- Excellent build quality
- Lower trims don't perform as well
- Stiff suspension
- Lost charisma from previous models
What's the Porsche Boxster 718 like?
Driving either is so special it’s like the first day of the holidays - or a win on the Euromillions.
These superb machines react almost instantaneously to your every input and seem to become part of you – almost like an extension of thought.
They are just as much icons as the 911 – intoxicating driver’s machines that are very nearly perfect.
The way the soft-top Boxster can cover the ground in the hands of an expert is a revelation, and the smooth Cayman coupe is every bit as good.
Having been lucky enough to take one or two out on circuits - and be shown how good they are by Porsche experts – believe me.
I’ll concentrate on the Boxster, but all details refer just as much to the coupé.
The latest 718 model was a drastic change from those previously available because the Standard and S models at the lower end of the range have 4-cylinder turbocharged engines of 2.0 and 2.5 litres.
These might have lost a little of the charisma of the earlier six cylinder models, but they offer almost identical performance.
The 2.0-litre has 295bhp and goes from 0 to 60mph in 4.9 seconds while being capable of 32mpg.
The S 2.5-litre comes with 345bhp and drops the sprint to 4.5 seconds while managing a best of 28mpg.
Upper models are also still available with a 4-litre flat six which boasts 394 or 414bhp, and covers the sprint in 4.4 or 4.3 seconds while managing a best of 26mpg.
The range consists of Standard Trim, which is only available with the 2.0-litre engine, ‘S’ which has lowered and more sporting suspension plus the 2.5-litre engine, and ‘T’, which has the 2.0-litre engine and the ‘S’ chassis.
The GTS is available with 2.5 or 4.0-litre engines, and the Spyder only with the more powerful version of the 4.0-litre.
Most models are also very refined and surprisingly comfortable for out-and-out sporting machinery – which often trades comfort for stiffer suspension to improve handling and grip.
With this brilliant combination of assets, it’s a car that can easily be used every day, as well as giving maximum fun at weekends.
With outstanding acceleration figures, all the models are huge fun, but it’s the combination of amazing pin sharp handling, uncanny roadholding and performance that makes the car stand out head and shoulders above most others.
Equipment and Practicality
Other open topped cars now use a folding metal roof that usually cuts a large amount of boot space when stowed.
But Porsche has stuck to an electric fabric roof that takes up much less room and doesn’t impinge on boot space at all – a big plus.
Also, the roof only takes a few seconds to put up or down, and can be operated up to about 30mph when a sudden shower comes down.
The standard gearbox is an excellent six speed manual that’s a joy to use, but there’s also the PDK automatic, with paddles behind the steering wheel to do the changes yourself.
Standard trim brings electric heated leather sports seats, alarm, sat nav, traction control, air conditioning, cruise control and parking sensors.
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Build quality has always been a Porsche watchword, and the Boxster is no exception. Everything is well-designed and robust so that given proper regular servicing, many last well beyond 100,000 miles without major problems.
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