2002 Porsche Boxster S (400)


This weeks test vehicle was the 2002 Porsche Boxster S that transports you to heaven if you love to drive. There is a God and that cloud does have a silver lining.

There is a little bit of the rebel in us all and so for me it is the “Boxster” Rebellion. If you have a need for speed and outstanding handling this is sure to make you break a few speed laws. Fortunately I get to drive most cars on the racetrack, but I must say it is near impossible to keep a car like this at or under the posted limits.

You know, when I first drove this car shortly after its introduction, I thought it would just be another 924 or 914. A series of attempts to market a less expensive version of this very nice sports car. But it wasn’t. It has its own personality as if it weren’t even a Porsche. Like you could put a Ferrari badge on it and fool some folks.

In his book “The Distance to the Moon”, James Morgan describes his travels across the United States in the very first Boxster. He said people treated him like he was a visitor from another planet. But mostly he got lots of thumbs up. Since its introduction it seems to have continue to attract the attention of car lovers everywhere. Another indication that it is a winner is how much it has been copied.

I like the car as much today as I did when I drove it in 1997. Well, one out of three attempts to produce a less expensive Porsche isn’t bad I suppose.

On the other hand, the price “has” jumped about $14,000 since my first review when the price for the 1998 was: MSRP = $39,980 plus $3,235 for the sport package. Porsche is in business to make money and it stands to reason that you get what the traffic will bear.

And you say, how did Boxster get that name? Well it derives from the “boxer” engine design and “roadster” from the open, two-seat design. It is, manufactured in Stuttgart, in the south of Germany. For you trivia buffs, “Automobile” is from the Greek autos, “self” and Latin mobilis, “movable”.

Handling & Performance:

You’ve heard of the Grim Reaper, well this is the Rim Gripper. Curves will never seem so welcomed as you drive this Boxster S and fall in love all over again. As we all know, relationships come and go, but this Boxster is there when you need it and it doesn’t talk back.


This Boxster promises to be a fixture on the design scene for a long time to come. The mid-engine affords provision for two cargo areas, forward and aft. They are small but even golf clubs will fit in the rear compartment.

Fit and Finish:

Porsche. What can I say, it isn’t a Jaguar XK8, but it’s twenty to thirty grand less to buy.


The convertible top is “Tops”. You gotta love how easy it is to put the top up and down in about 16 seconds.


I guess it’s still an ok buy and I did expect it would go up after its introduction in 1997. But $14,000 plus in that time seems a bit excessive. I doubt Porsche was selling at a loss in the beginning? In any case, I gave it a “Buy” recommendation then because it was well priced. Unlike the Chrysler limited production Prowler that was selling about twice the window sticker I think you can buy this Boxster closer to the MSRP.

Consumer Recommendation:

If you are in the market for a “TWO SEATER” with room for golf clubs, tennis rackets and a small overnight bag for two this is the ticket. It’s an “E” ride and a class act. On the other hand it is the most expensive of competition listed in order of price (1)-(8).

Manufacturer Recommendations:

Thanks. We love what you’ve done.

The Competition: *

(8) Porsche Boxster S $57,825 , (4) Audi TT $31-40,000 , (5) BMW M Roadster $45,990 ,(6) BMW Z3 $31-38,000, (3) Honda S 2000 $32,400,  (2) Mazda MX5 Miata $21-26,000 , (7) Mercedes Benz SLK $39-55,000 , (1) Toyota MR2 Spyder $23,735 .

Good News:

Affordable special styling in a sports car with great performance.

Bad News:

Price is at the high end of the scale with lots of good competition.

Standard Equipment:

3.20 liter 250 horsepower 6-cylinder water cooled mid-engine, two seat convertible, 6-speed manual trans, power steering, speed activated rear spoiler, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, dual front and side airbags, fog lights, power top, anti-theft system, leather, climate control & power heated mirrors.

Gas Stats:

18 City and 26 Highway MPG.


MSRP $57,825.

* – Cars are ranked in order of price alone instead of according to my preference considering all captions.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2002 – An Automotive Love Affair

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