The Porsche Boxster – Not so “entry level”

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It isn’t very often that we shine a light on base models. The test cars in papers and magazines are often top-of-the-line models, equipped with all the bells and whistles that consumers are most likely to drool over. The most powerful engine, radar cruise control, bigger wheels; all signs of the “better model.” Normally, I’m one of those people that drools over the features. I love the latest tech, the bigger engines, and the nicer wheels. But not today. After spending some time driving a (fairly) basic Porsche Boxster, I got a taste for just how incredible a “base” car can be.

Let’s define what basic means here, because, well, it’s still a Porsche. This car is a Boxster – no S or GTS following the name. It has the standard 2.7 litre flat-six, a six-speed manual transmission, and just a few items off the laundry list of options that you can request from Stuttgart. So it’s not exactly “base,” but it is what some Porsche owners might call “entry level.”

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And by today’s standards, 265 hp and 5.8 seconds 0-100 isn’t really all that impressive. But here’s the thing. It doesn’t feel “entry level” at all, and I’ve found that it’s all about the feeling.

It’s probably not going to win any races, and honestly, I don’t care. The small flat-six in the Boxster is a lovely engine that sings happily to its redline. The reality is, that unless you spend a lot of time on the track (where this car would be a blast), speed shouldn’t be your biggest concern. Most of the time, this car is going to be driven amongst beige commuter cars and transport trucks, and it’s certainly faster than all of those. It’s a confident car, one that knows what it’s got and how to use it best.

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Porsches are cars for drivers and the real magic happens on quiet back roads. People always look at horsepower, but I think it’s the transmission that makes the car. And let me tell you, this is one of the best manuals you can get right now. It’s smooth, quick, and precise. It’s got rev matching (with sport chrono package) and it really brings this car to life. I forgot how much I missed driving manual until I started driving this car.

Everything in the Boxster works beautifully with the 265 hp it has. The steering, suspension, transmission; everything works so well together that you forget about the power and start to fall in love with something incredibly well engineered. Something that connects you with the roads you drive every day, not just the race track. It’s startlingly good, especially when you look at the starting price.

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If you’re restrained with the options, you can roll off the lot in a brand new Boxster for around 60 grand. That, to me at least, is incredible value. For the same price as a luxury sedan, you can get into a rear-wheel drive, German engineered, mid-engine roadster. One that behaves, sounds, and handles like much more expensive sports cars, and comes with the pedigree of a Porsche. Amazing.

I’ve found that even though it may be seen as entry level, and it may not be the fastest thing on the road, it puts a bigger smile on my face than a lot of other very fast and very expensive cars. There’s something about being able to use every last drop of a car that’s so satisfying.

Most of all, life just seems better from behind the wheel of a Porsche, not matter how much it costs.