Despite being a two seat, mid-engined Porsche, not even the Boxster S, let alone the standard Boxster, sets its stall out based on flat out performance. Even the fastest accelerating of the lot – an S with PDK and launch control – won’t crack 5sec to 62mph. There’s an Audi TT RS Roadster that’ll do it in 4.2sec.

But unless you’re one of those types with an unusual penchant for bar room banter, this should not affect your feelings towards the car. For Boxster drivers, the thrill comes in the way that performance is delivered.

Mark Tisshaw

Deputy editor
The S is notably more flexible than the standard model

Both the Boxster and Boxster S engines are among the smoothest of any kind in any car in the world and your enjoyment can begin in any gear at any speed.

But where the standard engine is sweet throughout the rev range, it’s only really strong past its 4000rpm torque peak, whereafter it’ll run for its red line like a starving man after a meat pie.

By contrast the S does that almost regardless of revs, so you notice the additional flexibility in performance even more than the performance itself. That old adage about there being no replacement for displacement is alive, well and living under the Boxster’s engine cover.

Your choice of transmission is easy. We like and admire the PDK auto, enough for it to be the gearbox au choix were this a test of the 911. But the manual option in the 911 is a seven speed manual which is actually too much of a good thing.

The six speed manual Boxster gearbox, is by contrast a complete peach with perfectly judged ratios and the best change quality in the business. It also happens to suit the roadster’s more recreational character.

Top 5 Sports roadsters

  • The Boxster is the cheapest Porsche you can buy

    Porsche Boxster

  • The BMW Z4 has more comfort and added practicality, but has it gone soft?

    BMW Z4

  • Evolutionary looks shroud new underpinnings. Is it a good mix?

    Mercedes-Benz SLK

  • Mazda MX-5
    Mazda's MX-5 has been established for decades as an affordable and enjoyable rear-drive convertible

    Mazda MX-5

  • The 370Z has the pace, looks, kit, value and charm, so what’s the catch?

    Nissan 370Z


Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Porsche range

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    4 March 2015
    This is our first opportunity for a UK drive in a manual version of the new Discovery Sport. Does swapping cogs yourself make more sense?
  • First Drive
    3 March 2015
    Sharper handling, more refined and better-looking. Still a bit rough around the edges, mind, but now good enough to be a class contender
  • Car review
    27 February 2015
    The second pure Mercedes-AMG model is a triumph of engineering and design, and should have rivals from Porsche and Audi worried
  • First Drive
    27 February 2015
    Dual motors and a power hike give Tesla's electric family car supercar acceleration - and the rest of the package is as strong as ever
  • Car review
    26 February 2015
    Flagship performance C-Class is more than ever a true rival for BMW's M3, and impresses with both its breadth of ability and its practicality