2010 Porsche Boxster Review

Consumer Reviews
2 Reviews
2018
The Car Connection
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Nelson Ireson Nelson Ireson Senior Editor
December 28, 2009

The 2010 Porsche Boxster is a fun, attractive, and capable roadster-everything you want it to be.

TheCarConnection.com has researched a wide range of reviews from enthusiast and consumer sites around the Web to bring you a comprehensive Full Review of the 2010 Porsche Boxster. TheCarConnection.com's editors have also driven the Boxster and included their own driving opinions in this Bottom Line to help you make the most informed buying decision possible.

Classic styling and a simple interior show the 2010 Porsche Boxster's strong connections to its sports car heritage. Clean lines and flowing curves look like they have sprung to life from the designer's table. An all-new model, the Boxster Spyder, ups the performance ante this year, as a more hardcore, lightweight performance version above the Boxster S, and it gets an appearance package including unique graphics to distinguish it at first sight.

Though it's Porsche's least expensive car, the Boxster is anything but cheap or cheaply made. Its base engine, a 255-horsepower 2.9-liter flat-six-cylinder, can be paired with either a six-speed manual transmission, or the high-tech seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) dual-clutch automatic transmission. Acceleration with either is brisk, with Porsche quoting 5.8-second 0-60 mph runs for the manual and 5.5 seconds with the PDK. An optional Sport Plus package trims the PDK's time down to a mere 5.3 seconds.

Review continues below

The Boxster S is propelled by a larger, 310-horsepower, 3.4-liter six-cylinder available with the same transmissions as the standard Boxster. It accelerates to 60 mph with the manual is just 5.0 seconds; with the PDK, it takes 4.9 seconds, and with the Sport Plus package, that's shaved to a scant 4.7 seconds.

The all-new Boxster Spyder gets another bump in output to match the hardtop Cayman S at 320 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Weight for this highest-performance Boxster variant is trimmed to just 2,811 pounds, 176 pounds lighter than the Boxster S it's based on. That's enough to clip 0.2 second off the 0-60 mph times. A standard limited-slip differential and 20 mm lower sport suspension make the Spyder even more responsive. To get the weight savings, though, Porsche offers some concessions to comfort; the air conditioning is removed, and lightweight seats replace the comfortable but heavy standard-issue items. External weight-saving changes include the removal of daytime running lights and fog lamps, and the electric-powered soft top is swapped out for a manual version.

No matter which version you choose, the 2010 Porsche Boxster has brilliant road manners. Whether you're attacking a twisty back road or cruising the boulevard, the steering is natural, brakes strong and intuitive, and the manual transmission shifts with ease. Fuel economy is 19/27 mpg city and highway for the base Boxster with the manual, or 20/29 mpg with the PDK. The Boxster S scores 19/26 mpg with the manual and 20/29 with the PDK. The all-new Spyder hasn't yet been rated by the EPA.

You'll love the work environment of the 2010 Boxster, too. In all but the Spyder, the power convertible top is easy to use, the seats are well-bolstered with available sport seat upgrades, and the low front hood hides a decent amount of cargo space. Easy-to-use controls are placed conveniently at hand, and though the audio system leaves a bit to be desired and offers too many buttons to manage it, the experience isn't spoiled. In typical Porsche style, the Boxster's interior can be tweaked and tuned to fit almost any individual's style. A wide range of finishes, materials, trims, and themes can be chosen or designed by the buyer.

The list of standard equipment is extensive, exceeded only by the options available. Air conditioning is standard on all but the Spyder, as is a CD stereo, rear spoiler, partial-leather upholstery, heated washer nozzles, and locking alloy wheels.

Safety equipment is abundant, too, with standard anti-lock brakes and stability control, plus front, side, and head-protecting side-impact airbags mounted in the door window sills.

The Boxster hasn't been subjected to crash testing by either the IIHS or NHTSA, but fatality and injury statistics from accident data show Porsche drivers have historically fared well in accidents or managed to avoid them altogether.

10

2010 Porsche Boxster

Styling

The 2010 Porsche Boxster ties modern styling with classic Porsche cues for a very successful end result.

Editors at TheCarConnection.com are big fans of Porsche styling-and you can see it at its best on the 2010 Porsche Boxster. Classic styling and a basic interior show the 2010 Boxster's strong connections to its sports car heritage. Clean lines and flowing curves look like they have sprung to life from the designer's table.

The 2010 Porsche Boxster is instantly recognizable as a Porsche. Edmunds notes that the Boxster and Boxster S "are visually similar except for the additional center front grille opening, red brake calipers and dual exhaust outlets on the S." An all-new model, the Boxster Spyder, ups the performance ante this year, as a more hardcore, lightweight performance version above the Boxster S, and it picks up an appearance package, including unique graphics to distinguish it at first sight.

Motor Trend argues that the Boxster has been designed to "add masculinity" to the car's previous shape, with "snortier air inlets" and headlights that resemble a "917 race car's." Kelley Blue Book reviewers welcome the continuation of the 2005 update that brought a "subtle, but effective muscular enhancement of the fender lines." Autoblog calls styling changes over recent years "minimal."

Even without major updates, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show near-universal appreciation of the exterior styling of the 2010 Porsche Boxster. The Boxster "is a roadster designed to be the 'spiritual descendant' of the 356 Speedster and 550 Spyder," says Cars.com, and its "large side and front air intakes and... front end" exhibit many "traditional Porsche styling cues."

In typical Porsche style, the Boxster's interior can be tweaked and tuned to fit almost any individual's style. A wide range of finishes, materials, trims, and themes can be chosen or designed by the buyer.

Edmunds, however, notes that due to complex controls "the audio and climate control systems can be initially confusing." ConsumerGuide agrees, pointing out that although "the layout is logical," the 2010 Boxster's "audio and climate systems are governed by too many undersized, look-alike buttons."

Once you get past that minor hitch, however, ConsumerGuide says the interior's "racy design" puts the all-important rev-counter "appropriately dead-ahead on the instrument panel." Kelley Blue Book adds that the interior can be seen as "a modern interpretation of the classic Porsche look-notably the instrument panel."

Review continues below
9

2010 Porsche Boxster

Performance

The 2010 Porsche Boxster offers incredible performance.

TheCarConnection.com loves driving the 2010 Porsche Boxster. Though it's Porsche's least expensive car, it's anything but cheap or cheaply made. Its base engine, a 255-horsepower 2.9-liter flat-six-cylinder, offers plenty of fun despite its entry-level position. ConsumerGuide finds that "any Boxster has smooth, ready power for any situation." Motor Trend says the 2010 Boxster's "visual testosterone is backed up with plenty of vitamins H and T from the engine room."

All Boxsters are available with either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch automatic transmission. Acceleration with either is brisk even in the base Boxster; Porsche quotes 5.8-second 0-60 mph runs for the manual and 5.5 seconds with the PDK. An optional Sport Plus package trims the PDK's time down to a mere 5.3 seconds. Cars.com likes the transmission overall, but comments "the regular and Sport modes are too far apart." Car and Driver raves about the transmission and notes that the optional Sport Chrono package adds launch control and a special Sport Plus setting for the PDK transmission that eschews the system's typical driver-learning mode, instead "adopting max-performance-oriented racetrack programming."

The Boxster S is propelled by a larger, 310-horsepower, 3.4-liter six-cylinder. Its acceleration to 60 mph with the manual is just 5.0 seconds; with the PDK, it takes 4.9 seconds, and with the Sport Plus package, that's shaved to a scant 4.7 seconds. ConsumerGuide says the "S versions are particularly strong as engine speed rises."

The all-new Boxster Spyder gets another bump in output to match the hardtop Cayman S at 320 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Weight for this highest-performance Boxster variant is trimmed to just 2,811 pounds, 176 pounds lighter than the Boxster S it's based on. That's enough to clip 0.2 second off the 0-60 mph times. A standard limited-slip differential and 20 mm lower sport suspension also makes the Spyder even more responsive. To get the weight savings, though, Porsche had to make some concessions to comfort; the air conditioning is removed, and lightweight seats replace the comfortable but heavy standard-issue items. External weight-saving changes include the removal of daytime running lights and fog lamps, and the electric-powered soft top is swapped out for a manual version.

Motor Trend reports that "thanks to careful retuning of their snarl ... [the Boxster] sounds even stronger" than ever. Kelley Blue Book reviewers recommend "the ultra-smooth six-speed manual" transmission for pure enjoyment, though the new PDK transmission offers better speed and greater convenience. It's not your average manumatic, either. Cars.com says, "[a]s far as shift speed goes, PDK has it down," though they do fuss about the "oddly shaped push-pull buttons that protrude upward from the spokes just inboard of the wheel" used to shift the PDK gearbox. Car and Driver calls the Boxster "one of the world's best cars" and goes on to say that the "PDK dual-clutch automated manual gearbox only make[s] it more so." That's not to say the manual is chopped liver. AutoWeek reviewers "marvel at how perfect the clutch and gearshift mechanisms work," arguing that "their feel and operation is precisely what all other cars should strive for." Kelley Blue Book also has high praise for the Boxster's brakes, remarking "the term 'Porsche brakes' has become a synonym for the ultimate in safe, positive stopping."

No matter which version you choose, the 2010 Porsche Boxster has brilliant road manners. Whether you're attacking a twisty back road or cruising the boulevard, the steering is natural, brakes strong and intuitive, and the manual transmission shifts with ease.

Knowing what the Boxster is really all about requires a twisty road. AutoWeek states that the Boxster's "handling is darn near perfect." Hard driving brings the car to life, prompting Motor Trend to claims that "no other sports car is more balanced, more rewarding, or more fun." That's not the end of the praise, however. ConsumerGuide says the 2010 Boxster's "steering feel is natural, communicative and responsive" and that it is "rock-steady on straightaways and agile and balanced in corners."

Fuel economy is 19/27 mpg city and highway for the base Boxster with the manual, or 20/29 mpg with the PDK. The Boxster S scores 19/26 mpg with the manual and 20/29 with the PDK. The all-new Spyder hasn't yet been rated by the EPA.

Review continues below
8

2010 Porsche Boxster

Comfort & Quality

The 2010 Porsche Boxster is luxurious, but it's also an immersive sports car, with all the noise and enjoyment that brings.

You'll love the work environment of the 2010 Boxster, too. In all but the Spyder the power convertible top is easy to use, the seats are well-bolstered with available sport seat upgrades, and the low front hood hides a decent amount of cargo space.

The 2010 Porsche Boxster has room for "two occupants" to "enjoy leather-upholstered body-hugging bucket seats," according to Cars.com. Despite the good seats, Edmunds notes that "some may find the Boxster's around-town ride too stiff, but it's never particularly harsh." Whether you choose the standard seating or opt for the more fully adjustable sport seats, comfort and room are good. ConsumerGuide says "the low-slung cockpit is roomy enough for six-footers," and the 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 2010 Porsche Boxster, which is unusual for a sports car. 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 2010 Porsche Boxster is a sports car, but it's a luxury sports car, and that becomes obvious when the cabin's materials and finish are examined. Easy-to-use controls are placed conveniently at hand, and though the audio system leaves a bit to be desired and offers too many buttons to manage, the overall experience isn't spoiled.

Edmunds finds that the 2010 Porsche Boxster's interior features "premium materials, proper sports car seating and leather everywhere." ConsumerGuide agrees, stating that the Boxster's "rich-feeling, carefully assembled cabin materials enhance a sophisticated ambiance."

Despite these lush accommodations, the 2010 Porsche Boxster still has one major drawback common to all roadsters: loud road and wind noise. For drivers that love the engaged feeling this can engender, however, it's a good thing. Motor Trend says the "sport exhaust system with valves that open a nearly straight shot through each muffler" offer the most enthusiast-oriented sound. There's no getting around physics, either, as ConsumerGuide points out: the "engine's location behind the seats means more mechanical ruckus than in front-engine designs." They aren't complaining, though, raving that the "race-car engine note delights."

Wind noise, on the other hand, isn't as pleasing. Edmunds reports that even with the top up, "wind noise above 70 mph can...be enough to challenge both conversation and the Boxster's sound system." AutoWeek notices the same thing, but they fall back on the Boxster's pure joy of driving, saying the noise issue is "easily solved by going topless, dropping the hammer and forgetting about all else."

Review continues below
9

2010 Porsche Boxster

Safety

The 2010 Porsche Boxster offers lots of excellent safety features despite the lack of a verified safety rating.

The Boxster hasn't been subjected to crash testing by either the IIHS or NHTSA, but fatality and injury statistics from accident data show Porsche drivers have historically fared well in accidents or managed to avoid them altogether.

Safety equipment is abundant, with standard anti-lock brakes and stability control, plus front, side, and head-protecting side-impact airbags mounted in the door window sills.

Kelley Blue Book reviewers are most impressed with the Porsche Stability Management System, which doesn't "interfere with your fun during aggressive driving" but does boost safety and confidence with its ability to "bail you out when the fun stops." Edmunds reviewers also praise the 2010 Boxster's inclusion of "antilock disc brakes" and "dual thorax/head side-impact airbags and roll-over safety bars" as standard safety features.

Despite a great connection with the road when the top is down, "top-up visibility is severely limited to the corners and aft" says ConsumerGuide. Edmunds, however, points out that the available "park assist" feature on the Porsche Boxster can help a lot with this, especially in close quarters such as parking lots.

Review continues below
9

2010 Porsche Boxster

Features

The 2010 Porsche Boxster offers plenty of standard features to satisfy, but the extensive options list will enthrall the enthusiast.

TheCarConnection.com notes that the 2010 Porsche Boxster is well equipped no matter the model. The list of standard equipment is extensive, exceeded only by the options available. Air conditioning is standard on all but the Spyder, as are a CD stereo, rear spoiler, partial-leather upholstery, heated washer nozzles, and locking alloy wheels. An electrically heated rear glass panel prevents fogging or frost accumulation with the top up, a feature Kelly Blue Book points out is standard.

Edmunds likes the 2010 Boxster lineup's "fast-operating power top," pointing out that it "lowers in about 12 seconds." ConsumerGuide also makes note of the standard "variable-intermittent wipers w/heated washer nozzles." Motor Trend calls the available high-tech features like the 2010 Boxster's sound and navigation systems "technical treasures."

But you only get to the best available equipment in the 2010 Porsche Boxster when you dig into the generous options list. Ceramic composite brakes and 19-inch wheels boost performance and looks, while the fully leather-upholstered power heated seats and automatic climate control make for a comfortable cruise. ConsumerGuide appreciates the Sport Chrono package, which enables "controls for modification of throttle, suspension, traction control, and antiskid system."

Kelley Blue Book points out the huge amount of customization available: Porsche offers "an extensive, and expensive, list of options." Not all of those options are flawless, however, as AutoWeek claims that "the 'premium' sound system" is "weak in its ability to tune in and keep FM stations' signals and deliver sound quality." On the other end of the spectrum, Cars.com is especially impressed with the "updated PCM Communication Management option that controls the audio, communication and navigation systems," though the reviewer does say that the upgrade from the base system is "badly needed."

Review continues below
Continue Reading

The Car Connection Consumer Review

2 Reviews
5 star
100%
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
October 18, 2016
2010 Porsche Boxster 2-Door Roadster S

Outstanding example of what a real sportscar should be.

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
S version has signifcantly upgraded performance gear with far superior suspension, brakes, etc. PDK 7spd is incredible. Jekyl & Hyde - tool around in traffic or locally with ease but when you go full tilt PDK... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
May 30, 2016
2010 Porsche Boxster 2-Door Roadster

Excellent sport car

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
one of the best sport car in 2010. PDK transmission is amazing. My car is equipped with sport, sport + and Launch controll. Very fast . But, If tou want to add equipment, Porsche charges full price.
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
USED PRICE RANGE
$19,995 - $38,990
Browse Used Listings
in your area
9.0
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 10
Performance 9
Comfort & Quality 8
Safety 9
Features 9
Fuel Economy N/A
Compare the 2010 Porsche Boxster against the competition
Compare All Cars
Looking for a different year of the Porsche Boxster?
Read reviews & get prices
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
See More Used