It's a bit of oversimplification, but the Boxster is so convincing in its style because it's so close to the original Porsche Spyders, seen through modern eyes.
The Boxster's classic, clean lines and flowing fenders seem to erupt right from the design studio--or from a historic collection. It's a little subdued, like a timeless piece of fashion, and hasn't been updated much since it was new in the mid-2000s--but the Spyder version makes up for that with bodacious "Porsche" script down its sides, if you want. The only cues that don't come off as well as they could, or should, are the big air intakes on the nose. They're functional holes that cool the brakes and smooth airflow, but they're also a distraction from the Boxster's smoothly sculpted nose and its elliptical headlamps.
Sitting at the controls, the Boxster's more functional side takes over. Ergonomics are a bit messy, but the basic shapes are familiar and friendly enough, down to the ignition on the left side of the steering wheel. Lots of small buttons dot the dash, and a chintzy cupholder pops out of a flimsy plastic trim panel--but then, the dash can be slathered in leather trim or highlighted with aluminum. The Boxster's big tachometer sits front and center--and that sends the clearest message of all the gauges of this roadster.