2013 Porsche Boxster Performance
This performance review was written when the 2013 Porsche Boxster was new.
Redesigning an icon is a daunting task, but reviewers say that the 2013 Porsche Boxster still has performance cred that’s worthy of the Porsche name. While most reviewers are floored by the 2013 Boxster’s refined powertrain and athletic handling, a handful of test drivers criticize the new Boxster’s steering system, saying that it lacks the feel of the old model.
Despite these complaints, most agree that if you’re looking for stellar, well-rounded performance, it’s tough to beat the 2013 Boxster.
- "The neutered steering feel is a negative, but it doesn't stop the new Boxster from being a truly sensational sports car." -- Automobile Magazine
- "The track of the new platform is up to 1.6 inches wider at the front and up to 0.7 inch wider at the rear. The extra width adds a measure of stability that makes it very, very easy to drive quickly." -- Car and Driver
- "The result is a driving experience every bit as captivating as any previous Boxster model but with little or no compromise to its everyday abilities." -- Edmunds
- "It no longer shrinks around you, but drives like a larger car than you'd expect." -- Motor Trend
- "And even through tight and winding switchbacks, the car seems to hold or downshift gears quickly and precisely, almost as if it knows your wishes at every turn." -- Road and Track
Acceleration and Power
There are some things that Porsche just does right, and reviewers agree that you won’t be disappointed by the 2013 Boxster’s refined engine choices and exceptionally engineered transmissions. Most test drives so far have been in the more powerful Boxster S, which earns praise for its smooth power delivery.
The base Boxster comes with a 2.7-liter flat six-cylinder engine that generates 265 horsepower at 6,700 rpm and 206 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 to 6,500 rpm. The Boxster S gets a larger 3.4-liter flat-six that produces 315 horsepower at 6,700 rpm and 266 pound-feet of torque from 4,500 to 5,800 rpm. Regardless of which Boxster you choose, a six-speed manual transmission comes standard. Porsche offers an optional, seven-speed PDK automated manual transmission, as well as a Sport Chrono package, which both improve performance.
Porsche says that the base Boxster has a top speed of 164 mph and will go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds with the six-speed manual. Adding the PDK and the Sport Chrono package will shave 0.3 seconds off the base Boxster’s 0-to-60 time. With its additional power, the Boxster S has a top speed of about 173 mph and will make the same sprint in 4.8 seconds with a six-speed manual. Adding the PDK and Sport Chrono package will lower the Boxster S’ 0-to-60 time to 4.5 seconds.
Thanks to new engine tuning and the addition of a start/stop function, the redesigned Boxster returns better fuel economy than the outgoing model. According to the EPA, the 2013 Boxster gets 22/32 mpg city/highway or 20/30 mpg when equipped with a PDK or manual transmission, respectively. That’s better than the outgoing model, which got 20/29 mpg city/highway with the PDK or 19/27 mpg with the six-speed manual.
- "There might be more lethargy in the way it hauls itself from lower rpm than you'd experience with a 911 Carrera S, but, really, it's still intoxicating." -- Automobile Magazine
- "The transmission is brilliant, with short throws and a satisfying mechanical feel that the $3200 seven-speed dual-clutch automatic can never replicate. However, the PDK dual-clutch seven-speed is also pretty outstanding." -- Car and Driver
- "The engine is a gem, of course, but then we expect nothing less from a flat six-cylinder unit from Porsche." -- Edmunds
- "All in all, the power delivery is impressively linear, so much so that the car rarely feels quite as fast as it actually is, as it lacks that press-you-in-your-seat sensation." -- Motor Trend
- "In manual mode, summon the gear you want with the paddles and the PDK responds instantly. In automatic mode, the PDK upshifts smoothly with a slight pause-not because it takes long to swap gears, but to make the engine sounds that you associate with manual shifting." -- Road and Track
- "Like all modern Porsche offerings, the double-clutch gearbox is both quicker and more adaptable than the rube behind the wheel." -- Autoblog
Handling and Braking
The redesigned Boxster is slightly larger than the previous model, and while most reviewers agree that its handling is still exceptional, some say that the new Boxster doesn’t feel as nimble. Additionally, test drivers haven’t reached a consensus on the Boxster’s new steering system. Some think that the feel and precision are brilliant, while others say that they feel less connected with the road than they did in the old Boxster. The Boxster’s brakes, however, are loved for their powerful bite and intuitive pedal feel.
- "Before driving this Boxster, I hadn't realized that the fizz of the normally aspirated flat six is, for me, cerebrally inseparable from the crackly feedback of Stuttgart's brilliant steering. But it is, and as much as I respect what the engineers have done with the new system -- it's accurate and quick and all that stuff -- the emotional connection is gone." -- Automobile Magazine
- "Some of the nimbleness and compact feel of the previous generation is gone, but overall cornering stability is improved, and you feel more secure approaching what likely are higher overall limits." -- Car and Driver
- "The moment you twist the steering wheel away from the straight ahead you're aware Porsche has succeeded in matching the brilliant feel of the previous model's hydraulic-assist setup with its new electromechanical steering system: Like everything about the new car, it is meaty in its weighting but fantastically direct in its actions." -- Edmunds
- "In widening the track, stretching the wheelbase, and redoing the steering, the car has lost some of its nimbleness and tossability." -- Motor Trend
- "Through a few of the World Rally Championship (WRC) stage roads north of Nice, France, the Boxster S' steering and handling are absolutely impeccable." -- Road and Track
- "The electro-hydraulic steering lightens up at lower speeds and gets chatty once you're over 30 mph, providing nearly as much feedback through your palms as its predecessor." -- Autoblog