Porsche 718 Boxster Quick Review

By Andy Enright, 12 Apr 2016 Car Reviews

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Porsche 718 Boxster Quick Review

Porsche’s Boxster looks sleeker than ever, delivers better economy and stacks more performance, and the prices have remained competitive. Where’s the catch?

Boxster first arrived twenty years ago and has got better with each successive generation. The latest car – now badged the 718 Porsche Boxster to celebrate the 1957 Porsche 718 roadster – could be the most compelling offer yet.

PLUS

Styling: The last Boxster was a handsome thing but the 718 moves the game on, Porsche’s designers making the car look wider, lower and curvier. Only a couple of exterior parts are carried over, and you’ll love the slick 3D Porsche lettering at the back and the slick new headlights up front.

Ease of driving: The 718 ditches the old six-cylinder engines for downsized turbocharged four-cylinder units. Doing this makes the Boxster a whole lot more tractable and easier to drive, especially if you specify it with the slick PDK auto gearbox that over 90 percent of customers will choose.

Practicality: You don’t always expect a two-seater roadster to have a practical side, but you can get a surprising amount of gear in the front and rear boots of the Boxster.  An updated entertainment system is fitted that can be optioned to work with Apple CarPlay and here in Australia we get goodies like sat nav, digital radio and front and rear park assist as standard.

Economy: The switch to turbocharged engines means the 718 Boxster is a whole lot more economical than what went before. Choose the base car with a PDK gearbox and it’ll return 7.0L/100km, which is better than a Volkswagen Scirocco. Opt for the more powerful 718 Boxster S with PDK and that figure eases out to 7.3L/100km.

MINUS

Sound effects: If you liked the way that old Porsche engines sound, this one takes a bit of getting used to. It doesn’t yowl when you really extend the engine, instead opting for a deeper growl. It’s not unpleasant – just different.

Options pricing: Luckily Porsche Australia has been able to offer the cars with a fairly decent equipment level. That hasn’t always been the case in the past, but the 718 Boxster can get expensive if you start ticking options boxes. You want a garage door opener? That’ll set you back $720. Different coloured dials? $1150. The optional Burmester stereo? $8790. Ouch.

RIVALS TO CONSIDER

Ritzy roadsters aren’t thin on the ground. The Boxster has long been the benchmark, but if you’re in the market, also consider the Mercedes-Benz SLK, the BMW Z4, the Audi TT Roadster and the Jaguar F-Type. The 718 Boxster is still probably the best all-rounder, but choose the Jag for the rorty soundtrack, the Audi for the slickest interior, the Mercedes for a calm sense of serenity and the BMW if you root for a punchy underdog.