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With balanced midengine power and classic styling -- not to mention sublime ride and handling and relative everyday practicality -- the sleek and nimble 2007 Porsche Boxster is viewed by many as a sports car distilled to its purest essence.
World-class handling and braking, pinpoint steering, usable cargo compartment, fast power-top operation.
Expensive entry-level Porsche, overly complex audio dash controls, moderate top-up noise at higher speeds, lackluster low-end torque in 2.7-liter engine.
Available Boxster Models
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The engine of the 2007 Porsche Boxster S grows from 3.2 to 3.4 liters of displacement and now boasts 295 horsepower. The base 2.7-liter engine gains five horses and is now rated at 245 hp. For auto-shifters, the optional Tiptronic S automatic transmission has been massaged with new hydraulics and electronics to optimize responsiveness. Other minor changes include a standard tire-pressure monitoring system and a re-contoured cargo compartment.
Like the proverbial younger sibling following a well-accomplished, all-star bigger brother through school, a new two-seat Porsche Boxster burst onto the scene in 1997 following in the footsteps of one of the most dominating, competition-based rear-engined sports cars of the last three decades. Ushering in an era of the more affordable Porsche convertible, the Boxster featured a finely balanced midengine/rear-drive layout and the performance of a proven, responsive flat-6 engine. Performing admirably, the Boxster quickly became part of the legend and one of the best-selling cars in the luxury roadster class.
The second-generation Boxster roadster debuted two years ago, significantly improved mostly inside and underneath to remain competitive. And that it has, for although there are several big-name competitors with equivalent cache, many new owners find that one drive in a Boxster is all it takes to seal the deal. The latest 2007 model is the most powerful ever, with 295 horsepower now available in the 3.4-liter Boxster S and 245 horses in the standard 2.7-liter Boxster. There's a revised automatic transmission this year as well; Porsche says it allows for more customized and aggressive shift patterns when paired with the optional Sport Chrono package.
Inside, the 2007 Porsche Boxster projects the aura of a premium sports car -- and with two ample cargo holds front and rear, it's a fairly practical daily driver, too. Though its competitive breeding can manifest an edgy nature that's sometimes a bit much around town or during commutes, we find the Porsche Boxster convertible to be the quintessential top-down, high-speed weekend getaway device for two and all the stuff they can pack -- and a solid choice atop the more affordable end of the serious luxury sports roadster spectrum.
The classically styled Porsche Boxster also remains a serious, purpose-built midengine roadster designed to travel hard and fast -- sometimes demanding a driver's undivided attention but rewarding the skilled pilot with razor-sharp real-time feedback and unmatched thrills and satisfaction behind the wheel. If that's what you're after and you can swing the luxury-oriented bottom line, you couldn't convince us of a more compelling choice.
The 2007 Porsche Boxster sports car comes as either the basic Boxster or the massaged, pricier Boxster S. They are visually similar except for the additional center front grille opening, red brake calipers and dual exhaust outlets on the S. Standard equipment on both models includes leather trim, seven-speaker CD audio, 17-inch wheels (18s for the S) and a fast-operating power top -- it's fully down in about 12 seconds.
From there, the price heads north rather quickly, with optional premiums including but certainly not limited to: full leather/power/heated seats, automatic climate control, Bose digital audio, a navigation system, bi-xenon HID headlights, park assist and a removable aluminum hardtop. The more hardcore should also consider upgrades like Formula One-style ceramic brakes, a separate active suspension system option with lower ride height, and new-for-'07 19-inch alloy wheels.
Both 2007 Porsche Boxster models are powered by new, more potent six-cylinder "boxer" engines. The result is 295 hp and 251 pound-feet of torque in the 3.4-liter higher-performance Boxster S, and 245 hp and 201 lb-ft of torque in the 2.7-liter standard Boxster. The regular Boxster comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission. A six-speed is optional and comes standard on the Boxster S. Either Boxster can be fitted with Porsche's five-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission with manual shift control. With either transmission, EPA fuel economy estimates are reasonable for a car with such stellar performance potential.
Standard Porsche Boxster safety features include antilock disc brakes, tire-pressure monitoring, Porsche Stability Management (PSM) stability/traction control, dual thorax/head side-impact airbags and rollover safety bars.
Like the exterior, the cockpit of the 2007 Porsche Boxster carries over unchanged, which is fine by us -- it's first-rate, with premium materials, proper sports car seating and leather everywhere, plus an oversized and center-mounted tach right where it belongs.
Seat comfort is also extraordinary for both occupants, and the leather-wrapped steering wheel feels a bit large at first -- until you quickly realize it's perfectly sized after all. Wind control with the top down is excellent, but we found top-up wind noise above 70 mph can sometimes be enough to challenge both conversation and the Boxster's sound system. On the upside, this is still one of the most practical two-seaters you'll find, with two sizable trunks up front and out back.
Our editors find the midengine Porsche Boxster to be a wonderfully athletic machine with extraordinary chassis balance -- when tossed around, it manages to feel glued to the road and light on its feet at the same time. Body roll and mid-corner bumps are never an issue, while its variable-ratio steering seems to be hard wired into the driver's thought processes. In a Boxster, running out of car is rarely part of the equation -- what is, is its perfect balance, tight chassis and incredible interaction with the driver's skill level. Its steering feels alive, its throttle response tight and lively, and its brakes are among the best we've ever tested. Some may find the Boxster's around-town ride too stiff, but it's never really harsh and is truly a small price to pay for this two-seater's rapid, undiluted reflexes.
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