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What Car? says

5 out of 5 stars

For The drive is sensational and styling timeless

Against Running costs are very high

Verdict The Boxster will excite on every trip

Go for… Later manuals

Avoid… Tiptronics

Porsche Boxster Open
  • 1. It's all you want: stunning to drive, comfortable, reliable, and it holds its value well
  • 2. Practical for a sports car, the boot takes a surprising amount of luggage
  • 3. Original 2.5-litre 204bhp engine was enlarged to 2.7 litres and 217bhp. 3.2-litre S (our favourite) has 252bhp
  • 4. Comfortable cabin is well shielded from wind buffeting with the roof down
  • 5. Considering the performance on offer, the running costs are reasonable
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Porsche Boxster Open full review with expert trade views

It’s hard to imagine now, but back in 1996 Porsche only made one car, the venerable 911, and it cost at least £59,000 to join the club. Then along came the Boxster and changed everything. Here was a real Porsche for just £34,000.

Those who dismiss the Boxster as not being a proper Porsche, or say that it isn’t really that good, don’t know what they’re talking about. This is almost the perfect used car buy: absolutely stunning to drive, comfortable, reliable and it holds its value well.

This car set the benchmark for handling and performance, without being harsh or uncomfortable. You can use it every day, and with the hood down you’re sheltered from buffeting.

It’s also practical for a sports car, as the boot takes a surprising amount of luggage and the roof electrically folds back in 12 seconds. What more could you possibly want?

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Fine roadster. What other two-seater has two boots? Air-con is a must

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

Originally, there was just a 2.5-litre engine with 204bhp, but this was later enlarged to 2.7 litres and 217bhp. Later, a 3.2-litre with 252bhp was introduced. It was called the S and came with a six-speed gearbox and better brakes, as well a host of goodies for the £4000 over the standard model.

The S is the car people look for, as it has almost 911-style performance for a lot less cash. The optional traction control system is also worth looking out for.

However, the optional Tiptronic gearbox was not as satisfying to use as the manual and slowed the car down. An improved manual gearbox was introduced with the 2.7-litre engine.

Air-con was standard on some models and leather was a £2500 option – both of which are desirable on second-hand cars, and prices are higher as a result.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Massive average bills of £980 due to faulty electrics and engine problems

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

It’s a Porsche, so compared to a Ford Focus, it’s going to be expensive. However, choose well, keep it properly maintained and it shouldn’t be a massive problem. The Boxster has legendary residual values, and although it will cost a lot to start with, you should see the benefit when it’s time to sell.

Regular servicing is vital on a Porsche, not only to maintain its value but also to prevent expensive problems later. A Boxster needs attention every 12,000 miles, but if you use an independent specialist on the older cars the work should still be carried out correctly and you’ll save money without damaging its resale value.

This is a performance car, and its insurance premiums follow accordingly, with ratings in groups 18 to 20. The 2.5 gives 35mpg, while the 2.7 and 3.2 deliver 29mpg and 27mpg respectively.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Fine roadster. What other two-seater has two boots? Air-con is a must

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

There’s no such thing as a cheap Boxster. Cared-for cars wear their miles well, and if you’re being offered an untidy car with some niggly faults, it’s likely that it’s a car with serious problems and you should walk away.

Crash damage is the biggest problem on cars, so leaky or poor fitting hoods, and less than perfect paintwork and panels should make you suspicious. Also, in rare cases, water can get past the window seals and short-circuit the electrics.

Scrimping on servicing to save money is a false economy. A full service history is a sign of a cared-for car. The engine doesn’t use much oil, so if it’s very low or very dirty, there could be problems.

Some owners take their Boxster to the track. Look for badly worn brakes and scored pads, while rapid and uneven tyre wear is a sure sign the tyre alignment isn’t spot on.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Massive average bills of £980 due to faulty electrics and engine problems

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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