Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2002 Porsche 911 VS 2002 Dodge Viper Near Phoenix, AZ

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2002 Porsche 911

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VS

2002 Dodge Viper

Safety Comparison

To maximize occupant safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Porsche 911 have pretensioners to eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Dodge Viper doesn’t offer pretensioners.

The 911 has standard front seat tall, head-protecting side-impact airbags which act as a forgiving barrier between the passengers and the door. Combined with high-strength steel door beams this system increases protection from broadside collisions. The Viper doesn’t offer side-impact airbags.

The 911 has all wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Viper doesn’t offer all wheel drive.

The 911 offers optional Porsche Stability Management (PSM), which uses the antilock brake hardware along with powerful software and additional sensors to detect the beginning of a skid. PSM then intervenes by automatically applying the brake at one appropriate wheel, preventing a skid. The Viper doesn’t offer skid prevention.

The 911 offers an optional Park Assistance to help warn drivers about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind their vehicle. This collision warning system uses radar to detect obstacles behind the rear bumper. The Viper doesn’t offer a rear collision sensor.

Both the 911 and the Viper have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags and four wheel antilock brakes.

Warranty Comparison

The 911 comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Viper’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14000 miles sooner.

The 911’s corrosion warranty is 5 years and unlimited miles longer than the Viper’s (10/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the 911 have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Viper.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 911 second among premium sports cars in initial quality. The Viper isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of new car owners provide the statistics which show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. Dodge is ranked below average.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the 911 Turbo 3.6 turbo DOHC 6 cyl. is faster than the Viper ACR Coupe (manual transmissions tested):

911

Viper

Zero to 60 MPH

3.9 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.9 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

12.3 sec

12.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

114 MPH

The flat design of the boxer engine in the 911 lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The Viper doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The 911 6 speed manual with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the Viper with its standard engine (18 city/26 hwy vs. 11 city/21 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the GT2’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Viper:

GT2

Viper

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

The GT2’s brakes have 28% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the Viper (717 vs. 558.4 square inches).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 911 has variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Viper doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The GT2 handles at 1.02 G’s, while the Viper GTS Coupe pulls only .97 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The GT2 goes through Road & Track’s slalom 5.2 MPH faster than the Viper GTS Coupe (68.7 vs. 63.5 MPH).

For better maneuverability the 911’s turning circle is 5.7 feet tighter than the Viper’s (34.8 vs. 40.5 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Porsche 911 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 550 pounds less than the Dodge Viper.

The 911 is 5.2 inches narrower on average than the Viper, making the 911 easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

The Porsche 911 uses a rubber mounted rear suspension subframe to strengthen the chassis for better handling. The rubber mounted rear subframe helps reduces road noise and suspension impact harshness. The Dodge Viper doesn’t use a rear subframe.

The design of the Porsche 911 amounts to more than styling. The 911 offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .31 to .34 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the Viper (.35 to .46). A more efficient exterior helps the 911 go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the 911 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Road & Track while at idle, the interior of the 911 is quieter than the Viper GTS Coupe (62 vs. 65 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The 911 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the Viper can only carry 2.

Ergonomics Comparison

When four different drivers share the 911, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all four. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the seat position and outside mirror positions. The Viper doesn’t offer a memory system.

The 911’s power windows have a one touch automatic up and down feature (with pinch protection), especially convenient at toll booths or drive-up windows. Dodge does not offer a one-touch feature on the Viper. The switch must be held the entire time to lower or raise the windows completely.

The 911 has standard lighted power door lock and power window switches so that they are easily found at night. The Viper doesn’t have lighted switches.

The 911 has a standard locking fuel door. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Viper doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the 911 Coupe offers an optional rear wiper. The Viper doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 911 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Viper doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The 911’s outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Viper doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

When the 911 Turbo/GT2 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Viper’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 911’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Viper doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.

The 911’s optional heated front seats keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. The Viper doesn’t offer heated seats.

The 911 has a standard center folding armrest for the driver and front passenger. A center armrest helps combat driver fatigue. The Viper doesn’t offer a front seat center armrest.

The 911’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Viper doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

A built-in pollen filter with a charcoal activated canister removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the 911’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Viper’s air conditioner doesn’t offer a filtration system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the 911 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 911 will cost $534 to $558 less than the Viper over a five year period.

The 911 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the 911 will retain 54% to 57% of its original price after four years, while the Viper only retains 51%.

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