2018 Porsche 718 Boxster

2018 Porsche 718 Boxster Review

Few automobiles provide as pure of a driving experience as the 718 Boxster.
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by Carlos Lago
Edmunds Editor

The Porsche 718 Boxster is a convertible sports car in the classical sense, which is to say it's focused primarily on nimble handling and driver enjoyment. We wouldn't want it any other way. Much of its allure comes from its mid-engine configuration, meaning the engine sits between the seats and rear wheels. This gives the 718 Boxster (and its fixed-roof 718 Cayman sibling) a handling balance prized by car enthusiasts.

The Boxster received the 718 name last year as part of a complete redesign. Though there were many significant changes as part of the update, the biggest was the switch from six-cylinder engines to more efficient and powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engines. While the new engines lack the high-revving charm of the old ones, it's hard to argue with the performance increase they bring. Even the cheapest Boxster you can buy is now cranking out 300 horsepower.

Of course, being a Porsche, the Boxster can also be fitted with all sorts of customization options. Some enhance the car's performance while others are just for visual flair. But it's the car's core qualities, including its sublime steering and handling, plus the carefree nature of owning a two-seat roadster, that will have you hooked for life.



what's new

The 2018 718 Boxster is essentially unchanged.


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There was a time where going with the upgraded power of the Boxster S was a no-brainer. It's a lot harder to choose now that even the base model is punching out 300 hp. The price difference between the two trims is significant, too, and you don't really get any extra features on the S. Therefore, we say go with the base 718 Boxster unless you're truly in love with the S' additional power. Going with the base frees up more of your budget for options, too. On top of keyless entry and ignition, we'd also have to take the heated seats and steering wheel, as few pleasures compare to driving with the top down on a cool, foggy day. Choosing between the manual or the dual-clutch automatic transmission presents a more difficult and personal decision, but the quality of both gearboxes means there's no wrong answer.




trim levels & features

The 2018 Porsche 718 Boxster is a two-seat, rear-wheel-drive soft-top convertible sports car that is available in a base or S trim level. The primary difference between the two is the size and output of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The S has the more powerful version. Porsche offers an exhaustive supply of options for both trims.

The base 718 Boxster comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder (300 hp, 280 pound-feet of torque) and 18-inch wheels. Aside from the badges, you can tell it apart from the S by its black brake calipers and single central tailpipe.

The 718 Boxster S is furnished with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder (350 hp, 309 lb-ft of torque). It is visually differentiated from the base model by 19-inch wheels, two centrally mounted exhaust tips and red brake calipers.

With minor exception, both trim levels start with the same level of standard equipment, including a power-folding soft top, xenon headlights, a six-speed manual transmission, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, power and heated side mirrors, automatic climate control, sport seats, partial leather upholstery, Bluetooth, a touchscreen display, and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio and two USB ports.

Both trims also have equal access to Porsche's exhaustive options list, providing numerous opportunities for prospective owners to personalize their car.

Performance choices include Porsche's PDK seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic, carbon-ceramic brakes, an adaptive suspension, a louder exhaust, and a mechanical rear differential that also includes a brake-actuated torque vectoring system. The Sport Chrono package adds a stopwatch to the top of the center console, a drive mode selection dial to the bottom right of the steering wheel, and a less intrusive stability control setting. When optioned with the PDK transmission, the package also includes launch control.

Interior options to look out for include upgraded seats (heating, ventilation and more power adjustments), upgraded leather upholstery, and keyless ignition and entry. Porsche offers two upgrades for the standard stereo: a 10-speaker Bose system and a 12-speaker Burmester system. Apple CarPlay is available through Porsche Connect, while a Plus variant of that option adds 4G LTE connectivity. Safety options include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, turn-adapting headlights and blind-spot monitoring,

Porsche also provides seemingly endless ways to customize the 718 Boxster's interior and exterior, from wheel style to the color of the soft top to completely custom body paint. The interior offers multiple leather and stitching styles, and trims are available in wood, aluminum and simulated suede.



The base 718 Boxster comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder (300 hp, 280 pound-feet of torque) and 18-inch wheels. Aside from the badges, you can tell it apart from the S by its black brake calipers and single central tailpipe.

The 718 Boxster S is furnished with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder (350 hp, 309 lb-ft of torque). It is visually differentiated from the base model by 19-inch wheels, two centrally mounted exhaust tips and red brake calipers.

With minor exception, both trim levels start with the same level of standard equipment, including a power-folding soft top, xenon headlights, a six-speed manual transmission, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, power and heated side mirrors, automatic climate control, sport seats, partial leather upholstery, Bluetooth, a touchscreen display, and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio and two USB ports.

Both trims also have equal access to Porsche's exhaustive options list, providing numerous opportunities for prospective owners to personalize their car.

Performance choices include Porsche's PDK seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic, carbon-ceramic brakes, an adaptive suspension, a louder exhaust, and a mechanical rear differential that also includes a brake-actuated torque vectoring system. The Sport Chrono package adds a stopwatch to the top of the center console, a drive mode selection dial to the bottom right of the steering wheel, and a less intrusive stability control setting. When optioned with the PDK transmission, the package also includes launch control.

Interior options to look out for include upgraded seats (heating, ventilation and more power adjustments), upgraded leather upholstery, and keyless ignition and entry. Porsche offers two upgrades for the standard stereo: a 10-speaker Bose system and a 12-speaker Burmester system. Apple CarPlay is available through Porsche Connect, while a Plus variant of that option adds 4G LTE connectivity. Safety options include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, turn-adapting headlights and blind-spot monitoring,

Porsche also provides seemingly endless ways to customize the 718 Boxster's interior and exterior, from wheel style to the color of the soft top to completely custom body paint. The interior offers multiple leather and stitching styles, and trims are available in wood, aluminum and simulated suede.

trim tested

Edmunds has not yet driven any version of the 718 Boxster, but we have limited experience with the related 718 Cayman. The following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect.

driving

Few convertible sports cars can deliver pure thrill on the level of the Porsche 718 Boxster. But while its handling, braking and acceleration are stellar, the sound of the engine is harder to love. The switch to turbocharging and four cylinders has dulled much of the car's aural character.

comfort

Optional adaptive dampers keep the Boxster in control even when driving over rough pavement. The sport seats have enough adjustment and cushion to satisfy most body sizes. You could drive this sports car every day.

interior

The 718 Boxster's interior has a lot of similarity to the pricier Porsche 911's. The cabin is smartly designed for ease of use, and the materials used throughout are impeccable. There is an abundance of buttons, but they are logically placed and well labeled.

utility

While you can't typically expect a lot of storage space in a small convertible, the 718 Boxster benefits from having both a trunk and a front storage area. The space isn't plentiful, but it's enough for an overnight bag or two.

technology

Porsche's latest entertainment system sports a generally intuitive and decently sized touchscreen. Apple CarPlay is optional, but Android Auto is not available.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.