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Is a Porsche 928 s4 a reliable car for a first car? (1987)

My son is looking into a porsche 928 s4 for his first car. I am not an expert when it comes to Porsches, so im asking if this car will suit a first time driver?
Is this car gas friendly?
Is it expensive to repair?
What is a fair price for a used one?
How reliable is the car?
Just simple facts I need to know about this car.

I bought a 928 S4 in Germany in the 1980’s and brought it back to the US. To answer your questions:

if this car will suit a first time driver? NO
Is this car gas friendly? NO
Is it expensive to repair? YES
What is a fair price for a used one? FREE
How reliable is the car? NOT AT ALL

Consider the purchase price to be a down payment. Corrected for inflation, a 928 cost about $75,000 new. Now, it’s a $5,000 used car. However, it is still a $75,000 car to maintain and fix. Parts and labor have not depreciated as did the car.

Get him a nice clean Honda or Toyota.

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This is the sort of question that is better handled by the good people at which has a section all about the 928. From what i can find 19mpg is doing well on these cars

From what i have read for some time is that the reliability and repair costs for this car depend greatly on how it was serviced and treated in the past. These cars haven’t been rated favorably by Sports Car Market Magazine due to the large number of poorly maintained ones they see at auction.
I would first find and talk to a mechanic who knows these cars since you will want to have him check over any car you might buy beforehand to save headaches and large repair bills. IMHO i would not recommend this car for a new driver due to the RWD and V8 (it may seem like a cool car but have you priced insurance?)

See if you can find a local Porsche owners club, they would be another great place to get the answers from people who actually own these cars.

It’s a super cool car that was impressively high tech when it was new. I can see why your son would fall for one as I loved it when I was young, and it was new. They never sold in large numbers because they were very expensive and most people who wanted a Porsche wanted the traditional 911, not the big, expensive, front-engined 928.

It’s a ridiculous first car unless your son wants a car to tinker with, not drive. It’s not reliable, economical, or especially safe. It is massively cool and I’m impressed by your son’s good taste, if not his common sense. It’s not a car many young drivers would want. He should wait until he’s older and can afford a hobby car before taking on something like this.

If he wants something sporty there’s always the Miata. It’s very reliable and it’s not very powerful so harder to get in trouble in. It also has no back seat so he won’t have a car full of noisy friends distracting him. For teen drivers that’s a great feature.

I’d be hard pressed to come up with a worse choice for a new driver.

This is a reliable car. Your can rely on it to bankrupt you and likely kill your son.

A new driver can easily crash one of these. The crash protection of a 1987 car is nothing like today’s cars. I strongly suggest looking elsewhere.

That may be a fun car to tinker with and drive to cruise night but you don’t want that to be a daily driver.

+1 for @circuitsmith. I’m hard pressed to come up with a better answer.

OK, a 911 might be worse, with its tricky handling.

NO 26 year old car could be considered reliable as a daily driver unless it’s been totally restored. Especially since the entire fuel system is entirely likely to be susceptable to deterioration from ethanol. And every other rubber part has probably deteriorated from age. Don’t try any fast stops.

And finding parts will be a full time occupation.

As a project car it’s cool. As a driver, it’s a huge mistake.

This would be a great first car for Henry Ford or Enzo Ferrari, both of whom would enjoy constantly rebuilding and improving it.

As a first car for your son, I agree with others, there are few choices that would be worse. If a kid is mechanically inclined you may give him an unreliable car that is easy and cheap to fix. This Porsche is a handful for even the most experienced car owners.

Anyone think our legs are being pulled?

In that case, “Sure, it is a great car. Porsches are great cars, cheap, safe, easy to drive and all they need is the occasional oil change - sometimes some air in the tires. Get it!”.

Is your son buying the car with his money ?
Is your son paying for the gas himself ?
Is your son paying for maintenance and repairs himself ?
Any No answer kills the deal !

@genex - one more:

Is your son paying for the insurance himself?

“Anyone think our legs are being pulled?”

Not when I see stories in the news about high school kids killed, joy riding after midnight, with their friends in tow, in the high performance sports sedan Mom & Dad bought them.

@Awwstindo - your thoughts?

Anyone think our legs are being pulled?

I can’t even conceive the notion this person is actually entertaining the idea of their son getting a Porsche for their first car. Lamborghini and Ferrari are much better choices. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I think OP’s jaw dropped and he’s trying to put it back in place . . .