The Porsche Boxster convertible may have its critics but at the end of the day it remains a hardcore sports car with impeccable handling, decent performance, and the allure of open-top fun. Anyone who discredits the Boxster as purely a car for the fairer sex probably hasn’t driven one, but if you can ignore that there’s a lot of fun to be had and a great deal of value too.
The 2012 Porsche Boxster is the last model of the second-generation Boxster, or 987 as it’s referred to internally or to hardcore fans. Yes, Porsche has already unveiled a much sexier and more potent 2013 model so we’d recommend only going with the 2012 car if there’s a great deal to be had or you need a new car today.
There’s two different versions offered, a standard model and a sportier Boxster S, and while both are what most people would consider fast, it’s the Boxster S we’d spend our hard-earned on. Still, the base model is by no means a dud, coming with a 2.9-liter flat-six engine delivering 255 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of torque and a 0-60 mph time of no more than 5.6 seconds.
The Boxster S gets a more powerful 3.4-liter engine rated at 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque and will get out from 0-60 mph in just 5.0 seconds. Note, if you're lucky enough to get your hands on a Boxster Spyder--new last year--you'll get 320 horsepower and 4.9 second figures.
Whichever model you pick, however, you get the same great rear-wheel drive chassis and convertible roof. There’s a lot to love, including inspired handling, rapid acceleration, and some pretty impressive mileage numbers considering the performance. If you’d prefer a pure sports car, however, then the hardtop Porsche Cayman may be more to your liking.
Inside, there’s seating for only two but it’s surprisingly well-formed--tight where it needs to be and roomy where it matters. The standard seats are good but the optional sports seats are better. The Boxster also comes pretty well-equipped, with items such as Bluetooth connectivity and alloy wheels coming standard. Optional goodies include navigation, leather and aluminum trim, and ventilated seats among others.
Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS have rated the Boxster's crashworthiness, but standard dual front and side airbags, ABS, stability and traction control, plus rollover protection and optional parking sensors, the Boxster offers a solid package of active and passive measures.
For more details on the 2012 Porsche Boxster, check out the full review on our sister site The Car Connection.