The Porsche Targa vs Cabriolet comparison includes two heavy hitters of chassis style in the roster of sports cars belonging to the German automotive superpower we call Porsche.
This article aims to decide once and for all which of these two absolute machines is the best. We are comparing all the intangible, unquantifiable, and subjective metrics we can in order to try and give you as good of an idea of how these two body types stack up against each other.
We can’t go the normal route for this comparison. Speed, acceleration, engine size, torque, etc., are all metrics we can use to decide which car is the better high-performance vehicle, which is the fastest, which is the most fun to drive, etc.
But none of that helps us here. Here, we need to compare the little things, the niche stylistic changes, how the car looks, how it feels, and what makes it unique in order to decide which is best. And we’ve done a few of these comparisons now, such as the Porsche 718 Cayman GTS vs GT4 so we’ve got a good grasp of what people like to hear about.
Here is everything you need to know about the Porsche Targa vs Cabriolet
- Detailed comparison between the Porsche Targa vs Cabriolet convertible models looking into every aspect.
- Both offer an open-air driving experience and are considered unobtrusive to the driving experience.
- Key differences include the Targa’s removable roof panel above the front seats, distinctive “Targa” bar, and generally heavier build compared to the Cabriolet.
- The Cabriolet features a fully retractable soft top that folds into the car’s body, providing a different top-down experience.
- Consider your daily driving habits and whether you’ll frequently use the convertible feature when choosing between them.
- Ultimately, the choice between Targa and Cabriolet comes down to personal preference and budget.
The Porsche Targa
The Porsche Targa regularly gets cited as the king of the battle for the drop-top convertible Porsche crown. It goes without saying we are talking about a very pretty, popular, and unique Porsche here.
The standard Targa often gets criticized for being a little too different from what we have come to expect from Porsche, especially when compared to some of the newer Porsches hitting the streets that seem to have gone back to their roots a little.
But that’s not the point of the Targa. The Targa has an easily identifiable roll bar (called a Targa bar) that runs across the top of the car and fits with the removable roof panel over the front seats.
The Targa is a little different from a normal convertible because it’s not exactly the whole roof that gets removed, only a section of the roof panel.
This is all well and good because the top-level 911 Targa models can get from 0-60 pretty quickly, which is an experience in itself without a roof.
The Porsche Cabriolet
The Cabriolet is another equally popular drop-top design for Porsche that has its own unique take on what it means to be a convertible.
The Cabriolet utilizes a foldable or retractable soft top that folds into the body of the car. It is button activated and can be activated while driving, even at reasonable speeds (some convertibles require you to almost stop before you can adjust the top up or down).
While not always the case, many Cabriolets also come with wind deflectors to make the top-down driving experience far more pleasant and enjoyable.
The Cabriolet is often referred to as the more convenient of the two, as its functionality is a lot closer to what we expect today from modern (or at least modern-ish) convertible roofs.
Porsche Targa vs Cabriolet – Similarities & Differences
The Porsche Targa vs Cabriolet are some of the most popular convertible models for Porsches, and that is unlikely to ever change.
While they are similar in several ways, they also have some key differences that set them apart from one another. One of the main similarities between the Porsche Targa vs Cabriolet is that they both offer an incredible open-air driving experience. Right?
That’s why we are all here, even talking about them in the first place. Additionally, both are deemed to be pretty unobtrusive to the driving experience compared to some other drop-top models. The Targa, in particular, is a much “milder” top-down experience than some other vehicles might offer.
However, there are also several differences between the Porsche Targa vs Cabriolet. The Targa features a removable roof panel above the front seats, while the Cabriolet has a fully retractable soft top that folds down into the car’s body.
This means that the Targa, as just mentioned, doesn’t have quite the same top-down experience. Which is neither good nor bad, it just depends on what you prefer.
The Targa also has a distinctive “Targa” bar that runs across the top of the car, while the Cabriolet does not.
Additionally, the Targa is generally heavier than the Cabriolet due to its additional elements, such as the rear glass and Targa bar, which will affect the car’s performance and handling to some extent.
Adding a great big metal bar to your car is bound to reduce speed and performance somewhat, even if it is marginally.
Though to give the Targa credit, it is a safety feature that could very well save your life. Personally, losing a bit in the power-to-weight ratio but gaining a better life expectancy in the event of a crash is a good trade. But this isn’t to say the Cabriolet isn’t safe, they still have pop-up roll bars in case of a rollover.
Finally, the Targa is generally more expensive than the Cabriolet due to its additional features and unique design. It is theoretically easier or simpler to manufacture on Porsche’s end, which translates to a more palatable final price.
To make things more simple to digest, I’ve created a table to summarize the Porsche Targa vs Cabriolet differences and similarities:
|Aspect||Porsche Targa||Porsche Cabriolet|
|Open-Air Driving Experience||Both offer an incredible open-air driving experience.||Both offer an incredible open-air driving experience.|
|Roof Type||Targa features a removable roof panel above the front seats.||Cabriolet has a fully retractable soft top that folds down into the car’s body.|
|Top-Down Experience||Targa provides a “milder” top-down experience.||Cabriolet offers a more traditional top-down experience.|
|Targa Bar||Targa has a distinctive “Targa” bar across the top of the car.||Cabriolet does not have a Targa bar.|
|Weight||Targa is generally heavier due to additional elements like the rear glass and Targa bar.||Cabriolet is generally lighter.|
|Performance||Targa’s additional weight may affect performance to some extent.||Cabriolet may have slightly better performance due to its lighter weight.|
|Safety||Targa’s Targa bar provides added safety in the event of a crash.||Cabriolet has pop-up roll bars for rollover protection.|
|Price||Targa is generally more expensive due to additional features and unique design.||Cabriolet is generally more affordable.|
The Porsche Targa vs Cabriolet – The Better Daily Driver?
If you consider either of these body types your go-to, you will want to think about how they impact your day-to-day. You also need to be very honest with yourself about whether or not you will actually be putting the top down all that often.
If not, you might want to consider the Targa, as putting the roof down isn’t as easy and, therefore, won’t start to grate on you if it’s a daily occurrence.
On the other hand, since the Targa is a “milder” top-down experience, it’s a lot more, I guess, practical. Without putting the roof all the way down, you don’t subject the rear seats to constant torrents of gale-force winds.
You can still store your laptop bag there, or your shopping, without risking it being ripped out of the car by tight cornering and fast winds. Regarding boot space, much like the standard 911, there’s still none with the open top models.
Our Verdict On Porsche Targa vs Cabriolet
This write-up is a little different than our normal head-to-heads as the comparables are not as, well, comparable. Both types of convertible Porsche have pros and cons, and both look great, so it comes down to personal preference.
Or, at the very least, which you can find for the best price. Personally, and not that you asked, the Targa is a little different and a little rarer to see on the roads, so that’s always a personal favorite. But that’s just me.
You are bound to have your own personal preferences, and that’s fine too! As always, thanks for reading, and be sure to check out the other great blog posts that we are constantly uploading and updating.
I’m Daniel, the founder of YSM Motors. I’ve been living and breathing cars since I was born and got into the online space when I was 16, writing about cars.
My unique view comes from owning several interesting cars, ranging from a Volkswagen Golf R, BMW M3, and, more recently, my Porsche Spyder. Owning these cars and a few others has allowed me to become close friends with other car enthusiasts giving me insight into rarer and more exotic cars such as Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche GT cars, and more.
I’ve been lucky to experience and maintain such a vast range of exciting cars, and in the process I’ve become close with a few car dealers and high-end workshops, which has allowed me to pick their brains on topics you can’t find info about online.
My eye for detail stems from my full time career as a Business Analyst. This all started when I studied a Bachelor of Science with a Major in Information Systems, leading me into my 13-year career.
After honing my online skills with various projects and immersing myself further into car culture, by 2019, I decided to dedicate myself to YSM Motors in my spare time and purely focus on my passion for cars and everything to do with them.