Choosing an engine for your Boxster is a simple 2.5-litre. Both pull well from low revs, but there is a noticeable surge in the power delivery as the turbo kicks in at around 2000rpm and slightly uneven power deliver for the next 1000rpm or so. This is more obvious in the 2.5-litre S. process: there are just two and both are turbocharged four cylinder units. The entry-level Boxster gets a 295bhp 2.0-litre engine, whereas the S has a 345bhp
Get the revs above 3000rpm, though, and you get hugely potent acceleration right through to over 7000rpm, and, with the six-speed manual gearbox's long gearing, you’ll often find yourself using just second and third gears during more spirited driving. However, if you prefer a gentler cruise, you can leave it in a higher gear and allow the engine’s prodigious mid-range shove to pull you along.
A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox is optional, and is worth considering for those expecting to do a lot of daily slogging through traffic.
Porsche Boxster ride comfort
We’ve only tried the Boxster with optional PASM adaptive dampers and 20mm lowered sports suspension, in which form it rides remarkably well by sports car standards – even on 20in alloys. Sure, it's firm, but the damping is good enough to keep you from ever feeling uncomfortable. Only constant road imperfections really expose the stiffness of the chassis, and even then we’d still say it offers a great balance of comfort and precision.
Not adding the lowered suspension and sticking with smaller alloys will undoubtedly bring a softer ride that may suit those expecting to tackle fairly rough roads regularly, but we'll need to try the other suspension options to know for sure.
Porsche Boxster handling
Any sports car worth its salt needs to offer handling excitement in spades, and the Boxster certainly doesn’t disappoint. Its steering is wonderfully accurate and precise, with enough feedback to give the driver plenty of confidence. Turn in to a bend and there’s virtually no body roll and an enormous amount of sideways grip. Put simply, the Boxster's handling is on a different level to its rivals, including the BMW Z4, Jaguar F-Type and even the Audi TT Roadster.
The Boxster also has a wonderfully broad range of talents. It feels just as at home on fast sweeping corners as it does pottering around town, where the steering is light enough to make parking easy.
Porsche Boxster refinement
Although it has a fabric roof instead of the more durable folding metal hard-top of rivals, such as the BMW Z4 and Mercedes SLC, the Boxster is very well insulated. Keep the roof up (it can be raised or lowered at up to 31mph) and the Porsche tackles the elements with aplomb, and filters out most wind and road noise. Lower the roof and the Boxster will keep those inside relatively sheltered from the wind, helped by the standard net wind deflector.
Many purists will miss the smooth wail of the six-cylinder engine that was fitted to the Boxster before it became the 718, though. The four-cylinder engine doesn't sound special at all.
Both gearboxes are close to perfect; the six-speed manual has one of the sweetest shift actions you’ll find on any car and the PDK auto is equally adept although slightly less involving.
With 295bhp and 280 lb ft of torque, this 'entry-level' 2.0-litre engine will rocket you to 62mph in 5.1 seconds. There's plenty of pull from low revs, although it's a real shame the engine doesn't sound more tuneful. Comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard but a seven-speed auto is optional.
This 345bhp engine gives the lightweight Boxster fairly extreme performance, with a seriously potent mid-range and the ability to rev strongly to the 7500rpm redline. Below 2000rpm you get a noticeably delayed throttle response, but otherwise this is a really flexible engine. Shame it doesn't sound better.