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Boxster vs. 911

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Boxster vs. 911
kentv1 - 10 months ago
Old topic, I know. But, I'm about to get another Porsche. I'm so drawn to another Boxster, but I've got some acquaintances saying I really need to "upgrade" to a 911. Frankly, though, I'm looking at a Boxster 718 and I'm not seeing that the greater appeal of the 911. Can I hear just a little more how people feel?
I'd think how YOU feel is more important. Drive them both. Consider price. Consider how it will be used. Then make your decision.

Back when I was buying my first Boxster (second Porsche) i must have driven 8 different models of cars. Everything from a Jag to a 'vette to a BMW. Some as little as 2 blocks and I knew there was no fit between the car and me. And by fit, I don't mean physically. More an emotional thing. How it felt and how I felt. I bought the first Boxster I drove after at most 2 miles.

A 911 wasn't one that I sampled. Why not? No logical reason. Or perhaps having see the 911/912s rusting in the '60s and wanting a rag top it just didn't speak to me.

I commuted in all kinds of traffic, took trash and recycles to the dump (the utility of the two trunks). I wanted a fun car that was practical. Not saying the 911 line isn't, but then I also didn't want to drive a car whose cost was more than my mortgage ever was.

I got frequent spontaneous "great car" like comments from some very random people by the side of the road or cars at stoplights. Never felt inferior in a Boxster.

YMMV
Re: Boxster vs. 911
kentv1 - 10 months ago
Thanks for the thoughts. I'm leaning hard toward the 718. Tight. Sporty. Two trunks. 911 seems just a bit staid.
Re: Boxster vs. 911
jg wnc - 10 months ago
It is very much up to what you want. It really chaps me when guys talk about the 911 being an upgrade. Yes is the 911 more powerful, and it is also heavier and more expensive. The Boxster is lighter and more nimble with the engine in the best possible location in the middle of the car. In that sense, you could say the the 911 is actually a downgrade to a Boxster. I have driven both extensively, and much prefer the Boxster platform.
Re: Boxster vs. 911
kentv1 - 9 months ago
After posting this and giving great thought to the matter, I found myself about to buy a 911 for quite a whack to my wallet. I backed up and reconsidered, and I still am. But in looking at Boxsters again, and considering a manual, and how much less I'd spend for such a great car.
Re: Boxster vs. 911
fgv1it - 10 months ago
Having owned four 911's and three Boxsters in my driving career, and for long periods one of each side by side, your question kind of hit home to me. The short answer is that you can not go wrong; they are both wonderful cars. I must say, however, that after I got "to a certain age" and I decided to trade in my sport cars for a more "luxury" ride (a Panamera), I find myself missing my last Boxster more than any of the other cars. So, I am not going to second-guess someone who chooses a Boxster over a 911. Good luck with your choice, and as someone else said, drive them both and get what YOU like, what hits you in the gut.
I completely agree with what others have said. The only one who can really know what YOU like, is you.

You can listen to what others say about the pros and cons of each car, but ultimately, you're going to be the one driving it. The best way to determine which one that you will enjoy driving is to take the cars / models that you're considering and drive them back to back on the same route of the type of driving that you normally do.

One other thing to consider if you're buying used. You might want to try out a 981 Boxster with the NA flat six compared to the 718 with its turbo 4 cylinder. Of course if you're buying new, your only Boxster option is a 718.

Enjoy your test drives and have fun making your choice.
Re: Boxster vs. 911
MikenOH - 10 months ago
IMHO, it depends on what your driving style might be.
As a grand touring coupe or cab, I think the 911 gets the nod. As a true "sports car" I think the Boxster/Cayman get the nod.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/2018 09:23AM by MikenOH. (view changes)
Re: Boxster vs. 911
MarcW - 10 months ago
There are always some in the crowd that parrot something like what you are hearing. When they offer to buy my cars I might listen but until then I ignore them.

As others have said you need to decide what you want. The Boxster and a 911 model are quite different cars. Obviously if top down driving is important to you a Boxster is the way to go. While there is a Cab 911 it is not the same as the Boxster in this regard.

I actually owned both a Boxster and a 911 (966 Turbo) concurrently for a number of years. From when I bought the Turbo in June 2009 to Dec. 2017. (I bought the Boxster in Jan. 2002.)

I enjoyed both cars. Oh, I have to admit I never put the top down on the Boxster. (I never used the sun/moon roof of the Turbo either.)

They were to state the obvious quite different. However, inside they were also quite the same. I could switch cars without any problems.

Believe it or not I now own a Mini JCW and a Hellcat. When I switch cars -- I usually alternate between cars for my work commute -- I really have a problem with the differences in the controls: Wipers, lights, heater/AC, cruise control. Even the door handles are located in very different areas.

The fact the JCW is a manual and the Hellcat is an automatic also brings another problem. The Hellcat's automatic has me spoiled. More than once in the JCW I've rolled up to a stop and having to at the last second after I remember I'm not the Hellcat having to push in on the clutch pedal and shift to avoid stalling the engine. With the Hellcat even if I'm using the paddle shifters the transmission auto downshifts as I roll up to a stop.

Despite the HP difference: 217hp for the Boxster vs. 420hp for the Turbo; the Boxster was not a dog. Its 5-speed manual shifted very very fast and as a result during acceleration the quick shifts helped to make the Boxster feel faster.

The Boxster was a softer ride, but still has good suspension and road manners. The Boxster was a bit quieter too mainly due to the 17" wheels/tires vs. the 18" wheels/tires on the Turbo.

The Turbo was easier to get in and out of. The Boxster sat really low and sometimes even I had a bit of struggle when I had a sore leg or sore back. The occasional passenger was really taken back by how low the car was and often I watched as a passenger would just give up and drop the last few inches down to the seat.

The Turbo cabin didn't give some people a sensation of excessive closeness like the Boxster. The Boxster cabin put the driver and passenger *close* and some passengers were obviously a bit taken back by this. All passengers of course owned much larger vehicles and the Boxster was quite a different experience for them. But for the overwhelming majority of the time I spent in the Boxster I was alone and the small cabin was kind of nice. The heater/AC had an easy time of it -- the Boxster's auto climate control system was fantastic. I really miss that. The Turbo had the same system. While both my new cars have 'auto climate control" even dual zone controls, neither is on par with the systems in the Porsche.

The Boxster was the much better car to use around town. Easy to get in and out of driveways. The Turbo nose rubbed horribly entering/leaving driveways. Easy to maneuver.

However, the Boxster didn't give up anything on the highway. In fact it got better gas mileage over the same route -- 28mpg vs. 26mpg for the Turbo and I had to mind my manners in the Turbo get even get it up to 26mpg. The Boxster had more luggage space. The front trunk was huge. The Turbo with AWD had a small front trunk.

Even at higher elevations -- around 7700 feet outside of Flagstaff -- the Boxster had plenty of get up and go. It was a real GT car even though it had a soft top.

The Boxster was a much better car in the twisties. In some ways with less HP it was the more fun car to drive harder. With the Turbo on the same roads I always had a mental image of the Turbo rolled up in a ball of sheetmetal lying smoking at the bottom of one of the steep drop offs along the twisty roads. This muted my experience with the Turbo. With the Boxster I tossed it around like a go cart.

Both cars were very comfortable on long -- 4K+ mile -- road trips. I could spend 8 to 14 or more hours behind the wheel with nothing more than the occasional pit stop for fuel and to stretch my legs.

In the Turbo I had a better view out. The car sat higher and had more glass.

Of course the Turbo's running costs were higher. The Turbo cost more to fuel, insure, register, service, repair. Tire life was about the same as the Boxster's tire life but like everything else the Turbo tires cost more than Boxster tires.

Overall the Boxster matched up well to the Turbo or maybe vice versa. The Boxster was one sweet automobile.

However, if I bought another Porsche it would not be a Boxster. But it almost certainly would not be a 911 model either. For me the Cayman offers the substantial benefit of mid-engine location in a hard top (coupe) body style.
Re: Boxster vs. 911
db997S - 10 months ago
I've owned a '98 Boxster, an '02 Boxster S and now an '09 911 S Cab. The '98 I brought new without test driving or even ever sitting in one (six-month wait lists were all the rage back then). The moment I sat in mine to drive off the dealers lot, it fit me like a nice pair of worn jeans. Comfort from the get go. The handling was unbelievable. Picture definition of the word "tossable." Much different than the 911. Having that open space (aka, "rear" seats"winking smiley behind you is a different feeling. Even with the electronics, you still know that it is rear heavy, and thus, it doesn't feel as "tossable." The fit, finish and overall quality, however, is much better in the 911. Not sure why. The car even feels much more solid and tight.
I haven't had nearly the issues in the 911 as I've had in my two Boxsters. Now, that said, it seems as though maintenance costs more on the 911. Don't know why. That's just a gut feeling or more an ear feeling (mywife seems to grumble more when annual maintenance time comes around). So, what are you looking for in a car? I have not driven the new four-banger Boxster. So, don't know the power and torque difference between it and the 911. That would be my main concern now, if I were to ever move back to a Boxster. Blown fours are different. Remember hearing all the moaning about the Honda S2000 and how to get anything out of it, you need to be at the upper end of the revs. I just don't like to drive that way. Good luck. I'm perfectly fine with the 911, and didn't plan on buying one. But, in 2009 when Porsche got rid of the IMS, I wanted to get rid of my '02 Boxster S and was looking at new Boxster S, but Porsche just wasn't dealing on Boxsters. I got my 911 S Cab in November 2009 for 27% off MSRP. It was sitting on the lot, and they wanted it gone. Don't even think they were offering 10% off Boxsters. I called dealers from Richmond, VA, to New England. Further north, the better the deals being offered.

Good luck. Definitely what one would call first-world problems.
I've owned several of each. Both great cars. Like Marc, I now prefer a Cayman.

My next will be a 718GT4, hopefully with a 4.0L NA engine. The best of all worlds. smileys with beer



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/18/2018 12:32PM by Gary in SoFL. (view changes)

"A mile of highway will take you one mile. A mile of runway will take you anywhere."
I prefer my old, gone Boxster. I had a 2000 Boxster S and now a 2009 C2S. The Boxster is clearly a better handling, more fun car to own and drive. Just is. Done.

I can sum it all up.... lighter!!!, mid-engine, closed in cockpit, slightly shorter gears. Simply more of a sports car than a 911. The 911 has become a great GT car as Porsche is going after a very large, well-healed, poser market.

The added power of my C2S is nice but not that more impressive. The gears in the C2S are a bit too long... I am always thinking about having 2nd and third gear lowered.... I don't know why everyone mods the engine for more HP as they should be gearing the thing down a bit. The suspension of the 2000 S was perfect for me.... just well engineered. The PASM in my 2009 is just terrible.... it bangs over expansion joints but is swishy.... so I put in the DSC control module and that totally transformed the handling from being annoying to fabulous.

If I had to do it again, I would seriously consider a Boxster. Although I could never buy a pre-2009 as I had two engine blow up of that vintage hence why I went with a 2009.

Peace
Bruce in Philly



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 12/30/2018 03:23PM by Bruce In Philly (2000 S Boxster, now '09 C2S). (view changes)
Re: Boxster vs. 911
kentv1 - 9 months ago
I'm still needing some guidance here. I found a great Boxster. It's a manual and I like the idea and feel of it. I already have a MY2000 S that I'd sell.

But I'm looking at a fantastic 911 S, and comparing it. It would cost $45K more. I'm having trouble with the thought that the spread is enough to fund a good part of a college education. I'm also having trouble with only having one trunk, and that I'd be driving a PDK.

I've got two trusted companions saying that as I enter my 60s I ought to get a car that is more classic and will hold its value more, meaning a 911, and that I'll have just as much, or more, fun using the manual element of the PDK. The arguments appear to relate to "refinement," classic appeal, etc. Another argument thrown my way is that for road trips a 911 will look every bit a highway car, whereas my Boxster will look like a day-trip fun car taken a few days too long.

Gosh, I know a number of you already weighed in but I'd still appreciate any other thoughts. I am very lucky to be able to afford either car; it's not that. I just don't want to be asking--why did I need a 911 over an awesome Boxster?

Thanks all.
One you know the maintenance history. One you don't. You don't say what year the 911 is so can't tell what classic issues it might have. You already know what issues the '00 986 might suffer from.

You say 60s (thats when I bought my 2) and you speak of college. All the household big ticket items paid off? Retirement secure? Long term care insurance paid for? Got a plan for insurance beyond medicare?

I always liked the fact that mine weren't 911 variants. Never felt attracted to a 911, never felt inferior. Got unprompted complements from the most unlikely of folks and in the oddest places. Heck they all had more HP than it was wise for me to use. And I could have 90% of the fun for 36% of the cost. That had appeal too. Tires cheaper too.

But I've frequently said there is no reason we all should make my choices. Your money. You know your wants and needs best.
Re: Boxster vs. 911
MarcW - 9 months ago
Quote
kentv1
I'm still needing some guidance here. I found a great Boxster. It's a manual and I like the idea and feel of it. I already have a MY2000 S that I'd sell.

But I'm looking at a fantastic 911 S, and comparing it. It would cost $45K more. I'm having trouble with the thought that the spread is enough to fund a good part of a college education. I'm also having trouble with only having one trunk, and that I'd be driving a PDK.

I've got two trusted companions saying that as I enter my 60s I ought to get a car that is more classic and will hold its value more, meaning a 911, and that I'll have just as much, or more, fun using the manual element of the PDK. The arguments appear to relate to "refinement," classic appeal, etc. Another argument thrown my way is that for road trips a 911 will look every bit a highway car, whereas my Boxster will look like a day-trip fun car taken a few days too long.

Gosh, I know a number of you already weighed in but I'd still appreciate any other thoughts. I am very lucky to be able to afford either car; it's not that. I just don't want to be asking--why did I need a 911 over an awesome Boxster?

Thanks all.

What are you referring to by "MY2000 S that I'd sell"? Is that another Boxster S? Surely not.

As I touched upon in a previous post the Boxster and the 911 are quite different cars. (They also are quite similar which when I switched between my Boxster and my 996 Turbo it was quite nice to find a lot of the controls the same and in the same place. When I switch between my JCW and my Hellcat now it takes me some time to get acclimated.)

Anyhow, ignoring the similarities with the cabin/controls the driving experience is quite different. It you favor a top down experience the Boxster is the way to go.

The mid-engine Boxster's road manners especially in the twistier bits of road is hands down the best drive you can have for the price. Maybe a mid-engine exotic can beat the Boxster experience but not for anywhere near the Boxster's price.

For road trips my Boxster was awesome. While of course the Boxster is a roadster it is also a very nice GT car, able to cover long distances with ease. The 2.7l engine proved to be a superb engine and moved the car down the road with as much speed as I could dare risk. And rather economically too.

As for luggage space, my Boxster had plenty (more than the Turbo) luggage space with its 2 trunks. The front trunk was cavernous compared to the 996 Turbo's but in defense of the Turbo the front trunk was smaller mainly due to the presence of the front diff. (AWD.)

The Turbo had the back seats which could hold some stuff but really the Boxster just had more luggage space.

No one said anything to me about having the Boxster out on the open highway. Besides I wouldn't have cared anyhow what other people thought. I was the one driving a nice Porsche on my long road trips not some run of the mill sedan or what have you.

I'm in my 60's and frankly as long as my current cars hold up I don't care if they hold their value or not. My retirement -- when it comes -- is not going to be affected one iota by how much my cars are worth. If you are concerned about future value that makes an argument to buy the less expensive car. Depreciation is the biggest car expense so buying a car that is $45K less expensive means you have much less to lose to depreciation.

As for PDK (automatic) vs. manual, I did "relent" sort of and bought my Hellcat with an automatic. Two reasons. One is with 707hp and 4000lbs+ of car I felt the better transmission was the automatic. It provides some "cushion" between the engine and the drivetrain and vice versa. Two is the automatic equipped car also happens to be considerably faster than the 6-speed car. Not that I can use all that power but I recalled with my Turbo (with "just" 420hp) the acceleration was muted somewhat by how slow (relatively speaking) the shifting was. The 5-speed in my Boxster shifted like lightning. While the Turbo transmission was very good, smooth, it was still slow to shift.

The 8-speed automatic shifts in approx. 150mS and well, that doesn't give the acceleration time to mute. The PDK I believe shifts in that ballpark.

My new JCW I got with a 6-speed manual. It shifts very quick. That is the benefit of a small engine and a light (2800lbs) car. The transmission doesn't have to be capable of dealing with huge amounts of torque which means the components can be lighter and the thus the shifting quicker which explains why the Boxster with its 5-speed shifted to quick.

But like the question of a Boxster or a 911 you have to answer the question of a manual or a PDK.

Test drive examples of both the Boxster and 911. You have to decide which type of driving experience you want.

Arrange to test drive a manual and a PDK. I've driven some loaners with a PDK and the PDK is an awesome transmission and I don't think you'd be giving up anything by getting a car with a PDK. You can still elect to use it in manual mode, which I use in my Hellcat almost every time I drive the car. While one doesn't have to work the clutch pedal and move the shift lever one still needs to be paying attention to know when to shift. To me that is a large part of the "engagement" with the car. Working the clutch and moving the lever about is about as involving as pulling on the door handle to open the door. Really it becomes pardon the expression automatic and something one does without any real thought. But the decision to when to shift requires taking in so many factors it well, provides the "engagement" with the car.
Quote
kentv1
I just don't want to be asking--why did I need a 911 over an awesome Boxster?

Thanks all.

I think you already know which car is best for you. Your friends have different priorities.
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