2017 Porsche 718 Boxster

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$56,000–$68,400 MSRP range

Key Specs

of the 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster base trim shown

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Superb handling and balance
  • Quantity of available performance options
  • Top can raise/lower while car is moving slowly
  • More torque, better acceleration
  • Automatic transmission shifts quickly
  • Adaptive suspension offers comfort and performance

The Bad

  • Large blind spots with the top up
  • No Android Auto
  • Expensive options add up quickly
  • Rear trunk won't fit larger luggage
  • Low seating position makes entry hard for some
  • Forward collision warning optional
2017 Porsche 718 Boxster exterior side view

Notable Features of the 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster

  • Redesigned for 2017
  • New turbocharged four-cylinder engines
  • Six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic
  • Soft-top convertible
  • Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
  • 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S offered
  • Optional Apple CarPlay

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Road Test

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/64x64/47/img1086140682-1457635617747.jpg
Brian Wong
The Verdict:

Incredible balance and a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine make the 718 Boxster two-seat convertible a joy to drive.

Versus The Competition:

The 718 Boxster’s mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive setup makes it unique among competitors.

For the Boxster's 20th birthday this year, Porsche gave it a revised name and a full redesign. The 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster has revised styling and interior technology, plus two new engines. The engines are turbocharged horizontally opposed four-cylinders, replacing the naturally aspirated flat-six-cylinders found in all previous Boxsters. Compare the 2017 718 Boxster with last year's model here.

The new engines give the 718 Boxster even more performance, making an already engaging car even sharper. The Boxster competes against the Audi TT and Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class, as well as its fixed-roof stablemate, the Porsche Cayman coupe. Compare the Boxster with those vehicles here.

What We Tested



The 718 Boxster starts at $57,050 (including destination charge) with a six-speed manual transmission, but it goes up quickly from there given Porsche's preference for offering features a la carte rather than bundling them into packages. My test vehicle had too many options to list individually, but here are the major ones:

  • Seven-speed automatic transmission
  • Porsche Active Suspension Management: $1,790
  • Porsche Torque Vectoring: $1,320
  • Sport Chrono: $2,605
  • Heated seats: $530
  • Navigation: $1,730
  • Porsche Connect Plus smartphone connectivity: $1,300
  • Two-way powered sport seats: $800
  • 19-inch Boxster S wheels: $1,970

Add it all up and my test car cost $73,125. The more powerful 718 Boxster S starts at $69,450.

New Engines

Porsche said that to hit its power and ...

For the Boxster's 20th birthday this year, Porsche gave it a revised name and a full redesign. The 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster has revised styling and interior technology, plus two new engines. The engines are turbocharged horizontally opposed four-cylinders, replacing the naturally aspirated flat-six-cylinders found in all previous Boxsters. Compare the 2017 718 Boxster with last year's model here.

The new engines give the 718 Boxster even more performance, making an already engaging car even sharper. The Boxster competes against the Audi TT and Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class, as well as its fixed-roof stablemate, the Porsche Cayman coupe. Compare the Boxster with those vehicles here.

What We Tested



The 718 Boxster starts at $57,050 (including destination charge) with a six-speed manual transmission, but it goes up quickly from there given Porsche's preference for offering features a la carte rather than bundling them into packages. My test vehicle had too many options to list individually, but here are the major ones:

  • Seven-speed automatic transmission
  • Porsche Active Suspension Management: $1,790
  • Porsche Torque Vectoring: $1,320
  • Sport Chrono: $2,605
  • Heated seats: $530
  • Navigation: $1,730
  • Porsche Connect Plus smartphone connectivity: $1,300
  • Two-way powered sport seats: $800
  • 19-inch Boxster S wheels: $1,970

Add it all up and my test car cost $73,125. The more powerful 718 Boxster S starts at $69,450.

New Engines

Porsche said that to hit its power and performance goals for this new Boxster without a turbocharged engine, it would have had to significantly increase the displacement of the existing engines. The twin-turbocharged flat-six used in the 911 Carrera wouldn't fit, either, so the choice was made to downsize and add forced induction.

Just because the new engines are smaller, however, doesn't mean they're any less potent. In fact, they're more powerful: The 718 Boxster features a 300-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter flat four-cylinder engine that makes 280 pounds-feet of torque, an improvement of 35 hp and 74 pounds-feet of torque compared with last year's Boxster. The 718 Boxster S comes with a 350-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter flat four-cylinder that makes 309 pounds-feet of torque. Both cars have rear-wheel drive and the same transmission options: a standard six-speed manual or optional seven-speed PDK automatic.

The power gains for the 718 Boxster, combined with the fact that the new engine is more responsive and offers more low-end torque, means the new base Boxster is just as quick from zero-to-60 mph (4.5 seconds) as last year's Boxster S when both are equipped with PDK, Porsche says. The new 718 Boxster S makes the same sprint in 4.0 seconds.

The move down to smaller engines hasn't benefitted fuel economy as much as performance. The 718 Boxster gets an EPA-estimated 21/28/24 mpg city/highway/combined with the manual transmission, 22/29/25 mpg with PDK. The 718 Boxster S checks in at 20/26/22 mpg with the manual, 21/28/24 mpg with PDK. For the 718 Boxster, these figures match the combined ratings for last year's model exactly (not for the 718 Boxster S). Premium fuel is required.

How It Drives

The new engines add power, which is appreciated, but what distinguishes the 718 Boxster is still its handling. The car's construction gives it a leg up when it comes to balance; having the engine mounted in the middle of the car puts a lot of weight in the center of the vehicle, which keeps it composed through corners. Add the two chassis systems on my test car (active suspension management and torque vectoring), and the 718 Boxster is an impeccable canyon-carver.

The torque-vectoring system works in concert with the rear axle's mechanical differential lock to brake the inside rear wheel when cornering at high speed andshift more power to the outside wheel. This improves the precision of turn-in, as the outside wheel essentially helps steer the car into the turn. It has real impact; the 718 Boxster dives into corners headlong, with great enthusiasm. Combined with an updated steering system (standard on all 718 Boxsters) that has a quicker ratio (it was lifted from the 911 Turbo), it makes the whole car feel responsive and agile.

The adaptive shock absorbers also work magic, dropping ride height 0.39 inch (0.78 inch in the Boxster S) and providing two suspension settings, Normal and Sport. In Normal mode, the suspension is more pliant and rides well over road imperfections. It's stiffer than your average car but definitely livable for everyday driving. Flip it into Sport mode, however, and the shocks stiffen up noticeably as the 718 Boxster stays even more neutral on turn-in. Even in moments when you feel like the car should start to step out or be out of balance, it stays preternaturally flat. Sport isn't the mode I'd choose for a commute or a highway, but if you're on a twisty road and looking for some fun, it's perfect.

Drawbacks

As good as the 718 Boxster is in the performance aspect, it is not without what we'll call compromises, to be gentle. (If we're not being gentle, they're drawbacks.)

Cargo room is small. There are two trunks, a 5.3-cubic-foot trunk up front and a smaller 4.4-cubic-foot area in the rear (remember, the engine is in the middle, behind the seats). That amounts to 9.7 cubic feet total. Not a bad number for a car this size, but being divided brings limitations. For example, the rear cargo area won't fit a roll-aboard suitcase; it'll have to go in the front trunk — and yes, only the one will fit.



There's also the problem of visibility. With the powered top down, it's easy to see in all directions — but when the roof is up, the opposite is true. The canvas forms large blind spots to both sides, and the rear window is small. Make sure your mirrors are set up perfectly, since you'll have to depend on them a fair amount.

My final gripe has to do with the list of standard equipment. There are many options available, but they're expensive. There are a few things I think should be included standard in a car that costs this much, including automatic climate control and automatic emergency braking.

Conclusion

These caveats don't change the fact that the 718 Boxster achieves its goal: It's an unabashed sports roadster that puts a premium on drivability, balance and agility — and it doesn't just complete that mission, it excels at it. Of course, a two-seat convertible that doesn't fit much cargo is not for everyone; kids or a spouse could easily sway the calculus a bit on a car like this. And the price tag is steep for something that offers so little practicality and not-great fuel economy.

But if your mission is as singular as the 718 Boxster's and your objective is to find the car that's the most fun to drive, I promise you won't be disappointed.


Latest 2017 718 Boxster Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.6)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

Latest Reviews

(5.0)

Porsche tribute to the 718

by Interpath from FORT MYERS on May 15, 2018

The Boxster S 718 version has 350 (underated) HP, and 309 Ft. Lbs. of Torque, which combined with a sport chronometer and 7-speed automatic PDK transmission provides a real world sports car experience... Read full review

(5.0)

Boxster S

by RRG from West Creek, NJ on March 25, 2018

My prior Boxster S was a 2001 vintage and had 260 HP. Mid engine and handles very well. Much more forgiving than the 911 I owned. My 2017 Boxster S produces 350 HP and handles like a well-composed mid... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster currently has 4 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / 50,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Porsche

Program Benefits

24-hour road side assistance, battery jump start, flat tire service, emergency fuel delivery, lockout service, replacement keys, extrication/winch service and trip interruption.

  • Limited Warranty

    2 Years / Unlimited Miles Warranty coverage after the expiration of the new vehicle limited warranty or from the date of sale if the new vehicle limited warranty has expired.

    2 Years / Unlimited Miles Warranty coverage after the expiration of the new vehicle limited warranty or from the date of sale if the new vehicle limited warranty has expired.
  • Eligibility

    Under 8 years / 100,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 111 point mechanical and visual inspection..

    See inspection details.

Change Year or Vehicle

All Model Years for the Porsche 718 Boxster

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The 718 Boxster received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker