Used 2013 Porsche Boxster
- Sublime handling and steering
- powerful engines
- impressive fuel economy
- excellent transmissions
- top-notch interior
- highly customizable.
- Gets pricey when many options are added
- poor top-up outward visibility
- cargo space split between two compartments.
Edmunds' Expert Review
New lines, more room and a stronger and more efficient engine make the 2013 Porsche Boxster one of the best sports cars in production.
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.
Trim levels & features
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.
Performance & mpg
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.
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.
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.
Features & Specs
More About This Model
We couldn't help but be impressed with the third-generation Porsche Boxster when we got to ride in it late last year as part of a final validation drive for the new midengine roadster on a run from San Francisco to Los Angeles, suggesting it had taken on a newfound maturity without any compromise in its ability to provide big levels of driving entertainment in the right conditions.
And this impression holds true now that we've finally been behind the wheel of a production version. This week the 2013 Porsche Boxster made its public debut at the Geneva auto show in Switzerland, Porsche having thoroughly reengineered its new entry-level model to a degree that hasn't been seen since the original was added to its lineup back in 1996.
As with the 911 — a car with which it continues to share much of its front end structure, Porsche went back to the drawing board when it came time to conceive the new Boxster, known under the code name 981. The only elements that have been brought over from the old model, the 987, are the engine and gearbox, and even then they have been subtly reworked for added levels of smoothness, performance and fuel efficiency.
The result is a driving experience every bit as captivating as any previous Boxster model but with little or no compromise to its everyday abilities. It's a brilliant blend of track-capable handling along with the sort of inherent comfort that allows you to thoroughly enjoy the new roadster over extended highway journeys. It is a car that allows you to have your cake and eat it, too.
The moment you twist the steering wheel away from the straight ahead you're aware Porsche has succeeded in matching the brilliant feel of the previous model's hydraulic-assist setup with its new electromechanical steering system: Like everything about the new car, it is meaty in its weighting but fantastically direct in its actions.
The revised underpinnings, which feature thoroughly new elastokinematic properties, have cured perhaps the only real weakness of earlier Boxster models: a tendency toward high-frequency movements at the front end on less than smooth surfaces. It is now wonderfully controlled, and with it comes an added dose of stability, particularly at high speed.
The ride is predictably firm, but it is never harsh and settles quickly when upset by potholes and the like. The upshot of this inherent firmness is superb body control with very little lean even during all-out cornering. Massive grip also provides high cornering speeds. The cornering balance is wonderfully neutral and, with Sport mode dialed up, the PSM (Porsche Stability Management) is configured to allow a small degree of slip angle before it kicks in. Turn it off and the intimacy of communication fed back to the driver allows you to revel in power-on oversteer.
The Big Changes
The view out front is typified by the rounded haunch of the front left-hand fender — a cue that has its roots with the original Porsche, the iconic 356. But with a lower seating position and higher rear bulkhead, vision to the rear is now rather restricted — and even worse with the roof up owing to the small glass rear window, which despite having being widened, remains too small.
Roof up, the new 2013 Porsche Boxster is now a more pleasant place to be. New sound-deadening material has cut noise levels from a previous 75 decibels to 71 decibels — a figure that results in a halving of ambient noise, according to Porsche, and further pushes home the new model's improved long-distance qualities.
Dropping the top, an improved version of the old Boxster's magnesium-framed and multilayer fabric-covered structure, no longer requires manual twist-and-turn. Just hit a switch on the center console and two electric motors take care of the rest, folding the roof back in just 9 seconds and stowing it atop the engine at the rear of the cabin at speeds up to 31 mph. Unlike with previous Boxster models, there's no separate body cover for the roof once it is down. It simply rests there with the top section exposed.
The 2013 Porsche Boxster is bigger, too. Length is up by about 1.8 inches to 172.2 inches, but width and height remain the same as before at 70.9 inches and 50.4 inches. The 2.36-inch bump in the wheelbase to 97.4 inches has enabled Porsche to repackage the interior, providing it with greater length and the scope for added seat adjustment. Luggage capacity, though, remains rather limited, with 5.3 cubic feet in a deep cubbyhole up front ahead of the fuel tank and 4.6 cubic feet in a shallow hold behind the engine at the rear. The best place for your golf clubs, then, continues to be the passenger seat.
Among its many developments are a new lightweight floor pan and body, some 46 percent of which is now fashioned out of aluminum, including the front and rear end structures, doors, hood, trunk lid and the mounting for the rollover hoops behind the cabin. The result is a 77-pound reduction in curb weight for the Boxster S over its steel-bodied predecessor on sale in North America since 2004. That's not as much weight as Porsche cut from the 911, but it manages to buck the trend of its roadster rivals. The Audi TT, BMW Z4 and Mercedes-Benz SLK have all gained weight in their latest incarnations.
MacPherson strut suspension remains front and rear; however, the new Boxster is 1.4 inches wider at the front and 0.23 inch wider at the rear than the second-generation car. It is all bolted to a body structure that is claimed to be a whopping 40 percent stiffer than before.
Haunches pumped up to accommodate larger wheel arches and, on the Boxster S, standard 19-inch wheels wrapped with 235/40 front and 265/40 rubber, mean the Boxster's styling is now more individual. Compared to the old model, it is much more distinctive, boasting a more cab-forward appearance with greater structuring within the doors and an intriguing rear end in which the rear spoiler, which deploys at speeds above 75 mph, is integrated in the taillamps.
Inside, everything has changed. Taking its cue from the 911, the 2013 Porsche Boxster receives a contemporary new cockpit modeled on that first seen in the Panamera, which instantly lifts its appeal to the level of its competition. Classic elements such as the ignition located to the left of the steering wheel and the three-dial instrument cluster are retained, but there is now a much higher level of perceived quality and improved ergonomics.
Just as it has since its introduction to the Porsche lineup back in 1996, the new Boxster continues to serve up two different engine options. The base version now runs a new 2.7-liter version of Porsche's water-cooled flat six-cylinder with 10 horsepower and 7 pound-feet more torque than the older 2.9-liter unit. Direct fuel injection helps it produce 261 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque.
The S model driven here retains a 3.4-liter engine that is fitted with a new twin-track intake system that's fed by both of the side vents. Power increases 5 hp to 315 hp but the peak arrives 300 rpm higher in the rev range at 6,700 rpm. Torque remains the same at 266 lb-ft but is now delivered 100 rpm higher at 4,500 rpm.
Both engines come with the choice of either a standard six-speed manual or optional seven-speed double-clutch PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) gearbox — the latter using rocker switches on the steering wheel for remote shifting and, as part of the optional Sport Chrono package, dynamic mounts that are claimed to minimize weight shift during gearchanges — something that is claimed to provide the new roadster with a steadier feel when the driver decides to shift mid-corner.
As part of Porsche's efforts to improve the Boxster's fuel efficiency, both the manual and double-clutch gearbox also come as standard with a switchable stop/start function together with brake energy recuperation — features that are now fitted to every new Porsche model from Boxster to Panamera.
On top of this, the double-clutch unit also gets a coasting function that cuts engine revs to 700 rpm when the driver gently steps off the gas. The measures certainly appear successful, netting the Boxster an official European combined average consumption of 7.7L/100km (about 30.5 mpg) and the Boxster S 8.0L/100km (29.4 mpg) — improvements of 15.4 percent and 14.9 percent over their predecessors. Not that typical Boxster customers are going to be too concerned about fuel saving, mind you. However, the lower consumption helps provide a greater range from the 16.9-gallon tank.
On the Gas
The engine is a gem, of course, but then we expect nothing less from a flat six-cylinder unit from Porsche. More eager throughout its broad rev range, thanks to an upgraded electronics package that provides added throttle response and, on double-clutch gearbox-equipped versions like our test car, noticeably improved shift quality. The official figures hint at a peaky delivery, but the 2013 Porsche Boxster S possesses proper shove from little more than 1,500 rpm — or just 800 rpm above idle, making it easy to thread through tight city traffic.
It is through the midrange, though, where it really comes alive. From 3,000 rpm up to 6,000 rpm, it is fantastically strong and, with the optional sports exhaust system like that fitted to our test car, brilliantly loud on a loaded throttle. On deserted roads you find yourself deliberately holding on to gears longer than is absolutely necessary just to sample its aural delights. Winding it all the way to its 7,700-rpm redline is pure four-wheel entertainment — best achieved roof down on rock-lined canyon roads for full effect.
Porsche says the sprint to 62 mph requires only 4.8 seconds with the optional double-clutch gearbox and Sports Chrono package, some two-tenths of a second less than the old Boxster, while top speed is put at 172 mph. Calipers emblazoned with the word Porsche tell you all you need to know about the brakes before you've even brushed the middle pedal. It doesn't disappoint, delivering a progressive action, lots of feel and crushing retardation once you've really put some weight behind it. For those seeking greater stopping power, the Boxster continues to be available with optional carbon-ceramic units.
Porsche continues to offer optional adaptive damping with its PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) system, which now comes with PTV (Porsche Torque Vectoring) and a locking differential. So configured, the Boxster's project leader, Horst Woehler, says it achieves 1.2g of peak lateral acceleration (as opposed to the average number we list in road tests) on the company's Weissach-based skid pad.
The bottom line is simple: The new 2013 Porsche Boxster is still a Boxster — nimble, communicative and sharp. But it now adds measures of comfort and efficiency in a combination few others can match.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored press event to facilitate this report, which originally appeared on insideline.com.
Used 2013 Porsche Boxster Overview
The Used 2013 Porsche Boxster is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include 2dr Convertible (2.7L 6cyl 6M), and S 2dr Convertible (3.4L 6cyl 6M).
What's a good price on a Used 2013 Porsche Boxster?
Price comparisons for Used 2013 Porsche Boxster trim styles:
- The Used 2013 Porsche Boxster Base is priced between $38,990 and$42,499 with odometer readings between 16222 and22860 miles.
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Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2013 Porsche Boxster for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2013 Boxsters listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $38,990 and mileage as low as 16222 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2013 Porsche Boxster.
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Should I lease or buy a 2013 Porsche Boxster?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.