The Boxster line of cars are one of the most important vehicles Porsche ever produced. They introduced the brand to a whole new customer base, and they all sold pretty well. The Boxster saved Porsche from a takeover. But the numbers and the cheaper price are why they get the poor man's Porsche. Yes, Boxsters might be cheaper than the company's other offerings, but they were and still are amongst some of the best roadsters you can buy.
While some of the Porsche purists didn't like the Boxster when it first came out, and some still hate it after 25 years, it was a very good car when driving at the limits, just like a good driver's car should be. It makes the right noises, goes as fast as anything in the real world, and puts a smile on your face. It is everything you want from a roadster, and a bit more. Because it carries one of the most prestigious marques on the hood, Porsche purists may dislike the car, but we think it is great. Here's why the Porsche Boxster is so much more than a "poor man's Porsche".
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8 First And Second Generations Are Cheap
Yes, the Porsche Boxster is cheaper than the 911, but that's not a bad thing. If your dream is to own a Porsche, a Boxster will do fit that bill perfectly. The earlier models are great entries to Porsche ownership, and the later ones offer so much fun per dollar that it will be foolish to look down on them.
While the latest Boxster loses the flat-6 in the cheaper models, it has a turbocharged four-pot that is good for 300 horsepower on the base model and 350 for the S model, which we recommend. Not to mention that there are great deals to be had on the second-hand market for the older models.
7 Third Generation Boxsters Are Great
Boxster's third generation, also known as the 981 is one of the best roadsters money can buy. The design is just classic Porsche, which definitely is not a bad thing. The base model has a 2.7-liter flat-6 with 261 horsepower, but the S model bumps that number to 311 horses.
While the S model is truly great, the base model is no slouch either. These cars are very practical as far as roadsters go, the interiors are very nice to be in, fit and finish is very good, performance and handling are exceptional, and they are very reliable. Also, the ownership costs are reasonable, at least for a sports car.
6 They Are Fun To Drive
No matter what the purist say, the Boxster is still a Porsche, and it is very fun to drive. It always has been. Take a look at the 986 Boxster, yes, the headlights may look like fried eggs, but it had a flat-6 mounted in the middle of the car. This engine produced 201 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque on the earliest base model, and the latest Boxster S of the 986 era had 258 horsepower, which was fine, because it only weighs 2800 lbs.
The lack of weight, adequately powered engine, and sharp steering gave this car good handling characteristics. It was proper fun at the twisties, and a great cruiser when you need it to be.
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5 Boxster Was Always Better Than It's Rivals
Since it came out, the Boxster's main rivals were the BMW Z4 and Audi TT. While both of these cars had their moments, only the Boxster is consistently great throughout its production run. As we mentioned, the first generation got some comments because there was some price-cutting, but even the 986 Boxster was a joy to drive, and the later ones have been constant upgrades on what was already a great platform.
While the 2-liter 4-pot in the base 718 is a far cry from what you get from either of these two cars, there are far more powerful models of the Boxster, such as the 718 Spyder and Boxster S. it is a good thing because the chassis is amazing, the handling is very sharp, and you can get one in manual. This makes the 718 Boxster S a clear winner for us over its competition.
4 It Came As A Manual
If you love a good car with a manual transmission, you may be a little sad because there are a very limited number of cars getting offered with a manual option lately. While driving a stick is not as popular as it's used to be, you can't really beat the satisfying feeling of a perfectly executed gear shift.
But if you are in the market for a roadster with a manual gearbox, you really don't have much of a choice. As Nissan discontinued the 370Z roadster, the Mazda MX-5, Porsche Boxster, and maybe 1-2 other models make up the roadsters that you can buy new with a stick shift.
3 It's Better Than The 911
Well, at least in some ways. Porsche Boxster is just as good as 911, if not better. In terms of being a convertible, the Porsche Boxster was always a better one than the 911, it was mid-engined, so it was way more practical. Also, it was designed to be a roadster, so the chassis was way better. You may think that 911 is more powerful, therefore much better, but it is not always the case.
Yes, the Boxster indeed has a smaller and less powerful engine, but this doesn't make it slow or less fun to drive in the real world. In fact, you can use all the power that's accessible from the engine most of the time, this means you can stay at the limits for longer and have as much fun as a 911, if not more fun. The 718 is better to drive and in terms of everyday usability, a Porsche Boxster from any generation is hard to beat in its category.
2 One Of The Best Chassis, Regardless Of Price
Starting with its first-generation, the Porsche Boxster has a great chassis. This is more pronounced on the 987 and upwards. These cars can be had with all the bells and whistles like active suspension and stability management. Not that it needed any of them anyway. Because this was a car that was designed to be convertible, so its chassis is stiff, and the weight is low.
The combination of a great chassis, low weight, and midship design gave these cars superb handling. Lots of people criticize the Boxster for many things: being cheap, not having a "soul" but never on handling. Because it handles very well, which resulted in some drivers choosing the Boxster over a 911.
Related: Here's Why Porsche's Boxster And Cayman Are Perfect Sports Cars For Serious Gearheads
1 Handling And Balance Is Great
We talked about the handling of Boxster, but we need to talk about it again. Because Porsche Boxsters are known for being very balanced. With the engine in the middle and a great deal of thought put into the weight distribution, the Boxster is a joy to drive in the canyons and mountain passes.
The car handles almost flat, so you take every corner with great confidence. Especially on the later models, it just feels like the laws of physics don't apply to a Boxster. And with all the usable power of the car, you can have fun, and get to keep your license.