2015 Porsche Boxster Review


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2015 Porsche Boxster Overview

Porsche’s little midengine drop-top delight is continuing to close to gap on the iconic 911. With a new GTS trim shooting to the front of the line, it’s getting harder to justify rear-engine nonsense. Some will argue the 911 holds the advantage with history and a backseat in its corner, but I’ll take better handling and a second trunk any day.

With the GTS, that decision just became a lot easier. But before we get into all the benefits those 3 little letters will add to your Boxster, let’s see where we’re starting. If a midengine Porsche is all you’re after, the base Boxster trim will get you a 2.7-liter flat-6, good for 265 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers sound more suited for a small sedan than a sports car, but that’s ignoring the sub-3,000-pound curb weight of the Boxster. With a svelte scale presence like that, even the base Boxster can still sprint to 60 in 5.2 seconds if you go with the 7-speed PDK and the launch control in the Sport Chrono Package. For those who prefer 3 pedals down below, you’ll still get there in 5.5 seconds, depending on user.

But the Boxster is about more than just speed and agility. What good is getting there quickly if it’s not comfy? Six-way adjustable seats with a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, heated mirrors, 18-inch alloys, partial leather and a power soft top mean you won’t be left wanting in the luxury department. A 4.6-inch driver display is accompanied by a 7-inch “infotainment” display, although the 4-speaker sound system is a little low-rent for audiophiles.

Move up to the Boxster S and you’ll add 3 speakers to the mix, 19-inch wheels, red-painted brake calipers, bi-xenon headlights and a lot more power. Here a 3.4-liter flat-6 serves 315 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque - enough to cut that 60 mph time down to 4.5 seconds when utilizing the aforementioned launch control with the PDK. However the 4.9-second time you’ll aim for with the manual is hardly a sacrifice when compared with the benefit of actually driving the car you bought.

And so we come to the GTS. Those 3 letters will add more than $10K to the price of your Boxster, an addition no one is eager to make. But let’s not forget, it’s far easier to raise the price of your Porsche than to raise the power. The options list is a minefield of goodies and unnecessaries that’ll bump the sticker quicker than a PDK can swap cogs. Here, the extras you get for the price are worth much more than if you decided to upgrade your S, and you still wouldn’t get the power bump the GTS boasts. Standard with the Gran Tourismo Sport Boxster are Porsche’s Sport Chrono Package and Active Suspension Management, special darkened 20-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights with darkened surrounds, a sport exhaust with black tips and special sport seats with leather trim and Alcantara. Click all those options for your Boxster S and you’ll see your price climb more than $10K, and here you’ll get an upgraded 3.4-liter engine with 330 hp and 273 lb-ft. Sadly, that equals only an extra tenth of a second lopped off the 60 time, so it’s really the options and the badging that make this trim worthwhile, unless you’re the kind of driver who gets more excited by numbers on paper than by actually driving.

Just so the rest of the family doesn’t feel wholly left out, Porsche has made some new options available for the entire Boxster lineup: ParkAssist with front and rear cameras, the 20-inch wheels from the 911 Turbo and the new sport exhaust. If you choose to upgrade your headlights to the bi-xenon units, you’ll also be able to add Porsche’s Dynamic Light System Plus, which accomplishes nifty tricks like moving your headlights through a turn, automatically shutting off the high beams for oncoming traffic and utilizing auxiliary halogens for better visibility in inclement weather and at intersections. Additionally, all trims get leather door handles with Galvano Silver trim when you choose a leather interior, and a wind deflector is now standard—something that should’ve been a reality since the birth of the Boxster.

With the GTS coming within 20 hp of the Carrera and beating it by a few hundred pounds at the scales, the discussion quickly becomes emotional. Thankfully, it’s a problem we don’t have to solve. As long as you don’t prefer your engine out front, Porsche has a sports car for you.


A CarGurus contributor since 2008, Michael started his career writing about cars with the SCCA - winning awards during his time as editor of Top End magazine. Since then, his journalistic travels have taken him from NY to Boston to CA, completing a cross-country tour on a restored vintage Suzuki. While his preference is for fine German automobiles - and the extra leg room they so often afford - his first automobile memories center around impromptu Mustang vs. Corvette races down the local highway, in the backseat of his father's latest acquisition.

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