New for 2015
For the 2015 model year, the Porsche Boxster makes the wind deflector standard equipment on base models and adds front and rear park assist, while a rearview camera is an individual option. Also introduced is the more powerful Boxster GTS, which slots in above the Boxster S with more power and active suspension management.
The Porsche Boxster is a mid-engine roadster that sits alongside the hardtop Cayman as entry-level sports cars in the automaker’s lineup. The Boxster GTS comes incredibly close to the more expensive base 911, arguably making the Boxster a better all-around enthusiast’s choice because of excellent balance and near-911 power.
The 2015 Porsche Boxster utilizes two engines and three tunes to flesh out the mid-engine sports car’s model line. Base Boxster models are powered by a 2.7-liter flat-six that produces 265 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, which can be paired with a six-speed manual or the excellent seven-speed PDK automatic. EPA-estimates for the base car are 20/30 mpg (city/highway) and 22/32 mpg with the PDK. The S and GTS share a 3.4-liter flat-six, and both can be equipped with either transmission, but with suspension management software and technology the GTS is more capable on a track. The S models produce 315 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, and GTS models wring 330 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque out of the 3.4-liter mill. EPA-estimates are 20/28 mpg (S, manual), 21/30 (S, PDK), 19/26 mpg (GTS, manual), and 22/31 (GTS, PDK). Yes, the GTS with the PDK is almost as efficient as the less powerful base model with the PDK, and yes, this is a good excuse to get the more powerful model.
Notable features in the 2015 Boxster include a 7-inch infotainment screen, a Bose premium audio system, Bi-Xenon headlights, park assist (front and rear) with a rearview camera, a Sport Chrono package (includes stopwatch, dynamic transmission mounts, sportier engine/chassis/gearbox settings), electronically damped suspension, and a selectable sport exhaust system. Bluetooth and the usual 21st century niceties are also available, as is adaptive cruise control. The electric top is completely automatic, as well, lowering in just 9 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.
The 2015 Porsche Boxster has not been crash tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS.
What We Think
With the introduction of the GTS, we think the 2015 Porsche Boxster just may make a case in favor of the entry-level car versus the icon. For some, nothing but the 911 will do, but for many the Boxster makes a compelling argument. Two seats, 20 horsepower, and $23,000 separate the Boxster GTS from a 911 Cabriolet. Both cars equipped with PDK transmissions post identical performance numbers. In a Driven Review of a 2015 Porsche Cayman GTS and Boxster GTS we said “if you want a modern Porsche that remains true to the history of the brand, the Boxster GTS and the Cayman GTS are both excellent choices.” If you’re serious about track days, the GTS with the optional carbon-ceramic brakes is the way to go, and in a Driven Review of the lineup of Porsche mid-engine models at the Laguna Seca racetrack we noted “the Cayman GTS and its drop-top twin [Boxster GTS] feel purpose-built for Laguna Seca, track-ready cars that help you learn to be a better driver.”
A problem with the Boxster we also pointed out with the 911 was the difficult to reach limits that, it seems, can only be probed on a racetrack, leaving street driving feeling a bit bland. Interior quality is up from years past, as the “built to price” feel has been all but banished; instead soft-touch and Alcantara abounds. In a three-way comparison with the Boxster S, Mercedes Benz SLK55 AMG, and BMW Z4 sDrive35is, the Porsche placed first. “There is very little to fault with the car,” we said. “The ergonomics are a bit of a mess, and the choice of available driver-assistance systems is limited at this point. But there is no doubt that the Porsche has the best (non-carbon-ceramic) brakes, the most attentive steering, the fastest-shifting gearbox, the most riveting grip, and the least compromised ride, even when fitted with 20-inch footwear. It is a seamless performer, athletic yet totally compliant, sharp-edged yet nicely balanced, absolutely focused yet very relaxed.” It’s not perfect, and it’s lost some of the connection of the previous generation with the switch to electric power steering from hydraulic, but it just may be one of the best modern Porsches you can get for the money.
- Boxster GTS is surprisingly close in performance to a base 911
- Plenty of cargo capacity
- Lighter, quicker, and better than last-gen model
You Won’t Like
- Electric power steering doesn’t have feedback of old system
- Gets pricey with options
- BMW Z4
- Audi TT
- Mercedes Benz SLK-Class
- Nissan 370Z
- Porsche 911 Cabriolet