2011 911 Carrera GTS (Type 997)

Automakers typically attach the letters "GTS" (or "Gran Turismo Sport") to the sportiest version of a car model, and Stout says the 2011 Carrera GTS certainly lives up to that name.

"It's every bit as usable as a plain Carrera -- which is to say very, very useful -- but it's special enough to feel different," he says. "The handling and the changes they made to the (standard Carrera) suspension really transformed the car."

The 2011 Carrera GTS also has a back seat big enough to seat two people, a rarity in a segment where rear seats are often so small they're mostly just for show.

Perhaps best of all, the 2011 Carrera GTS is new enough that consumers can still find plenty of the vehicles in the used-car market rather than just in the collectors' world. Kelley Blue Book estimates the car's current price at around $66,000 to $88,000, depending on features and condition.

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