Tom Cruise is a noted fan of the Porsche 911, and has been seen driving several of them over the years. One of his 911s is a black 996 which he reportedly purchased new (via MotorBiscuit). The 996 gained a mixed reputation over the years thanks to its controversial design, switch from air-cooling to water-cooling, and parts shared with the cheaper Boxster convertible. Despite the controversy, it was, in every objective sense, better than the 993 generation it replaced. It was faster, its handling was sharper, and it was more economical (via Hagerty).
Nevertheless, the 996’s lack of acceptance among purists has kept resale values low, and today it remains the cheapest way into 911 ownership. Over 175,000 examples of the 996 were sold between 1997 and 2005, according to Stuttcars, and many of those are still on the road today. Cruise might never have to worry about the resale value of his cars, but for those of us who don’t have a nine-figure net worth, the 996 is arguably one of the smartest sports car investments on the market at the moment.