The Porsche 718 Boxster is the German brand's most straightforward model, and not just because it's positioned at the entry-level end of the lineup. There are just three versions of the Boxster, each built around a different engine, and that's quite an economy compared to the 911 and its myriad variants.
Porsche ditched the Boxster's six-cylinder engine a few years ago, at the same time as it added the 718 label as a nod to Porsche's racing heritage. The replacement was a pair of turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The Boxster uses a 2.0L motor that makes 300 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, while the Boxster S and GTS share a 2.5L good for 350 hp and 309 lb-ft in the S and 365 hp and 309 lb-ft for the GTS. All three engines come mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional.
The GTS is special not just because of its nominal power boost over the S, but for its inclusion of items like a locking rear differential, torque vectoring and active suspension management, all of which help to make this the most capable handler of any Boxster. It's also easy to argue the GTS as a better value than either of the other models optioned out with those items, in spite of the GTS's starting price of $95,000.
Porsche faces some renewed competition this year thanks to the redesigned BMW Z4, which BMW engineered with Toyota, who uses the same underpinnings for its latest Supra. The Nissan 370Z roadster is a natural competitor too. It's an old design relatively speaking, but still offers about three-quarters the performance for about half the price. The Nissan still comes standard with six-cylinder power, and while that V6 engine doesn't sound as good as Porsche's old naturally aspirated flat sixes, its soundtrack might be enough to satisfy purists who miss the Boxster's old engines.
One thing about the Boxster's interior is that unless you pay up for every available option, you will end up with a very good sports car whose centre console gives away all the extras you left out. If you bought the car for its drive, that might not bother you; if you want to show off upscale features, you'll have to reach far beyond the Boxster's starting price ($66,100 for the base model; $81,000 for the S and $95,000 for the GTS) to fill in all the blanks, literally.
Porsche's fuel consumption estimates for the Boxster are 10.5/8.0 with the base model's 2.0L and the seven-speed automatic transmission and 11.0/8.3 with the manual; Boxster S is rated 11.0/8.4 with the automatic and 12.1/9.0 with the manual; and the GTS's estimates are 11.8/9.2 with the auto and 12.3/9.4 with the stickshift.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed