Porsche 718 Boxster Review & Prices
Let’s get one thing straight: the Porsche 718 Boxster is a brilliant sports car. It’s just a shame its four-cylinder engine lacks the charm of the six-cylinder models
What's not so good
Find out more about the Porsche 718 Boxster
The Porsche Boxster is a sports car that makes it clear to others that life has treated you well. It’s also quick, brilliant to drive and even relatively economical on fuel, and is an alternative to a BMW Z4 and Audi TT Roadster.
Those first two points come thanks in part to an engine that sits just behind your head and rear-wheel drive, which just happens to be the format F1 teams use in their race cars too. Add to that brakes that can brush off huge speeds time and time again, plus suspension that keeps the car almost completely flat, and there aren’t many convertibles that can keep up with a Boxster in bends.
Even the entry-level model has a 300hp 2.0-litre engine that can hurl the car from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds. The Boxster S meanwhile, has a 2.5-litre engine and 350hp, dropping that time down to just 4.6 seconds while still returning an official fuel economy figure of 35mpg. There’s also a T model with the same power as the entry-level car, but has numerous performance options added, while the range-topping GTS gets a 400hp six-cylinder.
The Boxster’s interior looks better than ever with plastic quality that’s second to none. You can choose from a variety of seat styles, upholstery and trim finishes that let you get everything looking and feeling exactly how you want, although options are not cheap.
You can’t knock the 718 for the way it drives. It goes like a stabbed rat and is so much fun to drive hard around bends
‘Practical’ wouldn’t be a word you would use to describe the interior, but for a two-seater sports car it’s not terrible. The two seats you do get are spacious and the range of adjustability offered by both the steering wheel and driver’s seat make getting comfortable behind the wheel simple. You also get 275 litres of luggage capacity (about what you’d get in a Ford Fiesta) split almost equally between front and rear boots.
Equipment includes a colourful 7.0-inch satellite navigation screen, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that allows you to pair your compatible smartphone and use many of its apps. Porsches sell in too low a volume for Euro NCAP to crash-test them, but cars come with the usual assortment of airbags and stability control that should lower the chances of a crash ever happening.
Expensive options such as adaptive dampers – which let you adjust the suspension to be firm and sporty or soft and comfortable – and a PDK automatic gearbox make the Boxster an even better all-rounder, if you’re prepared to stump up the cash.
The Porsche 718 Boxster is a have-your-cake-and-eat-it type of a car, then. It doesn’t ask you to make too many compromises, and when the right road presents itself there aren’t many cars you’d rather be in. If you’re convinced, make sure to check out our lease deals and our latest used Porsche deals.
The Porsche 718 Boxster has a RRP range of £55,420 to £125,660. Monthly payments start at £766. The price of a used Porsche 718 Boxster on carwow starts at £38,750.
The Porsche 718 Boxster costs more than a BMW Z4 and an Audi TT, and also comes spartanly equipped for a car that costs this much.
That said, with the Porsche you’re paying for the driving experience. It’s got more power than basic versions of either the BMW or Audi, comes with perfect mid-engined balance and has the best brakes of any car at this price point. From behind the wheel, the premium feels worth paying.
The Porsche Boxster isn’t brilliant on long-distance drives, but you’ll forget all about that when you hit corners
The Porsche 718 Boxster is okay to drive in town but if you hate jiggly suspension, it’s worth investing in the optional adaptive dampers with a Comfort mode that does a better job of smoothing out bumps. Low-speed manoeuvring is helped by Porsche’s tight turning circle and brakes that are easy to use smoothly.
How about parking? Well with a small, high-set rear window and a fabric roof where a coupe would have side windows, rearward visibility isn’t great, but the Porsche makes up for this by coming as standard with all-around parking sensors and a reversing camera. The feelsome steering is heavy compared to an Audi TT Roadster or BMW Z4, but the Porsche’s automatic gearbox doesn’t lurch forwards like the Audi’s at low speeds.
Anything else? Well, being able to drop and raise the Porsche’s roof at speeds of up to 31mph is handy if you want to make the most of the UK’s intermittent sunshine when you’re in town.
On the motorway
Motorway driving isn’t as wearing as you might expect in a convertible like the Porsche 718 Boxster. Its double-skin fabric roof does a good job of suppressing wind noise, although you do get a lot of road noise from its wide tyres. The BMW Z4 is the better long-distance cruiser because it has a heavier slant towards comfort.
On a twisty road
Out on a country road, everything about the 718 Boxster feels just right. The steering that feels heavy at low speeds gives you loads of confidence in bends and the Porsche’s mid-engine layout lets it dart into corners and gives you lots of grip powering out of them. Even the stability control does a good job of keeping you safe without feeling nannying. And the brakes? Well, with four-pot callipers on each corner, they're more powerful than either the Audi TT Roadster or the BMW Z4 and the Porsche’s anti-lock-braking system only kicks when it’s really needed, giving you maximum stopping force for longer.
Motoring heaven? It gets very very close, but if you’ve owned a six-cylinder Boxster in the past prepared to be disappointed by the four-cylinder engine noise of basic models in the current line-up.
The Porsche 718 Boxster has a great driving position but it can’t match the storage space of alternatives like the BMW Z4
The Porsche 718 Boxster looks sporty on the outside but it also feels sporty on the inside, and much of this is down to the Porsche’s superb driving position. You can scooch your seat low or have it set pretty high if you prefer an elevated view, and the Boxster’s raised headlights make it easy to position the car’s outer corners on the road.
The steering wheel also has lots of adjustment, and the pedals line up perfectly with your feet and are well spaced, making it easy to heel-and-toe like a racing driver. If you want to.
In terms of interior storage, the Porsche falls behind a more practical sports car like the Audi TT Roadster. The Boxster’s door bins are lidded but small and the storage space in front of them won’t swallow much more than a couple of packets of crisps. Prepare to be underwhelmed by the storage under the front centre console – you’ll struggle to fit a big smartphone in there – although you do get a USB plug for charging.
In more positive news, the glovebox is pretty big and if you thought there were no cup holders, you’re wrong – there are two hidden behind the trim on the passenger's side of the dashboard.
Space in the back seats
There aren’t any!
The Boxster has a boot capacity of 275 litres which is only a few litres less than the Audi TT Roadster or BMW Z. However, the Porsche’s capacity is split across two loads bays.
Two load bays? It’s true; you get your standard boot at the back of the car but, thanks to being mid-engined, the Porsche also has a deep storage space under its bonnet. To make the best use of both ends, it’s best to pack soft bags that can be shaped to fit the space rather than trying to force a hardshell suitcase into place.
The Porsche’s interior looks and feels great, although almost everything is optional and the infotainment system can’t compete with the best alternatives
Everything about the Porsche 718 Boxster’s interior feels sporty. You get a lovely three-spoke steering wheel and behind it a three-dial instrument binnacle with the rev counter sitting bang in the middle. The dashboard itself gets half-oval air vents and the centre console sweeps down between you and your front-seat passenger.
It all feels very well screwed together. There are no creaks and rattles, the centre console is rock solid and touch points like the door handles and (on automatic cars) gearshift paddles are finished in cold-to-the-touch metal.
Want to make your Boxster feel even nicer? No problem, Porsche’s options list is packed with everything from a leather finish for the dashboard to carbon-fibre trims, brightly coloured stitching and Alcantara-wrapped steering.
Unfortunately, you’ll also need to visit the options list if you want to kit your Boxster’s infotainment screen out with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and even sat nav – standard features on the Audi TT Roadster, BMW Z4 and, well, most cars. The Audi and BMW’s infotainment systems are also easier to operate than the Porsche’s touchscreen.
Want a decent stereo? Then its options list time again… The standard eight-speaker system is weak, much better to go for the mid-range Bose stereo which has thumping power and crystal-clear clarity.
You can have your Boxster with a choice of three petrol engines with 300hp, 350hp or 400hp
The basic unit is the 300hp 2.0-litre flat-four fitted to the standard Boxster and sportier Boxster T, where it gives identical performance of 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 170mph. It should be capable of returning maximum fuel economy of around 30mpg and it’ll cost £1420 to tax in the first year. All Boxsters are in the maximum tax band.
Issues? Well, it’s not that easy on the ear. The four-cylinder sounds like it’s beating its exhaust gases into submission rather than emitting an evocative howl like the old six-cylinder model.
Upgrading to the Boxster S doesn’t change that. Its 350hp comes courtesy of a 2.5-litre flat-four that’s quicker – it gets from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds and hits 177mph flat out – but just as devoid of character as the base unit. Fuel economy drops compared to the slower models, with an official best combined figure of 29.4mpg.
If character’s what you crave then it’s hard to look past the 400hp six-cylinder GTS. It has the sound and linear power delivery you’d expect of a Porsche engine which is just as well because it’s not actually that much quicker than the S – 0-62mph takes 4.5 seconds and it maxes out at 182mph. Nevertheless, if you can stretch to the GTS, you’ll not regret it. Efficiency only drops slightly versus the Boxster S, with a best official figure of 28.0mpg.
The Porsche Boxster hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP, but you can expect it to be pretty safe thanks to having a stiff chassis and pair of structural rollover hoops behind your headrests. Active safety kit includes six airbags, and excellent stability control. You can also upgrade the powerful standard brakes for carbon ceramics that won’t fade if you ever take your Boxster to the track. All Boxsters also come with an alarm with interior and tilt sensors.
Porsche tends to score well in owner-satisfaction surveys, although the Boxster has been subject to various recalls for things like suspension joints not tightened to specification, poorly fitting fuel lines and connecting rods that haven’t been built to specification. All can be fixed at your Porsche dealer free of charge if you’re looking at a used model and the work hasn’t already been carried out.
The Boxster comes with a three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty that’s a match for the BMW Z4 and better than the 60,000-mile-limit cover you get with the Audi TT Roadster.
*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.