2013 Porsche Boxster: Review Notes
Whenever a Cars.com editor reviews a new car he or she gets feedback from the rest of the staff on how they as a group thought the car performed. By teaming these insights with the reviewer's own experience with the car we get our official review.
That doesn't mean we necessarily agree on everything. Some of the feedback can be quite interesting, like what we witnessed recently with the 2013 Porsche Boxster.
In my review, I thought the car looked great. Style is a pretty subjective topic, but everyone else seemed to agree with me. "I had car guys asking me if it was a special-edition Spyder," said editor Joe Bruzek, who, like every other editor, loved the combination of the Guards Red paint job with black wheels and black canvas top.
And people kept gawking. "Some guy in a new S-Class got really excited about it when driving home on the Kennedy last week," said editor Mike Hanley. Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder called it the "best-looking Boxster yet. It got lots of attention."
The improved interior was a highlight in my review, and once again the editors all agreed ... for the most part. "The interior is almost 911-nice, except for the steering wheel that feels and looks cheap," Bruzek said.
Hanley thought it was a step up in luxury but prefaced the nod with, "It's something I think had to be done considering the price Porsche is asking for its cars." Our test car had an as-tested price of nearly $75,000.
The test car had the base engine with a manual transmission, and that's where we saw the most, how should we say, diversity of opinion.
While Hanley and I thought the power was adequate for a roadster, Bruzek wasn't as impressed. "The power is very peakey and doesn't build until the tach swings past 5,500 rpm. I'd find a way to compromise on options and get the S with more power for a similar price, or just get a BMW Z4 with the awesome turbo six; I love that engine's pulling power at low rpm."
Wiesenfelder agreed. "I like the acceleration because there's decent torque at low revs, but I actually expected a more noticeable change over the previous gen. It's lighter and has more horsepower, but the torque peak has come down. You need to wind it out to really move, and that gets loud and conspicuous."
And while we all thought the power soft-top worked splendidly and quickly, Wiesenfelder and I disagreed on how quiet the car was with the top up. I found it remarkably quiet during my testing, but he found it "not bad, but not the quietest, either. Most ambient noise penetration is from the rear window area. Hard to tell exactly because there's plenty of engine noise coming through, too."
As noted in my review, most thought the visibility wasn't superb. Wiesenfelder agreed here. "Typically, roadsters have good visibility because the rear window is so close to the driver's head. Not so much with this one. Also, the roll bars behind the head restraints are quite high and obstructive, and the partition between them, though it's a screen, just isn't transparent enough," he said. "Naturally, the views are worse with the top up."
But despite these flaws, we all enjoyed the car immensely.
"Overall, the Boxster is still a fun, good-looking car, but the focus now seems a little more on luxury and comfort," Hanley said.
Wiesenfelder, who has owned his fair share of roadsters, agreed succinctly. "This roadster nut approves!" he said, with one little caveat: "Seriously, something has to be done about the cupholders. This is a redesign, for God's sake."