Porsche’s most affordable sports car offering, the Boxster roadster, has been on the market in the United States since 1996. Refreshed for the 2005 model year, the Boxster had become somewhat stale in its middle-age years, prompting Porsche to pen a thorough redesign for the 2013 model year.
The all-new 2013 Boxster is lighter, stiffer, more responsive and more refined, both inside and out, than the model it replaces. It boasts more aggressive bodywork; a cabin with higher quality materials and better noise isolation; improved fuel efficiency and better handling when the road throws you a curve.
While engine displacement hasn’t changed for 2013, both Boxster and Boxster S models get a bump in both output and in fuel economy. The 2.7-liter flat-six in the Boxster is now rated at 265 horsepower (from 255 last year), while the 3.4-liter flat-six in the Boxster S is rated at 315 horsepower (up from 310). Porsche claims that fuel economy is up by 15 percent in both models, but enthusiasts will probably care more about the car’s improved acceleration and handling. Expect 0-60 mph to take 5.5 seconds in the Boxster, with the Boxster S hitting the mile-per-minute mark in 4.8 seconds.
While the newly-implemented electric power steering feels different than the hydraulic power steering used on previous Boxster models, it still affords a very high degree of precision and control. Exemplary handling, long a trait associated with the Porsche Boxster, is present and accounted for in the newest version, which even manages to deliver a more composed ride when the pace turns leisurely.
Opt for the adjustable suspension, and the Boxster gives you the choice of Comfort, Sport or Sport Plus modes, depending upon your mood, your passenger and the type of road you’re driving. Seats are all-day-long comfortable, which makes the Boxster suitable for more than just Sunday morning runs for coffee, although luggage space for extended trips is somewhat lacking.
Unlike other roadsters that have embraced the weight, cost and complexity of power-retractable hard tops, the Boxster retains a traditional cloth top (which can be retracted or deployed at speeds up to 30 mph). Top up, the cabin is noticeably quieter than with previous versions of the car, thanks to improved sound deadening.
The new Boxster gets a higher level of standard content, too, including driver and passenger electric backrest adjustment; rain-sensing wipers; heated side-view mirrors; ambient lighting; power-operated top; Bluetooth phone integration and more. As with any Porsche model, customization choices are truly mind-boggling, but standard options include a Bose surround sound audio system; a seven-inch touchscreen nav and infotainment system; sport seats; sport steering wheels; leather interior upgrades and other luxury touches.
While the 2013 Porsche Boxster has yet to be crash tested by the NHTSA or IIHS, it comes standard with safety features like Porsche Stability Management (PSM) electronic stability control; rollover protection and front, thorax and side impact airbags.
For a more in-depth look at the 2013 Porsche Boxster models, see our complete review on The Car Connection