"We tested the 911s, Cayman, Z4, and Elise and came away with a Boxster S black on black. The jump in hp with the S is noticable and needed. If we could, we would drop in the 911 S engine. With that engine mounted mid-engine in the Boxster the car would be awesome. As it is, the car handles very well in its design envelope and can be driven comfortably as a daily driver. The 911 is rear biased, but has good power - no. The Cayman is closed up - no. The Z4 is front engined - no. The Elise handles well at the track but is not well sorted with a huge blind spot - no. The Boxster could handle a bigger engine but Porsche will never put as powerful of an engine as any 911 engine into this car. 911 owners would cry foul! Overall the Boxster S has everything we were looking for - a droptop, decent power, very good handling, and a classic design. The Bose stereo is very nice at full volume but you will want to turn it off when you get on the throttle as the boxster engine makes a very nice growl wide open. Mileage is ok at 19 combined. Oh, and get the short shift kit on the 6 speed manual for sweet snappy shifts in the power band. At the track you will definitely want more power, but most times you will be driving on city streets so for that, the S has power a plenty. If you really want and need therapy, this car for what it is, will no doubt make you one very, very happy patient... ;-)"
"Pros: Supercar Worthy Handling, Supercar Worthy Brakes, Porsche Flat Six Exhaust Note, Very Solid Gearbox and Clutch, Two Usable Trunks, Good Mileage for the Performance, Porsche Build Quality, Top Down Motoring, Nearly Flawless Ergonomics, A traction control system that when defeated, doesn't ruin the party. It will step in at the last moment however, and keep your ham-fisted self from spinning completely.
Cons: No factory I-Pod connection ($500 aftermarket). Even with more sedate driving, tires don't last very long (15,000 miles on Continental Sport Contact 2's). Unless you've owned a Porsche before, feeling like a chump for the first few days of ownership when you automatically try to insert the key into the right side of the steering column (It's to the left of the steering column, on the dash, in classic Porsche racing tradition). The low ground clearance coupled with a longish front overhang, requires slow negotiation at entrances to driveways. Suck it up! It's all totally worth it!
General Comments: I wanted the best, daily driver roadster that $40,000 or so could buy and for me, this is it. The two trunks provide enough space for a couple to pack not all that lightly for a week long road trip. 30 mpg on the highway(at legal speeds) is easily attainable. Xenon headlights are far superior to the ones on my BMW X3 (and they were great). The wind deflector that mounts between the front seats is invaluable if you intend to keep your hat above 90 mph. (I can personally attest that this works up to 140, for research's sake of course.) Basically, I recommend buying the newest, lowest mile Boxster you can afford and prepare to smile every time you get behind the wheel."
"Despite a screw rattling around in the passenger vent and a top motor malfunction this car is like nothing else. It corners beyond this middle aged man in crisis' ability to break it responsibly from the pavement. Its strong acceleration from midline to redline is thrilling and braking is equally as compliant. Road manners are excellent and comfort exceeds expectations. With a little responsibility it even shatters EPA numbers despite the 19" Carerra wheels and tires (about 1400 a set online). This car is a rush from the time you put the key in the left handed ignition. I could hardly imagine what the S version would be like. In this price segment, if you can find one used in adult driven condition - JUMP at it. You will never have a single regret!"
"I am on my third Boxster. Pure enjoyment and still practical as a daily driver. The S is well worth the extra $$, you can feel the power difference. In California, you can get the car pool lanes with driver + 1 passenger in a 2 seater, that's one advantage over the 911. Once you are into Porsches, it is hard to switch to anything else. The overall quality is top notch and everything just works and feel right. How many products are like that now?"