I've often found the entry-level versions of Porsche's sports cars to be my preferred choice. The Boxster and Cayman for instance; I'd opt for the lesser 2.7 engine with a sports exhaust and be entirely content with that. Okay, so the Cayman GT4 is sensational, but I'm being financially realistic - which journalism often demands.
It could be argued that buying a 911 is slightly different, because the extra financial commitment between a Carrera and more potent S poses less significance when you start talking about price tags that have five figures and start with a seven.
Importantly, though, after six hours behind the wheel, I don't think you'll ever be sitting in your Carrera and get a sinking feeling at the sight of an S gliding past. The basic Carrera offers far too much to the driver for the S's greater pub ammo to ever really matter.
The new turbocharged engine is thoroughly impressive. Yes, it doesn't have quite the long-legged revs of the old naturally aspirated car that constantly begged for a lower ratio and a long slug of throttle, and it lacks the old model’s hard-edged flat-six sound. It does, however, still rev to a heady 7500rpm, and long before that its noise (especially with the £1773 sports exhaust fitted) will still be making you smile.
It's more flexible, too, allowing you to be lazier out of slow corners and ultimately faster across undulating B-roads. Objectively it's better in just about every way, and works well with the new, lighter clutch, longer gearing and super-slick lever action, but subjectively it may take some time getting used to its wholly different character and spooling-turbo whoosh.
With the ability to change damper stiffness in a split-second now standard, as well as its 10mm lower ride height, it's impossible to feel shortchanged in terms of handling, either. The Carrera still offers as bewitching a blend of ride and handling as ever.
Its new wider tyres ensure a massive amount of grip from the front wheels, and you'll have every confidence placing them using the 911's superbly judged steering rack. Body lean is negligible, especially with the dampers set to their stiffer Sport mode, and on our hot, dry test route, the rear axle wasn't going anywhere.
And that's really part of the Carrera's charm. There are 911s with enough power to constantly overwhelm the rear tyres for those who want it, but it's possible to push a Carrera (in the dry) extremely hard in complete confidence while still enjoying every second.
Our car's optional Sport Chrono pack added another level of throttle response and damper stiffness and even wider grins in its Sport Plus mode. On that subject, ticking Sport Chrono now brings a rotary dial on the 911's steering wheel used to flick between driving modes.
Part of the enjoyment, and confidence, comes from the way the Carrera's suppleness ensures that it’s able to take lumps and bumps in its stride mid-corner and maintain a steady high-speed trajectory. Even our car on optional 20in alloys controlled itself well over speed bumps and damped away any fuss over high-frequency craggy roads.
Porsche continues to wow with its interior quality, with lots of leather and metallic surfaces inside, even if there is still a confusing amount of buttons dotted about the place. Two tall adults will sit comfortably in the front, and there's room for two baby seats or a couple of weekend bags on the backs seats. The driver still gets one of the best driving positions in the business.