Porsche Boxster roadster

Porsche Boxster roadster

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • Powerful engines
  • Super-sharp handling
  • Relatively low running costs
  • Expensive options
  • Design hasn't changed much
  • Automatic gearbox takes away some of the fun

"The entry-level Porsche Boxster is arguably the best all-rounder in the range. It remains one of the best-handling cars money can buy."

The Porsche Boxster sets the standard in the small roadster class, as it's sharper and more enjoyable to drive than rivals such as the BMW Z4, Mercedes SLK and Nissan 370Z. Its powerful engines are placed in the middle of the car, behind the driver and passenger, which makes it very well balanced. The interior has been inspired by the larger Porsche 911, so it's modern, upmarket and thoughtfully laid-out.

The Boxster is the entry point to Porsche ownership, yet it's arguably the best all-rounder in the manufacturer's line-up. The model range consists of the standard 2.7-litre Boxster, the 3.4-litre Boxster S, the more powerful 3.4-litre Boxster GTS and the 3.8-litre Boxster Spyder. The fabric roof folds down in nine seconds flat, while a pair of luggage areas in the front and rear make it relatively practical for a sports car. Roof up, the interior is quiet, but the firm suspension reminds you that you're at the wheel of a pure driver's car.

The Boxster is surprisingly practical and economical (if you go for the least powerful engine) given its status as one of the best-handling sports cars on the market, while Porsche has an excellent reputation for build quality and safety.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.8 / 5

Fuel economy is relatively good but parts and servicing aren't cheap

Engines, drive & performance

5 / 5

Not many cars are as entertaining to drive as a Porsche Boxster

Interior & comfort

3.2 / 5

Remarkably comfortable for a pure sports car

Practicality & boot space

3 / 5

The Porsche Boxster offers two boots and a spacious interior

Reliability & safety

4 / 5

Advanced engineering puts the Boxster at the cutting edge

What the others say

5 / 5
based on 4 reviews
5 / 5
The first thing I’ll say is that our car was fitted with the optional sports exhaust and I implore anyone buying a 981 to fit one. It sounds absolutely fantastic, particularly all the crackling explosions on the overrun at high revs (where the engine is happiest). The other particularly pleasing thing about the spec of our particular car was the manual gearbox in place of (I suspect the more popular) PDK. The six-speed box is an absolute peach (much nicer than the 991's seven-speed) and its new higher position closer to the steering wheel is the cherry on the extremely sweet-shifting cake.
5 / 5
The wheelbase is 60mm longer, the track is wider and the screen has been shifted forward and raked back at a steeper angle. In profile, deep-sculpted doors and large side vents hint at the 918 hybrid supercar, while bigger wheels (18 inches on the Boxster; 19 inches on the S) give a planted stance.
5 / 5
Performance is predictably rapid. The dash to 62mph is over in just 5.0 seconds (4.8 if you choose the Sport Chrono package), but mere numbers don’t do the engine justice. It pulls strongly and smoothly even when the rev-counter has barely awoken, but it does its best work above 5000rpm, where it fairly flies. The soundtrack varies from growl to howl the nearer the redline you venture.
5 / 5
It goes without saying that Boxster handling will be top class, but it's the ride that initially impresses. Sure, the test cars all had PASM active suspension that automatically adjusts the damping according to the circumstances, but this Porsche felt smooth and remarkably comfortably in all conditions. The one area of contention is the steering. Like the new 911, there has been a shift to electro-mechanical power steering. This is not down to fuel savings - there is only a minimal improvement - but because focus groups said they wanted it to be less weighty.
What owners say 
4.3 /5 based on 116 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
23 Jun 2015
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