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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2016 Porsche Boxster
  • 3/4 Rear Glamour  2016 Porsche Boxster
  • Rear Profile  2016 Porsche Boxster
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Expert's Rating

5.0Excellent | Details

MPG

19 City / 28 Highway
Contributing Editor -

For a traditional sports-car driving experience, at a cost that’s at least somewhat affordable, it’s hard to beat a Boxster. After introducing a new GTS trim level last year, Porsche is launching a revived Spyder roadster for 2016, capitalizing on the classic, virtual “cult” status of earlier Spyders. Unleashing the biggest, most powerful engine in the Boxster lineup, the Spyder tops the price scale, but potential customers who savor the highest performance level aren’t likely to be scared away by cost.

What's New for 2016

Biggest news is the introduction of the Boxster Spyder. Ranking as top model for 2016, the Spyder features a manually-operated top, and comes only with a manual gearbox. A firm sport suspension is installed, and ride height has been lowered by 20mm. Brakes are borrowed from the 911 Carrera S, and the 3.8-liter six-cylinder engine produces 375 horsepower. In addition to being the most powerful Boxster ever, with a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 4.3 seconds, the Spyder is the lightest model in Boxster history. Also new for 2016 is a Black Edition of the basic Boxster.

Choosing Your Porsche Boxster

The only major choice to make is picking an engine. Each is a flat (horizontally-opposed) six-cylinder mid-mounted engine, ranging in output from 206 horsepower in the base Boxster to 375 horsepower emanating from the new Spyder. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard on all models, but the Porsche Dopplekupplung (PDK, or double-clutch) automated-manual transmission is available as an option, except on the Spyder. Acceleration is typically quicker than with an equivalent manual-shift model.

Fuel economy ranges from a less-thrifty 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway for the new Spyder, to 22/32 mpg for the base Boxster with automatic.

Five trim levels are offered:

Base

Starting at $52,100, the “entry-level” two-seater holds a 2.7-liter flat-six engine that develops 265 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque, available from 4500 to 6500 rpm. Automatic start-stop is included, along with electromechanical power steering, an automatically-extending rear spoiler, wind deflector, power top with heated glass rear window, and 18-inch wheels. Standard equipment also includes a four-speaker CDR audio system with CD player, seven-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth compatibility, heated power mirrors, and HomeLink garage door opener. Sport seats have power backrest adjustment.

Black Edition

An additional $7,000 delivers the new Black Edition of the Boxster, with standard black paint and available Jet Black metallic finish. Special features includes a Sport Design steering wheel, heated seats, auto-dimming mirrors, the base model’s 2.7-liter engine, and 20-inch Carrera Classic wheels.

S

Stepping up a sizable notch, it takes $63,900 to drive a Boxster S. For that additional cost, you get a bigger 3.4-liter engine that generates an additional 50 horsepower and 60 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speaker CDR audio system is installed, too.

GTS

Yet another hefty price boost, to $74,600, buys a Boxster GTS, packing an upgraded version of the 3.4-liter engine, rated at 330 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. A standard Sport Chrono Package includes a Sport Plus button, which produces more direct steering response when extra precision is needed. Dynamic transmission mounts are intended to enhance cornering ability even further than usual. Like other GTS models from Porsche, this Boxster features an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, headliner, console, and seat inserts.

Spyder

Topping the lineup at $82,100, the new Spyder has a look all its own, augmented by a 375-horsepower 3.8-liter engine. Two prominent, streamlined fairings extend down the rear lid, behind the headrests, calling to mind the 718 Spyder from the 1960s. Front and rear fascias are unique to the Spyder, and an electric clasp secures the lightweight, manually-operated roof when it’s in the closed position. Neither a radio nor air conditioning is standard, but both are optional.

CarsDirect Tip

Deciding upon one version of such a near-iconic two-seater, which means picking an engine, is no easy task. Any Boxster is sure to deliver an intense, rewarding road experience. Rather than choose two, we’ll specify two: either the base Boxster for its more moderate price, or the new high-dollar Spyder for folks who can afford to go all out with traditional-type sports-car pleasure.

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