Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2013 Porsche Boxster Convertible
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What's New for 2013
The Boxster is redesigned for 2013.
About 300,000 Porsche Boxsters (and a few Caymans) have hit the road since production started in 1996, making it one of the most recognizable sports cars on the road. With the 2013 Porsche Boxster, the car has been comprehensively revised as the nameplate enters its third generation, yet it retains all the style and excitement that have made it the choice of so many.
The new Boxster improves on its predecessor in ways both subtle and significant. First, it looks sharper. Many of its sensual curves give way to creases, angles and increased definition along its flanks. A shortened nose also gives the Boxster a more cab-forward appearance, while LED taillights modernize the rear end, plus interior comfort improves with more cabin space.
Underneath the metal, the 2013 Porsche Boxster rides on a longer, wider and lower chassis that refines its handling behavior even as larger wheels and tires improve cornering grip. The Boxster has also shed weight; it's now 55 to nearly 80 pounds lighter. Finally, a new and improved engine for the base Boxster provides more power and better fuel economy.
Porsche purists indignantly kicked up a storm when the new Porsche 911 incorporated electric-assist steering, a measure that helps improve fuel economy, though often at the cost of compromising communication from the tires. The Boxster also has electric-assist steering, and we'll say that the new system is so good that only a Porsche purist with a heightened imagination could feel the difference from the previous hydraulic-assist setup.
As with every Porsche, the price of a 2013 Boxster can escalate with just a handful of options. And boy do you have options -- an almost overwhelming array of leather trim, electronic gadgets, wheel choices and performance upgrades. It'll take a few evenings study of the manufacturer's product guide to sort through them all.
The 2013 Porsche Boxster competes against a decidedly small group of rivals, each with its own strengths. The BMW Z4 and Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class are the most notable, and both benefit from additional headroom and a folding hardtop. But if performance ranks at the top of your must-haves, the Porsche Boxster remains unparalleled.
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Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 Porsche Boxster is a two-seat convertible offered in base and S trims. Base models come equipped with 18-inch wheels, a power-operated soft top, cruise control, six-way-adjustable seats (power backrest, manual fore/aft and height), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, partial leather upholstery, Bluetooth and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player. Stepping up to the Boxster S gets you a bigger engine, 19-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights and red-painted brake calipers.
As usual, Porsche will allow you to spend a small country's GDP on options. The Convenience package adds a wind deflector, heated seats and dual-zone automatic climate control. Upgrading to the Premium package includes those features plus adaptive headlights (bi-xenon for the base Boxster), 10-way-adjustable power sport seats (with four-way power lumbar) and auto-dimming mirrors. The Infotainment package gets a navigation system and a seven-speaker sound system with satellite radio and iPod/USB connectivity.
The items in packages can be added separately along with different 19- and 20-inch wheel designs, a mechanical limited-slip rear differential, electronic torque vectoring, an adaptive suspension, ceramic composite brakes, front and rear parking sensors, and a sport steering wheel with PDK shift paddles.
Interior options include sport seats that can be equipped with heated, ventilated and adaptive features; a heated steering wheel; voice controls; satellite radio, a six-CD changer; interior ambient lighting; and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system. Then there are the numerous customization choices that will cover just about any interior surface in leather, aluminum, carbon fiber, wood trim or exterior paint.
Serious performance drivers can opt for the Sport Chrono package, which adds dynamic transmission mounts (said to minimize weight transfer during gearchanges), a lap timer, driver-adjustable chassis settings and, with the PDK transmission, launch control.
Powertrains and Performance
The base Boxster is powered by a 2.7-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder (flat-6) that produces 265 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque. The rear-wheel-drive sports car comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. Optional is a seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission known as PDK. Porsche says the base Boxster will go from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds regardless of transmission type. Fuel economy is 20 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined with the manual and 22/32/26 with PDK.
The Boxster S comes with a 3.4-liter flat-6 that produces 315 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds testing, an S model with the manual transmission accelerated from zero to 60 mph in an impressively quick 4.9 seconds. Fuel economy is 20/28/23 combined with the manual and 21/30/24 with PDK.
Standard safety features for the 2013 Porsche Boxster include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, dual thorax and head side-impact airbags and rollover safety hoops above the headrests. In Edmunds brake testing, a Boxster S came to a stop from 60 mph in a short 103 feet.
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside the cabin you'll find the new Boxster's greatest leap compared to the previous one. Addressing a key complaint among taller drivers, the seats are placed lower and there's increased room for both occupants. The interior still features premium materials, and now the gauges, dash and center console borrow from the Panamera's ergonomic elegance. It's a classier look and feel all around.
Top-up motoring is now more pleasant, with new sound-deadening material suppressing more ambient noise, although the new Boxster retains its familiar blind spots and compromised top-up visibility. But with a power soft top that folds in 10 seconds, there are fewer excuses to ride around fully enclosed.
Although Porsche has stretched the 2013 Boxster, the additional room went into the cabin and, as before, the Boxster still lacks meaningful cargo space. Its two trunks -- one front, one rear -- are pretty small, though combined they total up for about 10 cubic feet of cargo space with the top raised or lowered. You'll have more luck fitting larger items (such as a golf bag) in the SLK.
Once underway, there are few driving experiences as fully engrossing as the 2013 Porsche Boxster's. Compact dimensions, modest weight and a midengine layout all help maximize handling ability, and the Boxster manages to feel glued to the road and light on its feet at the same time. Even the new 911 struggles to provide this level of confidence, and we're not the first to observe that a Boxster with equal power might prove to be a better overall package. And while the ride is predictably firm, it's not harsh, and the car settles quickly after encountering road imperfections.
Porsche faithful may fret over the Boxster's switch to electric-assist steering, but in our testing we've found the new steering a skilled mimic of a traditional hydraulic-assist setup: meaty in its effort level and mind-warpingly rapid in its actions. We think the new steering will feel transparent and communicative to all but the most seasoned Porsche owner.
We haven't yet driven the base-model Boxster with its improved 2.7-liter. If it sounds as good as the previous engine, but packs more power and drinks less fuel, we don't see any downside. The Boxster S, meanwhile, pushes off with authority from low revs, then comes alive and starts to sing when it hits the midrange.
by Chris F. on Apr 24, 2016 Vehicle: 2013 Porsche Boxster
I have heard the ultimate test of a car's cool factor is the way kids respond...Well this car catches the eye of every kid I pass. The 2013 Boxster S is a phenomenal car. It is my first Porsche and now I understand what hose who own one appreciate. Incredibly fast, excellent handling, superb braking and just plain fun. The comfort is good but not great, definitely not designed for long distances and I would not have this as a daily driver. Safety is excellent, my only ding here is outward visibility. With the top down it is okay but with the top up I almost need a ground guide.
Value I marked down due to maintenance costs and purchase price. The price for a nicely loaded Boxster S is not cheap when you consider it is really a second car. I would not hesitate to buy this car again and again. It is pure fun with the top down crying along Highway 1 or on a twisty mountain road.
by smerdyakov on Aug 23, 2015 Vehicle: 2013 Porsche Boxster
I traded a base Boxster for an S. I made the trade not because I wanted higher performance (although the S is significantly faster) but because I couldn't find a base car with the parking assist and sports chrono options that I wanted. I eventually found the car that I wanted at Porsche of Fayetteville, where I received outstanding assistance from Mr. Robert Lee.
The difference in feel between the base car and the S is remarkable. If one didn't know, one would think that they were entirely different cars instead of two variations on the same theme. This is the 10th Porsche that I have owned, and clearly the best of them all.
I strongly suggest finding a good used car with a warranty. The MSRP on a well-optioned car will easily go into the mid-70's, and a used car will usually be available for much less. I also suggest using the preowned search feature on the Porsche website, which is how I found my car.
Porsche: there is no substitute!
Update after six months: there is still no substitute. I can't think of another sports car, regardless of price, that I would rather own.
by ghost1214 on Sep 4, 2014 Vehicle: 2013 Porsche Boxster
So I decided I wanted a sports car. looked at the BMW z4, Mercedes SLK and the Porsche Boxster. There is no comparison, it's not even close....Box! I test drove the 911 but it didn't have the same balance as the Box. I ordered mine with the red leather interior, Agate Gray exterior and 6 speed manual. I pull down the street heads are turning. The car is quick. get on the highway with some curves it's all giggles. I have never driven a car that was just so much spiritual fun. corners are a blast. be careful you will catch the car in front and you won't need to slow down because it lives for the curves. No problem you have the best brakes on the planet. "there is no substitute"
by gmg66 on Mar 7, 2014 Vehicle: 2013 Porsche Boxster
I've had my Boxster for about one year and have put 2,500 miles on it. The overall fit and finish, and build quality on the car is extremely high. I have not had any problems with it. It's a blast to drive. As another review stated, it is deceptively fast. I ordered my car with the 6MT and the shifting is the best of any car I've ever driven - the location and feel are just perfect. The handling surprised me -
the rear end slides out on fast corners but in a very controlled manner which just contributes to the fun to drive factor. Overall a great driving, very high quality, stunning looking car.
by quierodormir on Oct 26, 2013 Vehicle: 2013 Porsche Boxster
Just replaced my 2007 Boxster with the 2013. Its a real improvement in almost every way over the previous generation.
The design of the exterior and interior are significantly enhanced (in particular the interior, which previously I felt had a tendency to feel cheap in terms of
I know the electric steering has received some criticism, but I cannot tell a difference with the old hydraulic setup. Both are fantastic opinion.
The only minor difference I've noticed is that the exhaust note in the 2013 isn't as pronounced as the 2007 at lower RPMs. This may be due to the fact that my '07 had the sport / PASM package while the new one doesn't.
I own a Macan and previously was introduced to Porsche service costs and requirements with my first Porsche, a 2013 Boxster. I find it a very good value to pick up my cars washed, cleaned, serviced f...
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