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2015 Porsche Boxster: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader January 2015

Although it's considered Porsche's entry-level sports car, the 2015 Porsche Boxster is hardly inexpensive. Considering that most 911 models cost more than $100K, the Boxster appears to be a comparative bargain, especially considering how close to the 911 it feels from behind the wheel.

The Boxster is available only as a 2-seat roadster and comes standard with a folding fabric top available in four colors. The 1-touch power top can be raised or lowered in only 9 seconds, even while you're traveling at speeds up to 31 miles per hour. Unlike some competitors, the Boxster does not have a retractable hardtop in the interests of packaging and weight savings. For people who prefer their sports cars with a fixed roof, Porsche makes a hardtop coupe version called the Cayman.

What's New for 2015?

Along with an available rear backup camera and parking sensors, a new GTS trim is added to the Boxster menu. The GTS distinguishes itself by adding 15 additional horsepower over the S model, 20-inch Carrera S wheels, sport seats, blacked-out bi-xenon headlights, the Porsche Dynamic Light System and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM).

What We Like

Brisk acceleration; excellent road feel; quick top operation; upscale cabin; surprising luggage space; extensive dealer network

What We Don't

Modest standard equipment; overwhelming number of pricey options; no retractable hardtop option; weak standard audio system

How Much?

$52,395-$105,000

Fuel Economy

For 2015, the standard Boxster's 2.7-liter boxer 6-cylinder engine offers 265 horsepower, while the Boxster S and GTS model's 3.4-liter boxer 6-cylinder engine makes 315 hp and 335 hp, respectively.

Although the Boxster is faster and more powerful than ever before, it's also more fuel efficient, thanks to direct injection, optimized aerodynamics and new fuel-saving systems that cut off fuel when coasting and shut the engine off at stoplights. As a result, the 2015 Boxster achieves an Environmental Protection Agency rating of 20 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway with the manual, and 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy with the PDK automatic. The Boxster S is nearly as good, achieving 20 mpg city/28 mpg hwy with the manual and 21 mpg city/30 mpg hwy with the PDK. The GTS achieves 22 mpg city/31 mpg hwy with the PDK and 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy with the manual.

Standard Features & Options

Porsche offers the 2015 Boxster in three trims: Base, S and GTS. All models come nicely equipped, and in typical Porsche style, offer a dizzying array of options, colors and packages.

The Boxster ($52,395) includes a 6-speed manual transmission, a power retractable top with a glass rear window, automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, Bluetooth hands-free cellphone connectivity, a 4-speaker 50-watt AM/FM/CD/AUX stereo with a 7-in color display, manual seats with power recline, 18-in alloy wheels, power windows, power locks, heated side mirrors, cruise control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and partial leather interior trim.

The Boxster S ($64,295) adds a more powerful engine, 19-in alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlamps and a 7-speaker audio upgrade.

The Boxster GTS ($74,495) brings more horsepower and torque plus 20-in Carrera S wheels, unique exterior body work and lower trim, Porsche Sport Seats, the Sport Chrono package, Porsche Dynamic Light System and PASM.

The options list for both cars is nearly as long as "War and Peace." One of the more desirable options is Porsche's quick-shifting 7-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission with shift paddles, which will run you $3,200. Another $7,400 buys high-performance ceramic brakes. Adaptive suspension, torque vectoring and a Sport Chrono package for the racetrack are also available, though if you add them together with the PDK and ceramic brakes, be sure to budget an additional $16,000 for all these driver technologies, not including any wheel or tire upgrades.

More options include the Burmester audio upgrade, a Carbon Fiber package, adaptive speed control, a carbon and leather steering wheel and Adaptive Sports Bucket seats. Along the way, you can also choose from numerous paint, interior trim and wheel choices. Check off every possible option, and the Porsche Boxster's price can easily exceed $100,000.

Safety

To date, no agency has crash-tested the 2015 Porsche Boxster.

Behind the Wheel

Despite playing second fiddle to the legendary 911 Carrera for the last 15 years, the Boxster has always been delightful to drive. The 2015 model's acceleration is stronger than ever, and it becomes downright thrilling the higher the engine revs climb, particularly with the stronger Boxster S and GTS. Shifting the 6-speed manual transmission is sheer delight if you like manual transmissions and are willing to accept the somewhat firm clutch.

With the optional electronically adjustable suspension in the Comfort setting, the Boxster's ride quality is sporty without being harsh, but it stiffens up with the touch of a button for more road feel and even flatter handling.

Steering has always been a Porsche specialty, and while the 2015 Boxster uses fully electric steering, Porsche has tuned it to be as wonderfully communicative and direct as a hydraulic setup.

A wind blocker between the headrests keeps wind buffeting very low, even when driving fast. With the windows raised and the heated seats activated, top-down driving is possible even on cool nights. The padded, multilayer fabric roof helps insulate the cabin from cold weather as well as from outside noise. With the engine so close to the driver, however, the interior can still get a bit loud at times. If you like performance-car sounds, that may not be a bad thing. An optional sport exhaust system amplifies the engine sound even more (standard on GTS).

Other Cars to Consider

Audi TT -- Audi's stylish TT roadster costs less and is better equipped than the Boxster, but only the 265-hp TTS can keep up with the Boxster from a standing start. However, the TT's front-wheel-drive architecture prevents it from catching the Porsche when it comes to feedback and rewarding driving dynamics.

BMW Z4 -- The BMW Z4 offers a roadster experience that's heavy on luxury at the expense of ultimate sportiness. The sDrive35is model's ability to accelerate to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds makes it nearly as quick as the Boxster S, but its handling isn't quite as precise and its fuel economy is not as high.

Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class -- With its folding metal-and-glass retractable roof, the SLK is heavier and more luxury-inclined than the featherweight Boxster. The SLK55 AMG is downright muscular with its 415-hp V8 and, with a claimed 0-to-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds, it is the only competitor in this set that can keep up with the Boxster S.

Used Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet -- A 2010-2013 911 Carrera Cabriolet offers more performance and features, and it will cost about the same as a well-equipped S or GTS.

AutoTrader's Advice

Thanks to their timeless styling, solid build quality and favorable driving dynamics, prior-generation Boxsters have enjoyed good resale value and may prove to be collectible over time. For 2015, the Boxster is more distinct in appearance, more solid and even more fun to drive, with newfound refinement and impressive fuel economy to boot. The 2015 Porsche Boxster may be considered a good investment that can be enjoyed on every day, especially sunny ones.

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Used 2015 Porsche Boxster
Used 2015 Porsche Boxster
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Porsche Boxster: New Car Review - Autotrader