2008 Porsche Boxster Review: Designed to Drive

The 2008 Boxster is pure Porsche at a reasonable price point.

So, how does Porsche get away with offering it’s renowned engineering at a sub-60K print point? My rationale is simple: the Boxster is designed purely for driving. This means Porsche has stripped away any and all unnecessary stuff so you can focus on dropping the top, turning the key, turning up the music, hitting the road and simply enjoying the drive—a digital readout speedo, a button-free steering wheel, straightforward centre console, and a naturally aspirated engine, are just a few examples.  And if you’d like all the other luxuries, you can simply add them (or simply move up to the Boxster RS60 if you’re inclined).

Boxster Cockpit and Interior

The cockpit is snug yet comfortable, as it ought to be. The well-bolstered leather seats, heated seats optional, feel great in the corners; the 3-spoke steering wheel feels safe in the hands, particularly without any buttons to fiddle with; and the instrument panel is simple and easy to view. The speedometer lists speeds in 20 KM increments, but no worries, a digital read out directly below is nice for the analog impaired.

Also check out: World Premiere of the 2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder in New York

Several of my passengers where unimpressed with the centre console. They were expecting something a little ‘fancier’ perhaps. I found it to be perfect: tight and compact with a straightforward layout. Again, the focus is more driving, and less dial turning. In fact, majority of the console functionality is a quick touch or push of a button so you keep your eyes on the road. Toggling between music tracks, for instance, requires a push of the dial, opposed to turning it. Perhaps I’m reading into it a little too much, or perhaps I’m just a lackadaisical and enjoy the simplicities.

2008 Porsche Boxster Review

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Cargo space was surprisingly ample, though admittedly, I was expecting very little. The Boxster is mid-engine equipped, thus, you’ll find cargo space under both the front and rear hatches: a deep, cooler-sized cavity good for a large carry-on bag up front; and a much more shallow space in the rear—a space that leads you to believe a golf bag will fit just fine. When in fact, it will not. This is the one puzzling complaint I had: why doesn’t the Boxster fit my golf bag? Sure, it seems trivial, but I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking this. More importantly, I can only presume many Boxster owners or potential customers/golfers are thinking this as well.

Standard audio is an AM/FM/CD radio with 4 loudspeakers; my tester came with the $2330 Bose High End Sound Package—an appropriate upgrade for those who take their sound seriously, particularly on the highway with the top down. Inside the glove compartment are two CD disc slots for storage.

Under the Hood: 2.7L Engine with 245-hp

Power is in the form of a horizontally opposed 6-cylinder, 2.7-litre engine. Producing 245-hp and 201-lb ft of torque. Transmission is a 5-speed manual with dual mass flywheel. Out of habit, I found myself constantly reaching for the 6th gear, thought it wasn’t necessary.

Suspension is in the form of a McPherson strut system, along with front & rear stabilizer bars. Standard wheel package for the Boxster include 17” alloy wheels, wrapped in 205/55ZR17 tires up front, and 235/50zR17 in the rear. For a mere $1730 extra, you’ll get the much better 18” Boxster-S wheels—without question, a significant styling and performance impact as this price.

Aside from the 18” wheels and Bose system, other upgrades include floor mats in interior colour; auto climate control; Bi-Xenon headlamps; heated seats; and a wind deflector. However, if it’s performance upgrades you’re after, the Boxster-S is the step up, most notably, adding 50 additional horses via a larger displacement at 3.4-litre. Fortunately, or not, there are many ‘step ups’ in the Porsche lineup, with the third and final Boxster installment being the Boxster RS60, before you enter Porsche Cayman realm.

Some key safety features include: POSIP- Porsche Side Impact Protection with front airbags, thorax airbags in seats, and head airbags in doors, providing 6 airbags in total; a body shell hot dip galvanized on both sides with high strength steel & Boron steel safety structures; aluminum luggage lids; a stainless-steel rollover bar; ABS; a stability program, among others.

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The 2008 Boxster is pure Porsche, with all the performance, comfort, elegance, and even cargo, at an attainable price point. Above all, it’s fun to drive.

Learn more about the all-new 718 Porsche Boxster.

2008 Porsche Boxster Review2008 Porsche Boxster Review2008 Porsche Boxster Review

Amee Reehalhttp://www.ameereehal.com/
Shooting cars professionally since film was a thing, Amee's work has appeared in various outlets including NBC Sports, Chicago Tribune, SuperStreet, GlobeDrive, MotorTrend, and others. He's the managing editor & founder of TractionLife.com. Find him travelling, spending time with his kids and family. Or golfing, poorly.