2017 Porsche Boxster Overview
Pros & Cons
- Sensational handling
- Impressive engine power
- Luxurious interior
- Small cargo space
Notable for 2017
- Major midcycle redesign
- New turbocharged engines
- Updated infotainment and interior
Porsche Boxster Rankings and Research
The 2017 Porsche Boxster ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Sports Cars category. Currently the Porsche Boxster has a score of 9.1 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 24 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.
2017 Porsche Boxster Pictures
2017 Porsche Boxster Review
The redesigned 2017 Porsche Boxster tops our rankings for its superb handling and sizzling engine performance. It’s no one-trick pony, though; it also pleases with its first-rate interior, reasonable price, and high predicted reliability.
Is the Porsche Boxster a Good Car?
The Boxster has been the measuring stick of its class for years, defining just how luxury sports cars should feel and perform. That trend certainly continues for 2017, as the Boxster – now referred to as the 718 Boxster – has undergone a substantial redesign. Gone are its predecessor’s six-cylinder engines, replaced instead with a pair of turbocharged four-cylinders. While purists may cringe, that switch translates to more power and quicker acceleration. Few can argue with that.
Some things haven’t changed, however. The Boxster is still supremely agile, capable of turning twisty roads into an everyday rollercoaster ride. Its cabin boasts elegant styling and first-class materials. User-friendly infotainment features are close at hand, and there’s a surprising amount of space for two. Factor in the Boxster’s high predicted reliability and numerous safety features, and it’s not just a good option in this class – it’s the best.
Should I Buy the Porsche Boxster?
Yes, if you’re shopping for a luxury sports car, the Porsche 718 Boxster – or its coupe twin, the 718 Cayman – ought to be at the top of your list. These lithe two seaters hit a sweet spot in this class, delivering nearly all the fun of a Porsche 911 at a fraction of the price.
We Did the Research for You: 22 Pieces of Data Analyzed
While luxury sports cars can be a whole lot of fun, they aren’t exactly cheap. We’ve researched 22 data points to help you make the best buying decision possible. This data includes reliability scores, crash test results, expert reviews, and EPA fuel economy estimates.
The 2017 Porsche Boxster marks a significant redesign of the roadster’s third generation, which debuted in 2013. Updates include revised interior and exterior styling, a new infotainment system, and a switch from six-cylinder engines to four-cylinder turbocharged engines. Porsche now brands both the Boxster and its Cayman sibling under the 718 nameplate.
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How Much Does the Porsche Boxster Cost?
The 2017 Porsche Boxster costs $56,000 in its base trim level, making it much less expensive than its Porsche 911 cousin, which starts at $89,400. Competitors in this class include the Audi TT ($43,500), Mercedes-Benz SLC ($47,950), Chevrolet Corvette ($55,450), Alfa Romeo 4C ($55,900), and Jaguar F-Type ($61,400).
Standard features include a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a 7-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, and a power-operated soft top. The $68,400 Boxster S trim level adds a more powerful 2.5-liter engine. For more information about the Boxster’s standard and optional features, check out the “Which Porsche Boxster Model Is Right for Me?” section below.
Porsche Boxster Versus the Competition
Which Is Better: Porsche Boxster or Porsche Cayman?
The choice couldn’t be simpler: convertible or coupe? Porsche developed the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman together. Both share the same chassis, engine and transmission options, luxe interior, and high-tech features. As expected, they drive and handle similarly, with a slight edge given to the more rigid Cayman. The biggest differences fall into two categories: top and price. The Cayman coupe boasts a fixed hardtop and a $53,900 price tag ($2,100 less than the Boxster). The Boxster features a folding soft top. Both are excellent cars. Which one pulls at your heartstrings?
Which Is Better: Porsche Boxster or Audi TT?
If you’re looking for the superior sports car between the Boxster and the TT, the 718 Boxster wins this one hands down. It’s quicker, it corners better, and it delivers an unparalleled sense of connection with the road. Out of these two choices, it’s the one to have. That said, the Audi TT does have its merits. For one, it’s cheaper but still well-equipped. The TT coupe starts at just $43,500 and the TT convertible starts at $47,000. It’s also more practical, at least as a coupe, thanks to its four seats and rear hatchback. All TT models come equipped with all-wheel drive as well, making it a better option for driving year-round. Although it’s not a top pick in this class, the TT does provide luxury sports car looks and feel at a more palatable price. For some buyers, that’s all that matters.
Which Is Better: Porsche Boxster or Chevrolet Corvette?
Sports cars, if nothing else, must excite and inspire drivers. It’s the measure of their success. Both the 718 Boxster and the Chevrolet Corvette certainly do … they just go about it in different ways. While the Boxster stakes its claim on balance and finesse, the agile Corvette punches a bit harder, courtesy of its 455-horsepower V8. Both are available in the mid-$50,000 price range and can be outfitted with performance-enhancing options like adaptive suspension and carbon ceramic brakes.
The ‘Vette carves out an advantage thanks to its larger trunk, but the Porsche is the more refined of the two. It tops the Corvette with more active safety features, a nicer interior, superior fuel economy, and slightly higher predicted reliability. You can’t go wrong with either, but for the better package overall, go with the Boxster.
How Many People Does the Boxster Seat?
The Porsche 718 Boxster has two seats. Slide inside and you’ll find ample space for both driver and passenger; even taller occupants will find sufficient room to stretch out. Porsche equips base models with two-way adjustable sport seats, which feature power backrest adjustments and manual forward-and-back adjustments. Seating options include 14-way power-adjustable sport seats, as well as 18-way adjustable seats with larger side bolstering. That extra support can come in handy when the roads get curvy.
The 718 Boxster’s low seating position provides ample headroom (even with the top up). When paired with its ascending center console, it gives the cabin that cockpitlike feel. Drop the top and you’ll find miles of headroom – literally. The Boxster’s power-folding soft top raises and lowers in about 10 seconds and can be operated up to driving speeds of 31 mph.
Boxster and Car Seats
The Porsche Boxster isn’t a great option if you regularly plan to transport a young child, as it does not have full LATCH equipment for attaching car seats. Instead, the passenger-side seatbelt has a designated function for safely securing a car seat. A top tether anchor behind the seat is available as a secondary attachment point. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for directions on how to properly install a child seat in the front seat, as the airbags may need to be disabled.
Boxster Interior Quality
Porsche followed the “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” motto when it updated the 718 Boxster’s interior. The minimal changes include slight tweaks to the dashboard, a new steering wheel, and a new 7-inch touch screen. As before, the cabin is elegantly – not lavishly – styled, and soft-touch materials abound. Interior fit-and-finish is excellent, and if you’re looking for your Boxster to stand out from the crowd, you’re in luck. Porsche offers a seemingly endless array of upholstery and trim options.
Boxster Cargo Space
The 718 Boxster has two trunks: one in the front, and one in the back (behind the engine). Don’t expect to fit your golf clubs in either – unless you saw them in half. Joking aside, there is an adequate amount of space. The deep front trunk holds 5.3 cubic feet of cargo and the wide rear trunk holds 4.4 cubic feet. Together, they can swallow a few backpacks, grocery bags, or small pieces of luggage.
Boxster Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation
The 718 Boxster earns great marks for its standard infotainment system, which features a 7-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, and 11 gigabytes of audio storage. Its on-screen menus are simple and very easy to use. The screen also reacts quickly to touch inputs.
For a truly smartphonelike experience, Apple CarPlay is available. It blends your iPhone’s apps and functions with the touch screen. Android Auto is not available, however. Additional options include satellite navigation, Wi-Fi internet access, and two high-end sound systems from Bose and Burmester.
Boxster Engine: Boosted and Baritone
Porsche outfits the 718 Boxster with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which yields 300 horsepower. The racier 718 Boxster S features a larger 2.5-liter engine with 350 horsepower. Both are available with either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic (PDK). Rear-wheel drive is standard.
This engine selection highlights an important distinction for the Boxster (and its Cayman sibling), which have previously been powered by six-cylinder engines only. The switch to four-cylinders and turbocharging has major benefits, but one drawback.
First, the good. The 718 Boxster feels faster than its predecessor, thanks to the low-end punch of power that the turbo supplies. Base models can jet to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, while the Boxster S can make the leap in only 4.2 seconds. This added muscle contributes to better get-up at low and high speeds, and it makes the Boxster a bit more user-friendly. A surge of passing power can be dialed up with a firm press of the throttle rather than downshifting one or two gears.
As before, the Boxster’s manual and automatic transmissions are some of the best in the business. The six-speed manual offers crisp, smooth engagements and is available with a feature that matches engine revs when downshifting. The seven-speed automatic rifles off quick, silky shifts and behaves well even at slow city cruising speeds, which can often trip up these transmissions.
By most measurements, the 718 Boxster is the best of its breed. However, the switch from six to four cylinders has changed the tone of its exhaust. Its predecessor’s six-cylinder wail has been traded for a deeper, throatier roar. Some may miss that shrieking presence – a calling card of this sports car. However, most won’t mind.
Boxster Gas Mileage: Fun, Not Thirsty
The Porsche 718 Boxster delivers good fuel economy for a sports car. Base models equipped with the manual transmission yield 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, while the automatic raises this to 22 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway. The sportier Boxster S is efficient as well, netting 20/26 mpg city/highway with the manual and 21/28 mpg city/highway with the automatic.
A few rivals are more frugal, including the Audi TT (23/30 mpg), Mercedes-Benz SLC (25/32 mpg), and Alfa Romeo 4C (24/34 mpg). One big name isn’t, though: the Chevrolet Corvette. It gets a poor 16/25 mpg city/highway.
Boxster Ride and Handling: A Good Recipe Made Better
The Boxster has always been a joy to drive, and the latest 718 redesign doesn’t change that. Its chassis feels superbly well-balanced. Give the steering wheel a flick and its body reacts instantly, allowing you to place the roadster exactly where you want on the road. Corners are conquered with inch-perfect precision, yet the Boxster instills a sense of security too. While its big brother – the Porsche 911 – can feel untamed, the Boxster feels planted and dialed in.
It’s not all about handling, however. The Boxster’s strong brakes ensure it can stop quickly. Its pliant suspension serves up an easygoing ride that won’t punish over rough city streets, either.
As a Porsche, the Boxster offers many options that can further dial up performance. Porsche Active Suspension Management (or PASM) is one of them. This system adds electronically adjustable shock absorbers, which help to iron out road bumps. The Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) system is also available; it enhances cornering ability by providing brake pressure to the inside rear wheel. A Sport Chrono package adds additional driving settings, launch control, and a stopwatch. Racing-inspired carbon ceramic brakes are also available, but this hardcore stopping power commands an eye-opening $7,400 price.
Is the Porsche Boxster Reliable?
The previous Boxster generation has a sterling reputation for reliability, and the all-new 718 Boxster looks to follow that trend with a great predicted reliability score of four out of five from J.D. Power and Associates. This score matches the 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC and tops the Audi TT, Chevrolet Corvette, and Jaguar F-Type, which earn 3.5 points each.
Porsche Boxster Warranty
The 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile new-car limited warranty. This warranty length is typical among luxury automakers, and it’s matched by the Audi TT, Alfa Romeo 4C, and Mercedes-Benz SLC. That said, the Chevrolet Corvette and Jaguar F-Type are covered with longer five-year/60,000-mile warranties.
Boxster Crash Test Results
We are unable to provide crash test safety scoring for the 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster. Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has published crash test results for the 2017 model year.
Boxster Safety Features
Porsche hasn’t skimped on the 718 Boxster’s advanced safety features. All models come equipped with a rearview camera as well as front and rear parking sensors. Options include blind spot monitoring, adaptive headlights that pivot around turns, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with brake assist. Forward collision warning alerts the driver if a front-end collision looks likely and applies the brakes if the driver fails to do so. Adaptive cruise control can speed up, slow down, or even stop the Boxster, depending on the traffic ahead. The inclusion of those two features is impressive in this class, especially since pricier rivals like the Chevrolet Corvette and Jaguar F-Type don’t offer either.
Which Porsche Boxster Model Is Right for Me?
Porsche offers the 718 Boxster in two flavors: a 300-horsepower base model and a 350-horsepower Boxster S model. While that extra 50 horsepower may be tempting, it comes at a steep $12,400 price bump. You’re better off sticking with the still very enjoyable base model and using that cash to peruse Porsche’s considerable a la carte options list. Just be careful – things can get pricey … and quick.
Optional extras for both models include support for Apple CarPlay ($830), satellite navigation ($1,730), heated seats ($530), ventilated seats ($730), Porsche Active Suspension Management ($1,790), Porsche Torque Vectoring ($1,320), carbon ceramic brakes ($7,400), a 10-speaker Bose sound system ($990), and the Sport Chrono package ($2,085). Blind spot monitoring is available for $690. Adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake assist are bundled for $1,670.
The base 718 Boxster costs $56,000 and features a 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer engine, rear-wheel drive, and a six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is a $3,200 option.
Standard equipment includes a 7-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, six speakers, satellite radio, HD Radio, a CD player, 11 gigabytes of music storage, Bluetooth, two USB ports, a power-operated soft top, partial leather upholstery, power- and manually adjustable sport seats, cruise control, automatic climate control, power windows, a lockable glove box, and heated side mirrors.
The 718 Boxster S costs $68,400 and adds a more powerful 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer engine. Again, a six-speed manual is standard and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is a $3,200 option.
The Final Call
Above anything else, a luxury sports car should excite. The 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster certainly does, and then some. It raises the bar for handling and engine performance in this class, yet also serves up a posh interior, excellent convenience and safety features, and great predicted reliability scores. It’s the complete package in this segment and a must-drive for prospective buyers.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.
- "The new 718 Boxster and Boxster S aren't just worthy of the Porsche badge, I'd venture as far as to say these are the best Boxsters yet." -- Road and Track
- "Now, after driving the 2017 Boxster, we can happily report that Porsche's entry-level roadster is as satisfying as ever. Step up to a Boxster S, and it's downright thrilling." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "It might not be loved universally, at least not immediately, but yes, sir, it's still a Boxster, and that's no bad thing." -- Automobile Magazine
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