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Saturday 22 July 2017
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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Test Drive

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Test Drive

This week, I bring you the 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster convertible.  This car was completely redone in 2013, and now again for 2017.  Although it does not look all that different from the previous version, there are new front and rear ends, new headlights and taillights, but there is no mistaking it is a Boxster.  It also sports a new name; instead of just Boxster, it is now the 718 Boxster.  718 is a throwback name to Porsche racing cars from the late 1950s.

The biggest change in this 2017 is not what is under the hood, since this is a mid-engine car. 

Now, instead of the tried-and-true naturally aspirated 6 cylinder that came in this car for 20 years, it has been replaced with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder equipped with a turbocharger.  As a side note, one of the real benefits of a mid-engine car is the stability it brings by putting the engine weight right in the center of the car.

This rear-wheel drive Roadster has the smaller of two available engines, the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. The 2-liter puts out 300 horses, but the way the Boxster is engineered, it feels like much more.  My review vehicle has the terrific 7-speed PDK automatic that can be shifted by the paddles on the steering wheel for better driver control, or you can shift it from the shifter in the center console.

If you move up to the 718 Boxster S, you can move up to a 350-horse engine, but this 2.0-liter 4-cylinder has an amazing top speed of 170-miles per hour and will take you from 0-to-60 in just 4.5 seconds.  If you choose, you can get a 6-speed manual transmission with either engine, but I don’t recommend it as well as the PDK shifts. 

Porsche is known for terrific interiors, and the 718 Boxster does not disappoint. 

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The black leather seats are nicely contoured and there is plenty of headroom and legroom for people a little over 6-feet tall.  The dash layout is clean and easy to operate, with an efficient driver information display that will even measure G forces.  My tester has yellow seat belts, which takes a little getting used to, but match the Racing Yellow exterior nicely when the top is down.  Cup holders are hidden behind a panel above the glove box and they are pretty annoying, but better than nothing I suppose.

On the bottom right of the steering wheel is the Sport Chrono knob to choose from individual, normal, Sport or Sport Plus to change the driving dynamics. Every setting turns the 718 Boxster into a different car.

Right in the middle of that knob is a button that when pushed engages the Sport Response, which gives you twenty seconds of intense responsiveness.  It can be engaged from a dead stop or while rolling for maximum performance.  It’s a rush!

In the middle of the upper part of the dash is the Sport Chrono stopwatch, that when activated, will measure lap times and driving intervals.

On the center console, you can turn the Sport exhaust on for an exceptional sound, you can turn off the start/stop system (which I do every time I crank the car), change the chassis settings, and you can raise and lower the rear spoiler.  If the spoiler is down, it will come up automatically when the car reaches 75 miles per hour.

Everything operates on a 7-inch touchscreen that operates the navigation system, stereo, Apple CarPlay, and the built in apps.  It is easy to use and you learn to get around the screen quickly.

My review vehicle has over $22,000 in options.

Most notable is PDK transmission, suspension management, navigation system, the Sport Chrono package, Sport exhaust, and 19” wheels.

The black convertible top works easily with the push of a button, no anchors behind the sun visors, the Boxster top does everything for you, and does it quickly.  The top will go completely down in 9 seconds, and you can put it up or down at speeds up to 31 miles per hour. 

Right behind the two front seats are dual roll bars made of steel and aluminum, although you’d never guess it by looking, and it has a built-in windscreen.

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I’m not going to bore you with all the technical details of this car, but let me say that it is a dream to drive, handling is amazing, and it corners like it is on rails.

Fuel economy is good at 22 city and 29 highway, and the 718 Boxster is a downright bargain for what you get at a base price of $56,000, but be careful, it rises quickly as you add options.  MSRP equipped like this $79,440.

This is a car you can actually travel in.

The 718 Boxster offers good storage in the front and also in the back. Be aware, the way the top is configured when closed, there are some pretty gnarly blind spots on your right.  This car badly needs a blind spot monitoring system.

There is nothing quite like a Porsche, and I can honestly say I’ve never driven a car with a more responsive transmission.  The exhaust sounds great, it is visually beautiful, and very good buy for a Porsche.

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster
  • What I liked most: Performance, looks, driving dynamics.    
  • What I would change: This car should come standard with blind spot monitoring. 
  • MSRP: Base price $56,000. As equipped $79,440.
  • Fuel Economy:  Rated at 22 city/29 highway/25 Combined.
  • Official Color: Racing Yellow.
  • Odometer reading when tested: 4400 miles
  • Weight: 2944 pounds.
  • Length-Width-Height: 172.4” long/78.5” wide/50.4” high.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.3 gallons with the filler on the passenger side front fender.
  • Towing Capacity:  N/A
  • 2017 Boxster in a few words: Truly a joy to drive, greatest transmission ever.
  • Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance. 
  • Final Assembly Location:  Stuttgart, Germany.  
  • Manufacturer’s website: Porsche
Photo Credit: Porsche