2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4S CPO
2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4S CPO
2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4S CPO. Click image to enlarge

Review by Justin Pritchard, photos by Chris Koski

Freshly inspected, fussed over and touched-up by the Porsche Certified Pre Owned (CPO) program, your writer’s tested 2010 911 Carrera Targa 4S was looking good. Slick tire shine, polished glass and freshly cleaned silver paint were all gleaming, and with about 25,000 kilometres on its dial, the tester would accompany me back up north for a few days.

The boss handed me this unusual assignment for a story that would delve into the world of used Porsche ownership. I was to report on the factory-approved program, through which Porsche refurbishes used models, up to eight-years old, back to as close to original condition as possible.

Then, I was to drive one of said models for a week, and see how the efforts of the CPO program translated to the driving experience.

The CPO program has numerous benefits for anyone after a new-to-them 911 (or Cayman or Boxster or Cayenne or Panamera). Models purchased from the CPO program have a two-thumbs-up from Porsche mechanics, body men, and technicians that the model in question has been refurbished back as close to its original condition as possible.

The point of the CPO program, in a nutshell, is to add new-Porsche confidence, peace of mind and protection to a used-Porsche purchase. Benefits include higher resale value, tremendous confidence, and even warranty coverage and roadside assistance. Read more about it here.

Many used car shoppers in the market for a few-year-old Porsche seek out the CPO cars actively – meaning a faster sell down the line when it comes time to upgrade.

I wondered what the tester’s former owner had upgraded to. Maybe some kids came into the picture, and he went with a Cayenne or Panamera. Or maybe, the 385-horsepower punch of his Targa 4S somehow got boring for him, and he went with a Turbo.

Rolling on optional “Turbo II” wheels from the same year, I figured this machine was likely bought by someone with a fondness for long-distance travel – as it was also fitted with a self-dimming rearview, climate controlled seats and adaptive xenon headlamps. All of these features, to varying degrees, make long trips more laid-back and comfortable.

2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4S CPO2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4S CPO2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4S CPO
2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4S CPO. Click image to enlarge

As tested price when new? About $143,000 with the slew of add-on features. Asking price today? About $90,000, with 25,000 kilometres on the dial. Very compelling value, in a way – and especially considering how closely the tester felt like a new 911 from this generation.

In the context of this story, it should be noted that your correspondent is extensively familiar with two things: test-drives of new Porsche models, and used vehicle buying advice.

So I approached this used German rocket-sled in the shoes of a smart used-car shopper. Walk around the body, looking for signs of damage or repair.

I spotted a few teensy flecks of touched-up paint, perhaps covering rock chips that’d I’d bet the average shopper wouldn’t even notice.

Tires? Brand new – or close to it. Targa top? Fully functional, and just as interesting to watch tuck in and slide away as I’d thought. I’d never seen a Targa roof before in real life.

A glance around the cabin for signs of wear or use revealed little: a small chip on the windshield and a tiny scuff, probably caused by the former driver’s ring, on the shifter.

The previous three years and 25,000 kilometres of use showed themselves in a few small ways.

First? The controls. All of the buttons and dials and levers and switches operated with less resistance, now that they’d been used several thousand times and become broken in.

The bushings attached to the shifter assembly had also broken in, replacing the tight, stiff feel of the brand new 911 gear lever with a delightfully playful, quick one. The new car smell had vacated the premises, which is nice if you don’t like the new car smell.

Connect with Autos.ca