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2012 Porsche Boxster

Overview
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2012 Porsche Boxster Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.4

Though the term consistently echoes throughout the enthusiast networks, the definition of a "driver's car" varies from person to person. We believe a true driver's car should demand driver involvement, transmit the visceral thrill of performance motoring, and most importantly, provide infinite levels of fun. The 2012 Porsche Boxster wholly embodies these elements on account of its lightweight underpinnings, mid-engine layout, rear-wheel-drive platform and signature open-air cockpit. While rivals such as the BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class and the Audi TT Roadster offer a higher degree of luxury and comfort, only the Porsche Boxster and its high-performance Boxster S, Spyder and Black Edition variants deliver the unadulterated driving pleasure that emphasizes the true meaning of what it takes to be a driver's car in today's automotive setting.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you've been yearning for a mid-engine roadster, but your budget begs to differ, the 2012 Porsche Boxster might be right up your alley. And as the least expensive car in Porsche's stable, Porsche admirers looking for the most affordable avenue into the brand will appreciate the Boxster's reasonable starting price.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If the Boxster's engineering formula is everything you desire in a sports car sans the drop-top roof, the marginally more expensive Porsche Cayman is the right car for you.

What's New for 2012

With an all-new 2013 model on the horizon, the Porsche Boxster receives minimal changes for the 2012 model year.

Driving the Boxster

Driving Impressions Typical of its inherent Porsche DNA, any Boxster model, from the base version to the lighter, more hardcore Spyder, delivers a typically sporting driving experience. Feedback through the steering wheel...

and chassis are about as good as it gets, and the seating position is excellent. Controls are deliberate and easily manageable, with the driver support systems like stability management and the available active suspension system providing minimally invasive corrections, but always there to assist should you overestimate your own driving talent. The brakes, too, are simply incredible across the range, and particularly so on the Boxster S and Boxster Spyder. The lightweight Spyder offers the most visceral and emotional Porsche driving experience this side of a 911 GT3, which costs nearly twice as much. Best of all, while they are undoubtedly sporting, the various Boxster variants offer perhaps the purest driving experience available in a new car today.

PDK AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
The available PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission is comprised of two separate manual gearboxes and clutches. With odd-numbered gears housed in one assembly and even-numbered gears in the other, Porsche's PDK transmission anticipates the next gear change based on driver input for virtually seamless acceleration.

DRY SUMP LUBRICATION
Conventional wet sump oil systems shift oil to one side of the engine during constant high-g maneuvers, hindering the oil pump's ability to sufficiently lubricate vital engine components. The Boxster's dry sump system utilizes a pressurized oil reservoir and a series of pumps that cycle oil to and from the engine for consistent lubrication regardless of extreme gravitational forces.

2012 Porsche Boxster Details
Interior

The Boxster's driver-focused cabin boasts a pair of heavily bolstered bucket seats along with a host of race-inspired instruments. The assortment of audio and climate controls feel unintuitive at first, but prolonged operation ultimately stimulates a muscle-memory response. Wind control is kept under wraps with the top-down, although top-up wind noise at highway speeds can drown out a conversation or music from the standard audio system. For this reason, we recommend the high-output, 10-speaker Bose premium sound system. Cargo space is surprisingly generous thanks to the Boxster's mid-engine design, which permits enough room for a trunk under the hood and behind the engine.

Exterior
2012 Porsche Boxster photo

From its Carrera GT-like headlights to its timeless silhouette, the 2012 Boxster organically mixes contemporary roadster design with classic Porsche DNA. Dual center-mounted exhaust outlets and red-painted brake calipers help distinguish the Boxster S model from the standard version, while the Boxster Spyder's prominent rear deck fairings, revised taillights and distinctive beltline graphics produce a truly unique appearance. As is typical for Porsche, the 2012 Boxster offers a variety of standard and available wheel choices. The base model rides on 17-inch wheels, whereas stepping up to the Boxster S lands you a set of larger 18-inch alloys. Both the Spyder and Black Edition models receive a unique 19-inch split-spoke wheel design, with the Black Edition showcasing a – you guessed it – black paint finish.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Porsche Boxster comes with a 255-horsepower flat-6 engine, with the Boxster S, Boxster Spyder, and Boxster S Black Edition featuring an uprated 310-horsepower 3.4-liter engine (320 horsepower for the Boxster Spyder and Boxster S Black Edition). Non-Spyder models are equipped with a power canvas top and heated glass rear window, while the Boxster Spyder receives a small, manually-deployable soft top. Safety equipment includes six airbags with head-protection airbags housed within the doorsills along with roll hoops above the headrests for supplemental rollover protection.

Optional Equipment

Individual options for the 2012 Boxster and Boxster S include Porsche's dual-mode Active Suspension Management, which automatically adjusts the damping force to each wheel based on current road conditions and driving style, rear parking sensors (which we highly recommend due to the sizable blind spot created by the soft top), and a mechanical limited-slip differential. All models offer Porsche's renowned 7-speed PDK automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. If track days and extensive canyon runs are your cup of tea, the Boxster S and Boxster Spyder can be outfitted with pricey, but extraordinarily versatile ceramic composite brakes.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Porsche Boxster's standard powerplant is a horizontally-opposed 2.9-liter engine that puts out 255-horsepower. The Boxster S sports a 310-horsepower 3.4-liter flat-6, while a modest retune ups the horsepower to 320 for the Boxster Spyder and Black Edition. All models are available with either a standard 6-speed manual transmission or the optional 7-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic.

2.9-liter flat-6
255 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
214 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400-6,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27 mpg (manual), 20/29 mpg (PDK automatic)

3.4-liter flat-6
310 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
266 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg (manual), 20/29 mpg (PDK automatic)

3.4-liter flat-6
320 horsepower @ 7,200 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 4,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27 mpg (manual), 19/26 mpg (manual, Black Edition), 20/29 mpg (PDK automatic)

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2012 Porsche Boxster Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.6
Out of 10

Based on 75 Ratings for the 2005 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.8/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.7/10

Ex cond, gargaged,covered,never seen rain.

By on Thursday, May 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,342

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Considering mileage, price is great."

Cons: "6 spd trans is difficult for an 80 year old"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

My Great Grandson

"I took ownership of this vehicle in Jan 06 when my grandson could not make the payments. I gave him an old Buick I had for his interest in the Boxster. It has been garaged and covered, yellow convertible with a black top. Everything works. It has been serviced by the Porsche dealer & they have records. Fair price, fun to drive but I am 80 years old and a six speed is just too much shifting."

11 people out of 19 found this review helpful

My Great Grandson

This car is amazing, i love the way it handles

By on Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Power, cornering, overall comfort and control."

Cons: "Gas mileage and its shreds tires..."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Acceleration is tremendous and it eats up turns like nothing i have ever driven. Great build quality and engineering. They think of everything at Porsche. Simply stated, There is no substitute"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

This is a dream car for me.

By on Friday, March 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Very quick, handles amazing, topless in seconds."

Cons: "Be prepared to pay high for small maintenance."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"If you are not interested in having kids, are young and in a good career, or just something for the weekend, I recommend the Boxster S. This car has power in all gears and speeds, handles very smooth. Ride is a little rough, that just being a sports suspension. If you like flashy, people notice it, however, I feel like I tend to babysit it quite a bit. As in parking it closer, or finding places away from most traffic or other people parking. For a sports car it is not to expensive as far as maintenance, but it will run you much more than your average cars out there. This is my daily driver and am very happy with it. I hope this helps others who are looking to buy a Porsche Boxster S."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great appearance,reliable,wow factor even after

By on Sunday, March 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great drive head turner,dependable"

Cons: "Extras and parts are expensive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"45000 miles,still turns heads,handles better than any car I've owned,and it stays out of the shop! Great buy!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Best Car I've owned to date!

By on Sunday, February 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "A+ handling, exotic,open top,aggressive,responsive"

Cons: "Race seats can get a bit uncomfy on long rides"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Best handling, most enjoyable car I have ever owned. The car is an absolute blast to drive with the top down!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great driving dynamics. Could use more power.

By on Thursday, February 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fun to drive. Open air options. Retains value."

Cons: "Lacks sufficient power. Cost of maintenance."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I've owned a 2006 base boxster for two years. It has been a great car with no mechanical issues. Extremely fun to drive, but lacks power. Wish I would have bought the Boxster S. My intention is to upgrade to a 981S in the future, either a Cayman or Boxster. Recommend buying used, as the new ones with options are extremely expensive."

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