The 2018 Porsche 718 Boxster, along with its Cayman coupe brother (listed separately), are Porsche's entry level sports cars, offering a relatively accessible starting price compared to the rest of the company's line up. But don't be fooled, while it may not have the power of the more expensive 911 line, the 718 Boxster is a very capable sports car praised for excellent handling characteristics that maintain Porsche's legendarily high standards for build quality and performance.
What's New for 2018
Porsche has introduced a new trim for 2018, the 718 Boxster GTS. Other models are unchanged from the previous year, except for a slight price increase.
Choosing Your Porsche 718 Boxster
The Porsche 718 Boxster comes standard with a mid-mounted, 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four cylinder engine, which produces 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, while the Boxster S gets a 2.5-liter, turbocharged flat-four with 350 hp and 309 lb-ft. The same engine pumps out 365 hp and 309 lb-ft in the Boxster GTS.
All Boxsters are available with either a six-speed manual or Porsche's PDK transmission ($3,210), a lighting-fast seven speed dual-clutch automatic that is widely considered to be one of the best in the world. Choosing which transmission is a matter of taste and cost. Small sports cars are a joy to drive with a manual, and the Boxster is no different, but the PDK dual-clutch opens you up to a whole new level of speed that you are unable to achieve by rowing your own.
The base Boxster is capable of getting to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds with the manual transmission and 4.7 seconds with the available seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The Boxster S is even quicker, hitting 60 in 4.4 seconds if you're shifting yourself and 4.2 seconds with the PDK. The new 718 Boxster GTS takes about as long as the manual Boxster S due more to human limitations, but the quick-thinking dual-clutch can get that time as low as 3.9 seconds.
Like all Porsche's, the 718 Boxster is notorious for the number of available options; you can customize the car to a ridiculous degree, and almost everything is an option. The Boxster's interior can be configured with several types of leather, along with Alcantara, wood, aluminum, and carbon fiber. It's surprisingly easy to double the price of your Boxster by going crazy with the styling options, and Porsche would be happy to oblige. If you wanted, you could cover almost everything inside the car in leather, including the sun visors and fuse box. For $580, you can have your key painted to match the color of the car, and for $1,560 you can get personalized carbon fiber illuminated door sills. You could order a bright orange Boxster with orange wheels, a blue soft-top, white leather seats, yellow dials, bright blue seat belts, mahogany trim, and a carbon fiber shifter, provided you're willing to pay for it and accept the complete lack of resale value.
That being said, there are options that are worth considering. There are several packages that help bundle luxurious features together, like the Premium Package for $3,700 that gives you two-zone automatic climate control, adaptive headlights, and auto-dimming mirrors, and the 18-way adaptive heated sport seats (14-way seats are also an option).
There are performance options as well, like Porsche Active Suspension Management for $1,790, Porsche Torque Vectoring for $1,320 – the former is an active suspension system while the latter helps the Boxster put its power down in the bends – carbon ceramic high-performance brakes for $7,410, and a sport exhaust for $2,900. Of particular note is the desirable Sport Chrono Package for $2,090, which adds a variety of sporty features like launch control for the PDK transmission, a sport setting for the stability control and the active magnetic engine mounts, and a chronograph on the dashboard for timing laps. When combined with the PDK transmission, the Sport Chrono Package also helps trim the time it takes to hit 60 mph by a hair.
Base and S trim levels of the Boxster have the same available options, the only difference comes down to the engine. GTS trims are a bit different, but remain highly customizable.
Maybe we're just cheap, but we'd keep our 718 Boxster fairly simple so we can focus on the joy of driving. Give us the base model with a manual transmission, and keep the styling changes to a minimum. Instead, we'd spend money on the heated seats for chillier days, and maybe the Sport Exhaust so we can enjoy the Boxster's distinctive flat-four sound while we're tearing up back roads with the top down.