New 2019 Porsche 718 Boxster Convertible New 2019
Porsche 718 Boxster Convertible

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

It’s been called the “Baby 911” for good reason. The sleek and sexy 2019 Porsche 718 Boxster comes surprisingly close to matching the thrills of the German marque’s flagship model -- for a significantly lower price, the latest-generation Boxster starting at barely $60,000. The soft-top got a third trim level last year, the 365-horsepower GTS, further encroaching on 911 territory. All three versions use turbo-4 gas engines to drive the rear wheels, and their mid-engine layout achieves a nearly perfect weight balance, with the low center of gravity that delivers an on-rails feel when flying around tight corners. The Boxster plays in an exclusive niche that will include the all-new version of the BMW Z4, as well as the Audi TT, Mercedes-Benz SLC and Jaguar F-Type.

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You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for serious levels of performance, love the Porsche badge but have a somewhat constrained budget, the 2019 Boxster is worth serious consideration. Even the base model can hit 60 in 5.0 seconds, and the new GTS will cut a second off that -- making it a wee bit quicker than the base 911 Carrera.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Of course, you’re just looking for a 2-seater, right? And you better not mind a soft-top with its limited security and higher noise levels. You might also check out the all-wheel-drive Audi TT or wait to learn more when the next-generation BMW Z4 finally reaches showrooms.

What's New for 2019

The Boxster went through a complete makeover two years ago and had the top-line GTS model added for 2018, so changes for this model year are slim, meaning next to none. The sport-exhaust system that was an option on the Boxster and Boxster S is now standard on all trim levels.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

The Porsche badge is synonymous with performance, and it only gets better if you have some seriously twisty roads with plenty of elevation changes. The Porsche 718 Boxster adds to the experience by letting you raise or lower the top in a matter of seconds, making it the ideal, 4-seasons sports car. Completely redesigned for 2017, the latest-generation Boxster does just about everything better than before, especially in the GTS trim introduced last year. That version added some much-appreciated features as standard fare, including the Sport Chrono package that lets you change key vehicle dynamics settings with a single button touch. The reality is that even the “base” engine, at 300 horsepower, is a blast to drive, launching from naught to 60 in barely five seconds, while that GTS will get you there in less than four, confounding the owner of a 911 Carrera struggling to keep up.

Favorite Features

SPORT CHRONO
Imagine upping your adrenaline factor with the touch of a button. You can with the Boxster’s Sport Chrono package -- optional on the base and S models and standard on the GTS. The steering-wheel-mounted switch lets you choose from four driver modes that adjust key vehicle settings, such as shift times, while also engaging Launch Control.

PDK AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
Although both Boxster models come standard with a 7-speed manual transmission that is a joy to operate, its optional automatic transmission is one of the best. Called PDK, short for Porsche Doppelkupplung, which is German for “dual clutch,” the 7-speed automatic shifts gears quicker than any human can and is a great match for the Boxster’s turbocharged engines. The popular option costs $3,200.

Vehicle Details

Interior

The original 1996 Boxster was a modest effort, but the latest version of the 2-seater, the 718, is a much more sophisticated and lavishly appointed affair, with plenty of leather and elegant aluminum accents. Like the original and, indeed, the legendary 550 Spyder on which it was based, however, the 2019 Porsche Boxster remains a driver’s car. The interior is designed specifically to enhance the driving experience, with simple instrumentation that’s easy to grasp while under full throttle in a tight corner. Seating is comfortable yet supportive, with controls within easy reach. The 3-spoke steering wheel has just the right feel to it, and the pedals are perfectly placed.

Exterior

Even more than the flagship 911, the Boxster harkens back to the legendary Porsche 550 Spyder made famous by actor James Dean, with styling that somehow blends modern and retro into one very sexy package. You’re able to sit low in this mid-engine 2-seater because of a low center of gravity, the 718 Boxster seeming to barely clear the ground. There’s something appealingly basic about this sports car; no fancy active aerodynamics or oversized wings. Yet there’s a sculptural elegance to the design, clearly the most attractive interpretation of classic sports-car design Porsche has yet come up with 

Notable Standard Equipment

The only real change for the 2019 model year sees Porsche turn one of its most popular options into a standard feature: its throaty sport-exhaust system. Other standard features include a fast-operating fabric top, the HomeLink garage-door system, front and rear parking sensors, along with a rearview camera and a 7-inch touch-screen-operated infotainment system. The stock audio system delivers 110 watts to six speakers, with AM, FM, HD and Satellite radio, as well as an 11GB storage system and both USB and SD cards. Bluetooth for hands-free calling is also standard.

Notable Optional Equipment

Porsche’s 2019 Boxster can be highly personalized. From the color of the cabin’s leather to 14- or even 18-way-power seats, carbon-ceramic brakes or torque-vectoring technology, dozens of options are available both a la carte and as part of packages. The basic, 110-watt audio system can be upgraded to a more advanced Bose or even an audiophile Burmester system. Navigation is available, as are climate-controlled seats and a heated steering wheel. Optional driving aids include adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring, while the Sport Chrono Package includes the Sport+ mode for sharper performance, central-mounted analog/digital stopwatch, and launch control on automatic-transmission models. For 2019 Porsche’s interior trim options now include leather seat centers in varying colors and contrasting stitching on the seats, dash, sills and steering column.

Under the Hood

Two distinct turbocharged 4-cylinder engines are available for the 718 Boxster, though the 2.5-liter package gets a bump in power and torque for the Boxster GTS. Standard models use a 2.0-liter that, while smaller than the old Boxster 6-cylinder, makes more power. The 718 Boxster S has a 2.5-liter turbo-4 that generates 350 horsepower in the S and 365 horsepower in the GTS. Because the engine is mounted in the middle and is a flat, or "boxer" design, this Porsche has excellent balance. Boxsters are rear-wheel drive, and power transmission to the wheels is immediate and delightful. In an effort to save fuel, Boxsters use an engine start/stop system that cuts power at idle. If you find it too abrupt, as we did in city traffic, it is defeatable with the touch of a button.

2.0-liter turbocharged flat-4
300 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
280 lb-ft of torque @ 1,950-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg (manual), 22/29 mpg (automatic)

2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4
350 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
309 lb-ft of torque @ 1,900-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 mpg (manual), 21/28 mpg (automatic)

2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4
365 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
309 lb-ft of torque @ 1,900-5,500 rpm (manual gearbox)
317 lb-ft @ 1,900 to 5,000 rpm (PDK automatic)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25 mpg (manual), 20/26 mpg (automatic)

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Pricing Notes

The 2019 Porsche 718 Boxster has a base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $59,000, and $71,400 for an S model if you include the destination charge. Typically, however, Porsche has an extensive list of options -- many of which come standard on competing products -- that can tack on thousands of dollars to the starting price. That’s why the Boxster GTS, at $82,800, might be a good choice for many Boxster S buyers. It not only delivers a 15-horsepower boost but includes many more standard features, including the Sport Chrono, an adaptive suspension, 20-inch black wheels and Alcantara interior trim. At its base price, the new Boxster is more expensive than the Mercedes-Benz SLC, BMW Z4 and Audi TT, and below a Jaguar F-Type. A 460-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible starts around $61,000 and outmuscles the Boxster S. But the GTS delivers nearly the muscle of the base Porsche 911 for about $9,000 less. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying to make sure you're getting the best deal. If history repeats, the Porsche Boxster's resale value will continue to be above average.

OK, so what's next?
I'm interested in the newest version of this car. What's for sale near me?
I'm interested in this car, and I'd like to trade in my current car while I'm at it.
Then again, maybe I should be thinking about a used car.

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