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Hi there,

after years of dreaming, I have decided to go for it. I am looking at a 2003 Targa w/ 54k miles. Serviced consistently at a dealership, had the 45k service a couple of months ago. Looks good on the photos. I called the dealership and they did not recall any issues with the car. 3 previous owners, lived in the South.

Any potential issues to be concerned about?

How does it drive compared to the coupe and the convertible?

Do you like the Targa roof?

Thanks for your input!


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I have had my 2001 Targa since December and I have been more and more glad I bought it over the Coupe and some of the Cabriolets had faults so I steered clear of them (no disrespect to the Cabrio's though). It felt like there was no difference between the Targa and Coupe when test driving before I bought.

There are a few minor squeaks from the Targa roof over rough roads (in the UK they are really rough at the moment) but totally silent on smooth roads and when last weekend the sun was shining the roof was open all weekend. At least you have the choice to open or not. There are a few Targa haters out there but just enjoy your purchase if you do go ahead with it.

It is more of a exclusive club but it may come with a few other problems in the future as there are more components that could go wrong.

As for issues, there are just all the usual Porsche issues to worry about. But thats another thread or two.

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Thanks for the reply. I was looking at cabrios because they look extremely attractive with the top down, but, realistically, I will be driving most of the time in early AM and in the evening. Plus the humidity in the Summer... So I got interested in the Targa. The roofline is an exercise in art. I have read that it can get very bright/hot in the sun -when driving-. Any thoughts on that? Do you get much wind noise with the to open?

I am about to go through the deal.

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First, get a PPI by someone other than the selling dealer no matter what they say about the car. And if they are not willing to let you have a PPI run, don't walk away from the car That being said it may be a great car.

Targas are great, and petty unique as there are so few of them..The biggest known problem seems to be squeaks, and the cost of repairs to the tops which can be very expensive.

I would also say that just about anytime that you would open the top on a Targa you could put down the roof on a Cab.

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I agree with Dharn, except the part about getting PPI done at selling dealer.

I think if it is an authorized Porsche dealer that is selling the car, getting them to do a PPI should be fine...They have an official factory sheet that they use for PPI's that is similar to the sheet they use for CPO'ing the car.

I bought my car at Porsche Danbury and their PPI work sheet was 5 pages long of diagnostics etc - and looked just like their CPO checklist.

But please make sure you do get a Pre-Purchase Inspection done.

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I own a 2002 Targa with 57,000+ miles and have the following observations:

- The top, when open, slides down underneath the rear window making the view through the rear view mirror difficult (impossible at night). With the retractable sun shade closed, the view through the rear view mirror is impossible day or night. The sun shade can be opened or closed regardless of the top's position;

- The Targa's opening tailgate (rear) window is handy. But be aware, particularly if you are not an owner's manual reader, you don't drop or slam the rear window when closing it. There is an electric motor operated latch that gently pulls the tailgate closed.

- The top doesn't rattle, on my car, with the top closed. I don't generally drive with the top open (see next);

- The noise and buffeting with the top open is objectionable to me - at anything faster than boulevard cruising speed, even though there is a plastic spoiler that pops up with the top open;

- I was worried that the retractable sun shade was too thin and "gauzy" to keep the sun from beating down on my head. That turned out not to be a problem. The sun shade is pretty effective.

A 2003 car may still be eligible to be CPO'ed....less than eight years from the "in service date" and less than 100,000 miles. If you are purchasing the car from a Porsche dealer, you might ask if the car can be CPO'ed. It could cost you the price of a pre-CPO inspection and will cost you the price of the warranty which is about $2,000. I wouldn't pay for any items that had to be done to make the car warrantable.


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If the dealer is going to CPO the car that is great and would support their inspection. However, if the dealer is not going to CPO the car I would have the PPI done elsewhere, there is just too much conflict in interest for the selling dealer to do the PPI if there is no warranty behind it. Another dealer, fine, but not the selling dealer. There have been lots of buyers of cars that had PPI's and later found problems that were not noted on the inspection, with a CPO not a problem, without, could be a major problem. IMHO

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I've had a Targa for the past 4 months, and I have to say that it is a perfect compromise car between the coupe and the cabriolet for living in the US mid-atlantic or New England. You get to see the sun and open the car up when the weather is nice, while maintaining great visibility in the winter.

I'm very happy with the wind noise and protection in the cabin with the roof open at freeway speeds. I've driven a few different cars (convertibles, sunroof open in a coupe) at highway speeds, and I find that the targa top has the lowest wind noise and passenger protection.

I warmly encourage you to buy a Targa.

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The PPI advice is the most important part of what is covered in this thread. I had the indy dealer I purchased from do mine and it cost me a clutch, points and plugs and a couple of other small things that came to about $3.5k.

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I've had my '03 Targa almost 2 years now and have completely enjoyed it, so go for it. For me, the targa is the best of both, drives/sounds like a coupe but the benefit of the huge targa top. Always open on sunny weekends, and doable on highways too (but really, a cabriolet on the highway is just as loud when open) In texas here, and driving in the sun is not a problem for me, I do find shade everywhere I park though, if at all possible. Seeing out at the back window is difficult with the top back and esp at night but not that big a deal.

I see some other Targa followers here, question for you all: my CPO warranty expires in a month, any specific recommendations on what inspections/tests etc... I should do to ensure I catch any possible warranty items before it expires. For what's worth, everything seems to be fine and I do not see any current problems.

Edited by OU Targa
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