Porsche Boxster (2012-2016) review - all the sportscar you might ever need

The ultimate open top sports car?

evo Verdict

If the aim is to have a sportscar that covers all the bases, little can touch the Boxster. True, a Lotus Exige S might offer a more tautly calibrated driving experience - as, to a degree, does the Boxster’s hard top sibling, the Cayman. There are other competitors with bigger engines wrapped in more glamorous bodywork. And some that will give you more kit and gadgets for the money.  In a sense, the Boxster finds itself in market sector defined by specialist talents. But because the Porsche delivers excellence so generously in all areas, it’s hard to regard the opposition as anything other than compromised.  To drive, the Boxster is up there with the very best, as an ownership proposition, it simply has no peers.

>Read our Boxster Spyder review here, and our Boxster GTS review here.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

evo Tip

The facelifted 2016 Boxster and Cayman are bound to be special cars but word is they won’t be powered by naturally-aspirated flat-six engines but turbocharged ‘fours’ in the quest for cleaner emissions. So if you love the flat-six, best not hang around.

Video

You can see our Porsche Boxster video review below

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

evo Comment

The Boxster is phenomenally recommendable. It does so much so well with such iron confidence and effortless panache it's almost impossible, as a buyer, not to end up way ahead of the game. On top of which, it’s beautifully built and finished and has an electric hood so slick it makes most of the competition’s look slow and over complicated.

To drive, it’s a car that feels uncannily open and direct with beautifully clean responses, an almost palpable sense of immediacy and wonderful balance. In these respects, even the 911 falls short of the standards the Boxster sets.  Put all-out performance to one side and the Boxster is the best open top car Porsche has ever made.

'The GTS is Porsche’s most focused Boxster this side of the wondrous Spyder. It costs £5844 more than a standard Boxster S and sits at the top of the range. Also, it looks absolutely fan-bloody-tastic – to our eyes, at least.

But why bother with the GTS? Well, you get 325bhp and 273lb ft – making it 14bhp and 8lb ft punchier than the S – and you also get the kudos of the GTS badge. Whether that matters to you is your call, but the GTS does drive and feel like a very special car – more so than the S.' Nick Trott, editor (evo 203).

Performance and 0-60 Time> Both the 2.7-litre and 3.4-litre S love to rev; both also produce a familiar and addictive flat-six tone - a proper sports car soundtrack.

Engine and Gearbox> Before the turbo 'fours' arrive, the current-gen Boxster's flat-six engines provide plenty of top-end power, but lack the mid-range torque of boosted rivals.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Ride and Handling> The Boxster is a cut above similarly priced rivals when it comes to chassis performance. Balance, poise and composure are words that circulate the mid-engined sports car.

MPG and Running Costs> Stop/start is standard across the range and more than 34mpg combined is possible - so the Boxster mixes strong performance with respectable running costs.

Prices, Specs and Rivals> Though its starting price ranks it alongside well specced BMW Z4s and Mercedes SLKs, the Boxster's superior all-round performance makes it easy to justify the premium.

Interior and Tech> Porsche is an expert at ensuring all of its control weights are just right - and the Boxster is another success story. Not the most tech-heavy car in its class, but you couldn't exactly say the cabin was lacking.

Design> Many label the Boxster as Porsche's prettiest car. We'd say it peaks in Spyder guise, but even the most basic of models looks purposefully attractive.

Find used Porsche Boxster's for sale on the Classic and Performance Car site here.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement

More on Boxster

Visit/porsche/boxster/6232/porsche-boxster-987-buying-guide
Porsche Boxster convertible

Porsche Boxster 987 buying guide

The 987 Boxster is one of the most coveted sports cars of a generation, but can you tell all the variants apart? Get clued up here.
26 May 2018
Visit/porsche/718-boxster
Porsche Boxster convertible

Porsche 718 Boxster review - was swapping two cylinders for a turbo a good idea?

Dynamically superior to the previous Boxster, its problems lie in the engine bay.
8 Jun 2017
Visit/porsche/boxster/17792/porsche-718-boxster-review-why-everything-porsche-touches-doesn-t-always-turn
Porsche Boxster convertible

Porsche 718 Boxster review – why everything Porsche touches doesn’t always turn to gold

The once untouchable Boxster has come unstuck, swapping a naturally aspirated 'six for a poor sounding, poorly performing turbo ‘four
30 May 2016
Visit/porsche/boxster/17105/porsche-718-boxster-and-cayman-new-names-new-four-cylinder-engines
Porsche Boxster convertible

Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman - new names, new four-cylinder engines

A new naming scheme also previews new turbocharged four-cylinder powerplants in its mid-engined sports car range
10 Dec 2015
Advertisement
Visit/porsche/boxster/15065/porsche-boxster-to-get-club-sport-treatment
Porsche Boxster convertible

Porsche Boxster to get Club Sport treatment

Porsche has been spied testing a lightweight version of its Boxster
26 Jan 2015
Visit/porsche/boxster/14790/porsche-boxster-gts-981-review-2014-2016
Porsche Boxster convertible

Porsche Boxster GTS 981 review (2014-2016)

UK drive of the Porsche Boxster GTS that packs the pick of the options list as standard
5 Dec 2014
Visit/porsche/boxster/14083/porsche-boxster-buying-checkpoints
Porsche Boxster convertible

Porsche Boxster buying checkpoints

A sales success for 14 years, there are plenty of second-hand Porsche Boxsters to choose from. We tell you how to spot a good one
18 Apr 2013
Visit/porsche/boxster/7175/porsche-boxster-s-sport-suspension-review
Porsche Boxster convertible

Porsche Boxster S Sport Suspension review

Porsche is set to introduce a new optional sports suspension kit which turns the Boxster S into the hardest cored version of the roadster yet
21 Aug 2012
Visit/porsche/boxster/12169/all-new-porsche-boxster-revealed
Porsche Boxster convertible

All-new Porsche Boxster revealed

At last! Official pictures of the 2012 Porsche Boxster, the third iteration of the sub-911 sports car
12 Jan 2012
Visit/porsche/boxster/11751/porsche-boxster-e-electric-sports-car
Porsche Boxster convertible

Porsche Boxster E electric sports car

Porsche's fastest accelerating Boxster roadster is a new battery powered electric version, the Boxster E
26 May 2011
Advertisement
Visit/porsche/boxster/9942/porsche-boxster-s
Porsche Boxster convertible

Porsche Boxster S

Porsche has a new, more powerful Boxster S. Henry Catchpole takes one to an Austrian hillclimb and retraces the wheeltracks of one of its illustrious …
11 Mar 2009
Visit/porsche/boxster/9766/porsche-boxster-mk3
Porsche Boxster convertible

Porsche Boxster Mk3

All-new Porsche Boxster roadster spied out testing
26 Jan 2009
Advertisement
Visit/porsche/boxster/8063/porsche-boxster-porsche-boxster-s
Porsche Boxster convertible

Porsche Boxster: Porsche Boxster 'S'

Updated Boxster engine for the 'S', plus Lexus tops customer satisfaction survey
5 Jul 2006
Visit/porsche/boxster/7414/porsche-boxster-s
Porsche Boxster convertible

Porsche Boxster S

Recently, and in the space of a month, the Boxster's hood failed - three times - and on a long journey home, fourth became the gear of choice. The onl…
5 Nov 2004
Visit/porsche/boxster/7438/new-boxster-raises-game
Porsche Boxster convertible

New Boxster Raises Game

It takes more than a casual glance at these photographs to realise that this is actually the new Porsche Boxster that goes on sale in the UK from Nove…
5 Oct 2004