I would suggest the manual transmission to throughly ring out the engine and car. Great clutch feel and smooth transmission. This car handles well and alot of fun to drive on those quiet country roads.
I have had my Boxster for over one year. By far the most dynamic car I have ever owned. I got the smaller engine, with the automated manual transmission, In LA congestion, it has plenty of power. The gallop between 80 mph and 110 mph is intoxicating. It accelerates assuredly and smoothly, and its reflexes are truly sports car athletic. The interior is very comfortable and well appointed, and for less than $70,000, the car is an amazing value. People say that the trunk space is limited, but honestly, I have done a couple of Costco runs, and trips to the airport with luggage, without too much of a problem. The top goes up and down in a matter of seconds -- and on the go when you are pulling out -- easy and convenient. One thing -- at least in LA -- the car gets a lot of attention. Between its looks, and the sound of the engine, the Boxster turns a lot of heads. Now, that could be a good thing, or a bad thing. If you want to be inconspicuous -- a Boxster may not be for you.
I purchased a new 2104 Boxster on 10-2-14 at Checkered Flag in Va Bch. I drove both S and base cars, thinking that I would surely want the S: I was wrong. The base car does not have, as the Edmunds "con" headline asserts "mediocre acceleration". It may be somewhat slower than the S version, but it is far more than adequate for normal use. In fact, it is faster than the 2006 Cayman S that I once owned.
The one option that I recommend as essential is the PDK transmission, which is a remarkable unit. Those who insist on having a manual six-speed are making a mistake.
In the recent past I have had several versions of the Cayman, a Audi TT RS and a Corvette GS. The Boxster is superior to all