Like George and Weezy, the 2014 Porsche Boxster is movin' on up. Of course, the previous generations of the Boxster weren't exactly slumming it -- on the contrary. Roughly 300,000 examples were sold during its first decade and a half of production, making it one of the most popular convertibles on the planet. But there was always a distinct sense that it was the entry-level Porsche, the one you settled for because the 911 Cabriolet's asking price made you blush.
The 2014 Porsche Boxster is a two-seat convertible offered in base and S trims.
The base model comes equipped with 18-inch wheels, a power-operated soft top, an automatically extending rear spoiler, heated exterior mirrors, cruise control, six-way adjustable seats (power backrest, manual fore/aft and height), a manual tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, partial leather upholstery, Bluetooth, a 4.6-inch TFT driver information display, a 7-inch color infotainment display and a four-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack.
The Boxster S adds a more powerful engine, 19-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights and red-painted brake calipers.
All Boxsters utilize a rear-wheel-drive layout and either the standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional seven-speed automated manual transmission known as PDK. Porsche also provides a standard (and fully defeatable) auto stop-start system to conserve fuel when the car is stationary.
Under the hood, the base 2014 Boxster rolls with a 2.7-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine (flat-6) rated at 265 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque -- 10 hp and 7 lb-ft less than its hardtop Cayman sibling, if you're scoring at home. The stick shift gets the base Boxster to 60 mph in a shade under 5.8 seconds, according to Porsche, while PDK is a tenth of a second quicker by default and three-tenths quicker with the Sport Chrono package's launch control. EPA fuel economy estimates are 20 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined with the manual and an even more impressive 22/32/26 with PDK. The Boxster S steps up to a 3.4-liter flat-6 that churns out 315 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque.
Standard safety features for the 2014 Porsche Boxster include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, four airbags (two in front and one thorax/head airbag on each side) and rollover safety hoops above the headrests. In Edmunds brake testing, a Boxster S with the standard (non-ceramic) brakes came to a stop from 60 mph in a short 103 feet.
If you drive a 2014 Porsche Boxster, chances are you won't want to return the key. Compact dimensions, a midengine layout and Porsche's usual suspension-tuning magic join forces to produce some of the best road manners in all of autodom. The ride is firm but seldom jarring, and the handling doesn't get much better than this until you start looking at sports cars with six-figure price tags.
Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013