This two-seat mid-engined roadster has become an instant favorite at our test track, thanks to excellent handling, braking, and quick, direct steering. With its 2013 redesign, the Boxster gets shapely new sheet metal to go with its quick reflexes, well-finished interior and responsive powertrain. It's also more livable for the everyday grind than ever before, including a tolerable ride and one of the slickest operating convertible tops in the business.
But while it may be more affordable than Porsche's flagship sports car, the 911, the Boxster is far from an entry-level offering. Prices start at $49,500, and as is typical for Porsche, the price climbs quickly with options. Our base model with a manual transmission and a few extras rang in at $59,600 -- and our car was relatively lightly-optioned.
Our test car is powered by a 265-hp, 2.7-liter flat six-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission that provides quick acceleration, an exhilarating exhaustsoundtrack, and 23-mpg overall. A seven-speed automated manual transmission is also available, as is an S model with a a 315-hp, 3.4-liter six-cylinder for buyers in need of more grunt. Either way, the mid-engine design allows for trunks front and rear, which add a measure of practicality.
As much fun as the Boxster is to drive, we can't overlook some gripes. The well-contoured sports seats provide great support, but many will find them too narrow. Typical Porsche controls mean the console is cluttered with small buttons. And rear visibility out of the raised top is tough.
A rear-view camera is optional for 2015.