Which boxster to buy??? - rb982
Been a busy boy at work of late and looking to buy myself a toy. Been driving a focus for the past couple of years and although I have no complaints, i'm a 25 year old looking to have a fun car before I have to worry about where to put the kids.

After reading pages and pages of baffling reviews about running costs, engine seals, rear visibility and lack of 'golf club space', I was not put off, however, I am still no further in finding where to start.

Firstly, as I say, I am 25 so the "S" version will hurt my pocket slightly more in terms of insurance and also the thought of that much speed under my foot after driving a focus is a little bit...scary. (But if strongly advised to stear clear of other models I would do so).

Secondly, and most importantly, I am still undecided in terms of gearbox - tiptronic or manual? I don't drive everyday, so when I do it is enjoyable. I like to drive the car as opposed to being driven therefore I feel the manual would be better for me. However, I have been told that the tiptronic gearbox is excellent and to stay away from the sticky clutch of the manual.

Thirdly, in terms of age and mileage, what is a good guidline? After scouring autotrader it looks as though my £12/13k budget offers me a '98/'99 model with 60/80k miles on the clock, although more basic spec models with lower mileage can be found. Any advise?

So, I have £10 - 15k(max) to spend and dont know where to start. A £10 - 12k, 2.5litre feels like a safe option, but with no experience I am only going on gut instinct.

Your opinions are much appreciated.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 26/11/2007 at 18:47

Which boxster to buy??? - Screwloose

Perleman might do you a swap for the Focus.....
Which boxster to buy??? - spikeyhead {p}
How many miles a year are you planning on?

For a Porsche the running costs of a Boxster are fairly low. It is, however, still a Porsche and you'll need to be spending money to keep it on the road. I've only recently bought my Boxster S so I don't have to clear an idea of what the running costs will be. To me, that's not an issue, I expect a few unexpected problems to arise and that I'll have to shell out a couple of grand a year to keep it on the road. A couple of rear tyres was my first purchase, it came to about £230.

Someone recently posted on here that their clutch cylinder had just gone, the replacement is £700. That;s the sort of expenditure that is likely to crop up fairly regularly and you need to make sure that you can cover it.

Make sure that you buy one with a full service history, with the servicing either carried out by Porsche themselves or by a specialist independent. Make sure that you either buy from a dealer or get someone who knows these cars to check it very thoroughly.

I'd try and get a test drive in cars with manual and tiptronic and see which one you prefer. Check to see what the insurance costs will really be for each of the models that you're considering.

The other thing that you really need to do before you buy one is to spend some time on a skid pan, otherwise you'll be traveling backwards through a hedge the first time you try going quickly round a corner.
I read often, only post occasionally
Excellent choice! - perleman
Hi there, mine's not up for swapsys yetexcellent choice, this is a car that I can look at all day & I bought mine (2.5) when I was 27 about 6 months ago so you're doing well! However I'd give the following advice, all from personal experience:

1 - Be prepared for some high running costs, I have decided to keep mine after a few frighteneing bills but you won't get away with less than £1200-£1500 a year and it could be double that (this is just servicing / maintenance). A new clutch is £600-£800 for example, new disks & pads are £700-800

2 - Don't even consider buying without getting an independant specialist, i.e. not the RAC / AA, to look at it first - I made this mistake after ignoring the advice on this board & was into £1500 within weeks of buying. I know of some great specialists in the South East, let me know & I'll give you the details. It is a buyers market in Winter with prices noticably down about £1k in the trader, if a seller is ratty about getting it inspected, walk away

3 - Don't worry too much about millage even though old thinking suggests you should - it needs to have done at least 8000 miles a year and really more I'd say. I bought a low milage one for more, and it feels like it's only running in now after nearly 8000 miles. A higher milage (above 50k) makes the car more likely not to suffer from the dreaded 'intermediate shaft failure' which irreperably destroys the engine

4 - Regarding model selection: 3.2 will only cost more in insurance, petrol & tax, all other running costs will be the same as 2.7 and 2.5. The 2.7 has improved mid-range torque and is a better drive than the 2.5. That being said, I have the 2.5 and find it perfectly fast enough. Driving it on country lanes, it certainly doesn't need any more power to stay at speed & accelerate out of corners, on the motorway it isn't the king of the road but is faster than say a BMW 325 so again, plenty fast enough for legal driving. I'd advise you to get the 2.7, get a recent one if possible, and keep some cash back for the inevitable 1-2k you'll spend on it in your first year of ownership. If you can, get the facelift model from 03 on, which has the glass rear screen & clear facelift lights (not the amber 'fried egg' ones on the earlier model). If you don't do this, you will pprobably want to upgrade them yourself at some point and the lights are about £600.

5 - Options - look for leather interior & seats, digital climate control, wind deflector (vital & £300 to buy) & litronic headlamps (Xenon, quite rare). Mine has the sports pack (harder suspension & lowered by 10mm) and is a very bumpy ride with great handling. Pick colour sensibly there are some horrendous ones out there & will be harder to sell. Popular colours are black, silver & blue

6 - When you go to see the car, here are some basics for before you get it inspected:

* check for oil on the driveway of the seller under the engine at the back. Replacing the oil seal (a £20 part) at the back, is a gearbox-out 6 hour job. Not all cars have this failure though
* drive a few manuals and get a feel for the clutch. A heavy action or juddering when pulling away in 1st = knackered clutch. However, you will need to rev it a bit to get it to move so don't be supprised if you stall it the first time you try one
* opperate the roof all the way up / down at least 3 times to check it works
* check the condition of the rear window. If it is creased or opaque, it will be close to splitting. A new plastic one is £300, a new glass one is £800
* Remove the coolant filler cap & inspect underneith. Remove the dipstick & inspect colour & consistency of oil, any sign of baby poo / chocolate milkshake = walk away
* If climate controll is fitted, check every button / operation works
* listen intently as car drives along at 30-40 mph, listen for squeaking / rattling suspension. Wishbones are £300 each & only started to squeek when warm in my car(after 10-15 mins) so a short test drive will mask.
* Check for tyre wear across whole width of tyres including inside, Boxster is set to an inverted camber and insides wear out faster.
* Lift up carpet at back of both seats, feel metal floor for dampness. Feel carpet at bottom of both doors for dampness. Costs £100-£300 depending on what needs replacing

7 - finally, when you've driven a couple, consider test driving a R32 golf or a 3.0 BMW Z4, to be sure you are commited to the running costs of the Porsche, which will be higher & less predictable for similar performance. If you still love the Porsche, go for it, I am the envy of my company, friends & family in it & driving around with the roof down when it's sunny redefines the word 'fun' (and 'smug'!)

Excellent choice! - boxsterboy
Perleman's advice is spot on.

I was lucky enough to be buying new when I bought mine 4 years ago, and found the 2.7 just wasn't quick enough for a 'sports car'. Unless you are doing a lot of town driving, I would recommend a manual - far more involving to drive. Perleman is right about having to rev it a bit when pulling away in 1st, to avoid an embarrasing stall!

Whatever engine you get, you MUST get it on a track to fully enjoy the superb handling. Mine had litronic but not ESP, so you had to think about driving it on wet roads. I thought ESP was for girls, but having driven a car thus equipped at MIRA on a Porsche driving day, I would choose it again if I had the chance. These cars are in a completely different league to most of the 'competitors'.

I sadly had to sell mine to fund building works, and still miss it dreadfully. I later bought an early 996 Tip, thinking it would satisfy my cravings and be more practical being able to fit the kids in the back, but this was the most disappointing car I've ever had. I don't know if it was the Tip box or the engine hanging out over the back axle, but I never got comfortable with it.

There are plenty of Boxsters out there, so look carefully and you must have it inspected (even if some of the small print exclusions in these report may make question the worth of it).
Cheers - perleman
Wow, cheers, glad I spent 25 mins typing that!
Cheers - truckle
My 2 cents worth; I've got a 2.7 and the only problems I've had have been stalling it at first. You have to keep the revs up when starting or it can get a bit embarrassing. SWMBO proffering derogatory comments. Mind you she broke her foot 1 week after I bought it, so she hasn't been able to drive it yet so she's not too pleased with that!

Gets an awful lot of of good comments and admiring looks though. Classic was the other day when people were crossing in front of us and staring at the car, to which SWIMBO, Bless Her, comments "What are they looking at?"



Edited by Dynamic Dave on 30/11/2007 at 00:32

Cheers - Collos25
Horrible unreliabel cars owned by people who cannot afford a proper Zufferhausen taxi.Wouldn't mind one myself though for summer.
Cheers - Collos25
Missed an "n"out .
Excellent choice! - mx5_dan

I've seen some on Autotrader for around £9,000 that are 2004, but theres a 2006 on the porsche website for 16k. which do you think is a better bet considering the 2 year porsche warranty? thanks for your help in advance


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