- Great acceleration
- Breathtaking handling
- Iconic styling
- Er, it's a convertible Porsche?
- Audio systems
- Short on storage areas
The 2008 Porsche Boxster performs brilliantly, and looks and feels the part, delivering a modern take on the classic roadster experience.
The 2008 Porsche Boxster is the car that returned Germany's most famous sportscar maker to its roots. The style is classic rear-engine roadster; in silver, the Porsche Boxster looks like it could have erupted right from a technical drawing pad. The interior looks basic, but the fundamentals are in the right places and trimmed with higher-quality materials than in the original Boxster.
The Boxster, Porsche's least expensive car, comes charged in its base form by a 245-horsepower, 2.7-liter six-cylinder engine, which is coupled to a five- or six-speed manual transmission Porsche says will accelerate to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds with the manual, 6.7 seconds with the automatic. The Boxster S sports a larger, 295-horsepower, 3.4-liter six-cylinder and a six-speed manual gearbox or the five-speed automatic. Its acceleration to 60 mph with the manual is just 5.1 seconds; with the automatic, it takes 5.8 seconds. There's also a 303-hp special edition of the Boxster S, dubbed the RS 60, available this year.
Fuel economy is 20/29 mpg with the base car, and 18/25 mpg with the Boxster S automatic. That's good performance to match the 2008 Porsche Boxster's brilliant road manners. It's an ideal companion for any twisty road--the steering winds in naturally, the brakes are strong and responsive, and the manual transmissions have short-throw shifts.
The cockpit is an ideal place to work, too. The controls are arranged neatly, although Porsche's audio systems are notorious for iffy sound quality and too many buttons. The convertible top is power-operated, the seats are typically firm (bolstered sport seats are an option), and since the engine is mounted in the back, the front hood hides a reasonably large storage area. Equipment is extensive; there's automatic air conditioning with air filtration, a CD stereo, a rear spoiler, partial-leather upholstery, heated washer nozzles, and locking alloy wheels, all standard. The 2008 Porsche Boxster also offers one of the longest lists of available interior and exterior cosmetic tweaks in the business--virtually every switch, button, and knob can be leather-wrapped in any of several finishes, for example.
The 2008 Porsche Boxster has standard front, side, and special head-protecting side-impact airbags, which deploy from the doors' windowsills. Anti-lock brakes and stability control are also standard.