Like so much else with the
, the cabin was a big move away from what had gone before in the way it looked. There are still the five main dials directly in front of the driver, an excellent driving position and just about two usable rear seats for children. However, much of the change was to do with reducing costs and this has manifested itself over time as squeaks and rattles from the trim and plastics. Watch out for worn markings on switches and scuffs on the boot and engine lid release levers on earlier cars. Facelifted 996s used electric buttons for the bonnet and engine cover releases that are less prone to wear.
Make sure all those lights illuminate...
Leather seats were standard for all 996s sold in the UK and the leather is generally tough, though the driver's seat bolster on the outer edge can wear through. Sports seats were an option and look good, but make sure you are comfortable in them over longer periods.
When turning on the ignition, make sure all of the warning lights go out as they should. An airbag warning light staying on is a common fault and usually down to worn connector in the buckle that can be cleaned up.
As with all used cars, try every button and switch, including the sunroof and PSM and rear parking sensors if fitted. Any car that has Porsche's Communication Management (PCM) satellite navigation is not worth paying extra for. This sat-nav system is very dated now and many owners remove it to replace the PCM with an original or upgraded stereo unit in its place. Lastly, run up the air conditioning to be certain it's blowing out ice cold air without any trouble.
The air-con condensers are positioned under the front bumper and easily damaged by stones and corrode. Replacement or repair is expensive, with new radiators costing around £200 for a pair from specialists plus labour to remove the old ones and fit the new.
I have replaced the dreadful stereo that came as standard, along with the archaic sat-nav. Now it's got a Parrot android smart unit that looks awesome and the new speakers finish the job.