Porsche Boxster Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.74/5 Average
434 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

When it debuted for the 1997 model year, the Porsche Boxster ushered in an era of the more affordable high-end sports car, not to mention the more affordable Porsche. Featuring a finely balanced midengine layout and keenly responsive handling and steering, the Boxster quickly became one of the best-selling sports cars on the road.

Now in its third generation, the Boxster formula remains the same, yet Porsche has made evolutionary changes to better compete against its recently redesigned rivals. Comfort, improved build quality, classier styling and an increased number of convenience features all make the Boxster considerably better than before. If you can swing a sometimes pricey bottom line, there's no more compelling choice for a sports car, new or used.

Current Porsche Boxster
There are three models of the rear-wheel-drive Boxster. The base car gets a 265-horsepower 2.7-liter flat-6 engine that's mounted amidships for superior handling characteristics. The Boxster S features a 3.4-liter flat-6 good for 315 hp, while the GTS gets an upgraded version rated at 330 hp. All three are matched with a six-speed manual transmission by default, while a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual (known as PDK) is optional. A hill-holder function is included with either transmission choice to facilitate launching on a hill without inadvertently rolling backward.

This is the most comfortable and spacious Boxster yet, although standard equipment is a bit stingy -- particularly the base car's wimpy four-speaker stereo. Of course, Porsche will be happy to double the price with options, including multi-way adaptive sport seats and an upper-crust Burmester audio system. In any specification, however, the Boxster remains a pure driver's car, arguably more so than the Porsche 911. With its midengine layout and finely tuned chassis, few cars can deliver the same easily accessed driving joy as the Boxster. As long as you don't need more storage space than the small front and rear trunks provide (good luck transporting a golf bag or two), the latest Boxster is bound to please.

Used Porsche Boxster Models
The current, third-generation Porsche Boxster debuted for 2013 in base and S trims, with the sporty GTS and the optional Burmester audio system arriving for 2014. Its styling is crisper than that of the previous two generations, with relatively angular headlights and a unique full-width fin spoiler that bisects the more mature-looking taillights. The sumptuous cabin is larger and features the tall center console that has been adapted from the Panamera for the whole line of Porsche models. Although the newly added electric-assist steering isn't quite as telepathic as its predecessors, it's still sublime.

The previous, second-generation Boxster was introduced for 2005. This generation featured evolutionary but significant styling changes from its predecessor, including separate roundish headlights in place of the previous integrated headlight/turn-signal clusters. The interior underwent a major overhaul, receiving a cleaner dashboard design and richer materials. In addition, the torsional rigidity of the chassis was improved, resulting in noticeably better balance and control.

Originally, the base engine was a 2.7-liter flat-6 that produced 228 hp, and the Boxster S model's bigger flat-6 displaced 3.2 liters with an output of 258 horses. Transmission choices were a five-speed manual (base), a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. For 2007, the 2.7-liter was upgraded to pump out 245 hp and the Boxster S received a 3.4-liter engine with 295 hp. There were a few minor equipment upgrades made during this time period as well.

A more extensive refresh was implemented for 2009, starting with further upgrades for both engines. The base model now featured a 2.9-liter flat-6 good for 255 hp, while the Boxster S got a 3.4-liter flat-6 good for 310 hp. Both came standard with the six-speed manual, while PDK debuted on the Boxster's options list. Prior to this refresh, the optional navigation system was an older design, with a smaller screen and poorly designed controls. Items like ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, an iPod interface and satellite radio were also not available. The exterior styling was also slightly different.

For 2011, the Boxster Spyder was introduced. For this specialized lightweight model, Porsche removed the sound system and air-conditioning (you could add them back as options) as well as the power-operated top. The latter was replaced by a manually operated two-piece soft top that was more tarp than roof, and about as easy to erect as a tent. But what the Spyder lost in creature comforts, it gained in other areas, notably 10 hp and even sharper handling.

While the later Boxsters of this generation are obviously a little more appealing, there's really not a bad apple in the basket. Regardless of engine or equipment level, we'd happily take one on a spirited back road run, or utilize its double trunks on a weekend getaway up the coast. Moreover, prices have come down to quite appealing levels on the used-car market, particularly for pre-refresh examples.

The original Boxster debuted for the 1997 model year. At the time, it was considered to be a key release for the brand. Porsche had been struggling financially through the early and mid-1990s, and the Boxster's simplicity, affordability and sweet driving dynamics made it a huge hit.

The first-generation Porsche Boxster came with a power-operated soft top and a 201-hp, 2.5-liter flat-6 engine. In 2000, the big news was the addition of a second, even sportier S model. The Boxster S featured 250 hp, larger wheels and brakes and a more stiffly tuned suspension. For 2001, the tweaks mostly involved interior refinements in layout and materials quality. But underneath, the sophisticated Porsche Stability Management system was made available for both models. For 2004, Porsche increased the power output of both engines slightly.

First-generation Boxsters have a significant following in online forums, with many common maintenance procedures outlined in detail for those inclined to do their own work. You can pick one up for less than a new economy car these days, so the temptation has never been greater. If you do your homework and have a thorough pre-purchase inspection performed, an original Boxster could make for an excellent weekend toy on a budget.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 434.00
  • Great Buy - 2005 Porsche Boxster
    By -

    I just got my 2005 Porsche Boxster S three days ago. I'm very impressed with the handling, design, and quality. I'm glad I made the right choice!

  • Best convertible - 1999 Porsche Boxster
    By -

    cool car that looks good and is really fun to drive. also a head turner

  • Hard to beat! - 2001 Porsche Boxster
    By -

    After driving BMWs most of my life, it's a real treat to get my hands on this car. Not knocking the BMWs - the Z4 looks like an incredible automobile but I don't want to buy first year of new model. Besides, every guy should own a Porsche at least once in his life!

  • Don't drive one(unless you're ready to buy) - 2010 Porsche Boxster
    By -

    Still in honeymoon period/Looking for reasons to drive.My third Porsche and second Boxster,all bought used,which is for me ,the only po$$ible way to go.The upgrade from my early(986) car is night and day:ride,handling,"infotainment"(get the PCM/BOSE)you name it -all superior...The base car is very nice ,but the S,with direct injection and extra urge will sway you.The "S" is for Serious-people who claim the Boxster is not a "real Porsche",are delusional, or simply haven't driven a 2009 or later one.

  • Fun Car for the Twisties - 2001 Porsche Boxster
    By -

    I bought my Boxster used and it is by far the finest handling car I have ever driven, that includes several other Porsches. The steering, balance and brakes permit you to drive turns very fast with no discomfort for you or the passenger. It has required no unscheduled maintenance in 56,000 miles, uses no oil and averages about 27 mpg. The chassis could handle more power (but I could have bought and "S" if that is what I was looking for). There are no water leaks, the top is still like new as are the paint and interior. These are great used car buys because of considerable depreciation compared to a 911. Just be sure to have an experienced Porsche mechanic do a pre- purchase inspection to avoid surprises.

  • Good Car - 2000 Porsche Boxster
    By -

    The Porsche Boxster is a good automobile. It is fun to drive, easy to maintain, gets great gas mileage, has a good design, and it has plenty of room for two + luggage.

  • 2003 Porsche Boxster S experience - 2003 Porsche Boxster
    By -

    After having owned many sports cars the experience of driving the 2003 Porsche Boxster S leaves you breathless. Mountain driving is a pleasure with sharply grabbed curves and incredible power. And if its looks you want, this is the car. Its is a stop and stare vehicle...everyone stops and stares. Thank you Porsche for putting fun back into driving.

  • Great Fun Car - 1999 Porsche Boxster
    By -

    What a great car! It makes my day each time I drive it. Handles well out of the box, but 1999 could use more power (more fun). Excellent service and NO PROBLEMS.

  • Tremendous Handling, Good Power - 2003 Porsche Boxster
    By -

    After owning a Firebird Firehawk Convertible, I decided to test drive a Boxster S. What a difference. While it lacked the same straight-line power, it makes up for it 100 fold in handling. I test drove every major convertible, Honda S2000, Audi TT, BMW Z4, Mercedes and none of them come close the handling of this car. Even the 911, which is an awesome vehicle does not quite handle like the Boxster! If you want absolutely the best handling most fun car to drive try a Boxster S. The fit and finish is superbe. To quote a famous movie line: "Porsche, there's no substitute!" There is nothing else like it, short of a 911!

  • Satisfied Customer - 1st Porsche - 2002 Porsche Boxster
    By -

    It took 5 months from order to delivery to receive my 2002 Boxster but well worth the wait. Hard Top, Tip, Comfort & Sport Pkgs. This is my 1st Porsche experience and loving every minute of it. I have no real negatives at this time having only owned it for 4 months. Pleasant experience with my dealership and highly recommend them.

Porsche Boxster Reviews By Year:
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