2024 Porsche 718 Boxster

The Boxster stands out as the driver's choice, prioritizing engagement above all else. But another roadster out there does that, too, and for less money
The Boxster stands out as the driver's choice, prioritizing engagement above all else. But another roadster out there does that, too, and for less money

by Nick Tragianis | March 15, 2024


Here’s a hypothetical: you have a lot of money weighing down your wallet, and you want to blow it on an attention-seeking convertible. With cars like the BMW Z4, Lexus LC, Jaguar F-Type, and the 2024 Porsche 718 Boxster, you’re spoiled for choice. Each one brings its own unique set of skills and merits to the table, but if it’s maximum engagement you’re after, there’s only one real answer.

Actually, maybe two, but there’s a catch.

It wasn’t long ago that Porsche found itself in a financial pickle. A number of factors — an aging lineup, an outdated production process, and still reeling from the cutting-edge but expensive-to-develop 959 supercar — meant money was tight by the mid ‘90s. Porsche needed a hit, and while most (deservedly) credit the Cayenne as the shot in the arm it needed, it didn’t come until after the new millennium. So in 1997, the Boxster hit the scene, embodying the very best traits of the 911 and arguably improving upon a few of them, for less money. It couldn’t have come at a better time. It saved Porsche.

Today, the Cayenne and Macan may be Porsche’s licences to print money, but the world would’ve looked a lot different without the Boxster. And best of all, today’s Boxster embodies the traits that made it special since Day One.

It’s been a while since the Boxster’s last major update. For the 2017 model year, Porsche famously — or infamously — ditched its signature normally aspirated flat-six in favour of a turbocharged flat-four, and added the “718” area code to the name. Porsche shoehorned the flat-six back into the Boxster somewhere along the way, but for better or worse, the turbo-four remains standard fare in in the base and S trims.

Although you likely wouldn’t guess it from its price tag — more on that later — we have the base Boxster here. That means a 2.0-litre turbocharged flat-four right behind you, putting out a healthy 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. That’s sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, though if you prefer to leave the shifting to the car, Porsche’s Doppelkupplungstreibe seven-speed gearbox — or PDK automatic — is optional.

Porsche can keep it. As snappy as the PDK is, the six-speed manual makes the Boxster one of the most engaging and well-balanced sports cars on sale today. The clutch’s high bite point takes some getting used-to, but the fabulous shifter helps you row through the gears with the sort of precision and fluidity you’d expect from a Miata. The soundtrack also takes some getting used-to — it sounds like a cross between a classic 356 B Super and a turbocharged Subaru BRZ in the low-to-mid rev range — but wringing out the engine is a pleasure. Throttle response is snappy, the turbo is torquey, and you can hear the intake breathing and blow-off valve pshh-ing if you listen close enough. The pedals are spaced out well so rev-matched downshifts are easy to pull off, but Sport and Sport+ modes will rev-match automatically. It’s more fun to do it yourself.

Beyond the surprisingly characterful engine, the Boxster still blends the best traits of the 911, albeit with better balance and feedback. The steering is weighted near-perfectly and delivers good feedback to your palms, through a just-meaty-enough steering wheel. Toss it into some twisties, or carry some extra speed into your favourite on-ramp, and you get plenty of mechanical grip even on winter tires. Come to think of it, it’s a lot like a Miata.

Cheesy as this sounds, when you’re in a Miata, you get the sense of becoming “one” with the car. The Boxster is the same way; you sit low and it envelops you. When you explore its limits, the Boxster pivots around you. Push too close to its limits the Boxster will want to step out, but there’s a big window of opportunity to reign it in before you’re in trouble. In a 911, that window is much smaller. The Boxster feels more approachable; it’s a genuinely fun car to toss around, and it’s tough to get this kind of playful yet forgiving nature anywhere else.

Well, almost anywhere else.

This particular Boxster is the new-for-2024 Style Edition. It’s essentially a black- or white-trimmed sticker package with some more subtle changes inside, and rolling on Cayman GT4 wheels in black or white, though our tester wore a downsized 19-inch winter setup. Our tester was further equipped with the decent Bose sound system, the Sport Chrono and Premium packages, a stunning optional colour called Ruby Star Neo, and much more. It rang up a total of $101,650 as-tested, before destination, taxes, and all that fun stuff.

A hundred grand, give or take a few on either end, buys a lot of car. The C8 Corvette is the default mid-engine alternative for similar money, but you trade the optional stickshift for a big V8 behind your head. The BMW Z4 blends BMW’s muscly B58 inline-six in a surprisingly livable package for under $90,000. If you can stretch that budget to $130,000 — what’s another 30 grand when you’re listening to your heart — the Lexus LC 500 and Jaguar F-Type have unmatched theatre for the money. Still, the Boxster stands out among them as the driver’s choice, prioritizing engagement above all else.

And yet, the venerable Mazda MX-5 Miata offers 90 per cent of the Boxster’s thrills at a fraction of the price. Arguably, the two are equally playful and engaging, the Miata arguably has the better shifter, and its interior is well-appointed in its own right. Sure, the Boxster is a more substantial car — it’s quicker and more refined, its interior is far nicer and quieter especially with the top up, and you get a heated steering wheel plus not one, but two surprisingly roomy trunks — but is that really worth an extra $55,000-ish over a Miata? You know what? It’s your money. We’re the furthest thing from financial advisors, but if you insist on dropping a hundred grand for a convertible, you could do worse than a Boxster.

The tides are turning at Porsche; electrification is spreading through the lineup, and although it hasn’t reached its sports cars yet, we all know it’s inevitable. But the 2024 Porsche 718 Boxster is a holdout, emphasizing the same thrills and engagement today as it did almost 30 years ago, in a world where everything is becoming increasingly numb. The clock is ticking, so you better hurry.



Vehicle Specs
Rear-wheel-drive luxury sports car
Engine Size
2.5L turbocharged flat-four
Horsepower (at RPM)
300 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque (lb-ft.)
280 lb-ft of torque @ 2,150-4,500 rpm
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
12.0/9.5/10.9 L/100 km
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
11.0 L/100 km
Cargo Capacity (in L)
150/122 L (front/rear trunk)
Base Price (CAD)
As-Tested Price (CAD)
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About Nick Tragianis

Managing Editor

Nick has more than a decade of experience shooting and writing about cars, and as a journalism grad, he's a staunch believer of the Oxford Comma despite what the Canadian Press says. He’s a passionate photographer and loves exploring the open road in anything he gets his hands on.

Current Toys: '90 MX-5 Miata, '00 M5, '16 GTI Autobahn