Porsche 718 Boxster Review
Representing a new generation of the company's Boxster and introduced for the 2017 model year, the Porsche 718 Boxster had many sports car enthusiasts wondering why those three digits were added to its name. A respectful nod to the 718 race car of the late '50s and early '60s, the numbers also signal the use of four-cylinder power. Though that may seem like a downgrade compared to the previous six-cylinder-powered Boxsters, such is not the case. Both turbocharged, the pair of four-cylinder engines offered in the 718 Boxster are both more powerful and more fuel-efficient than their flat-six precursors.
Along with the new name and power sources, the latest Boxster has tastefully updated styling, which manages to be contemporary while maintaining the classic form of Porsche's previous mid-engine roadster. The interior is likewise nicely done and features an upgraded touchscreen infotainment interface. In virtually every way, the 718 Boxster is an improvement over what was already a highly regarded sports car. Though some may lament the loss of the sonorous sixes' more captivating soundtrack, anyone who hops behind the wheel and takes even just a short blast around town will likely be completely won over by this new-generation Boxster.
Current Porsche 718 Boxster
The Porsche 718 Boxster is a two-passenger roadster with a conventional soft top. Its otherwise similar hardtop sibling, the Cayman coupe, is covered in a separate review. Representing Porsche's entry-level sports car, the Boxster is available in two trim levels: the base and the S. Highlights of the base Boxster's standard features include bi-xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensors, partial leather upholstery and a rearview camera. The chief upgrades of the higher-performance S include a more powerful engine and larger wheels (19-inchers versus 18s). As is typical for Porsche, a seemingly endless list of options allows buyers to tailor the car to their own preferences. And indeed the options are so extensive and pricey that it's easy to virtually double the base sticker price of the car.
Powering the base 718 Boxster is a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 300 horsepower, while the S version gets a 2.5-liter unit sporting 350 horses. A six-speed manual is the standard transmission, with Porsche's PDK seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox as optional. Zero-to-60-mph performance is impressive, ranging from about 4.0 to 4.9 seconds, depending on trim level and transmission.
In reviews, our editors were very impressed by the Porsche 718 Boxster. The previous Boxster was already known for its spirited acceleration, athletic handling and involving character. Yet as good as that car was — indeed it was considered the class leader — the 718 Boxster takes it to an even higher level. The turbocharged engines provide not only higher maximum output but also a significantly fatter powerband, which translates into a notably more powerful response at lower rpm. The suspension and steering were also tuned to provide even more agility and feedback than before, which is really saying something when you consider the Boxster was already very well regarded in those areas. Yes, the turbo-fours don't provide the fantastic soundtrack the flat-sixes did, but that one demerit is more than compensated for by all the other improvements made to this segment superstar.
Read the most recent 2018 Porsche 718 Boxster review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Porsche 718 Boxster page.
For more on past Porsche 718 Boxster models, view our Porsche 718 Boxster history page.