What's the used Porsche Boxster sports like?
Some things are immutable in our changing world: the passing of the seasons, the sun rising and the Porsche Boxster being an open-top, two-seater mid-engined sports car.
Well, the latest version of the Boxster is still an open-top, two-seater mid-engined sports car, but whereas for its previous generations - stretching all the way back to 1996 - we could always rely on it having a beautifully balanced and naturally aspirated flat-six engine, this 718 version has a turbocharged flat-four instead. To an enthusiast, such things are important, as the flat-four, despite being more powerful than the unit it replaced, will be down on response and delivery and short of the sort of aural pleasures the previous car enjoyed.
Don’t think of it as short of oomph, though. The lowest-rung Boxster gets a 296bhp 2.0-litre engine, while the Boxster S packs a 2.5-litre with 345bhp. The GTS offers up 265bhp from its 2.5 engine. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic ‘box is an option.
However, there were those who still hankered after six cylinders, and in 2019 Porsche reintroduced a naturally aspirated 3.0-litre flat-six engine, the 394bhp GTS. Joy was unconfined in enthusiasts' circles as a Boxster once again issued a classy six-cylinder burble. It goes like the clappers, of course, and sounds fantastic.
Equipment-wise, the standard Boxster comes with electric windows, air-con, 18in alloy wheels, xenon headlights and part-Alcantara seats. The S adds 19in wheels, while the GTS comes with discrete styling upgrades, 20in wheels, lowered adaptive suspension, a limited-slip differential, a sports exhaust and the Sports Chrono Pack.
On the road the Boxster is quick. Even the 2.0-litre car can sprint from 0 to 62mph in just 5.1 seconds, and go on to a top speed of 170mph, while the S lowers the time to 4.6 seconds and raises the flat-out speed to 177mph. The GTS can hit 180mph.
But these figures only tell half the story, because what’s always separated the Boxster from the also-rans in this class is its delicate mid-engined handling balance, and just how damn enjoyable it is to drive. This one is no different, with wonderfully direct steering that is well weighted and linear in its responses, and eager handling that makes the car brilliantly driveable at any speed, with endless grip and remarkable poise thrown in for good measure.
It even rides well, with a suppleness unknown in other lesser sports cars. It’s firm, of course, but it never threatens to become uncomfortable.
Inside is a comfortable, pleasant and well put together interior with a great driving position that places the driver central to the action, in a perfect location in front of the controls. Visibility is reasonably good, too, for such a low-slung roadster, and many cars will have been specified with the optional reversing sensors or, if you’re lucky, a camera.
As standard, you get a crisp-looking and easy to use 7.0in touchscreen, with Bluetooth, a DAB radio and sat-nav, as well as Apple CarPlay. All the switchgear has a solid, high-quality feel, and all the buttons are well damped. There’s plenty of room for two to sit without brushing shoulders, and although storage space is rather limited there are two small-ish boots: one in the nose and the other behind the engine.
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