see it.  If the evidence is CR and J.D. Power vs. True Delta I’m going to have to go with the preponderance of the evidence.*

    The fact that CR and J.D. Power are in total agreement re: Porsche is certainly something to consider as their methodologies are so different.

    * The experience of you, you cousin or you cousin’s brother-in-law, is not a valid contribution to the argument.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      I don’t think Karesh or Schreiber are saying that Porsches are or aren’t reliable, just that the data on which CR is claiming that they are reliable is non-existent.  And I wouldn’t trust JD Power to rate a paperweight.

    • 0 avatar

      JD Power Surveyed three year old cars. So figure 15,000 miles on those Porsches. And also could not have included the Panamera or the current Cayenne, because neither existed three years ago.

      The fact is that no one can know whose current cars are most likely to last for 200,000 miles, because no one has the data necessary to answer this question. I’m not saying that Porsches will or won’t last. I’m saying that, based on the sources discussed here, including my own site, we have no way of knowing.

      The problems in the Elliot article:

      1. CR should not have issued a ranking for the Porsche marque overall, rather than the individual models they actually have data for.

      2. Hannah Elliot inferred from CR’s scores–based on the 2008-2010 model years–which cars are most likely to last over 200,000 miles. But CR said nothing about how long cars would last. They only predict how reliable cars will be in the near future.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Detroit,

      Yes, but the fact that two different entities with entirely different motivations and biases agree is pretty convincing evidence.
       
      Your theory that when the evidence conflicts with your biases, you should just reject the evidence, is foolish.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      <i>I’m not saying that Porsches will or won’t last.</i>

      TTAC seems to imply that they won’t - despite all evidence to the contrary.

    • 0 avatar

      TTAC seems to imply that they won’t - despite all evidence to the contrary.
       
      There are clearly some high mileage Porsches (and high mileage Chevy Citations as well, just sayin’). I just think that that it stretches credibility to say that a Porsche is the car most likely to last 200,000 miles. The fact that some of the “evidence” you cite is based on non-existent statistics makes me even more skeptical.

       
       

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      I just think that that it stretches credibility to say that a Porsche is the car most likely to last 200,000 miles

      Show me your data.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      Lighten up Francis.  But since you asked, TTAC ran a story on Boxster engine failures at rates as high of 27% before reaching 100K miles in November 2008.

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/11/wild-ass-rumor-of-the-day-porsche-boxster-engine-failures/

      Intermediate shaft failures are rather well known, along with piston liner issues.  Again, the question here is MOST LIKELY to get to 200K miles.

      Ya, I know what Consumer Reports said; and they based that off of no reports on actual reliability of the Porsche Boxster.  Hey, I have no actual reports of the quality of a Fiat 500 laying around, but we here at Howard Beale Quality Labs declare an 85% chance of it going 300K miles.  See how easy that was?

      Further ire can be directed to Stephan Wilkinson.

    • 0 avatar
      alanv

      i know this is old post how ever ,one thing I believe is ,Porsche cannot build a perfect car first time out and it sometimes takes years to perfect .Often the most reliable cars are the boring tried and tested designs be it a japanese car or a German brand.All manufacturers have huge knowledge at their disposal so why would any manufacturer have a magic wand that allows them to defy laws of physics!Until it is proven you cannot claim stats on reliability at all .

  • avatar

    not to suggest that the article is wrong but illustrating the article with photos of 20+ year old cars (928s, 924s) isn’t really fair evidence of reliability.  Now, if the photos were of recent vintages (ideally of panameras – better in the junk yard than on the road), that would be more meaningful.

    • 0 avatar

      I hoped I wouldn’t have to say this.
      The site is called The Truth About Cars, but please leave us writers a little latitude when it comes to illustrations. The Forbes article that I was critiquing talks about 200,000 mile cars. I thought that was a bit of a stretch and that more Porsches are more likely to end up in the junkyard or a Porsche recycler than to see 200K on the clock. I searched for junkyard Porsches, knowing that someone might point out that none of the photos were of Boxsters (actually I found a couple of junkyard Boxsters but they were wrecks, not worn out) and that they were mostly 20 year old or older cars.
      I actually found a couple of photos taken by Murilee but Ed decided to go with others. Here’s a terrific shot of a 928 that Murilee did for Jalopnik:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/jalopnik/3750563193/sizes/m/in/photostream/
      In the car biz they call the front 3/4 view of the car the “beauty shot”. Murilee’s photo of the tired 928 up on blocks has a beauty all its own. Faded elegance indeed.

  • avatar
    Paul W

    This article is just one of the many reasons why I love TTAC.

  • avatar
    djsyndrome

    “According to driver submitted data at TrueDelta, the average Boxster is driven only 5,000 miles a year. Two hundred thousand miles is an irrelevancy to almost all Porsche buyers.”
     
    This is the money quote right here.  CR has, to my knowledge, never said how (or if) their results are weighted for mileage.  Cars that are driven sparingly (exotics and Lincolns, mostly) will have fewer absolute problems because they see less road time.

  • avatar
    Autojunkie


    Meanwhile, back at the CR headquarters…

    http://www.porscheperfect.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/cayman_present2.jpg

  • avatar
    saponetta

    Must be a slow news day. Regardless of the flawed basis of her article the truth stands that porsche sports cars have always been reliable, especially now.

    Ronnie,
    as far as your comment that porshces are more likely to see a recyclers hands than 200k, why don’t you jump on autotrader or ebay and look at all the 200k plus 911′s for sale that are in mostly original condition. What other models out there do your see 30 plus year old examples running around in original condition? Many of these old 911′s have never even needed paint. Thats how well built the bodies and mechanics are on these cars.

    • 0 avatar
      dswilly

      I would think most 200k Porsche’s have lead a well-used but very pampered lifestyle. Entirely different than the 200k life say a Toyota, Honda or Taurus might be subjected to. Throw it out there as a daily warfare car in all weather, all climates, missed oil changes, no schedule for the service, cheap parts, bad tires, grocery store battles, small children, pets, etc, etc. Then lets check that paint…….

    • 0 avatar

      Since you suggested it, on eBaymotors right now there is one 912E with over 300K miles, 5 Porsches with between 200K and 300K, 8 Porsches with 150K-200K miles, and 49 with between 100,000 and 150,000 miles.
      To be sure, that’s not unimpressive. Still, Porsches are somewhat pampered cars. They’re owned by folks with money who maintain them well and they have significant residual value. Looking at the Jeep Cherokee (XJ) a vehicle that no doubt experiences a much more severe life than a Porsche and has minimal residual value, there are still about 30 100K+ cars on eBay.
      More in the Porsche segment, I looked at a brand that is notorious for unreliability, Jaguar. While it’s true that there are no 200K+  Jaguars on eBay like those 6 Porsches (though I personally owned an XJ that was still running @ 225K), there are just as many in the 150K-200K range, 8, as there are Porsches. Overall, there 49 Jaguars for sale on eBay with more than 100K miles.
      There are over 100 Lexuses for sale on eBay with more than 100K miles. Sticking to performance cars, there are about 80 100,000+ mile Corvettes for sale right now on eBay.
      So, by the standards you suggested, no, Porsches are not unusually long lived.

    • 0 avatar
      BMWfan

      Must be a slow news day. Regardless of the flawed basis of her article the truth stands that porsche sports cars have always been reliable, especially now.

      Any car can last for 200K if you throw enough money at it. Most Porsche owners have enough money to throw.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Any car can last for 200K or more, provided it has proper care, and the owner is willing to keep fixing it.  Far more impressive are the daily grinders that log tens of thousands of miles without failures.  Some makes are good at this; others less so.  Porsches, it seems, would be in the less-so category.  Based on their actual usage however, it really is irrelevant.   While they have had their share of manufacturer-related defects, so has every other maker.  A typical Porsche will have no problem lasting 20 years.  I’d bet that most 911s see a few owners, heated garages, the best care and no salt.  A jaguar or a oft-maligned domestic would last under those conditions, too.

  • avatar
    dswilly

    Any evidence Porsche just signed a large ad campaign with Forbes?

    • 0 avatar

      I personally don’t doubt anyone’s motivations. In my experience, the #1 reason articles like this happen is that the author simply didn’t think it through. Also must wonder what sort of review process Forbes puts their articles through, since no one there apparently caught the flawed inference.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Longevity says nothing about reliability as an older Porsche may be more likely to hit the road again after a blown engine/trans or major accident. Older Porsches also could be more likely to carry a salvage title.

  • avatar
    Morea

    The salient question is, What percentage of cars of any make go 200,000 miles without major work (e.g, engine rebuild) or a complete restoration?  1%?  0.1%?  0.001%?

    I think if you had these numbers you’d find 1) they would be very small (I’d guess 0.1% or less) and 2) that the differences between makes would not be statistically significant.

    • 0 avatar

      I conducted a special survey a while back that looked into how old cars were when they were junked, and the reason they were junked. Didn’t get enough data to provide solid results, so these were never released. But the average car these days goes about 160k before being junked, and going over 200k is much more common than you suspect, even in something like a Chevy Cavalier.
      I do not have data on maintenance, but strongly suspect that proper maintainence makes more and more of a difference as cars age, and that properly maintained cars are far more likely to last 200k miles. Sort of like with people. Don’t exercise and eat the wrong foods, and your health isn’t much affected up to age 40 or so. But once you’re 60+ it makes a larger and larger difference.

    • 0 avatar
      Morea

      Do you even have an order-of-magnitude guesstimate on what percentage go 200,000 or more?  (I’m just curious.)

      Also, many of the cars that do make 200,000 miles have extreme deferred maintenance, e.g. major rust, poor running engine, transmission not fully operational.  Just nursing a car to high mileage proves little.  You need a metric that describes the car at 200,000 miles, such as a) runs well, b) runs, c) barely gets out of the driveway, d) ran when parked.
       

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      I can only provide my own personal experience on this matter. My 2006 Jetta TDI has 304,000 km on it (189,000 mi), has had very few problems, and runs and looks almost like new; I have little doubt that it will cross the 200,000 mi (322,000 km) mark – that’s only one oil change away! I sold my previous VW diesel with 462,000 km (287,000 mi) on it and it was still running quite well. The two Toyotas that preceded these did not make it that far before having major rust issues and getting to be difficult to keep going, although they did make it to roughly 280,000 km. Engines and transmissions were never the issue. Rust, brakes, and suspension were.
       
      I budget based on getting to 400,000 km; past that is bonus. I don’t normally sell any vehicle until the foreseeable cost of keeping it on the road for another year exceeds what it’s worth.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      A lot of factors determine which cars make it past 200K, and some have nothing to do with design.  A big factor is depreciation.  Cars that depreciate quickly are less likely to get a big repair like a transmission.  Yet if they were treated to a rebuilt trans, they might go just as far (or more) than the car that held its value so well that it got the rebuilt trans…

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Michael Karesh: “and going over 200k is much more common than you suspect, even in something like a Chevy Cavalier.”
       
      My former daily driver, a well used and now rather rusty 1997 Cavalier has 246,000+ miles on it. Right now it’s sidelined until the new transmission seal gets installed. I’ll probably do it after the New Year, due to a shortage of cash right now… Gotta love those after Christmas sales…

  • avatar
    Crosley

    I’ve owned two “911″ Porsches (an ’86 and a ’99) both were low mileage and meticulously maintained.  I wouldn’t characterize either as “reliable.”  Regarding other Porsche products, early Boxsters were notorious for engine failures, and Cayennes have the reputation for being lemons.  And don’t even get me started on 928s (though I still want one)
     
    I’m not saying Porsche makes a bad product, but my guess is they get good feedback because they’re usually second cars with very little mileage, no one ever skimps on maintenance, and they have a cult-like following that people will always make excuses for.
     
    I wouldn’t put them in the same category as Honda and Toyota in terms of reliability, especially if you’re judging the entire product line.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Likewise, a simple internet search for [porsche boxster engine problems] puts paid to any notion that the average Porsche owner has an 85% chance.
     
    The Forbes article is bad, the CR data does seem questionable, and I’m nowhere near a Porsche expert, but it is my experience that the internet overestimates repair frequencies by roughly 10000%.

  • avatar
    saponetta

    dswilly,
    They hold up to everyday use better than anything in my opinion.  I’ve been buying, selling, owning, driving porsches  for 10 years.  It didn’t earn its title as the best everyday sportscar sitting in garages collecting dust with the ferraris, corvettes, etc. Everyone talks about porsche “purists” But there is a whole other set of porsche owners who use their cars everyday as their primary way to get to work, errands, groceries, etc..  These are usually the people who actually support the company by buying new porsches; not the “purists” scanning ebay everyday looking for the best deal on a 25 year old car while reminiscing about CIS injection.

    • 0 avatar
      dswilly

      I’m talking about everyday abuse not just use. To be clear I like German cars (BMW) and have flogged several well over 200k.  As I stated in the earlier post your not likely to get a Porsche to 200k without serious investment if you treat it like a “appliance car” which means its not pampered, garaged or serviced as recommended.  Many appliance cars will go 200k with little more than brake pad and oil changes, I as many have done it.  This is my measure of reliability, the cars ability to survive abuse not just everyday use with love, and most Porsche’s are loved.

  • avatar
    JJ

    Not that it has any bearing on today’s Porsches, but I remember years ago reading some TueV (generally accepted to be a very precise German product testing agency in the Netherlands) reliabilty reports that would list the most reliable cars in their respective age groups.

    Toyoda blandmobiles and sometimes some other Japanese cars would completely dominate all the age groups, except for 1: the 11 years and older group. The 911 won just in front of IIRC the Mercedes SL. Of course this was when Porsche still built the air colled engines. But anyway, at least for the cars you have pictured in this article, the accolade ‘most reliable’ may have reflected the truth (before they sadly hit the junkyard).

  • avatar
    jj99

    As far as cars that last, this is easy for me.  If you drive the southern california freeways in the middle class areas, you will see many Toyotas and Hondas from the 1980s and 1990s.  But, very few Detroit vehicles from the same vintage are still on the same freeways.  In fact, Ford had sold the most vehicles in California during many of those years.

    Then, I open Consumer Reports, and it has data in the 5 to 10 year old range.  That shows Toyota as best, and Honda as second best.  This is in the used car analysis section.

    So, a number of years ago, I switched from Detroit products to Toyotas and Hondas.  I have never had a major car repair again.  Just brakes, batteries, tires, oil changes, and transmission fluid changes.  That is it.

    I still have 2 fords that continue to suprise me with big repair bills.  My teenage kids now drive these.  The one that bothers me the most is a 2008 model that has hit me for a total of 1500 dollars of repairs just after the warranty ran out. But, I should not complain too much about this vehicle, as Ford offered a massive rebate which more than paid for the repairs, and made the purchase cheaper than a Toyota or Honda. Now that Ford has no significant rebates, their prices are higher than Toyota and Honda, and I have a hard time pulling the trigger on any more of them.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      …Overall Honda and Toyota do have fewer new car problems.  Nobody really can contest that.  However, based on my observations over the years, domestic trucks seem to be the most durable vehicles.  Can’t say how may repairs they may have, but in terms of the oldest on the road, they seem to rule the durability test.  I would really like to see actual numbers though…that would be the real proof…as for what CR says I think whats posted above settles what they are worth…

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      golden2husky, I am agreement with that.  My Southern California freeway claim needs an adjustment.  When it comes to cars from the 1980s and 1990s, you see many Toyotas and Hondas on the southern california freeways.  Not many Detroit cars from that vintage are visible.  However, quite a few GM and Ford pickups ( the large ones ) from the 1980s and 1990s are still being used, and a number of the large GM and Ford SUVs.  Also, many of the 1980s and 1990s small pickups from Toyota are common sightings.

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    Wow, and I thought the slight against Subaru was going to bring an army of upset lesbians and tuners upon TTAC.

    As noted, one doesn’t have to do much research at all to learn that the Porsche Boxster is anything but a darling of 200K mile reliability.  I would say the odds of a Boxster seeing 200K miles without needing major engine repairs along the way is — well just about nil.

    That isn’t to say that the overall well engineered and incredibly fun to drive Boxster is a car you should never buy; but last I checked, generally speaking, people didn’t buy Porsches, or Ferraris, or Aston Martins, or BMW 7-series because they are, ehem, “reliable,” those people buy Camrys, Accords, and lately Fusions, Sonatas and on the fringe Malibus.  You know – toasters.

    The real issue here is this.  Consumer Reports ehem, “results,” are crap.  You can’t have an effective conclusion on any survey with the measured result of one person for anything, let alone a brand with multiple product lines.  Who is to say the one survey wasn’t a ringer for that matter; and what Consumer Reports say if the net feedback was none???  JD Power and Consumer Reports are not mirror for mirror images, never have been as far back as I can remember.

    The term, “your mileage may vary,” has never been more true.  I owned a Porsche; was darn reliable.  I owned a Subaru, second worst piece of crap I’ve ever owned.  Owned a GM Generation 1.5 U-Body and yes Virgina, it was every bit as bad as you’ve read about GM U-bodies with the 3.4L V6 and ineffective technology.  On the other hand had a Civic in the stable for a short time, a horrid piece of junk that lived in the shop.  The Grand Prix I owned, most reliable car I ever had, almost five years and almost 100K miles did little more than basic care and changed the brakes at 68K miles; even the OEM tires lasted to darn close to 70K miles.  Many G8 owners complain about tranny flare, bad LCAs, and oil leaks; I don’t have any of those issues.

    Bottom line, the Forbes article is crap, Consumer Reports methodology is flawed, at best, and their conclusions can be poked full of holes.  Enthusiast sites are full of, enthusiasts, that will whine on command, while at the same time singing praises.

    Do your own research, distill what you can find from CR, JDP, Edmunds, MSN, TrueDelta, read the enthusiast sites and draw your own highly educated conclusion.  The real reality is that just about any car built in 2011 should go 125K to 175K miles without any major problems as long as the car gets quality gas, the oil gets changed, the tires get rotated, the brakes get proper service, the tranny and the coolant get flushed every 50K to 75K (depending on conditions), the air filter is kept clean, the steering and brakes get flushed at 100K, the plugs get replaced at 100K, the battery replaced at five years, and the AC inspected annually.  It really is that simple.

    The gap between the worst piece of crap offered to the most reliable car you can buy is very, very narrow today.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      As noted, one doesn’t have to do much research at all to learn that the Porsche Boxster is anything but a darling of 200K mile reliability.
      Obviously you’ve done all that research – so why don’t you link to it.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      Wow, and I thought the slight against Subaru was going to bring an army of upset lesbians and tuners upon TTAC.
      lulz
      @jmo
      Did you ever learn to read?  Neither the author, Karesh, nor HoldenSSVSE are saying that Porsches are or not reliable.  They are saying that the CR data does not back up the conclusions, and they have provided ample evidence of that.

    • 0 avatar
      BMWfan

      @jmo

      All you ever do is say “link please” or “evidence please” in almost every thread! How about you contribute somthing useful to the conversation please.

    • 0 avatar

      Neither the author, Karesh,

      Thanks for the defense, but the author is Schreiber, using Karesh’s data. I saw the piece from Forbes, remembered something funny in TTAC about CR and Porsche, and asked Mike about it. He filled me in on the details. In light of possible conflict of interest re CR vs TrueDelta he declined to write a post about it himself, and Baruth declined because he’s got his own biases regarding Dr. Porsche’s company.

      How’s that for transparency?

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      All you ever do is say “link please” or “evidence please” in almost every thread! How about you contribute somthing useful to the conversation please.
       
      I’ve offered several links to relevant data.  You have offered nothing but your own ill informed opinions.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      @ Ronnie
       
      I meant that as a three part list, as in “Schreiber, Karesh, or Holden,” as opposed to “the author, who’s name is Karesh, and Holden.”  I probably should have just written your name for clarity.

    • 0 avatar

      Detroit Iron, actually it was my error. I didn’t parse the commas correctly before commenting.

  • avatar

    @saponetta: “Regardless of the flawed basis of her article the truth stands that porsche sports cars have always been reliable…”
    The “flawed basis” of an article needs at least to be mentioned. Ronnie Schreiber is right when he writes: “This is how a meme gets started. CR says something, a reporter picks that up and uses it as a hook for a story, other new agencies carry the story and as it proliferates through the internet the meme becomes conventional wisdom.”
    @Michael Karesh: “the #1 reason articles like this happen is that the author simply didn’t think it through…”
    That’s why we are drowning in trash news. And therefore, I really appreciate the (cumbersome) work of TTAC authors to highlight such blatant idiocies as stated in the article in question.
    P.S. How much would it cost to make a Porsche run 200K miles? Any real-life data available?

    • 0 avatar

      P.S. How much would it cost to make a Porsche run 200K miles? Any real-life data available?
      I assume that you’re asking what the regular maintenance charges add up to. Most cars built today should last 200K with proper maintenance. Heck that guy who flogged a Lambo for a year got to over 100K and he was kind of abusive and neglectful. Still, I’m guessing that for the cost of 200K worth of Porsche dealer scheduled service you can probably buy a new Hyundai.

  • avatar
    Rday

    I am a fan of CR and they have never led me astray. I also noticed the outstanding ratings of the Porsche brands. I was very surprised too. But remember that CR’s ratings are based upon their annual owner feedback questionnaire. And if Porsche owners rate their products outstanding then that is the way they will be reported by CR. My 69 Porsche 911 almost bankrupted me and I was glad to be done with that vehicle. My 06 Ridgeline is also rated outstanding by CR but at 32K I am having to replace the power steering return line hose. The dealer wants to charge me $750 to do the work since I am out of warranty. This is just ridiculous IMO. Honda says that they have to remove the lower frame assembly to get to the hose and that requires $700 labor. I have negotiated a lower charge of $175 but that still seems excessive. The Ridge has been a very reliable vehicle and maybe I am the only one with such a problem. But still, such high labor charges for basic maintenance items seems way to excessive to me. No doubt that they have a defective hose. I have since reported this to NHTSA and will make sure and inform CR and True Delta about this problem. It may be that I am the only one with this problem. Let’s hope they fix it with a better hose than the one they put in at the factory.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Doesn’t Karesh use the same method?  Is all his data invalid as well?

    • 0 avatar

      A major difference between CR’s survey and TrueDelta’s is that CR asks people only to report problems “you considered serious.” This opens the door wide for any biases the respondent might have, as it permits problems to honestly go unreported. “I didn’t consider it serious.”

      This said, the problem noted here is widespread. Too many repairs that should be fairly cheap aren’t, either because the part is ridiculously expensive or it requires too many hours to get to it. For example, with some Audi’s it takes hours of labor to replace just about everything. And I’ve been told that the front fascia must be removed to change the headlight bulb on a Prius.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Michael Karesh,

      Dealers turn rape into an art form. The Prius fascia R&R for a new headlight bulb is a scam.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Er0oEHNUfQs

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      I think Michael is being too modest here.
      As someone who participates in True Delta, I will tell you what he asks.  1) has your car been in for a repair? 2) how many days was it out of service? 3) was the problem fixed?
      I think his methodology has a much lower potential for bias from fanboys such as jmo, since the questions are more factual rather than feelings.  Days in the shop is a number that can easily be divided by owner miles.  That being said, once again, TD generally declines to make predictions for models (and companies) for which the data is not available or statistically insignificant (google t-test genius).  I don’t know if jmo likes Porsche or Consumer Reports, but s/he has yet to defend the data.

  • avatar
    spyked

    These types of articles are just lame in general.  ANY/EVERY car produced in the last 20 years can make it to 200k miles.  It’s called maintenance and repair.  Hell, a friend has a 96 Pontiac Grand Am with over 300k miles, original automatic transmission, A/C has never needed recharging, V6 doesn’t leak a drop of oil.  But it’s been maintained by the book. 

    A Porsche can certainly make it to 200k and well beyond.  It’s designed and produced in Europe!

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      If money is no object, Any/every car produced in the last 20 years can run forever.

      However, the goal is 200,000 miles without major repairs.  Toyota and Honda vehicles are the most likely to do this.

    • 0 avatar
      spyked

      I call BS on a Honda or Toyota owning the “200k without repairs” award.  I’ve seen and experienced way to many Toyota sludge and Honda tranny issues. 

      Outside of design defects like those, all cars (with proper maintenance) can make it.  Now…in our society we don’t want them to, obviously.  Leasing is a bad thing for car longevity since people think of the cars as temporary.

      I’d bet if everyone paid cash for their cars they would ALL make it well past 200k miles! :)

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      spyked, I know how much Detroit has a hate on for Consumer Reports.  They gave the public some long term reliability data that spilled the beans on poor quality cars from Detroit and Europe. Consumer Reports is the only data available to the public that provides results for reliability for cars in the 5 to 10 year old range.

      If Consumer Reports were flawed as Detroit supporters claim, I am certain Detroit would have paid JD Powers to provide long term reliability data to refute Consumer Reports. But, Detroit has not done that. If Detroit ever gets close to Toyota and Honda long term reliability, I am sure Detroit will run to JDPowers and pay for a reliability report documenting this. I am not holding my breath. As of now, the JDPowers reports released to the public stop when the warranty runs out.

      By the way, Consumer Reports just released another batch of reliability reports, and every Toyota and Honda brand was more reliable than every Detroit brand. Nothing has changed.

    • 0 avatar

      jj99, though I live in Detroit, my antipathy to Consumer Reports was spawned not by their reliability reports on cars (which when they have sufficient data, are generally reliable) but rather by their tone deaf tests and rankings of audio equipment. I’ve long told people that for home appliances CR is probably reliable and that statistics are statistics, but that their subjective judgment about cars and stereo differ from mine.
      Later I came to resent CR’s blatant hypocrisy in that they do trade using other firms’ trademarks and brand names, yet run to court whenever a business accurately quotes their rankings (God willing in my lifetime a SCOTUS will decide that advertisers have the same first amendment rights as those companies in the business of publishing). There’s also a whiff of anti-business attitude that pervades the magazine and parent organization. Their default position is not the wisdom of caveat emptor but rather a knee-jerk assumption that businesses are out to defraud people.
      So while I may have some “hate on” for CR, it’s not because I’m a Detroiter but because there are things at CR worthy of substantive criticism.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      I’d bet if everyone paid cash for their cars they would ALL make it well past 200k miles! :)

      Um, no because to build them to that level of durability would make them too expensive.  If everyone paid with cash most people would be driving something akin to a Tata Nano.

    • 0 avatar
      spyked

      How many Hondas or Toyotas do you see on the road from the 60′s and 70′s?  I see lots of Euro and some American, but no Asian.  So, people can assume that because the 90′s were good to Asian products that they are better than, or as good as, Porsche (using this example), but it’s a false concept.  Fact is, Euro models have proven they can go to 200k for decades now.  Asian cars can do it too.  American cars too.  That’s why the article is stupid.  Any car can do it, easily.  Happens everyday, all the time.

      Don’t get me started on CR….

    • 0 avatar
      spyked

      Um, no because to build them to that level of durability would make them too expensive.  If everyone paid with cash most people would be driving something akin to a Tata Nano.

      And you better believe that Tata could go 200k miles.  Any car can.   At any price range.  It’s common knowledge, at least in my family.  All sorts of questionable cars (Grand Am!!!) and Corollas too.  (And VW and Saab). 

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      Cars don’t last to 200k miles? Here’s my former Subaru Outback at 200k miles. Original engine. Original transmission. 2nd clutch. Head gaskets at 140k. Not much else beyond normal maintenance and all accessories, etc worked when I sold it at 214k. Got $4000 for it, which wasn’t bad considering the mileage.
       
      http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-ash1/v217/250/67/10726644/n10726644_39177531_2724.jpg

  • avatar

    Yes, standard maintenance, only. No engine problems, of course, otherwise one might have to drop some or all of one’s other expensive hobbies (c.f. http://www.porsche.com/germany/accessoriesandservices/porscheservice/originalparts/originalpartspricelists/default.ashx); I have checked that before.
    No, can’t afford, not even want to afford. These exactly are the prices that enabled Wiedeking to play his silly game of taking over VW.
    BTW: Who (except cab drivers or traveling salesmen) really wants to drive one car for 200k miles?
     

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    BTW: Who (except cab drivers or traveling salesmen) really wants to drive one car for 200k miles?
    I do it…simple reason.  I want to retire at 57.  Therefore I save and invest what most spend on new iron.  I fix them myself (mostly) so it is economical to do so.  I have done this for years so I know that Detroit cars can do it as well as the Nissans that I had that were able to do it.  i have learned first hand that CR is for those who know nothing about cars, just like they know nothing about audio equipment.  Most who rant on and on in a predictable fashion that it has to be brand X (you know, Toyota and Honda) probably never have kept a car running north of 200K.  Would I like to get a new car sooner than 200K?  Sure, but when I look at a beautiful 3 series and think about 30 days of midweek skiing and not commuting, well, it is an easy decision…

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      As a CPA, I endorse that as a good and financially sensible strategy. Taking a car to 200k miles and living for years without car payments almost seems to be reviled by many so-called members of the “Best and Brightest”.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Sure, but when I look at a beautiful 3 series and think about 30 days of midweek skiing and not commuting, well, it is an easy decision…

      So, that would make you more of a skiing enthusiast than a car enthusiast.  Maybe you time would be better spent over at The Truth About Skiing?

    • 0 avatar

      Hear, hear!  I’ve had my car paid off for a year now, and the extra money I can put into savings is such a relief.  I would love to get something new, but see no need too, besides I always end up missing what I had.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      Keeping the same vehicle for a long time doesn’t mean one isn’t a car enthusiast and the amount that one spends on cars doesn’t define whether one is an enthusiast or not. I do the same thing – I keep vehicles until foreseeable repair costs exceed what they’re worth.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    We seem to be confusing two very different things here – reliability, and durability. I define reliability is nothing unexpected ever goes wrong. Durability is simply how long it lasts. You can have a reliable car that is not durable, and you can have a durable car that is not reliable. I would posit any ’80s Japanese car in salt country as an example of the former, and most European cars as examples of the latter.

    Now in a gentle climate like Eugene Oregon, you can have a durable AND reliable old Japanese car, but you sure can’t in most of the country! Maintained properly (and VERY few Americans maintain anything properly), European cars can be very, very reliable as well. And historically a lot more durable.

    I also take issue with judging quality only by frequency of repair and/or amount of maintenance required. That is certainly ONE aspect of quality, and the Japanese do it very well. But driving feel is certainly another aspect of quality, and the Europeans do that far better. I’m not sure WHAT Detroit was ever good at, maybe the most car for the least money?

  • avatar

    I work for a machinery repair company with 3 2006 Ford Escape Hybrids in use.  Mine has 149k on the odometer, my supervisors has 192k, the other tech’s has 128k.  The only major repair has been the same on all 3.  Right around 100k one of the coolant pumps went out (the one for the battery I believe).  Maintenance is truly lacking on these road warriors, all of them need new tie-rods, but other than that there has not been any issues, even with the CVT.  Needless to say these are all highway miles.  That tends to make a HUGE difference.  The odds of the same vehicle making it as a Taxi for the same amount of miles without major repairs is unlikely.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    As others have stated, its the maintenance. And how much or little a car has depreciated when it needs a major repair, or in the case of a Porsche, a major service, determines if it happens. For example,  consider the 30k mile interval service for most air cooled 911s. No hydraulic adjust valves. Can you say engine out of car? Can you say expensive? If that service happens every 5 or 6 years in a car that holds its value, you bite the bullet. The one 30k service I did in 12 years cost $3K at a dealer. Got rid of it just shy of the next service – there’s your 5k per year mileage. Silly article.
    I have 148k miles on one A4 and 120k miles on another. Frequent synth oil, fix what’s wrong, keep driving them. Depreciation only counts if you have the compulsion to sell before the wheels fall off. Both A4s have the dreaded 1.8T engine. I’m shooting for 200k miles.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    Cars That Will Make It Past 200,000 Miles – the statement itself is kind of dumb. Like many previous posters said, it all depends on maintenance. The question should be Cars That Will Make It Past 200,000 Miles With Lowest Amount (or cost) Of Maintenance As Possible. Porsche uses lot of modern complex electronics on their cars and some of the high strung race orientated 8000+rpm engines they have - GT3, GT3RS, GT2RS definetly wont last 200k miles without an overhaul. Car That Will Make It Past 200,000 Miles With Lowest Amount Of Maintenance should be based on old and proven technology and use electonics little as possible. One good example is Toyota Hilux - 20-30 years basically the same suspension, engines and gearboxes, only sheetmetal has changed. And these cars are used for daily work, so they are lot more likely to reach 200k mile mark than any Porsche. 

    • 0 avatar
      vaujot

      “Cars That Will Make It Past 200,000 Miles – the statement itself is kind of dumb. Like many previous posters said, it all depends on maintenance.”

      In addition to maintenance, whether a car reaches 200k miles will depend to a high degree on its usage pattern. A daily commute of 100 miles roundtrip on the freeway is probably less stressful for a car than a daily commute of 10 miles in city stop and go traffic. The car used in the former way will reach 200k miles in nine or ten years, while the stop and go car will still have below 50k on the odometer.

  • avatar

    Most reliable, most economical, easiest Porsches ever to be produced? The front engine, rear wheel drive 944s and 968s. At club meetings, the 944 wins a lot of races, while the 911s still disappear into the weeds, backwards. Maybe, someday, we’ll get another low cost, fun to drive, easy to repair Porsche. In the meantime, budget 5% per year of the new car selling price for maintenance if you want the existing cars to last 200K.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    As has been stated many times here, going 200K miles is easy these days, as long as it’s been reasonably maintained most if not all its life, and that goes for ANY car.

    There is a guy in California, I think in either NoCal or Mid state who drives I think to SoCal (northern end I believe) who drives a 1980 Fiat Brava (131 to you Europhiles) that he bought NEW and still sports the original dark brown paint, has a sliding metal sunroof, AC the original motor (1.8L OHC I believe) and came originally with a 3spd automatic but at some point, I think between 200K-300K miles, replaced it with a 5spd manual to keep the RPM’s at cruising speed to around 300K RPM and he now has something like 500K+ on what is mostly the original car, I think the motor may have had a partial rebuild at some point but even so, he’s nursing it along and drives it every day and the paint still shines up nicely too.

    I have a 1992 Ford Ranger, 4.0L V6 with the Mazda sourced 5Spd and it currently has just over 231K on it and it still runs just fine and I can still get I think around $1500 or so for it if I were to sell it right now. it’s had the shifter rebuilt, had the clutch cylinder’s both replaced and outside of the thermostat and other usual maintenance issues such as new tires, exhaust, oil changes and the like, it’s been very reliable in the almost 5 years I’ve owned. I bought it with 189K on the clock and paid a whole 3K for it too. Can’t beat that.

    Point is, ANY car, even a Fiat, as long as the rust doesn’t eat it up first can last 50-200K easily with a little maintenance at the recommended intervals and any car, even a Honda or a Toyota will decline and drop dead from neglect if one doesn’t do even the simplest, such as change the oil on a regular basis and do so at well before 200K, if it even makes it to 150K first.

  • avatar
    koolpep

    Alright Gentlemen,
     
    I am german, I am driving a Porsche and Porsche has the reputation to last forever. As always, you have to keep your car in road worthy conditions.
    But don’t take it from me, take it from the official road fitness tests that all german cars have to do the vehicle inspection, which is very elaborate in Germany. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_inspection
    These guys publish statistics of their tests for all brands. This means that all problems and the amount of problems per make and model are published every year.
     
    Just check what they have to say about the Porsche Boxster:
    http://www.anusedcar.com/index.php/tuv-model/porsche-boxster
    or the 911:
    http://www.anusedcar.com/index.php/tuv-model/porsche-911
    This car is on so many number 1 places in regards to technical faultlessness that it’s scary.
    You can check all brands and makes there and also rankings like this:
    in 2009 all 10-11 year old cars tested:
    http://www.anusedcar.com/index.php/tuv-report-year-age/2009-10-11/217
     
    Have fun, these are facts. Why the Porsches have the lowest faults is everyones guess. But honestly, I do not think that people who splash out so much money for a Porsche would be happy to pay for constant repairs. That is BS. Nobody usually writes a post if he has no problems, meaning that bad news are ususally blown out of proportion on the net. But that’s just my 2 cents.
     
    So long,
    Ralf
     

  • avatar

    Here a pic of a really rugged Porsche (convertible, Diesel, lagging top speed, however): http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Porsche_Traktor_Diesel_Super.jpg

  • avatar
    koolpep

    Well…
    Rugged Lamborghini:
    http://www.jtpmachinery.com/LAMBORGHINI.html
     

  • avatar
    ccd1

    Certain Porsches, 911 in particular, are VERY likely to see 200,000 miles. But the reason has little to do with the quality of the product, much more with its residual value and desireability. Your $100,000+ 911 will still be worth $50-60K four or five years later. And there is a chance that the car will stop depreciating and actually appreciate at some point in the future.

    Consequently, people are more likely to incur substantial repairs on a Porsche than walk away. Read here and elsewhere and you will find that $2-3K on maintenance is a “light” year for most used 911s. I would think few cars would fail to see 200,000 miles with this kind of money spent on maintenance.


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