Ordinarily you would expect a car of that age to be worth only a fraction of what it cost to buy new, perhaps as little as one-third. But were that true of Porsche’s mid-engined roadster there’d be 62-plate Boxsters kicking about on the used market with £12,500 price tags. If that were the case, Porsche would probably never sell a brand new sports car again…
The 981 has held its value better than just about any other comparable performance car. The cheapest examples offered for private sale go for around £23,000, but if you want a Porsche Approved car with a two-year manufacturer warranty, you’ll have to budget for £28,000. The 981 Boxster arrived in the UK during the summer of 2012, the entry-level version costing from £37,589 and the higher-powered Boxster S £45,384. While those original buyers will be very pleased with how well their car has held onto its value, the rest of us will find it a touch regrettable. After all, even after seven years the bargain-basement 981 Boxster doesn’t seem much closer now than it was back in 2012. There is another way of looking at it, however. These cars are depreciating more slowly now than they’ve ever done, so if you were to stick £28,000 into one today, you’d get most of that back two or three years down the line.
The 981 Boxster was a bigger car than the 987 it replaced, but it was also lighter and more powerful. While it is undoubtedly true that the earlier cars with their hydraulically assisted steering were more tactile, this newer model has a far more modern cabin, much more muscular styling and, in the way its suspension combines body control with ride comfort and bump absorption, one of the best real-world sports car chassis of recent memory.
Apart from being such a joy to drive, the Boxster has resolutely held its value, it seems, because the model that replaced it in 2016 just hasn’t been met with the same level of demand. Its turbocharged four cylinder is nothing like as sonorous as the 981’s tuneful normally aspirated flat six, and many buyers have elected not to upgrade.