2009 Porsche Boxster

Consumer Reviews
1 Review
The Car Connection
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Trevor Wild Trevor Wild Author
April 17, 2009

Buying tip

Don’t feel like you need to slap on a lot of options—or even upgrade to the S—to get an enjoyable car. The base version itself is a blast to drive.

features & specs

2-Door Roadster
2-Door Roadster S
19 city / 27 hwy
19 city / 26 hwy

The 2009 Porsche Boxster is exactly what you want it to be: a fast, snazzy modern roadster.

TheCarConnection.com has researched a wide range of reviews from both the enthusiast press and consumer Web sites to bring you the most comprehensive Full Review possible of the 2009 Porsche Boxster. The editors of TheCarConnection.com have also driven the Boxster and include their own driving opinions in this Bottom Line to help you make a smart buying decision.

The 2009 Porsche Boxster is strongly connected to its roots and offers a basic interior and classic styling on the outside. The design lines are clean and look like they could have popped right off the drawing pad.

Porsche's least expensive car, the Boxster comes charged in its base form by a 255-horsepower, 2.9-liter six-cylinder engine, which is coupled to a five- or six-speed manual transmission. Porsche says it will accelerate to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds with the manual, 6.7 seconds with the automatic. The Boxster S sports a larger, 310-hp, 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.

The 2009 Porsche Boxster has 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. Fuel economy is 20 mpg city, 29 highway with the base car, and 18/25 mpg with the Boxster S automatic.

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The cockpit of the 2009 Porsche Boxster is an ideal place to work, too. 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. The controls are arranged neatly, although Porsche's audio systems remain notorious for iffy sound quality and too many buttons.

The 2009 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. 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. A 2009 Special Edition is offered only in Carrera White with black upholstery, light gray striping, and a gray convertible top.

Anti-lock brakes and stability control are standard on the 2009 Porsche Boxster. The Boxster also has standard front, side, and special head-protecting side-impact airbags, which deploy from the doors' windowsills. No U.S. crash tests have been conducted on the Boxster, but from fatality and injury statistics Porsche drivers have a record of faring well in accidents—or avoiding them in the first place!


2009 Porsche Boxster


The 2009 Porsche Boxster certainly looks like a Porsche—which is a pretty spiffy thing to say.

Editors at TheCarConnection.com are big fans of Porsche styling—and you can see it at its best on the 2009 Porsche Boxster. The overall look is elegant and purposeful.

On the exterior, the 2009 Porsche Boxster is pure Porsche. According to Edmunds reviewers, the "2009 Porsche Boxster sports car comes as either the basic Boxster or the massaged, pricier Boxster S," though they "are visually similar except for the additional center front grille opening, red brake calipers and dual exhaust outlets on the S." Motor Trend notes that "in an effort to add masculinity, the new face is dominated by snortier air inlets and headlamps that each get two round beams arranged diagonally like a 917 race car's to impart a more menacing mien." Edmunds reports that base and S-model Limited Edition trims are "basically a retro paint theme with orange paint covering the exterior and parts of the interior." The new Special Edition is offered only in Carrera White with black upholstery, light gray striping, and a gray convertible top. Fewer than 50 Special Editions will be built.

Kelley Blue Book reviewers are also pleased to note "styling carries over from the subtle, but effective muscular enhancement of the fender lines that debuted in 2005." Autoblog says "styling modifications have been minimal, with updates to the front fascia and LED headlamps." Even without those updates, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show universal approval of the exterior styling of the 2009 Porsche Boxster. The classically styled Porsche Boxster "is a roadster designed to be the 'spiritual descendant' of the 356 Speedster and 550 Spyder," surmises Cars.com, and "features large side and front air intakes and a front end that shares a lot of traditional Porsche styling cues."

The interior of the 2009 Porsche Boxster is as fabulous as the exterior. Edmunds reports that "the array of interior controls, especially the audio and climate control systems, can be initially confusing." ConsumerGuide affirms that sentiment, allowing that although "the layout is logical" on the Porsche 2009 Boxster, the "audio and climate systems are governed by too many undersized, look-alike buttons." ConsumerGuide says the "racy design" of the interior "puts the tachometer appropriately dead-ahead on the instrument panel." Kelley Blue Book calls the interior "a modern interpretation of the classic Porsche look—notably the instrument panel."

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2009 Porsche Boxster


The 2009 Porsche Boxster offers incredible performance.

TheCarConnection.com loves driving the 2009 Porsche Boxster. This vehicle is engineered to be fun to drive through and through, and reviewers had nary a comment saying otherwise.

Edmunds reports that the 2009 Porsche Boxster is available with two engine choices: a "3.4-liter flat-6 that's good for 295 hp and 251 pound-feet of torque" on the Porsche Boxster S, while the base Porsche 2009 Boxster has "a 2.7-liter flat-6 providing 245 hp and 201 lb-ft of torque." (Porsche confirms the Boxster S makes 310 hp from the 3.4-liter six, and 255 hp from the base 2.9-liter six.) ConsumerGuide finds that "any Boxster has smooth, ready power for any situation," while "S versions are particularly strong as engine speed rises." Motor Trend points out that the 2009 Boxster's "visual testosterone is backed up with plenty of vitamins H and T from the engine room." Though both engines are strong, the 3.4-liter version powering the Porsche Boxster S receives understandably higher praise. For those who want to know, Motor Trend pegs the base Porsche 2009 Boxster at "5.8 sec" from "0-60 mph," and Edmunds states that a Porsche Boxster S can go "from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds flat and hit the quarter-mile in 13.4 seconds."

The 2009 Porsche Boxster is also available with three different transmission choices: one automatic and two manuals. Edmunds clarifies that the base Porsche Boxster "comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission," while a "six-speed is optional and comes standard on the Boxster S," and "a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control" is optional on both. Motor Trend reports that "thanks to careful retuning of their snarl ... [the Boxster] sounds even stronger" than ever. Although Kelley Blue Book reviewers note "the performance of the Tiptronic S transmission continues to improve," they also recommend that "those physically capable should consider only the ultra-smooth six-speed manual." The manual offerings earn the biggest accolades. AutoWeek reviewers "marvel at how perfect the clutch and gearshift mechanisms work," claiming that "their feel and operation is precisely what all other cars should strive for." As for the automatic, Cars.com says "new hydraulics and electronics make the system quick to respond to driver inputs."

The EPA estimates that a base 2009 Porsche Boxster will get 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway with the five-speed automatic transmission, while the manual bumps the mileage up to 20/29 mpg. On the 2009 Porsche Boxster S, the fuel economy numbers are 18/25 mpg for the automatic and 18/26 mpg for the six-speed manual.

The true performance potential of the 2009 Porsche Boxster is unleashed when the road starts to twist. AutoWeek declares that the "handling is darn near perfect," and for emergency stops, the "brakes are phenomenal." It is during hard driving that Motor Trend claims "no other sports car is more balanced, more rewarding, or more fun." Regarding ride comfort, Edmunds says that "some may find the Boxster's around-town ride too stiff, but it's never particularly harsh." From there, the praise simply keeps coming, as ConsumerGuide reports that the "steering feel is natural, communicative and responsive" and the Porsche Boxster is "rock-steady on straightaways and agile and balanced in corners." Kelley Blue Book adds "the term 'Porsche brakes' has become a synonym for the ultimate in safe, positive stopping."

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2009 Porsche Boxster

Comfort & Quality

The 2009 Porsche Boxster is plenty luxurious. It's also fairly loud—which might be a pro or a con.

Experts at TheCarConnection.com find that the 2009 Porsche Boxster offers plenty of high-end comfort and good materials quality. It's noisy, but many drivers will like it that way.

The 2009 Porsche Boxster has room for "two occupants" to "enjoy leather-upholstered body-hugging bucket seats," according to Cars.com. Kelley Blue Book says seating options include "four leather-covered seating choices" that "range from mainly-manual six-way adjustable standard seats to fully-powered 'adaptive' sport seats." ConsumerGuide adds "the low-slung cockpit is roomy enough for six-footers," and the Porsche Boxster's "seats are exceptionally supportive during aggressive cornering." Edmunds reviewers also love the seats, cooing "seat comfort is extraordinary for both occupants."

Cargo room is surprisingly acceptable in the 2009 Porsche Boxster, which is unusual for a sportscar. Kelley Blue Book cites the Boxster Porsche's "two trunks" among their favorite features, likening it to "having your cake and eating it, too—and then getting seconds." In terms of actual capacity, Cars.com reports that the "cargo compartments at both ends offer a total of 9.9 cubic feet of space." ConsumerGuide says "careful packing takes good advantage of the front and rear cargo bays for more luggage-carrying possibilities than in many two-seaters." Interior storage is not quite as practical as the overall trunk space, and ConsumerGuide indicates that "cabin storage space is very limited," but they also note "clever cubbies hidden inside the door armrests."

The 2009 Porsche Boxster is a luxury performance car, and the luxury aspect definitely shines through when it comes to materials and build quality. Kelley Blue Book reports that the Porsche 2009 Boxster "carries over the major 2005 revamp that stressed roomier accommodations and upgraded materials." Edmunds comments that the Porsche Boxster's "interior boasts premium materials, proper sports car seating and leather everywhere." Cars.com points out an upgrade: "optional heated seats now also include a ventilation function to cool occupants." ConsumerGuide finds that the Boxster's "rich-feeling, carefully assembled cabin materials enhance a sophisticated ambiance."

For all the 2009 Porsche Boxster's luxurious appointments and performance credentials, it can't outrun its one major drawback in this category: loud road and wind noise. For many drivers, however, this is a plus. ConsumerGuide says that the "engine's location behind the seats means more mechanical ruckus than in front-engine designs," though fortunately, the "race-car engine note delights." Motor Trend points out that maximum sound can be obtained via a "sport exhaust system with valves that open a nearly straight shot through each muffler." On the downside, Edmunds reports "top-up wind noise above 70 mph can sometimes be enough to challenge both conversation and the Boxster's sound system." While AutoWeek reviewers lodge a similar complaint, they also claim that the problem is "easily solved by going topless, dropping the hammer and forgetting about all else."

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2009 Porsche Boxster


The 2009 Porsche Boxster is strong in the safety category—even though top-up visibility suffers a bit.

The 2009 Porsche Boxster isn't exactly a bestseller, so it's not been crash-tested by the major U.S. authorities. Safety features, however, are strong all around.

Cars.com states that "in addition to frontal airbags, the Boxster has side-impact torso airbags in the seat backrests, and head-protection airbags deploy upward from the doors." Edmunds reviewers are pleased to find that "standard safety features for the 2009 Porsche Boxster include antilock disc brakes" and "dual thorax/head side-impact airbags and roll-over safety bars." Of the standard safety features on the Porsche Boxster, Kelley Blue Book is most impressed with the Porsche Stability Management System, which they say is as "great for what it doesn't do—interfere with your fun during aggressive driving—as much as what it does—bail you out when the fun stops." Cars.com adds that "a tire pressure monitoring system and an electronic stability system are standard" on the Porsche 2009 Boxster, while the passenger seat offers "weight sensors that disable the front airbags when a child-safety seat is detected."

Driver visibility is a sore point in the 2009 Porsche Boxster. Edmunds mentions there is an optional "park assist" feature on the Porsche Boxster that aids in parking lot maneuvers. This is a big plus, as ConsumerGuide in particular is very critical of the fact that "top-up visibility is severely limited to the corners and aft."


2009 Porsche Boxster


Standard features on the 2009 Porsche Boxster are impressive—but true enthusiasts will flip for the options list.

TheCarConnection.com notes that the 2009 Porsche Boxster is well equipped even when just the basic features are included. The options list is outstanding.

Edmunds reports that the Porsche 2009 Boxster lineup also comes standard with a "fast-operating power top (lowers in about 12 seconds), leather upholstery and a seven-speaker CD stereo." Kelley Blue Book says that the standard features on the Porsche Boxster include "an electrically-heated rear glass window" for quick defrosting. Both base and S Porsche Boxsters also include "variable-intermittent wipers w/heated washer nozzles," according to ConsumerGuide, while the Limited editions sport an "Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel." Motor Trend likes that Porsche has "filled this Boxster with myriad delights like...new sound and nav systems," plus plenty of "technical treasures."

The real action in the 2009 Porsche Boxster comes in the form of a generous options list. ConsumerGuide mentions that the available Sport Chrono Package includes an "analog/digital chronometer," as well as "controls for modification of throttle, suspension, traction control, and antiskid system." Some other highlights on that options list are "19-inch wheels, ceramic composite brakes, full leather/power/heated seats, automatic climate control," and "a navigation system," according to Edmunds reviewers. Kelley Blue Book notes that "Porsche aficionados look forward to personalizing their new Porsches nearly as much as driving them," and to appease them, Porsche offers "an extensive, and expensive, list of options." Cars.com is particularly fond of the "updated PCM Communication Management option that controls the audio, communication and navigation systems." The upgrade, according to the reviewer, is "badly needed." A USB jack is also available. This should solve a problem reported by AutoWeek, which claims that "the 'premium' sound system" is "weak in its ability to tune in and keep FM stations' signals and deliver sound quality."

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February 6, 2016
2009 Porsche Boxster 2-Door Roadster S

Once you've been behind the wheel of this Porsche you will agree with the saying "nothing else comes close!"

  • Overall Rating
  • Styling
  • Performance
  • Comfort & Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy
  • Reliability
I bought this Boxster S with PDK and Sport Chrono to once again experience the agility of a lightweight (under 3,000 lbs) sportscar combined with awesome power and incredible brakes. The 987 Generation II... + More »
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