July 19, 2024

The 2024 Porsche 718 Boxster: The 2-seater soft-top delivers driving nirvana

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The 2024 Porsche 718 Boxster is the company’s most affordable soft-top, yet it still has plenty of great Porsche
POAHY,
-0.97%
qualities. Pricing starts at $70,400.

Porsche makes cars that are great to drive. They’re expensive, but the engineering that goes into them is truly impressive. This is just as true of the 718 Boxster as it is of the iconic Porsche 911 (and if any car deserves to be called iconic, it’s the 911).

So although the 718 Boxster is a 2-seater convertible that would be a perfect car for a relaxed run along a coast road, it can also deliver proper thrills when pushed harder.

The Boxster’s fixed-roof sibling, the 718 Cayman, is reviewed separately.

2024 Porsche 718 Boxster pricing

The 2024 Porsche 718 Boxster


Porsche

The 2024 Porsche 718 Boxster starts at $70,400. This version comes with a manual transmission. The 7-speed automatic is an extra $3,210.

It’s a lot of fun going on the Porsche site and pretending that we’re buying a GTS 4.0 model and then adding all the dream extras, but that could end up costing about $112K. Keep in mind that Porsche options are not cheap.

718 Boxster

$70,400

718 Boxster Style Edition

$76,700

718 Boxster S

$82,400

718 Boxster GTS 4.0

$97,300

718 Spyder RS

$160,700

These are the manufacturer’s suggested retail prices and do not include the $1,650 factory-to-dealer delivery fee (destination charge).

Rivals include the BMW Z4
BMW,
+0.34%,
which starts closer to $50K. The Jaguar F-Type enters its final year of production and begins just below $80K. And don’t overlook the Chevrolet Corvette, which starts in the mid-60s. For those with smaller budgets, the Mazda MX-5 Miata remains entertaining and accessible, for less than half the price of a base 718 Boxster.

Check out: The 2023 BMW Z4 review: Fun luxury roadster and a daily driver in one package

Before buying a new 718 Boxster premium sports car, check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to know what you should be paying.

Excellent resale values

Even though its sticker price is substantial, the 718 Boxster provides the parting gift of robust resale value should you ever want to sell it.

What’s new for 2024

The 2024 718 Boxster lineup sees the introduction of the Style Edition, a package of cosmetic touches and a few items that would usually be on the options list — such as a heated steering wheel, black leather upholstery with contrasting stitching, and illuminated scuff plates.

However, the bigger news is that the 718 Spyder RS has arrived — lighter, more powerful and considerably more expensive than the non-RS Spyder it replaces. It’s the soft-top counterpart to the hardcore 718 Cayman GT4 RS coupe. Coming in at around $161K, it’s a niche model among niche models, but has all the right equipment for serious enthusiasts.

Among its options are a front axle lift to help negotiate things like speed humps, a set of aerodynamic additions, carbon fiber hood, and a special Porsche Design Swiss watch.

Last year’s T variant is no longer offered.

You might like: The 2024 Jaguar F-Type is a traditional sports car in all the right ways—and this is the last gas-powered model

Driving the 2024 Porsche 718 Boxster

The 2024 Porsche 718 Boxster


Porsche

The 911 is usually considered the true enthusiast’s choice. But for drivers who never really liked the idea of an engine in the trunk and insufficient weight over the front wheels, the balletic balance of a 718 Boxster or Spyder is a thing of kinetic beauty.

Our opinion is that a mid-engined format like this doesn’t require a lot of power to be thrilling. Just the way the 718 Boxster changes direction, responding to steering inputs with an immediacy that has to be felt to be fully appreciated, is so much a part of this sports car’s appeal.

The suspension — whether it’s the standard setup or the optional active shock absorbers — doesn’t settle for firm and feisty, where lesser cars would. There’s no twitchiness, but a fluidity over bumps and from one corner to the next.

One advantage of placing the engine behind the front seats is that it acts as a structural member, to help keep the convertible body from flexing, so Porsche’s engineers could tune the ride to a finer degree.

Even if a 2024 718 Boxster doesn’t need a lot of muscle, we still think Porsche hasn’t short-changed anyone with a turbocharged 300 horsepower in the base model. Or 350 horses in the Boxster S.

If we were going to make a minor complaint, it’s that these 4-cylinder engines don’t make the same kind of neck-hair-raising, pupil-dilating, spine-fluttering sound as a traditional naturally aspirated Porsche flat-6.

No such problem in the GTS 4.0. Or the new-for-2024 718 Spyder RS, which comes with a 493-horsepower engine taken from the awesome 911 GT3 (also used in the 718 Cayman GT4 RS). Porsche says the 718 Spyder RS can rush from standstill to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. The base 718 Boxster does it in a still-respectable 4.9 seconds.

Whereas the 718 Cayman GT4 RS coupe rides decidedly on the firm side, the new 718 Spyder RS convertible has a slightly more relaxed character while retaining the same kind of precision and adjustability.

The 718 Boxster range also offers a limited-slip differential and brake-based torque vectoring for even greater effectiveness through corners.

We’ve spent hundreds of hours driving and researching the current collection of luxury convertibles, including the 718 Boxster.

Don’t miss: Here’s your ultimate list of best-buy cars, trucks, SUVs and EVs for 2024

Businesslike interior

The instrument display has the rev counter right in its center, because drivers are expected to be concentrating on the gearshift point before hitting the redline. It’s one of several typical Porsche traits in the 2024 718 Boxster and 718 Spyder RS.

Overall, the 2-seater cabin is more about business than affectation. There’s some flair, but not at the expense of ergonomics. The seats are comfortable enough for long trips and the driving position feels suitably sporty. The bucket seats in the 718 Spyder RS are made of lightweight carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP).

Although cabin materials are of luxury-car quality, we’ve found noise levels on the freeway to be not quite so soothing. Better than a Mazda
MZDAY,
+0.99%
MX-5 Miata, but we would have preferred more sound insulation.

The options list includes various leathers and color schemes, including seat belts of different hues. Plus aluminum or carbon fiber accents, and a key painted the same color as the car.

Trunk space measures 4.4 cubic feet and there’s extra under-hood storage of 5.2 cubic feet. A couple of weekend bags should fit in one way or the other.

Also see: The 2024 Porsche 911 review: Pricing, specs, and what it’s like to drive

Evocative exterior

Because of its mid-engined configuration, the 2024 718 Boxster doesn’t have a conventional grille, which adds to the special Porsche aura that’s also part of the more expensive and powerful 911 range.

The power-operated fabric top is offered in black, brown, dark blue or dark red. The 718 Spyder RS also has small “flying buttress” features behind each headrest, plus a lowered suspension, 20-inch alloy wheels, and a ducktail spoiler.

The new-for-2024 718 Boxster Style Edition debuts a new color — Ruby Star Neo — which also becomes available across the rest of the lineup. The 718 Spyder RS brings another new color: Vanadium Grey Metallic.

Porsche offers bespoke decals for the sides, where buyers can choose up to three numbers — the most obvious being 718, perhaps. Other touches for the range include 20-inch alloy wheels, black tailpipes, and the Boxster name embossed in the fabric roof above the side windows.

Our favorite features and tech

Porsche styling
Porsche would be the first company to say that function is paramount, looks are secondary. But there’s still a certain visual flavor to Porsche cars (and SUVs) that’s arguably stirring. Right down to the typeface used in model names and numbers.

Manual transmission
This is one of the few occasions where we wouldn’t deter potential buyers from choosing the manual. It’s slick and quick, and enhances driver engagement.

Sport Chrono package
As well as a digital/analog stopwatch in the center console, this feature adds a launch mode to the automatic transmission or an automatic rev-matching feature to the manual gearbox. Active driveline mounts are also included — think of these as little adaptive shock absorbers where various mechanical parts are bolted to the body. The Sport Chrono package is optional in some variants, standard in others.

Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM)
In other words, an adaptive suspension. It’s lower than the regular setup by just under half an inch. That doesn’t sound like much, but it has an effect. And although it’s tuned for sportiness, it does add to the way the 718 Boxster flows. Available as either an option or standard equipment, depending on the variant.

Soft top
It’s great to have the choice between this car and the fixed-roof 718 Cayman coupe. There’s no body flex when driving over bumps (something that afflicts other convertibles) so the dynamics aren’t compromised. But there’s an extra element of fun and even a little romance to a top-down trip.

Porsche Experience Center delivery
Available in Atlanta and Los Angeles, taking delivery of your new 718 Boxster in this way also includes high-performance driving instruction on a track, plus lunch. It costs $2,000.

Engine and transmission

The base 2024 718 Boxster employs a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder mid-mounted engine. Output is 300 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque.

The S comes with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, as well, but with a displacement of 2.5 liters, making 350 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque.

Music to the ears of Porsche lovers, a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated 6-cylinder engine propels the GTS 4.0 with 394 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque — or 317 lb-ft with the automated transmission.

The most extreme Boxster variant is the new 718 Spyder RS, also with a 4.0-liter flat-6, yet packing 493 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque. That’s 79 more horses than the previous, non-RS Spyder.

Also on MarketWatch: Why buy thrills when you can rent them? These are the most popular cars on Turo.

All versions of the 2024 718 Boxster have a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard, offering the option of a 7-speed automated transmission. The exception being the 718 Spyder RS, which comes with that 7-speed auto ’box exclusively.

Rear-wheel drive is the only configuration. And premium gasoline is required for each 718 Boxster engine.

718 Boxster
2.0-liter turbocharged flat 4-cylinder engine
300 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
280 lb-ft of torque @ 1,950-4,500 rpm
EPA combined fuel economy (2023): 22 mpg (city/highway: 20/26 mpg) (manual), 24 mpg (city/highway: 21/27 mpg) (auto)

718 Boxster S
2.5-liter turbocharged flat 4-cylinder engine
350 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
309 lb-ft of torque @ 1,900-4,500 rpm
EPA combined fuel economy (2023): 21 mpg (city/highway: 19/24 mpg) (manual), 22 mpg (city/highway: 19/25 mpg) (auto)

718 Boxster GTS 4.0
4.0-liter flat 6-cylinder engine
394 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
309 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000-6,500 rpm (manual)
317 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm (auto)
EPA combined fuel economy (2023): 19 mpg (city/highway: 17/24 mpg) (manual), 21 mpg (city/highway: 19/24 mpg) (auto)

718 Spyder RS
4.0-liter flat 6-cylinder engine
493 horsepower @ 8,400 rpm
331 lb-ft of torque @ 6,250 rpm
EPA combined fuel economy (estimated): 16 mpg (city/highway: 15/19 mpg)

4-year/50,000-mile warranty

Porsche’s new car and drivetrain warranties last for four years or 50,000 miles, whichever happens first. This is typical among European luxury car companies.

KBB’s car review methodology.

This story originally ran on KBB.com.



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