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Old 03-30-2008, 12:38 AM   #1
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Can you guys help me narrow this down? 04 S or 05 base

OK, so I've been looking for my Boxster. It's coming, I can feel it!

If you had the choice between an 04 S or an 05 base, all things equal, which would it be?

Thank you!

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Old 03-30-2008, 02:46 AM   #2
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Well, this is the 986 forum so you might find a bias for the '04 :-)

Personally, I would take the '05 Base. Several reasons:
1) Styling - I think the front end of the 987 is far far better than the '04
2) It's a year newer
3) Interior of the 987 is head and shoulder better than the 986
4) Wider track = better handling
5) Lots of small improvements and more standard features

The only downside to the 987 base is a bit less HP and torque but for me the difference is minimal.

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Old 03-30-2008, 04:31 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum Angel -

For only being 21 you have owned a lot of cars (kind of jealous actually). Obviously from my sig you will know I have some bias towards 04 S.

Before I tell you my preferences... look at NickCats thread on buying used Boxsters, it will really save you some headaches and money. Get a PPI, best investment I made before I bought my car last year.

04S vs. 05 base... a difficult decision indeed. I think it really comes down to your tastes and preferences. I think you know that Porsche tends to make slow evolutions to their cars instead of drastic revolution. In 05 they made some real changes to the Boxsters instead of modest little design changes. Renzop makes some good points. It is always good to buy the newest you can afford - especially when it comes to Boxsters. With that said:

1) Styling? - I am not sure that the 987 is better. Many 986 owners like the what we call "edgy" styling of the headlights, while other like the more oval smooth styling of the 987. It is more in line with the 993's. This is more of your preference. Non-Porsche nuts will not be able to tell the difference between MY98 in great condition and a new Boxster.

2) Interior is much better in the 987 than the 986. It is roomier (I am not sure if you care) with lowered seats, wider seats and much more head room. It is safer, it has 6 airbags including head airbags and higher roll bars.

3) More standard features in the 987... true. However, you have to make sure you are not comparing a stripped down version of an 05 vs. a fully optioned 04S. My 04 SE was fully optioned and had everything I wanted. Porsches have lots and lots of options and customization..... get the car that you want.

4) Bit less hp and torque in the 987. I am not sure that I will be able to tell the difference. But for your info the 2004 S - 3.2L 258hp 229lb-ft; 2005 - 2.7L 240hp 199lb-ft. 18 Hp?.... I am not sure I could tell the difference. 30lb-ft of torque?... I think that I could tell the difference in grunt. I think 2004 S will feel faster to me because of the torque, I am not sure that it would be faster than a standard 05.

They also freed up the exhaust to make it less restrictive (better sound? cannot remember)

5) As I posted elswhere on this forum the 04S brakes rotors are the same size and set up as the 05 base. I am not sure about the suspension set up though.

6) Shifts are more precise and "tighter" in feel in the 05. According to Porsche, they supposedly reduced the throws by 27 percent in 05 compared to the 04. In my SE, it comes with a short shifter and I really like the feel of it. However, I could tell some difference between the 05 and 04 shifter when I tested them. (I, at the time chaulked it up to abuse and mileage of the vehicles)

7) 04S is a 6 speed, 05 is a 5 speed. There are obviously differing opinions on what is better. Many owners of the 5 speed as well as magazine (Excellence) articles talk about how the 5 speed tranny is much better suited for city driving as well as spirited drives in the country side. I really like my 6 speed but I have not spent enough time a 987 5 speed to know the difference.

With all this in mind, what would I choose? Hard to say, difficult decision. I would encourage you to buy the newest one you can afford but I would miss the torque and options on my car.

You should also wait patiently for members who have actually made this switch, rather than an insomniac like myself who is trying to recollect what it felt like when I went Boxster shopping last April. I know there are members who made similar changes from an 986 S to an 987 base.

Good luck, no matter what... you will have a good summer.
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:43 AM   #4
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Not sure if you are ruling out a 2005 'S' based on price, but there are good deals on them if you do your homework.
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Old 03-30-2008, 12:32 PM   #5
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similar thread worth reviewing

Take a look at this thread that I started quite a while ago:

purchase choice - 2003 S or 2005 2.7?

Essentially the same issue as your inquiry.

I ended up (just recently) going for the '03 S. Deciding factors for me: I did not really prefer the new interior styling, nor the changes to the front end appearance - they were neutral factors, if anything. I did prefer the additional torque of the larger motor, as many members commented on. I had more cars to choose from, and was able to find one in excellent condition even though it was older. Purchase price was lower.

drburton is correct - the 05' S is the 'best of both worlds' if you can afford it.
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Old 03-30-2008, 04:31 PM   #6
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987 vs 986

I own a 986S. I'd buy the 987 base today in preference.

Drive both. Let your fanny decide, bet you can't tell the difference but the 987 ergonomics are superior. I figure the engineers did improve a few things.
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:32 PM   #7
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I'd take a 2004 S before a base 2005, but you should do more research in a 2005 S model.

I'm sure there's a 2005 Boxster S that's thousands cheaper than you would have thought. You just gotta look more.

www.cars.com

www.autotrader.com
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:59 PM   #8
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I'd say drive them both. I drove an '04 S and I bought an '08 base. I like the way the '08 drives much better. I especially like the clutch better.
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Old 03-31-2008, 01:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveBunny
I'd say drive them both. I drove an '04 S and I bought an '08 base. I like the way the '08 drives much better. I especially like the clutch better.
No, no, no... not playing fair LB. Porsche made additional changes to the 07 and 08 base models. For example, the 2.7L engine that you have is very different from the 2.7L that Angel is considering in the base 2005.

According to Porsche, they did not modify the 06 engine but designed a new one starting in MY07. I think this was done to keep up with the changes in the 07 Boxster S (this was the first year where they put the Cayman S engine with the Cayman S transmission into the Boxster S) For the base model, they included VarioCam Plus intake valve timing and lift system, dual-chamber intake system and a higher 11.3:1 compression ratio. The gain in Hp and Torque is small; something like 245Hp and 201lb-ft.

But your car is a definite improvement over the base 05 with lots of additional small changes besides the engine change.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:55 AM   #10
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I didn't mean that the '05 would be the same as an '08, but just that the feel of every car is different and I had to drive a few.
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:18 AM   #11
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Well depends on a few questions.
How much $ is each?
How long do you usually keep cars?
what's the mileage of each? Can you get a factory extended warranty for the 04?

I'm not sure I would trade my 986S (2000) for a new Boxster unless it was a 3.4
I would need at least another 50 HP to consider it on performance grounds.
Aesthetically, I still prefer the 986/996 designs from Porsche over the 987/997.
I've noticed that round, smooth curves are making way for more 'sterile' square/blunt lines in car design in general. I think rounder designs age better though...
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveBunny
I didn't mean that the '05 would be the same as an '08, but just that the feel of every car is different and I had to drive a few.
Oh........

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