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Okay lets set the record straight. This is the best sports car in the world, its not a poormans porsche, the 996 model 911 was developed from the boxsters chassis, and infact the Boxster S is infact a detuned 911 with engine in the correct place. Its a cheaper car, but in reality its a better car. The 911 is an icon and I know many 911 owners will disagree, but then they have never driven a Boxster S 3.2 (03 year onwards). Yes the early cars where not so quick with a 2.5 but if you want great driver with good performance and only have a small budget this was still the best choice. I purchased a 7,000 mls used 03 model Boxster S, it looked lovely in Silver with navy blue interior and hood, the carrera alloys and the face lift they gave it (Clear lamps and reshape of bumpers, oh yes and glove box) made this the best looking boxster to date, infact I still prefer this look over the new one. This car has all the abliity of the 911 and will infact beat the entry level and next model up of the 911 around a track. I can confirm that it will exceed the 168mph that is stated in the book, I can confirm that when driven normally it returns better fuel consumption than my E-class 320 does, I can confirm that it is also practical for 2 people to go away for a weekend as its got the fron and rear boots, okay the rear being shallow and you may have to purchase another type of travel bag, but it really is good for space when you consider it was not designed for this. Looking at the mechanics, its bullet proof, early ones suffered with oil leaks on the rearmains, but this was sorted out, the brake discs can corrode if you dont use the car for some time, but this will happen to any car. Talking of brakes, the braking system designed for the boxster was then used in the 911, the real only difference, is the rear outer panels, the roof, and the fact the 911 has the engine hanging over the rear, dont get me wrong the days of the rear end going in another direction some how have gone as the 911 of late can handle well and look at what the basic 911 done on the isle man on top gear when raced over 2 miles on twisty roads in the rain, it beat the BMW M6 and ASTON MARTIN, both of which where more powerfull and more expensive, but it did not just beat them, it beat them by 6 seconds!!! that is a large amount, and Jeremy "I Hate Porsche" Clarkson, did not comment, as it proved like little hamster as always said, and its true, Porsche know how to make racing cars, they know how to put that power down onto the tarmac, and this reflects in the Boxster S, I have eaten, Scoobies that have had £7,000 upgrades on them, and when the owner found out the Boxster S was a standard factory car he was very upset, and when you point out that after so many miles the Scooby with its 2ltr and large turbo will one day just snap, the Porsche on the other hand with no turbo, is so refined and designed to last will see you right for many many years, even if you do give it a pasting now and then. Driving wise its a dream, you will not drive another car that is so involving and you feel completley attached, you think motorway driving is boring, beleive me take a Boxster S up a motorway and your soon change your mind. I do not mean that you have to drive fast, you just stay in 6th, but the pull without changing gear is fantastic, this engine is so flexiable it makes you fall in love with the car alone. Drop her down a notch or two and with the roof up you just get the deep roar that I or no one on the planet can explain, you have to experience it, with the roof down you get a completely different noise, its like two cars in one, but I assure you the worst thing you can do is go and try for yourself if you do not have any means of paying for one, as I can tell you once you have driven one you will want one, thats a fact. Those that tell you they tried a Boxster S but thought it was rubbish and not worth the money are simpley talking pooh, they probably did not have the dosh to buy it. Forget all the talk about its a hairdressers car, thats nonsense, that was brought on by jealous freaks, and also 911 owners who did not like the fact that something new and better came out the Porsche Factory!! If you have always wanted a Porsche and you think that you could never afford one, your wrong, you can put down a small deposit and the Porsche finance rates are very competive, infact I was very impressed with the deal I got. You only have to buy the first half if you want and if you intend to buy this and keep it your be happy to pay the last half on when say your 3years are up, or choose another, as your come out okay as this car retains 75% of its value at worst 68%. Okay you need to have the bookd stamped and keep it in good order and a few thousand miles extra on the clock will mean a drop in value as with any super car and I call it a super car as in reality its bordering this league, mls on the clock do greatly effect its price, so if your going to use it everyday and buying second hand you may as well by a cheaper one with more mls than a low mls example and turn it into a higher mls car. As for buying I reccomend now as I originally could not wait for a new one, do not buy one any younger than 3yrs old, its then going to hold its price better, if you want buy a new one thats fine and if you can afford it then great, but if you are not so flush just buy from a porsche specialist or even a warrantied car from auction, go along to Porsche and get a £750 warranty for the year, i doubt your need it but if you did this is the same identical warranty you get with a new porsche and I believe you can have this upto the car has reached the age of 9yrs (check as it maybe more) So in my opinion, if you have 20-27K for one, go for a 03 model onwards 3.2 S in met paint, full leather, carrera alloys, climate/aircon. Crests in head rest nice touch if there there, oh the colour coded centre is a good touch too, as for Bose sound thats a waste of money, your want to hear the car not the bose system, as it is the bose gear is all overated hype anyhow, the main thing is make sure the original paper label is still on the underside of the front bonnet and has not looked like its been masked around or refitted. Check all door and bonnet lines and look down the car standing from the front, just make sure its not been around a lamp post. The only other thing is if its comming up to 48K mls its due a big expensive service. Tyres are not cheap either, your look around £500 for two rear tyres, but once you own it your swallow this simply as its great fun and your want to use it when ever you can. I sold mine to buy another house, but I am comming up 40yrs old in just under 2yrs and on my 40th I am collecting another one from the dealer, this time it will be a 3yr old one as I stated it looks the most sensible time to get one, as its not old but at its lowest price and from this age onwards, holds it value the best. Some will disagree with my review, but I bet you they have never drove one, go on have a go, but remember you need the funds as its better than sex, and your want one. Bad points. People spit in it if you leave the roof down, people give you funny looks as if you have just gone in there house and pissed on there kids, not many will let you out a junction..... reasons for this.... I think maybe you have something they have not, if you can live with this, then enjoy!
Those of you who have seen any of my rambling missives before will know that, in the past I have been the proud owner of a couple of 911’s (a 964 and a 993) and a 968. However, after an eight-month wait, I have just taken delivery of a brand new Boxter S and I thought that I would share my first impressions while they are still fresh in my mind. Initially, I began my search for a one to two year old 996, since any fule knowe that real men drive 911’s and only hairdressers and gurlies drive Boxters. I drove one of the very first Boxter 2.5 demonstrators when they came into the UK and, while I was impressed with the way the thing handled and drove, I was somewhat under whelmed by the performance. Compared to my 993 it felt very flat, even though the engine made a nice sound in the higher rev ranges. Anyhow, in August last year I schlepped down to my local Porsche dealers to blag a drive in their 996 demonstrator. What a motor, it went like stink and was so much more refined than my 993. Unfortunately, there was no way on earth that my long suffering bank manager was going to give me sixty grand to play with so I began looking at the second hand cars in the showroom. Stuart, my friendly Porsche salesman suggested that I give the (then new) Boxter S a try. Reluctantly I agreed and we took their demonstrator out for a spin. What a revelation! In truth, the car blew me away. They tell me that the 996 is half a second quicker to sixty than the S, but I drove them back-to-back and I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. In addition, the 996 felt a lot bulkier on the road and a lot less agile. The Boxter S by comparison was an absolute delight to chuck around, feeling almost idiot proof. So, carpe diem and all that rot, and down went my grand deposit for a build slot. Then I had nothing to do but wait until 12 weeks before delivery when they would give me a call about colours and options. So, since this was August and my ne w car wasn’t going to be built until April I went home and tried to forget about it. The “Boxter” was first unveiled at the 1993 Detroit motor show as a design exercise in order to gauge public reaction. The brainchild of two young Porsche designers, Grant Larson (exterior) and Stefan Stark (interior), the production car is surprisingly faithful to the original design. It takes its design cues from the groundbreaking Porsche 550 of the mid-late fifties (the one that killed James Dean – but you lot will be far too young to remember that). Unlike its big brother, the 911, the engine and gearbox are rotated through 180 degrees to give a true mid-engined configuration. The S is the most powerful variant to date. Personally, I think that Porsche have created a big problem for themselves with the Boxter S. Whisper this but… it is a better car than the 911… Shhhhhh! The little Boxter with it’s 2.5 (and later 2.7) motor was fine because it was a thirty grand car that looked nice but couldn’t get anywhere near the mighty 911 when it came to performance. The S, on the other hand, is a forty grand car that will, in the right hands, piss all over a 911 point to point. Think about it. Twenty grand less for a better car – talk about shooting yourself in the foot - Ouch! Already, the speed shops such as TechArt and the like are tweaking up Boxter S engines to give around 300 BHP. What price your 911 now (and remember, I am a die-hard 911 anorak who has loved them all his life)? So, I don’t know why they built the S. Many Porsche owners (certainly the ones I know) are not super rich guys who can afford to throw their money around willy-nilly. In truth, many of them have worked their cahones off in order to scrape together the dosh to run the car of their dreams. Result – at least three of my mates are trading in their 964’s and 993’s for Boxter S’s. In the long run, this can’t be good for 911 sales can it? Where was I? Oh yes, waiting for my new motor. February eventually arrived and I received a phone call from the ever-friendly Stuart. “What colour and bits do you want then?” You see, when you order a Porsche, the first thing you do is to buy a “build slot”. Now, at that point, nobody cares about the actual car since it’s just an agreement between you and the waiting list. Porsche don’t actually accept the order onto the factory ‘till about 12 weeks before delivery. Also, at this point you have to make up the deposit to at least 10% of the value of the car – so they get real interested in the options and such like. OK, base car thirty-six big ones. Hang on, that’s a lot more than a Boxter, so what extra do you get for your money in the S? Well, for a start you get a detuned version of the 996 Motor with a full 3.2 Litres instead of the Boxter’s 2.7. That’s 257 BHP as opposed to 223. Also you get brakes and gearbox (if you chose manual) from the 996 and bigger 17” alloys (16” on the standard car). Finally, the inside’s a bit nicer, sporting half leather and climate control. Oh, and you get an “S” on the boot lid (made from titanium no less). I set myself an all-up budget of forty grand, which I thought would get a nice motor but wouldn’t take me over the top. So I chose a non-metallic colour (red – no cost option), sports seats, cruise control (I do a lot of motorway driving), heated seats (‘cos I’m a soft bugger), wind deflector (had to have a lie down over that one – £270 for a piece of polycarbonate for Christ’s sake!), upgrade to CD player, and a CD storage thingy, oh, and those cute Porsche emblems embossed into the leather on the head restraints. That was the plan anyway, however Stuart talked me into having full leather on account of the fa ct that the sports seats came “for free” with that option (I admit it – I am a salesman’s dream). With the VAT this brought the whole package to £41,258, more than I had planned but what the hell, it’s only money. May finally arrived and Stuart called me to let me know that they had received the car (oh joy!) and could we talk about final options? “What kind of final options?” They wanted me to have a tracker fitted, the whole car treated with something called Scotchguard (I never go to Scotland) and to take out insurance against punctures. I called my insurance company and asked if they would give me any discount for tracker and they said “No” since the car had a Thatcham one alarm on it anyway. So that went in the bin. I called the chief mechanic at the Porsche dealer and asked him if this Scotchguard stuff was any good and he said that it was if you did a lot of motorway work (which I do) so I bought that. However, I will show my arse in Burton’s window before I ever buy tyre insurance!!! What a load of nonsense. Final bill for the car? £41,557 (£299 for the Scotchguard – it better be bloody good that’s all I can say). Ok, I admit it. 2000 miles on and I am smitten with this car. It is without question the mutt’s nuts. I don’t think that I have ever driven anything, which has given me more pleasure (and I have owned all sorts of stuff over the years). On balance, I would say that the build quality is not quite up to the standard of say, BMW, but it is still very, very good. The car is comfortable, quiet and, most of all, rocket ship quick. The way it goes around corners has to be experienced to be believed. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the best sports car in the World for the money and, barring Italian exotica, maybe the best full stop.
Porsche is a top car manufactures. The cars are sporty with raw power. This particular model is very good at corners. It is very reliable and has great style although it is a the lower end of the Porsches. It has a great rev up it does not have great comforts but that is not why you buy a Porsche for. It cost enough and is classy and is a good buy. The Porsche will say you can afford a lot of things
I do not know if people tend to look at this car as simply a poor man's Porsche. When you are driving it however, it really does not matter. It is very fast, handles predictably, and with the top down and the sun shining - life always seems good. It is not a car for creature comforts and is hopeless if you have friends... "you guys get a taxi and we will meet you there"... but then it never promised to be a station wagon.