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Some sports-car aficionados claim that the Boxster corrects Porsche's decades-long "mistake," the 911. While enthusiasts will go back and forth on perfect engine placement for the perfect sports car, everyone agrees that the Porsche Boxster is one sweet ride.
Porsche revised the Boxster in 2005 and updated its engine for last year's model. The base Boxster arrives with a 2.7-liter flat six equipped with the Porsche VarioCam Plus setup to produce 245 horsepower. The optional Tiptronic S automatic transmission underwent an update last year with new hydraulics and electronics to provide improved responsiveness. To lose its extra 90 pounds and enjoy the perfectly placed gas, brake, and clutch pedals, you don't need to check any boxes to experience the standard five-speed manual transmission. 0-60 in the base model comes up in 5.8 seconds, with a 162-mph top speed. Estimated combined city/highway fuel economy is 25 mpg.
The optional Sports Package includes a six-speed manual transmission and Porsche's Active Suspension system. This system allows the driver to select between Normal and Sport suspension settings. Sport mode alters the baseline damping force for considerably firmer shock response, enabling faster turn-in as well as better road-holding and traction. The Boxster's impeccable road-handling manners impress reviewers, who praise its balance - both front and rear ends stay where they're aimed. By placing the engine amidships - in front of the rear wheels and behind the passenger compartment - in a strong chassis with a light, responsive suspension and steering as well as powerful brakes, Porsche has defined sweetness in a two-seat sports car.
And this sweetness also shows up in the ergonomic layout of the cockpit. The steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake, and without a transmission or engine up front there's a lot more leg space to play with those drilled aluminum pedals - short and tall statures are welcome here. Genuine leather is complimented by faux leather and aluminum trim. Reviewers are unable to agree as to the plastic bits, some finding them "cheap" looking and some finding them "expensive." Beyond all the expected electronic goodies - nav, sound, and trip computer systems - two of the most remarkable passenger features are outside the cabin.
The Boxster's convertible top involves a latch above the mirror and a console-mounted button - it takes 12 seconds to come down (according to one reviewer, that's an industry speed record), and according to Porsche you can do that at up to 30 mph. The really useful aspect, however, is that Porsche engineered the top so that it takes up none of the 4.6 cubic feet of aft trunk space when lowered. In addition, there is a front luggage compartment, which makes the Boxster suitable for carrying luggage for two on an extended road trip - a unique feature among today's sport roadsters.
Standard safety features include a head airbag system, frontal and side-impact airbags. Taller drivers will find more protection with Porsche's tall safety bars and high headrests. ABS, electronic brake-force distribution, traction control (ASR), and electronic stability control (PSM) are all standard.
This overview covers the Base trim only.
Please see our 2008 Porsche Boxster Overview for more information.
Looking for a Used Boxster in your area?CarGurus has 1,692 nationwide Boxster listings starting at $6,900.