I took my pristine 2011 987.2 base in for some minor service last week. I was given a 2015 981 base for the loaner. I knew they shouldn't have loaned it to me, but I couldn't resist. The sticker was in the trunk, and it is optioned out to about 70k. I drove it for 4 days. Here are my thoughts:
1. The 981 is a major upgrade in the interior. Makes my 987.2 feel old school. I never liked the 987.1 interior. The 987.2 interior is ok, but not great (carpet on the doors???). The 981 is a huge jump inside and feels like it matches the price. I immediately noticed how much more comfortable and nicer the 14 way seats are. It also feels like the cabin is quite a bit larger, perhaps an illusion, but a good one. I feel like I have a bit more space to spread out. The console, however, has no storage space at all. The little cubby under the radio is gone. The top is improved, and with the top up it doesn't feel like a convertible at all. At first I thought the automatic top latch was silly, but it grew on me after some use. Loved the quality and feel of the interior... it was just great.
2. The car in general feels a touch larger. And it is, but only very slightly. Perhaps it's the improved cabin, but the whole thing seems larger. Good or bad..? For me, good for overall comfort as a daily driver.
3. This car had the optional power steering plus. As soon as I hopped in I noticed how soft the steering was and hated it. Very noticeable coming from a 987. It does firm up at speed, but I still wasn't thrilled. I don't know why anyone would want it. Yuck.
4. The exhaust note (with the optional sports exhaust turned off) was noticeably improved. With the sports exhaust turned on, it was fantastic, but not sure about the crazy price for that option.
5. Brakes were much better that the 987.
6. MT Shifter was somewhat improved. Felt great at notchy. Didn't stall once,.. which I can't say about my 987. Everything for the driver falls to place even better than the 987, which was great to start with.
7. Optional sports suspension. Didn't notice it at first. It did seem rather jiggly over rough patches of roads. Personally, I wouldn't pay for it.
8. Auto start/stop surprised me at first. Once I realized what was going on, I kind of liked it.
9. Stock tires had way more road noise than the stocks on my 987.
10. Stereo and nav : Had the optional Bose. After I tuned it and got rid of the Bose "thumping" it actually sounded and worked great. I was quite pleased with all aspects of it, and I'm fairly picky about these things. The FM sounded like crap though (worse than my CDR-30) until the HD radio kicked in, then it was very good. Nav was pretty good.
So, all-in-all, I really liked the car. Here are my impressions after getting back in my 987.2:
1. Much better steering. Worse brakes. My 987 drives more like a go-cart, which I like! It felt small and confining inside. The interior felt like I was going back in time 25 years.
2. I like the front end styling of the 987 more, but that's obviously very subjective.