Both models are available with either a six-speed manual (no seven-speed manual like you'll find in the Porsche 911), or a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters. For the enthusiast, the manual might make sense, but the PDK is nearly as fun and far easier to drive quickly, both on track and around town.
Power isn't the Boxster's main attraction, despite having plenty of it. It's handling that draws in a Boxster buyer, and the 2013 model takes advantage of a lighter, stiffer chassis and bespoke tires to make the most of Porsche's long-standing know-how when it comes to dynamics. Electric power steering numbs the feel ever so slightly, but it's easily among the two best such systems we've tested—the other belonging to the 911. All-around, the 2013 Porsche Boxster shines as the leading example of sporty handling in its class.
For models equipped with the adjustable suspension system (Porsche Active Suspension Management, or PASM), the driver-selectable "comfort," "normal," and "sport" modes allow tuning the suspension compliance to the task at hand.