Avg. Price Paid:$32,606 - $46,487
Original MSRP: $48,100 - $61,800
MPG: 19 City / 27 Hwy
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2011 Porsche Boxster Performance

This performance review was written when the 2011 Porsche Boxster was new.

Critics are in love with the strong powertrain options and superb handling capabilities on the Boxster and Boxster S. With the introduction of the 2011 Boxster Spyder, test drivers are even more impressed, and call it one of the most well-tuned sports cars on the market.

For a closer look at the Boxster's performance, check out our Boxster video.

  • "Some less-expensive sports cars challenge Boxster on a fun-per-dollar basis, and some like-priced competitors deliver more outright power. Few, however, match this 2008 Recommended pick's range of strengths: road manners and mechanical sophistication to satisfy the most discriminating driver, a good dose of everyday usability, and the cachet of the Porsche name." -- Consumer Guide
  • “What a drive. The Boxster Spyder is one of the most confidence-inspiring cars on the market today--perhaps the most confidence-inspiring. I felt no understeer, no bump steer, no jarring whangs over broken pavement--just smooth, even acceleration and constant-g cornering with no surprises." -- AutoWeek
  • "The brilliance in what Porsche has wrought with the Boxster Spyder isn't just its impressive abilities, but in the car's approachability. Your mother could drive the Boxster Spyder, though she'd despise the seats and just forget about the top.” -- Autoblog
  • "You can drive the Boxster Spyder on public roads like I did, and I suspect many people will, but it's a car that longs for the racetrack." -- Cars.com
  • "Overall, the Spyder is a delight to drive, and a reminder that, for pure balance, power, luggage space (two reasonably large trunks), daily practicality and driving pleasure, the Boxster is pretty much in a class by itself." -- Road and Track

Acceleration and Power

Test drivers report that the 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder is the most powerful Boxster yet. The Spyder has a 3.4-liter V6 engine that makes 320 horsepower at 7,2000 rpm and 273 pound-feet of torque at 4,750 rpm. It comes standard with a six speed manual transmission. You can also get a seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) double clutch transmission with a manual steering wheel speedshift and an automatic transmission. This option costs $3,420.

The base-trim Boxster features a 2.9-liter six-cylinder engine that makes 255 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 214 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 - 5,500 rpm. The Boxster S, however, is equipped with a more powerful 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 310 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 266 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. Standard on the base and S trim is a six-speed manual transmission, which some reviewers prefer.

According to Porsche, the base-trim Boxster can reach a top speed of 163 mph with the manual transmission and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. Even faster, the Boxster S has a maximum speed of 170 mph with the manual transmission, and it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.0 seconds. The Spyder tops them all: it goes from 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds. If you’re looking for something speedier, check out the Chevrolet Corvette. The Coupe, Convertible, Grand Sport and Grand Sport Convertible models all get 430 horsepower, 110 more than the Spyder. It’s also more affordable. Prices for these models range from $48,950 to $58,600.

The EPA says the Spyder gets 20/29 mpg city/highway with the PDK transmission and 19/26 city/highway with the manual. Fuel economy ranges from 19/26 mpg city/highway in the Boxster S with six-speed manual, to 20/29 mpg city/highway in the PDK-equipped base model.

  • "The 3.4-liter flat six-cylinder engine buzzes nicely with 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. Really, this car wants to go fast. If you attempt a slow start from a stop, it hesitates slightly as if it's egging you on to push a little harder. When you do, it bolts like an escaping stallion." -- Detroit News
  • "Both acceleration and deceleration were easy, confident -- accomplished with no upsetting weight shifts or disturbing gear changes. Credit for that performance goes both to the Boxster S's seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox and its reconfigured chassis." -- Washington Post
  • "The steering rack is quicker. The springs are stiffer. The dampers are stiffer. In the big scheme of things, this is minor, minor stuff. And yet somehow, the Boxster Spyder is not a Boxster, it's better. It's more nimble, more forgiving, and grippier by a factor of eleventy billion." -- Jalopnik
  • "Even if it isn't as quick as the dual-clutch gearbox, the manual transmission is nearly perfect in gearstick position, shift throw and driver feedback. Yes, it is our preferred transmission in the Spyder." -- Autoblog
  • "The PDK is a mechanical marvel that is essentially a conventional manual gearbox subdivided into two separate gearbox units with a hydraulic control unit in the middle. It can be manually shifted using steering wheel-mounted paddles, but in practice it usually does a much better job of gear selection and changing than one might do manually, and it automatically matches revs to boot." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

Test drivers call the 2011 Porsche Boxster one of the best handling cars on the market. It’s quick, agile and corners like no other car out there. There are a few complaints about a bumpy ride and slight understeer, but they are few and far between.

  • "The nearly perfect 50-50, front-rear weight balance was there in the new car -- making it wonderfully agile and enjoyable on drives around West Virginia's winding mountain roads and, perhaps, seducing me into going faster than was comfortable for my wife, Mary Anne." -- Washington Post
  • "The low, light body helps the Boxster handle most any corner with a thoroughbred's skill. It chews through corners; its steering is scalpel-exact with a weight and resistance that defines the feedback an everyday racer wants." -- Detroit News
  • "Cornering is the Boxster Spyders's strongest suit." -- Autoblog
  • "While the ride is stiff, Porsche fans will hardly notice as they carve up roads from California to the Berkshires. Yet, if the roads are not glass smooth around you, or there are a lot of concrete highways that are poorly maintained, you really have to take a test drive over them before signing on the bottom line." -- MarketWatch
  • "The key to the Boxster is its incredibly balanced handling. Toss it into a corner and it urges you on, gunning to go faster. The steering, which seems like it has a tad too much power assistance when cruising, develops an amazing level of intuitiveness in sweeping corners." -- Cars.com
  • "The six-speed manual in the car I drove had to have the easiest clutch engagement the world has ever known. You feel like you actually know how to do it every time. It takes no skill but rewards all the skill you put into it with a wonderfully fluid drive. It is perfectly smooth and smoothly perfect." -- AutoWeek
Review Last Updated: 8/9/12

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