Porsche 718 Boxster review

Words by:
Tim Barnes-Clay
Featured in:
November 2022

Over the years, the Boxster has proven itself to be the benchmark roadster. The timeless looks of the car, along with the coveted Porsche name, are enough to tempt anyone who loves wind-in-your-hair motoring.

The latest generation of the mid-engined two-seater drop-top is propelled by a flat four-cylinder ‘boxer’ powerplant with turbocharging.

The current model conjures up images of the Porsche 718 mid-engined sports cars that triumphed in many races in the 1950s and 1960s, fuelled by four-cylinder ‘boxer’ petrol engines.

For all its athleticism and 300 horses, the 2.0 litre turbocharged Boxster, as reviewed here, is surprisingly fuel-efficient. On a long run, I never dipped much below late-20s to early-30s mpg – even with a few bursts of heavy right-footedness occasionally thrown into the mix.

Complementing the clout and economy is first-class suspension tuning, along with brakes that erase pace instantly. The result is a distinctive dynamic and emotive Boxster driving experience.
Indeed, for non-millionaires, if power and handling are priorities, then look no further than the standard 718 Boxster. Its cornering ability is superb, while the reasonably powerful engine adds plenty of breath-taking straight-line grunt.

Moreover, the German-made sports car is not scary to drive. If you want a Porsche but daren’t take the step because you think your nerves will get the better of you, take a deep breath. You see, the 718 incorporates stability control that will keep you safe and sound. The technology is hardly ever needed, but if you poke the wasp’s nest, then instead of getting stung, the stability control will rapidly come to your rescue before anything gets out of hand.

The Boxster is the perfect sports machine for straight or twisty tarmac, then. It is incredibly responsive, exhilarating to drive and trustworthy. It really isn’t the sort of vehicle that, like a feral cat, will scratch your eyes out the moment you think you’ve won it over.

The pull of the 2.0-litre unit in the 718 Boxster with its 380Nm of torque from 1,950 rpm to 4,500 rpm is grin-inducing. Moreover, when fitted with the optional Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) double-clutch automatic transmission and the Sport Chrono Package, as incorporated into the vehicle tested for this review, the drop-top sprints from zero to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds.

You need to visit German’s federal controlled-access highway system – the Autobahn – if you want to experience the Boxster’s top speed of 170mph, though. Either that or find an airfield or go on a track day. But this 718 is not about ruining the rubber on the tyres and driving like a fool – it’s all about sophisticated stimulation.

It is worth mentioning, by the way, that the 718 model is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. The PDK alluded to earlier is a £2,000 option. Yes, that’s pricey, I know, but it does feature fuel-saving ‘virtual gears’ previously introduced on the 911 model series. So, maybe if you keep the Boxster long enough, you’ll recoup that extra cost one day. But if you don’t, do you really care? The convertible is frugal enough – for what it is – already – and the auto box is sweet and effortless. So, to my mind, it’s worth the cost. Mind you, the petrolhead purists will tell you that a manual gearbox is the only way to go – because that way, you’re fully driving the car.

Anyway, as much as this Porsche is about how it drives, it’s also about how good it looks on your driveway. Well, you won’t be disappointed – just look at the pictures!

The Boxster distinguishes itself at first glance with a sculptural form. The front has a broad and purposeful appearance, with large cooling air intakes more than hinting at the turbocharged lump throbbing within. The nose of the Boxster is completed by Bi-Xenon headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights. If those laser-like lights aren’t enough for you, you can opt for four-point LED daytime running lights instead.

In profile, identifying features of the sports car include independently styled wheel arches and side sills. Large air inlet panels with two fins accentuate the Boxster’s dynamic appearance even more.

The doors are also designed without door handle recess covers. Furthermore, 18-inch alloy wheels are standard on the 718 Boxster, but my test car was fitted with 19-inch diameter Boxster S wheels. If you want these alloys, be prepared to fork out an additional £1,313.

most powerful Porsche you can buy or lease, but it packs a lot of technology into a very nice interior. And you will never get tired of driving it – or looking at it – I can promise you that!

Words: Tim Barnes-Clay,
Follow on Instagram @tbarnesclay



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