At a glance: Porsche 718 Boxster

At a glance: Porsche 718 Boxster
At a glance: Porsche 718 Boxster

The two-seat rear-wheel drive convertible Boxster is the German brand’s cheapest open-top car – and one of the best. In its latest 718 guise, handling is simply brilliant: it has never been better or more engaging to drive.

This is despite new four-cylinder engines that have taken away some of the mechanical excitement. They do perform well though, and acceleration is strong once you get past the low-rev flatness. The 718 Boxster is surprisingly practical as well, although it’s not cheap.

DRIVING

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Performance
• Choose from either 2.0-litre or 2.5-litre engines. Both are turbocharged four-cylinder motors that pull well from low revs despite an uneven delivery below 3000rpm
• Acceleration is hugely potent at higher revs, particularly from the 345bhp S
• The optional seven-speed PDK automatic is excellent – and 718 Boxster accelerate even more quickly when equipped with it

Ride and handling
• With optional PASM adaptive dampers, the 718 Boxster rides exceptionally well for a sports car
• Handling is sublime, with accurate steering that’s packed with feedback, and virtually no body roll
• This is a Porsche that’s at home on all roads. It easily outclasses similar-price rivals

Refinement
• The cabin is very well insulated despite the 718 Boxster using a fabric soft-top instead of a folding hard-top
• With the roof down, occupants are surprisingly well protected from wind blast
• The four-cylinder engines don’t sound as special as the older six-cylinder engines, sadly

IN THE CABIN

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Behind the wheel
• The driving positon is perfect – provided you’re willing to pay for optional seats rather than the standard manual-adjust chairs
• The upright dashboard is clear and easy to use once you’ve understood its logic
• The 718 Boxster can feel a little claustrophobic with the roof up but it’s airy and feel-good with it down

Space and practicality
• This is a two-seater sports car, one that’s accommodating even for taller drivers
• Stowage space is less impressive; the 718 Boxster is not very flexible here
• There are two boots, one in the nose and another at the back of the car. You’ll load a weekly shop but forget about golf clubs

Equipment
• Standard equipment is poor, even on the pricier 718 Boxster S
• A seven-inch touchscreen is standard, but sat nav is not, disappointingly. Neither is DAB or Bluetooth
• You have to fork out extra for key options – because if you don’t, retained values will suffer

BUYING AND OWNING

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Price and running costs
• Prices are high as it’s a premium sports car. But retained values should be strong too
• Don’t expect any sort of discounts
• True MPG is disappointing, given the apparent eco objectives of these new four-cylinder engines. We averaged 28.4mpg in the 2.5-litre S

Quality and reliability
• This may be an entry-level Porsche but the cabin still feels classy and luxurious
• Everything is very high quality and special, outside and in. It’s a cut above its rivals here
• We hope the latest 718 Boxster will prove more reliable than older versions

Safety and security
• Six airbags are standard and even the standard steel brakes are powerful; you can have optional carbon ceramic discs
• It’s disappointing to see Isofix fittings on the front passenger seat are a cost-option
• The 718 Boxster is resistant to break-ins and advanced security kit means it’s hard to steal

Instant verdict: The 718 Boxster is sensational to drive. It’s one of the finest open-top sports cars you can buy today

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