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1999 Porsche Boxster REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/5/2017

Con: Weak stereo, and the BMW M Roadster offers more power.

Pro: Great fun at Porsche's entry-level price.

What’s New: The Boxster is slowly adding features and options. This year, a Classic Package includes metallic paint and all-leather seats, and adds special highlights to the interior. The gas tank is increased from a 12.5- to a 14.1-gallon capacity, and gas-discharge Litronic headlights are optional. All the features in the Sport Package are individually optional this year, and 18-inch wheels are now available.

Review: Car buff magazines have been proclaiming the rebirth of the sports car market since the introduction of the BMW Z3 in the winter of 1996. One year later, their prediction was validated with the introduction of the Mercedes SLK and Porsche Boxster. The most anticipated of these wonderfully impractical cars, however, has to be the Boxster. Porsche is slow to change, and even slower to introduce new products. (The previous 911 design had been around for an astounding 30 years before it was completely revised.) When Porsche does introduce a new product, it is guaranteed to cause a stir.

The Boxster was a clean-sheet design that was built around an all-new horizontally opposed (boxer type) engine. The engine is mounted mid-ship for ideal weight distribution and displaces a relatively thrifty 2.5 liters. This is Porsche's first use of water-cooling and four-valve technology on a six-cylinder engine. The engine produces 201 horsepower and 181 foot-pounds of torque, which is plenty of grunt for an open-air roadster.

The Boxster is available with a five-speed manual or a five-speed Tiptronic transmission. The Tiptronic transmission features five forward speeds and has manual mode gear selector switches mounted exclusively on the steering wheel.

Aside from the mechanical innovations, the Boxster also features a few practical features that buyers will appreciate. First, the Boxster offers more cargo area than any of its competitors due to the inclusion of front and rear trunks. This front/rear trunk design produces an impressive 9.1 cubic feet of cargo space, and is made possible by the mid-engine design. Second, the Boxster's livable cockpit has a good deal of space for two occupants and features wonderful, cradling seats. For safety, side airbags are standard and roll bars are built in behind the seats. Finally, the Boxster has the fastest closing automatic top in the business, going from completely open to completely closed in a scant twelve seconds -- perfect for those unexpected rain showers.

This year, the Boxster has added a new option package called "Classic". The Classic Package features metallic exterior paint and all-leather seats, as well as granite and amber paintwork on the interior. Sport Package options are individually optional (including features like sport seats or a sports suspension with short springs and hard dampeners). The real reason that people will buy this car, however, rests with the fact that it is a Porsche that many people can afford. With prices starting at $24,000 under the 911 Carrera Coupe, the Boxster's price tag leaves enough money in the bank to park a practical sedan or sport utility next to it in the garage. If you're looking for the most prestigious set of wheels under $45,000, you've found it.

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