Unless you’re the type of person who desperately desires the approval of others, the second generation Porsche Boxster is a perfect choice for anyone who loves driving. The average bag of bones with a few functioning synapses will forever look at the Boxster as a car that is “lesser than”, something entry level, something plebeian. What I’ve always found funny about all the negativity directed at the Boxster, is that it often comes from people who a) don’t own a Porsche and b) don’t have the means to own a Porsche. Those folks relentlessly throw shade at the Boxster, all the while knowing full well that if someone handed them the keys to one, they’d be overjoyed. After all, a base model Porsche is still a Porsche, and these days the Boxster is far more representative of the Porsche ethos than the 911.
The second generation Boxster launched in 2005, but the ones to look for are the face lifted 2008-2012 models. Referred to as the 987, the second generation cars look far better than the original, had more power, and vastly improved interiors. The Generation II 987 took all those improvements up another notch and that’s why they’re the most desirable models. Power increased from 245hp to 255hp in the base Boxster and 295hp to 310hp in the Boxster S. The bump came from an increase in displacement from 2.7 to 2.9 litres in the base model, while the use of Direct Fuel Injection in the 3.4 litre was responsible for the increase in the Boxster S. Both cars now had the option of being equipped with Porsche’s 7-speed PDK transmission and came standard with a six speed manual. It shouldn’t be much of a question which I would suggest getting. This is a lightweight sports car meant to engage the driver, you want 3 pedals, period.
Exterior cosmetic changes were made in the form of new headlights, taillights, large front air intakes in the lower fascia, and the addition of twin diffusers to the lower rear. Inside, the Boxster remained mostly unchanged, save for the addition of a redesigned infotainment system. New accessories were also made available, my favorite of them being the Porsche Baby Seat. If you’re going to take your offspring along for a ride in your Porsche, better make sure they’re rolling in style.
While a fancy seat for a drooling poop machine is all well and good, the accessory you really want with your Boxster is the sports exhaust. Buyers could have optioned it individually, but it came with the Sport Chrono and Sport Chrono Plus packages, so it’s best to look for cars with those. The dual mode sports exhaust is a must have on any Porsche, but seeing as the Boxster is a roofless machine, you’ll enjoy it ten fold. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience on this matter. If you can find a Boxster with Sport Chrono or Sport Chrono Plus, a manual transmission, and limited luxury options, do not hesitate, that’s what you should take home. One day these cars will be highly sought after collectors items and in the meantime you get to drive something incredibly fun.
There were a number of specialty models released during the 987 Gen II run, the most famous of them being the 2011 Boxster Spyder. This was the most hardcore Boxster ever and at the time, the lightest Porsche you could buy. You won’t be finding one of these for a steal of deal, but if you can afford one, you’d do well to at least consider whether you really need such trivial things as a radio, door handles, A/C, or in car storage compartments.
Other specialty models include the RS60 Spyder, Porsche Design Edition 2, Limited Edition, and Black Edition. Prices vary on all four models, but again, don’t expect to have much bargaining power here. These are all very desirable specialty models, especially the 2008 Limited Edition and 2012 Black Edition. Only 500 Limited Edition and 987(clever right?) of the Black Edition models were made worldwide. The latter is the one I’d go for simply because I don’t like the Orange GT3RS theme of the Limited Edition, but if you do, the one linked above is a pretty solid deal.
Hopefully after reading this, you fully understand that all the negative connotations associated with the Boxster are absurd. It’s a far cry from the stereotypes thrown at it and now that you know that, you’re in the club. Being in the club means that you’re privy to the knowledge that the Boxster is in fact not an overpriced Miata, not “the womens Porsche” (seeing as there’s no such thing anyway), and it is most certainly not “the poor man’s” Porsche. Lots of people will go on thinking these things and that’s just fine because that means more reasonably priced examples of a great car for the rest of us. Let them go pay the 911 tax, you enjoy the glory of the mid-engined machine that they think is inferior. Use the money you save on the purchase price to make a few tasteful upgrades, get out to some track days, or get one of those baby seats on eBay.