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Is this the worst Porsche Sports Car built in the last 2 decades?

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The subject matter: 1997 986 Boxster 2.5 Tiptronic 

Lots of you would probably (and rightfully) say yes, and truth be told, go back a year or so, I would have said the same! 

On paper spec, and from where anyone but a current or past owner sits, this is the worst sports car offering you could buy from Porsche in the last 2 decades, kinda like reading from an unnecessarily complicated restaurant menu item, that lists all its exotically named ingredients, it creates feelings of confusion, ambivalence and disdain, and your conclusion is that this menu item is unpalatable... 

OR is it? 🤔

Well, like that S.E. Asian holiday, where you devour street food that you don't know the name of let alone any of the ingredients (usually cos you're scared to ask) as you're standing in a gutter, breathing in 2 stroke fumes, its just a delight to the senses, even though it feels wrong and dirty, but you cant stop! Because it feels GOOD. 

The 2.5 tiptronic Boxster is the comfort & soul food from Porsche that everyone can, and should try... 

I didn't bother trying to write a technically focused review, there is plenty out there! 

In summary: these are cool, I wish I bought one earlier because I have been missing out! 

Important to note; I don't miss rowing gears in this thing, once it gets going its got plenty of pace for country B road drives, and being a first year car, its very rudimentary and I like that feeling! Its planted and easy to drive, I think they look great too, but definitely the colour combo plays a big role IMO. We got lucky and found one in the iconic silver with red leather trim, a Porsche roadster classic combination, although the interior has been labelled by some as dogs dick red, my dogs likes it, so perhaps there is truth in that? 

I am not really sure why I wrote this post? More than likely it is because this car didn't meet my (low) expectations, it has far surpassed them and any preconceived idea I had about it... so it turns out I have been the worst sports car owner of the last 2 decades for ignoring it. 

 

Boxster-02.JPG.bcb9220ee140b2cd33dc0be7ed0b4c49.JPG

Boxster-01.JPG.65fb61a4607048dbc2f91ebec75fec5b.JPG

Boxster-03.JPG.ce7ac23d3cfa8bf020a48335d18b81be.JPG

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Do Porsche make any bad sports cars??? I don't think so they  are all good & do things differently it just comes down to potential owners expectations... 

I was having this conversation yesterday with a guy thats looking to buy his first Porsche 911 as he is a Porsche nut but is on a budget, my advice was buy the Porsche you can afford now even if its a Boxster the worst thing you can do is not buy one at all & hoping you can afford a 911 one day.

@edgy you have other P-cars that trump a Boxster any day but its refreshing to see you have respect for all the P-car lineup as i do 

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51 minutes ago, edgy said:

The subject matter: 1997 986 Boxster 2.5 Tiptronic 

Lots of you would probably (and rightfully) say yes, and truth be told, go back a year or so, I would have said the same! 

On paper spec, and from where anyone but a current or past owner sits, this is the worst sports car offering you could buy from Porsche in the last 2 decades, kinda like reading from an unnecessarily complicated restaurant menu item, that lists all its exotically named ingredients, it creates feelings of confusion, ambivalence and disdain, and your conclusion is that this menu item is unpalatable... 

OR is it? 🤔

Well, like that S.E. Asian holiday, where you devour street food that you don't know the name of let alone any of the ingredients (usually cos you're scared to ask) as you're standing in a gutter, breathing in 2 stroke fumes, its just a delight to the senses, even though it feels wrong and dirty, but you cant stop! Because it feels GOOD. 

The 2.5 tiptronic Boxster is the comfort & soul food from Porsche that everyone can, and should try... 

I didn't bother trying to write a technically focused review, there is plenty out there! 

In summary: these are cool, I wish I bought one earlier because I have been missing out! 

Important to note; I don't miss rowing gears in this thing, once it gets going its got plenty of pace for country B road drives, and being a first year car, its very rudimentary and I like that feeling! Its planted and easy to drive, I think they look great too, but definitely the colour combo plays a big role IMO. We got lucky and found one in the iconic silver with red leather trim, a Porsche roadster classic combination, although the interior has been labelled by some as dogs dick red, my dogs likes it, so perhaps there is truth in that? 

I am not really sure why I wrote this post? More than likely it is because this car didn't meet my (low) expectations, it has far surpassed them and any preconceived idea I had about it... so it turns out I have been the worst sports car owner of the last 2 decades for ignoring it. 

 

Boxster-02.JPG.bcb9220ee140b2cd33dc0be7ed0b4c49.JPG

Boxster-01.JPG.65fb61a4607048dbc2f91ebec75fec5b.JPG

Boxster-03.JPG.ce7ac23d3cfa8bf020a48335d18b81be.JPG

It's like telling a teenager what's good. 😂

Your thoughts resonate with me.

Great to hear about the 2.5 tip as my daughter is leaning towards auto.

I've had chuckles to myself on occasions about being in the "bottom" dwellers Porsche, 😆 mostly on a drive.

 

 

 

 

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48 minutes ago, James P said:

Do Porsche make any bad sports cars??? I don't think so that are all good & do things differently it just comes down to potential owners expectations... 

I was having this conversation yesterday with a guy thats looking to buy his first Porsche 911 as he is a Porsche nut but is on a budget, my advice was buy the Porsche you can afford now even if its a Boxster the worst thing you can do is not buy one at all & hoping you can afford a 911 one day.

@edgy you have other P-cars that trump a Boxster any day but its refreshing to see you have respect for all the P-car lineup as i do 

Thanks, taste the rainbow I say!! 

My brother is in a similar situation to your guy, wants a 911, but doesn't have the budget for it at the moment... I gave him a drive of this and it opened his mind up, he's driven most of the ones I've owned over the years, he was very pleasantly surprised with it. 

35 minutes ago, Troubleshooter said:

So happy with Coxster ownership, you've taken to manicures:cool07: ....nice!

:lol: I was waiting to for that!! Boss lady takes the nail game pretty seriously... she's rocking new designs every other week. 

12 minutes ago, firstone said:

It's like telling a teenager what's good. 😂

Your thoughts resonate with me.

Great to hear about the 2.5 tip as my daughter is leaning towards auto.

I've had chuckles to myself on occasions about being in the "bottom" dwellers Porsche, 😆 mostly on a drive.

People hate 924's, I love them, maybe I am weird, but I like all Porsches, even the old diesel tractors, and even the newer Toorak tractors... don't get me wrong, 911 will always be the icon (and rightfully so), but think of it as a spectrum. 

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Well written Edgy.

Not knowing what you do for a living, I think you should seriously think about chucking it in, and becoming  a motoring journalist.

There a bit of everything in your post.  Great read and the photos are a big plus.

Very entertaining and your enjoyment of the Boxster is obvious by your comments.

Good on you mate, well done.  

Although I might disagree a little with your dog on the dogs dick red interior, (:Confused02:)  but otherwise you've convinced me how good the early Coxsters are.  (not that I needed a lot of convincing)

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I thought Boxster's would be a bit ho-hum as well until early last year i did a track day with a couple of PFA'ers and i went out in the passenger seat with @Caver.

Well didn't i get a surprise, the sound, the handling and i was only a passenger.

2 months on we did a weekend away in Lithgow and another forum member threw me the keys to an '05 Boxster S manual, now this went like stink and also planted the seed for me to move on to a more modern car.

I was Looking at Cayman's and could not quite get what i wanted, started looking at PDK Boxster's and found a 1 owner very close to me but my heart wasn't in it, i'm not a convertible guy. Then i found the 996 and i am very happy as i am sure all the Boxster owners are;) 

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2 hours ago, Niko said:

Well written Edgy.

Not knowing what you do for a living, I think you should seriously think about chucking it in, and becoming  a motoring journalist.

There a bit of everything in your post.  Great read and the photos are a big plus.

Very entertaining and your enjoyment of the Boxster is obvious by your comments.

Good on you mate, well done.  

Although I might disagree a little with your dog on the dogs dick red interior, (:Confused02:)  but otherwise you've convinced me how good the early Coxsters are.  (not that I needed a lot of convincing)

Thanks Niko! 

I doubt my unorthodox mindless ramblings would ever be considered “journalism” ... but the thought is nice! 

 

27 minutes ago, TINGY996 said:

I thought Boxster's would be a bit ho-hum as well until early last year i did a track day with a couple of PFA'ers and i went out in the passenger seat with @Caver.

Well didn't i get a surprise, the sound, the handling and i was only a passenger.

2 months on we did a weekend away in Lithgow and another forum member threw me the keys to an '05 Boxster S manual, now this went like stink and also planted the seed for me to move on to a more modern car.

I was Looking at Cayman's and could not quite get what i wanted, started looking at PDK Boxster's and found a 1 owner very close to me but my heart wasn't in it, i'm not a convertible guy. Then i found the 996 and i am very happy as i am sure all the Boxster owners are;) 

My prior thoughts were, If it was my sole car.. I’d have mixed feelings about having a only drop top, and most “coupe only” guys would be that way... the thing is, whilst it currently sits nicely in the collection, I’m now convinced id also be happy if it was my only Porsche ... having experienced a bunch of others, I do think that helps, but I think for those on a budget looking for Porsche thrills, the rag top should be easy to look past once you get in the pilots seat... 

I am going to take this thing to a track day when I get a chance... probably just an untimed one with PR, just to see how it feels on the track. 

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3 hours ago, firstone said:

 

Great to hear about the 2.5 tip as my daughter is leaning towards auto.

I've had chuckles to myself on occasions about being in the "bottom" dwellers Porsche, 😆 mostly on a drive.

   I've bagged auto/tip/PDK flappy paddle cars for ages, as I always wondered why anyone would want an 'automatic' sports car. As I posted a week or so ago after recently test driving a nice 996 tip for a member, I get it now, and would buy one for sure if I could bring myself to sell the SC ofcourse. That's not happening anytime soon though

 Nice one @edgy 👍

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Great post mate ! 

I've always thought that the most entertaining of all modern Porsches I've driven has been the base 987 2.7 litre (not the same as the 2.5 but not worlds apart either).  I thought it was a better drive than the 3.2S of the era, more enjoyable than the 996C4S & 997S we were running at the same time & it's still the only modern Porsche I'd own for road use.  That's not to say it is a 'better' sports car than a 911....just more fun at semi- sane road speeds on the roads I typically drive.   It's likely only a matter of time before people seek out the purity of a 2.5, much the same way a longhood is considered a better drive than a g series etc.  So it looks like a 2.5 tipper should be on the test drive list for 2020 (no room on the wish list for 2019.....).

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Never been a fan in the past & never driven one, but after that write-up by @edgy I might just have to give one a go.  Now, if you could just get a set of golf clubs in one......

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1 hour ago, tazzieman said:

Better. I'd need  a manual g'box and solid roof to be happy. But that's just me.

  Those Cayman looking tops are apparently now available in Oz mate 👍

1 hour ago, Troubleshooter said:

5TYarhk.jpg

I was waiting for you to chime in 😁

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One of my first Porsche’s was a 2.5.

Manual, silver over black.

For me it’s still up there as one of the purest, best handling Porsche’s I’ve ever driven.  And the engine sound was (and is) one of the highlights.  

A Tiptronic is not one I’ve driven but I’ve got no doubt it doesn’t detract.  

One of my boys is getting to the age where his first car is soon to be on the cards.  He’s keen on the 2.5.  The yellow with orange wheels example on here for the big thumbs up from him as well.  

I’ve been thinking of getting a well used one and working on it with him and his younger brother for the next few years fixing it up.

20 years on and it still states it’s case very very well. 

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9 hours ago, LeeM said:

  Those Cayman looking tops are apparently now available in Oz mate 👍

I was waiting for you to chime in 😁

TBH the real Kman is what tickles my inner coiffeur. I don't want gravel in my scalp during the viewing if I flip it.

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14 hours ago, tazzieman said:

Boxsters would look much better with deep dish mags. I'm sorta from that era.

I agree, I always liked the Boxster concept... (not that those are that deep) 

gallery-1459174872-porche.jpg?resize=480

14 hours ago, Gavin (CliffToCoast) said:

Great post mate ! 

I've always thought that the most entertaining of all modern Porsches I've driven has been the base 987 2.7 litre (not the same as the 2.5 but not worlds apart either).  I thought it was a better drive than the 3.2S of the era, more enjoyable than the 996C4S & 997S we were running at the same time & it's still the only modern Porsche I'd own for road use.  That's not to say it is a 'better' sports car than a 911....just more fun at semi- sane road speeds on the roads I typically drive.   It's likely only a matter of time before people seek out the purity of a 2.5, much the same way a longhood is considered a better drive than a g series etc.  So it looks like a 2.5 tipper should be on the test drive list for 2020 (no room on the wish list for 2019.....).

You need to decide which car I bring you, you want GT3 or 2.5 tiptronic... its hard decision I know. 

 

14 hours ago, Rick V said:

Never been a fan in the past & never driven one, but after that write-up by @edgy I might just have to give one a go.  Now, if you could just get a set of golf clubs in one......

DSCN19498.jpg

7 hours ago, Skidmarks said:

One of my first Porsche’s was a 2.5.

Manual, silver over black.

For me it’s still up there as one of the purest, best handling Porsche’s I’ve ever driven.  And the engine sound was (and is) one of the highlights.  

A Tiptronic is not one I’ve driven but I’ve got no doubt it doesn’t detract.  

One of my boys is getting to the age where his first car is soon to be on the cards.  He’s keen on the 2.5.  The yellow with orange wheels example on here for the big thumbs up from him as well.  

I’ve been thinking of getting a well used one and working on it with him and his younger brother for the next few years fixing it up.

20 years on and it still states it’s case very very well. 

I agree on the sound of the motor,  I thought it was a little mundane just punting it around, that was until I dropped the top and took it to redline, man that is a good experience and sound... there has been few  pop up with blown motors for cheap... it could be a good exercise to buy such a car and swap in another motor and do a little fix up, your boys will always remember that!

I do think if I had to chose one or the other, I'd pick the manual every time, but I think I am just hardcoded that way... we got the tip because its what the boss wanted, and for all intents and purposes, its perfect for the occasion! You just focus on absorbing the scenery and drive, rather than being so focused/absorbed by the process of driving, like you would in an other car like GT3... you tend to miss the views. :lol: So here I am, the other tab in my browser is signing up for a PCNSW social run... been a LONG time since we did that. 

important to note, that if you can shave a little weight off the boxster its about 2.7 Carrera RS power to weight, I'm sure most of you already knew that though! B) 

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My 2c, Porsche doesn't make a bad or terrible sports car, but they have made bad and terrible choices when building their sports cars. Nothing wrong with Boxsters, in fact all Porsche's are gorgeous cars... 

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I was in a 370z last. I'd  tired of it. It didn't fill me with  confidence. 

I researched mid engine and found a comparison that included the 986. Priced the Cayman as a wish. I had a great real estate  opportunity at the same time which would stretch me too far. I looked at the 986 boxster and soooo fn glad i did.

A mate asked me at random if it was a better car to drive. I'd  just come in from some twisties att and was so impressed by the grip and feedback i just blurted out 10X. 

I'm  spoiled now for anything else other than Porsche with my budget.

I was wondering the other day what I'd be driving if I hadn't discovered Porsche?

They didn't get it ALL right but then no one does.

 

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18 hours ago, firstone said:

I was in a 370z last. I'd  tired of it. It didn't fill me with  confidence. 

I researched mid engine and found a comparison that included the 986. Priced the Cayman as a wish. I had a great real estate  opportunity at the same time which would stretch me too far. I looked at the 986 boxster and soooo fn glad i did.

A mate asked me at random if it was a better car to drive. I'd  just come in from some twisties att and was so impressed by the grip and feedback i just blurted out 10X. 

I'm  spoiled now for anything else other than Porsche with my budget.

I was wondering the other day what I'd be driving if I hadn't discovered Porsche?

They didn't get it ALL right but then no one does.

 

My girl had a thought a few years back of selling our '07 Box S Auto 140k's and then stepping into a 2013 370Z Cab. Nissan was around $10k less $$$$$. We drove a one owner auto with 30k's and both of us were thoroughly disappointed and mega underwhelmed on every part of the car and the driving. Every aspect of the Boxster felt and appeared to be 10 x better....

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