A used Porsche Boxster might be a great purchasing decision because Porches don’t lose all that much value compared to other brands. Plus, a Porsche Boxster offers an amazing driving experience top-up, or top-down.
The dynamic capability of the Boxster/Cayman platform is quite impressive. Due to lightweight construction and punchy engine options, most newer Boxster models are capable of serious pace, so much so that you can keep up with many 911 models.
There are lots of models to choose from. If you want a compact bargain sports car that still does not suffer from poor reliability, an older 986 Boxster is a great choice. The second-generation 987 Boxster offers many upgrades, but the 3rd-gen 981 Boxster is probably the best generation to buy.
Minimal depreciation and high value
If you’re buying a used car, your budget is probably your main concern. But you also want to make sure that the money you end up spending does not evaporate after a few years of ownership. And in the entire compact sports car segment, the Boxster is the one with the mildest depreciation.
It is estimated that a Porsche Boxster loses around 26% of its original value in the first 3 years of ownership. For a spot of context, an Audi TT loses approximately 37%, and the Mercedes SLC loses approximately 33% of its original value.
A 1st– gen 986 Boxster is as cheap as Porsches get, and you can source a decent 986 for about $15k. A 987 is a bit more expensive than a 986, but it still offers great value for money. A 981 Boxster costs considerably more than the first two generations at around $30k, but it does offer a lot of upgrades.
The Porsche 718 Boxster is at the very end of its lifeline, and a new 5th gen Boxster is around the corner. This means that the 718, and all the previous-gen Boxster models are likely to take an additional value dive as soon as the new one arrives. That being said, a decent 718 can be bought for around $40k.
A Boxster has sports car pedigree
One of the main reasons why you’d buy a Boxster in the first place is the fact that a Boxster offers baby 911 driving characteristics. Even though the Boxster platform is a mid-engined one, and the engine in the 911 sits at the back, the competence of the Boxster/Cayman platform is not far from a 911 platform.
Most Porsche Boxster models offer a flat-six engine similar to the one found in many 911 models. The earliest Boxster models could push out 200-300hp, and the later ones bumped the power output towards the 420hp mark.
It’s worth mentioning that some newer 718 models offer a more regular 4-cylinder engine that is a lot more eco-friendly, but not as loved as the naturally aspirated flat-six. Because of this, the 981 generation seems to be the best pick of the bunch without stepping to the newest naturally-aspirated GTS/Boxster Spyder models.
The Cayman/Boxster platform has consistently won many superior sports car awards including the “Evo car of the year” award, which is one of the most prestigious car magazine awards in the entire sports car enthusiast community.
Boxsters require regular maintenance to stay reliable
Even though some Boxster models can be bought for peanuts, the 3-year maintenance costs associated with many Porsche models sometimes cost more than the car itself. This is because most Porsche models are built to last with amazing reliability results, and you have to maintain the car properly for that very reason.
Most owners tend to agree that a $1,000-$2,000 yearly maintenance cost is fairly accurate. This is understandable because all sports cars need more tender love and care compared to regular cars. But if you do pay this price for regular maintenance, you are left with a seamlessly bulletproof car that will last you a long time.
Most Porsche specialists recommend that you always use genuine Porsche parts, and you most definitely should. As far as maintenance shops are concerned, some regular maintenance does not require you to take your Boxster to a specialist, but for any serious work, a Porsche specialist is highly recommended.
Should I buy a used Boxster or a Cayman?
Boxsters and Caymans share most of their parts, so the final experience is fairly comparable, but there are some notable differences between the two. First of all, the Boxster gives you the ability to put the roof down, so if you like top-down driving, a Boxster is a no-brainer.
But if you live in a climate that does not favor convertible cars all that much, you are better off with a Cayman because Cayman models are usually the more fun and practical option. Value-wise they are also fairly comparable, and they also offer pretty much the same reliability.
Should I buy a used Boxster or should I go with a BMW/Mercedes/Audi option?
Even though the Audi TT, BMW Z4, and Mercedes SLC do offer a great experience, they are all mostly playing catch up with the Porsche Boxster. They are not as capable nor prestigious as Porsche Boxster models are, so you should probably stick with the Boxster.
The highest trim Audi TT option is the Audi TT RS, and the newest TT RS offers a sonorous baby R8 5-cylinder engine, but 911 sourced flat 6 in the Boxster Spyder is equally as impressive. The engines in the highest trim Z4 and SLC models are nowhere near as exciting.
Which generation of the Boxster should I buy?
The best pick of the bunch relies on your wishes and your budget. If you can spend top money, you should probably go for the newest Boxster Spyder because it offers the best Boxster experience ever. If you are more budget restrained, a 3rd-gen Boxster is also a viable option.
First-generation Boxsters are not all that special, but considering the price, they might actually be the best option, in some cases. Second-gen also offers lots of options for a relatively affordable price. It’s also worth mentioning that the 718 GTS is also a great 718 Boxster option.