Porsche Boxster 2013 Review

A test drive of the 2013 Porsche Boxster shows it lives up to the brand.



Porsche Boxster Convertible

Before 1905, Albert Einstein couldn’t find a teaching job. Billionaire Ross Perot got his big start after borrowing $1,000 from his wife. Humble beginnings often forge great success—and there will be yet another with Porsche’s latest release of the 2013 Boxster S.

In order to appreciate what Porsche has accomplished with this new vehicle, a few opinions must be stated, many of which have been accepted by the automotive industry regarding the first generation (Model: 986) and second generation (987) of Porsche’s Boxster, both remembered for their less-than-flattering exteriors. The soft rounded bodylines in each of the earlier generations had a feminine feel and performance that left the driver wanting more. And with a base price significantly less than the 911, the Boxster came to be known as the “Poor Man’s Porsche.”

2012 Porsche Boxster S Exterior Back

But that’s all but changed. The new 2013 Boxster S is no longer the unwanted stepchild of the Porsche family. It has been completely reshaped, reformatted and refitted into a stunning automotive experience with a look all Porsche fans have come to expect from the luxury brand.

Exterior

Upon first glance, the car’s stout aggressive styling is evident. The Boxster S boasts the angry look in which sports car enthusiasts revel. The wheel wells are deep and the bodylines are hard, distinct yet true to Porsche’s core styling. The 2013 Boxster S truly has an exotic-car feel, separating itself from the predecessor’s common lines.

2012 Porsche Boxster Exterior Front

Upon closer inspection the meticulous thought and detail that went into this car is evident. For example, the taillights have integrated LED blinkers that slightly bulge and split the enclosure in half, while aligning themselves with the integrated spoiler on the rear of the car, giving the impression the spoiler runs across the entire rear of the vehicle. [Shown below]

2013 Porsche Boxster S LED tailights

The air ducts on the side of the car are met by two hard bodylines in the door, making them both functional and beautiful. While 19-inch wheels are now standard, the 20-inch rims (upgrade option) suit the car nicely without overpowering the design.

2013 Porsche Boxster S Top Down FINE magazine

The car is truly beautiful, and with the opportunity to test drive it for two days courtesy of San Diego Porsche, I can honestly say it both turned heads and changed my view. From the streets of downtown San Diego through the back roads of Palm Desert, I never stopped without a conversation generated by this car. It’s so spectacularly different than the previous Boxster, most people failed to realize the improvements both visible and under the hood, because they didn't even realize it was part of the Boxster line.

2013 Porsche Boxster side view FINE magazine

The 2013 Boxster S is so unique and brilliantly designed it will likely become the standard by which all other two-seater sport convertibles are now measured. But the exterior beauty of this car is simply the beginning. Porsche owners can now look forward to beautiful design amalgamated with user comfort and functionality.

Interior

No matter how striking a car may be from the outside, the driver is the only person that deals with any inconveniences on the inside. Many functional problems can occur when manufacturing a luxurious two-door convertible sports car. Can it hold a cup a coffee on your way to work? Can you reach the radio, climate controls, navigation and maneuver them easily? Is the legroom comfortable for various heights? These are real, everyday issues that many owners consider before purchasing a vehicle like the Boxster S.

2013 Porsche Boxster S Interior seats FINE magazine

2013 Porsche Boxster S interior steering wheel Dash FINE magazine

Porsche took all these things into consideration. There are additional inches of legroom versus the previous model of the Boxster, as well as a significant amount of headroom. I tested the car by having a few gentlemen over 6-feet-tall sit in the drivers seat. Each fit nicely and said they were surprisingly comfortable.

2013 Porsche Boxster S Interior FINE magazine Dash Clock

2013 Porsche Boxster S Interior Dash FINE magazine

Modern vehicles have buttons integrated into the steering wheel that allow the driver to accomplish tasks without his or her hands leaving the wheel. The Porsche Boxster S is no exception, with a bevy of electronically controlled options available at your fingertips.The ease of navigating through these options is where the 2013 Boxster separates itself. By utilizing a scrolling push-button wheel, you can simply roll your thumb over the button and access your tire pressure, trip information, phone book, diagnostics and even an additional map (separate from the one in the center console) in which you can zoom to see your location on the road. All this from one button.

2013 Porsche Boxster Center console

One of the more impressive interior features are the ventilated leather seats. With the push of a button, air is sucked from in-between you and the seat, keeping your back dry when temperatures rise. Gone are the days of punishing your white dress shirt with unfortunate oval wet marks because you have perforated black leather interior.

2013 Porsche Boxster S Review Mirror FINE magazine

As technology advances and becomes increasingly incorporated into cars, additional training and the reading of thick manuals has become a daunting but necessary evil when purchasing a high-end vehicle. Just because a car has the ability to take advantage of technology, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a driver will be able use it properly. Porsche has done a fantastic job of making the user aspect of its technology very transparent for the driver. For example, connecting your phone via Bluetooth and accessing the phone book from the steering wheel is easily done without opening up the manual and thumbing through the index. These features along with many more are all just as easy as programing your favorite radio stations and using the navigation.

Performance

Let’s be honest, the first number that most people look at when buying a luxury sports car is the horsepower rating. But when building a true sports car, the numbers can be deceiving. A true sports car needs more than just power to compete in the luxury high-end performance category. Building a true sports car for the street is more than strapping a rocket to a roller skate. Weight, suspension, brakes and drive train all play their part.

2013 Porsche Boxster S Performance FINE magazine

The specs for the Boxster S can’t be overlooked, with 315 horsepower galloping out from the 3.4-liter, six-cylinder engine taken from the Porsche 911.  [perfomance video below] 

The chassis is completely different from the old Boxster S, constructed primarily out of aluminum and magnesium, making the total weight of the car a tremendous 77-pounds lighter and 40-percent stiffer. That’s not a misprint—it really is 40-percent stiffer. And when combined with computer-controlled adjustable suspension and steering, racing brakes, grippy tires, a mid-engine setup and a seven-speed PDK transmission—which shifts faster than a manual—prepare to have a smile on your face when you take it for a test drive.

"Hands down this is the best handling car I've ever driven."

Hands down this is the best handling car I’ve ever driven. It was so well-behaved on the bends that I felt it was my duty to discover its limit. Each time I drove faster, turned sharper, I thought I would feel the rejection of the car, however, no such limit was reached as it had more and more to give. In two words: mind blowing—and in more than two words, this car reshaped my thinking of the Boxster. 

It’s the perfect balance of power, superior handling, braking, road feel and comfort. Oh, and did I mention it gets 28 highway miles to the gallon, so we can add economical to that list?

It can be difficult to try to convey on the printed page the emotion and adrenalin that comes from sitting behind the wheel of a Porsche. It gives you the distinguished feeling of confidence and strength that can only come from being a luxury sports car owner. Driving a 2013 Boxter S is an experience you must try yourself in order to understand how amazing the drive really is. 

From humble beginnings and controversial criticism, the new Boxster S has risen as an individualized performance machine, ready to dominate any competitors in its class.

For more information on the 2013 Boxster contact Porsche of San Diego at porscheofsandiego.com or call (858) 695-3000

Related Article: Review 2015 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 

2013 Porsche Boxster Engine

PSM - Porsche Stability Management System

PDK - 7 speed transmission