It may the least expensive Porsche you can buy, but that's where the Boxster's minimalism ends. The charismatic roadster possesses thrilling road manners, plenty of creature comforts, and the ability to transition from the track to the street without missing a beat.

Pricing and Equipment

  • Starting at $52,100, the Base model is powered a 2.7-liter six-cylinder engine. A power soft top with heated glass comes standard, as does a wind deflector. Performance features include a rear spoiler that automatically deploys, summer performance tires, and staggered-width 18-inch wheels. You also get typical passenger car amenities like heated side mirrors, Bluetooth, and leather interior trim.
  • The Black Edition ($59,100) carries a variety of trim and convenience upgrades, include dual-zone climate control, parking sensors, heated seats, navigation, a sport steering wheel, and unique 20-inch wheels.
  • The S builds off the Base model with a 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine, larger brakes with red-painted calipers, a lowered suspension, and 19-inch wheels. These performance enhancements bring the MSRP up to $63,900.
  • The $74,600 GTS gets a more powerful version of the 3.4-liter, plus an adaptive suspension, launch control, a sport exhaust system, 20-inch wheels, and more aggressive trim throughout.
  • Priced at $82,100, the Spyder is the star of the line, featuring a 3.8-liter six-cylinder engine, high-performance brakes, and exclusive suspension tuning. In the interest of weight, air conditioning and a sound system are demoted to no-cost option status.

Performance Pros

Porsche Boxster

The rear-drive Boxster starts out with a 2.7-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 265 horsepower. S versions get a larger 3.4-liter that achieves 315 horsepower. The same engine is deployed in the GTS, where it's massaged for 330 horsepower. Exclusive to the Spyder is a 3.8-liter with a mighty 375 horsepower.

Performance highlights include:

  • Steering/Handling: The Boxster take corners with incredible precision. Responses are quick and free of unwanted motions. It's far easier and more enjoyable to control at high speeds than most high-performance cars.
  • Transmission: A six-speed manual comes standard, and a seven-speed automated manual (dubbed PDK) is available across the board. The GTS and Spyder get a special version of the PDK that incorporates launch control and racing-inspired shift logic. This upgrade is also available on the Base and S as part of the Sport Chrono package.
  • Acceleration: The standard Boxster hustles from zero to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds. With their larger engines, the S and GTS can do the sprint in 4.5 seconds or better. Faster still is the 3.8-liter-equipped Spyder, which hits 60 mph in a tick over 4 seconds.

Performance Cons

  • The electric power steering unit produces a light feel that might turn off hardcore enthusiasts.
  • Keep in mind that the engine is located just behind your head. Under hard acceleration, you'll hear plenty of rumbling going on.

Interior Pros

  • We continue to be impressed by the layout and quality of materials found inside the Boxster. Even small switches feel crisp and sturdy.
  • Buyers have access to a decadent array of seat designs, finishes, and color schemes. It's easy to create a highly customized look and feel right off the options sheet.

Interior Cons

  • Trunk space is acceptable for this class, but it's split between front and rear compartments. It's impossible to carry one full-size suitcase.
  • The infotainment interface lacks the usability and features found on other luxury-branded units.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Porsche Boxster

The Boxster behaves like a perfect gentleman in everyday commuting. Passengers enjoy a relaxing ride and minimal wind noise with the top up.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The steep price jumps between trim levels and cost of options mean you have to be judicious in your build-out. All the extras sound good until you see how quickly they add up.

The Bottom Line

Driving the Boxster is an incredibly rewarding (and fun) experience. Everything else is icing on the cake.