Two engine choices. A four-cylinder Porsche may seem shocking, but the base engine of the 2020 Porsche 718 Boxster is no slouch. The turbocharged 2.0-liter flat-four makes 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, which is terrific for a small model such as the 718 Boxster. That it’s tucked behind the passenger compartment is a bonus.
This engine is also offered in the T trim and adds the Sport Chrono package with an additional sport driving mode, revised engine and transmission mounts, and sits lower to the ground thanks to an adaptive suspension.
Porsche offers a second turbo-four, this one displacing 2.5 liters and making 350 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque. Included on the S trim, this engine takes about a half-second off the 5-second 0-60 mph time of the standard motor.
Among the best transmissions anywhere. We don’t expect Porsche to abandon the manual transmission market anytime soon, and that’s a great thing. The standard six-speed manual gearbox features a smooth-shifting stick and a competent clutch with drama-free uptake. It’s how a manual should behave; you won’t be left disappointed.
Porsche’s available seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission makes a strong case for itself, as it shifts faster than the manual and is the ideal choice for anyone wanting to master their 0-60 mph time. The tech is sophisticated, an engineering marvel, one that should be seriously considered. Then again, purists simply prefer to row their own and aren’t about to surrender their three-pedal foot action.
Stellar handling, all the way. We’re true-blue Porsche fans and one reason is the way these cars handle. The 718 Boxster and Cayman are the lone mid-engine models, with power sent to the rear wheels. The Boxster offers a near-perfect combination of steering, handling, and driving fun.
Science, in particular physics, is at work in the 718 Boxster. With engine placement directly over the chassis and immediately behind the passengers, the layout ensures a level of driving precision few may claim.
The Boxster drives like a dream. We’re impressed by the way it connects the driver to the car and the road. The steering is nicely weighted and on point. It thrives on twisty roads and handles corners with aplomb. It delivers confidence-boosting affirmation to even the novice driver and does an excellent job of winning converts to the marque.
Have it your way. Customers can build a 718 Boxster in a myriad of ways. Indeed, its connection to the 718 Cayman may have customers looking there. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll stay true to the Boxster, which brings drop-down driving fun to the lineup.
The base model is reasonably well equipped, although we doubt anyone would stop there without looking at the various packages and upgrades available. Leather-wrapped seats, a 7-inch touchscreen display, and a 10-speaker Bose audio system are among the standard amenities included. Optionally, buyers will find heated seats, upgraded cabin trim, and an exquisite 12-speaker Burmester surround-sound audio system that delivers concert-hall quality sound.
Final thoughts. On paper, the 2020 Porsche 718 Boxster is the accessible Porsche, but chances are it will still cost you dearly to outfit one. That said, it holds its value no matter how it’s configured, one of the few models that make that claim.