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Old 08-27-2008, 12:24 AM   #1
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Boxster vs. RX8

just trying to get some additional opinions.

I'm in the market for a third car. I'm married, three kids. I have a nice/new SUV for my wife to drive around w/kids and for our weekend trips as a family. I have an old but nice daily driver that is well maintained and paid off. it is a larger sedan and actually can fit everyone.

I'm in the market for a third car for ME for FUN. I have driven the boxster and love it. I drove an s2000 and did NOT like it. I test drove an rX8 and thought it was great too.

for about what it would cost me to get a used 2000 boxster base with 75k miles, I can almost get a 2006 rx8 with 15-20 miles. rx8s, with their horrid gas mileage - are not in high demand and they are NOT selling. new ones are goign for $8k off MSRP....

the rx8 has those little seats in the back which are kind of neat - with small kids, I could take one or two of them with me and use the 8 for short trips and still get to drive a fun car. I think the 8 would get more usage as a daily driver as it is somewhat more practical.

The stock 8 is kind of softly sprung. I'd wind up putting shocks/springs and probably an intake/exhaust on it too. they sound great. not as good as a boxster, but good. power wise, they are more powerful than the base model boxsters I'mlooking at, but have less torque. to me, the boxster feels faster due to it's higher torque...but i think if ou had them both flat out ona track, the rx8 might edge out the base boxster? i have no idea,that's just my guess.

the rx8 would have a warranty as it's a 2006 model. mazda has also extended the warranty to 8yr/100k miles on the motor. the boxster would be off warranty and I'd be paying repairs/upkeep and be on the hook for IMS if it ever happened...knock on wood..

the boxster looks way more classy. i'm 36, gov't atty workign for the county. i'm not a slave to image...lots of my coworkers drive pieces of junk and wouldn't even notice if i drove up in a 911TT - but I do like the idea of somethign "classy" looking. i would NOT drive an EVO/STi partly because i do not want the boy racer image. the rx8, to me, does not look boy racerish. it looks like an affordable japanese sports car, kind of like a Z, but not ricey.

the one i am interested in has the OEM body kit/spoiler and looks somewhat aggressive.

i have NOT driven a boxster / RX8 back to back.

I KNOW one is a convertible and one is a 4 door/couple 2+2... apples/oranges.

i really like the fact that the boxster is a convertible, but my main goal is to get a FUN car. both the boxster and rx8 have light tossable characteristics, with great shifters. i want something light, that i can take to work, and have fun as i row through the gears, but also take out on an occasional saturday morning for a fun drive on a twisty road. i likethe idea of having hte top down while i do it, but i also like the idea of having back seats so i can take my 6 year old with me...

a 911 would be the best of both worlds - back seats, pcar class/engine sound - but most 996's are out of my price range. i really need to be closer to 20k.

i maybe could get a used 996 if i wanted 6-12 montsh to save moremoney or for used car prices to tank even harder.

i kind of see an rx8 as a poor mans 911.

part of me wants to just go for the boxster. it's the car that I know I would have more FUN in. i'm also nervous about costs of upkeep and repairs, while the rx8 would be under warranty and motor repaldemens would be on mazda until 100k.

i haven't seen any CPO boxsters for $20k. most are closer to 30k..even the 986's that are CPO.

any of you drive around in rx8s. feel they are similar to the boxster? far inferior?

thanks for any constructive comments, ideas, etc.

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Old 08-27-2008, 03:59 AM   #2
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Have you browse on any rotary forums yet? Most of the engine problems came from the RX-7s... but RX-8 is not that much better in that aspect.

I'd stay far away unless you know what you're getting into.
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:20 AM   #3
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Having driven both I would hold out for the Boxster. The interior in my opinion is much nicer (not as much plastic), the engine is more reliable (really? yes), and I think it looks and handles better.
It is completely up to you. I would just recommend you don't stretch yourself buying a car. If it is just a fun car and not your primary car, I would go for a 30k mile '98-'99 and get a $3k extended warranty, then start saving for other out of warranty repairs. That would probably be close to $22-24km depending on the mileage.
I would say wait (as hard as that may be) until you have more than you need for just the car.
Hope this helps!
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:56 AM   #4
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That's a tough one... my experience with the RX-8 is limited to a few test drives, but they were very, um, thorough test drives.

My favorite part about the RX-8 is the wankel. I love the 9k redline and how it is smooth as silk throughout the range. The handling is just about perfect. Like you said, very tossable and has high limits, but still a comfortable(ish) cruiser. Reliability issues seem to be overblown. From what I've read and heard, just make sure you keep it full of oil... they burn it as part of the combustion process, so they use more than most people are used to.

This might be a step below what you're thinking, but have you looked at a previous generation Mazdaspeed Miata? That is probably the most fun I've had in a car in a long time. The turbo engine suits this car perfectly... raspy, raw, and a bit on the laggy side. Add to that the just about perfect Miata chassis, and you have one hell of a car for the money. Sure, it isn't practical, so buy a trailer hitch.

Another fun and in-your-range car is a C5 Corvette. I mean, where else can you get 350 hp, 30+ mpg, and amazing handling for $20k? Have you looked into a Z4 3.0? LS2 GTO? GTI 2.0t?
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:58 AM   #5
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The RX-8 is a phenomenal car if you can get past the lack of torque and the poor gas mileage. It is extremely practical - has a big trunk and four good sized seats. It's quiet, it handles great, it's quick enough if you're willing to rev it out, and they've shown to be very reliable.

I spent a couple years driving one and developed a real appreciation for just how good of a car it was.

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Old 08-27-2008, 05:41 AM   #6
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RX-8 is reliable when it's sitting in the garage or in the mechanic's garage.

First post in "Issues & Problems" forum - Engine Seized w/ 34000 miles!!

Quote:
Hey guys just an update on my other post asking if anyone knew what was going on with my car...http://www.rx8club.com/showthread.php?t=153935. I had it towed to the dealer and he said the engine definitely seized. All fluids were always topped off, ive had it brought in for every TSB and flash, and it never had any issues whatsoever on lack of power. It ran perfect, then suddenly I heard a bang, and game over. Only mods were various intakes and a midpipe..just wanted to give everyone a heads up. Thank god for warrenties i guess.
http://www.rx8club.com/showthread.php?t=154264

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Old 08-27-2008, 06:39 AM   #7
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+1 on the RX8. I really enjoyed the test drive I took in one. Since you have a couple of kids, I say take the Mazda.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Box, but now that I have a daughter, family trips in the Porsche are out. This year, I wouldn't mind piling into an RX8 to run up through Vermont this year when the leaves change. Instead, we are going to take the Toyota. For some reason, my wife doesn't like the idea of storing our daughter in the front trunk...
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ekam
RX-8 is reliable when it's sitting in the garage or in the mechanic's garage.
And Boxsters are reliable when they aren't eating O2 sensors, MAF sensors, leaking oil out the RMS or IMS, cracking heads and blowing up due to IMS failures.

All in all, I would have a lot less fear in an RX-8 (especially with the 100,000 mile powertrain warranty) than I do in a Boxster.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:07 AM   #9
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Having owned a RX-8 and currently owning a Boxster I would say go for the Boxster. I really had a problem with the RX-8. I felt like it did not nearly have enough torque (especially for a sports car), the old 6 speed transmission felt nice, but was actually fairly weak (thats why mazda changed it), the rear seats pissed me off (they fit grown people, but I wanted a sports car that didn't have an image problem and if it didn't have the seats it would be lighter and thus faster), it got horrid gas milage, the air conditioning sucked, was really hot in the summer, the oil would get water in it during the winter (dealership said this was normal, doesn't sound right to me), and drank oil.

However, the RX-8 was a more reliable car IMO than the Boxster and did feel nice cruising on the highway or in the twisties. But I also love the torque that the boxster has over the rx8 and it also feels good while cruising or driving vigorously.

Im kinda surprised that you like the boxster and rx8 but hate the s2000. I had an s2000 and I absolutely loved it. More so than the boxster. It was reliable, had good gas milage, was insane when in VTEC, and handled sublimely. However it wasn't as nice while doing long distance driving....

well....thats my opinion
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:40 AM   #10
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I think what I really WANT is the boxster. my only fear is that the upkeep and repairs might nickel and dime me to death.

I have a pretty reliable daily driver - it's a 1999 volvo s70 with 135k miles. i've owned it almost since it was brand new and have done a very good job maintaining it. it runs excellent has tons of new parts on it. mechanic says it will go another 100k easy before i shoudl expect any motor/turbo/tranny issues. i commute like 5 miles to work so i put maybe 5k miles on this car a year.

if i got a boxster, id' only drive it for fun trips with my wife and maybe to work once or twice a week - i'd literally HAVE to take the long way to work to get the car fully warmed up right!!

i'm leaning toward the boxster an dmaybe if i really am worried about $$$$ repairs, just bite the bullet and buy the warranty. dealer quoted me about $4700 for a 3 yr / 36k miles bumper/bumper warranty. covers everythign except wear/tear and interior stuff.

i can get a nice 2000-2001 base for 15k or so.

the dealer said if i could find a car that had 30k or less on it, the warranty price would be only about $2000 for the same coverage. most of the 2000-2001 cars that have that low of mileage are more like $25k or so.... so if i talked them down into the 20-22k range, then bougth the warranty for another 2k, plus tax, i'm at about 25k....

my dad is actually selling his 2000 base. 5 spd, 73k miles, full leather, 18s, M030. ocean blue on black, black top. he wants about 15k for itif he sold it to me. i think he could get a bi tmore if he sold it privately given how nicely optioned it is...mabye not at on more. he originally was even thinking of selling it to me for 12k...but we decided it wasn't fair to royally "steal" it from him...so $15k is a round figure that sounds fair... if i tacked on a warranty, i'm at 20k with peace of mind. almost what i would spend on the rx8, but no sales tax..inter family.

boxster boxster boxster.

i can't get that sound out of my head. sometimes i go on youtube and pull up boxster ehxaust videos just to listen to the sound. am i sick or what...
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:50 AM   #11
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I'm just curious as to why a 911 SC (78-83) or Carerra (84-88) would not be under consideration... You can find 911SCs in good condition for $12-15K these days. The 911 gives you rear seats that can carry a kid or two, too, which kind of solves the dillema with the Boxster when you have family you may want to tote for a fun run.

On the down side, SCs and Carreras were never known for good air conditioning. It also helps to be slightly handy with oil changes and other regular maintenance items that would not be needed on a newer car.

Even still, an earlier 911 is pretty affordable and a really FUN car that I'd pick 10 out of 10x over an RX8.
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:23 AM   #12
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Go for the Boxster.
I always wanted a Porsche, but the 911s seemed out of reach.
So I bought a 2004 350Z, owned it for 2 months, saw a Guards Red Boxster
at a Porsche dealer for $32,000. The Z was gone. The 2004 Boxster had only 6589 miles on it.

I ended purchasing it for $27,000. The car is immaculate and the exhaust note is intoxicating. Handling is amazing and the best car I have ever owned. Turns heads where ever I go. The interior is comfortable and you can actual enjoy the stereo loud and clear with the top down at 75 mph. 3 words.

BUY THE PORSCHE
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:34 AM   #13
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The Boxster has to be the best 3rd car around. My Brother has 2 sedans and a Boxster and this is his claim. It depends on what you're looking for. A 5 year old high end sports car is a very different purchase than a recent year 4-seater under factory warranty. You will get some bills on the Porsche but they average out over time. The car won't break down, but when you do regular stuff like brakes and service intervals the immediate price will be a hit. I'd be surprised if a RX-8 is going to beat a Boxster on the track. You could put more power into it with some mods, but a 50/50 distribution, mid-engine and Porsche suspension is tough to beat if you have equal drivers in the cars. If you're a modder and you enjoy adding HP or tourque to a car then the Boxster is hard to do that with. On the other hand, if you're well-maintained older car ever does go the RX-8 can take over duties.

You can do better than that deal you saw on the Boxster so I'd research that a little before making your decision. If you're patient you will come across lower mileage cars in the 2000-2003 MY range before long. My 2000 base has 50k miles on it and is in excellent condition but I'd be surprised to get $18k if I sold it. My friend's similar 2000 S with ~30k miles just sold for $20k. That was a "friend" price but probably would have been at most $21k on the market. Take a look at these two links below. I bought mine from these guys years ago and they are great to work with. I've been to their place in Houston and it's the real deal. They'll sell Boxsters for about $500-$1000 below their listed price. Not saying you need to buy from them (though my next car will likely come from here) but they are a good gauge for what a nice example should sell for if you can find it locally.

http://www.expomc.com/invsys/details2.php?id=6935
http://www.expomc.com/invsys/details2.php?id=7127

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Old 08-27-2008, 09:43 AM   #14
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I like the looks and the concept of the RX-8, but I've never driven one and don't know much about them.

Never knew they had reliability issues either.

+1 on the Miata as an alternative, but that may not work w/ kids.

In the end, buy the one that stirs your juices. You're not locked-in, if the choice wasn't right, sell it and try again.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:30 AM   #15
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my dads car is a 2000 base. M030, full leather, 18" wheels. 3 spoke wheel.

73k miles. i think he wants about 15k for it..but i haven't pushed him on trying to cut me a "smoking" deal. i am sort of tempted to let him list it in the local autotrader and see what he gets offered. if some dumb dumb wants to give him $18000 for it, let them pay it. But i suspect he will see offers in the 13-14k range...and then reality will set in that his car is not worth all that much on the private market and he may cut me an even better deal?

what do you think his car is really worth?

i have seen S models with lower mileage in the high teens / low 20s. i'd be tempted to buy an extended warranty too. if i got one with low enough mileage the warranty is far far cheaper. the local dealer quoted me only $2900 for a 5 year, 60k bumper to bumper warranty n a 2001 boxster *IF* it had under 30k miles. if i only wanted to go 3 yr / 36k it dropped to about $2000. that's nice peace of mind for not too much money.

since my dad's car has 73k miles, to get a warranty on it that is 36 month / 36k miles - it would cost about $4700. if he would sell it cheaper, it would make more snse to buy his... it is a nice one... but if i can find a lower mileage car for only marginally more money - i can get a newer car, with less miles, and pay even less for a longer warranty and have peace of mind. i'm not paying cash for the car, so i'll be financing some of the costs..i don't want to be paying huge repir/upkeep AND a car payment..

what's my dad's car worth really? 15k too much??
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:58 AM   #16
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There is no way to be sure

of the reliability of a used car (Mazda or Porsche). Not even with the best pre-purchase inspection on the planet. Because things can still break.

Having said that, I've owned 2 Boxsters, a '99 and an '01S, and my average non-scheduled maintenance costs have been well less than $20 a month and I've been the third owner of each (25k and 55k miles). I've averaged less than one fix-it trip per year, more like one every 2 years. And the car could blow an engine next time I drive it. OTOH, I know of many with 150K miles on the original engine.

I get 25MPG on premium in mixed driving. I neither baby it nor hot rod it, especially until it is entirely warmed up.

I've owned 2 626s, bought Toyo-Kogo stock just before the gas crisis of the 70s. The 626s were great cars, each of my sons ended up with them. The '94 just got back from a Wal-Mart run.

Even with a warranty on the engine, you could have lots of problems and inconvenience. With either car. Or they could be near perfect.

I think you have the pluses for each car pretty well described in the above postings.

Porsche plus
drop top fun
mileage

Mazda plus
room for 4
warranty built into the cost

Your preference, your roll of the dice.

(You won't volunteer to take the Mazda to the store just because it is top down weather and always drive to the farthest away store by the most circuitous route.)
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:06 PM   #17
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If you have a lead on a Boxster, go for it.

I had a speed yellow 2001 - undoubtedly the most beautiful car I've owned. Loved it.
Own a 2006 RX8 now - like it as well.
Here are some thoughts -

Track - I've run both cars 4 times each on the track. After adjusting to each car, the track times were almost even, with a second, and we were using stop watches not a more sophisticated solution. The RX8 is quicker than many people think. They are very different driving experiences though, so depends on what you like.

Note: the 2006 manual came stock with the sport suspension and limited slip diff - always a plus.

Street driving: Nothing tops cruising in a Porsche. It has an the un-definable something. Having said that, over near equal ownership periods I have put twice the mileage on the 8 than I did on the Porsche. As a hardtop, I just seem to take it out more often, don't know why.

Reliability: Safe to say that neither has a Lexus badge on it. Hey, they're sports cars. RX8 did get a new engine at 5500 miles, but Mazda was decent about it, gave me loaner, cost nothing, and I've had no problems since.

Both were 3rd cars, used when I wanted the driving experience. Got the obligatory daily drivers (hauler and sedan) for commuting.

At the end of the day, I'm glad to have owned both. I'll probably part with the 8 before the warranty goes away. After that, who knows? Cayman sounds fun, it's a Porsche, a Boxster, and a coupe all in one!

Good luck with whatever you choose. But as I started with - if you have a good line on a known Boxster, go for it, I don't think you'll regret it. There's always more time later for other cars...
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:26 PM   #18
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I know, a bit of a blowhard here, but a car is a car. If you want a car as appliance get a "honda". If you want a car with passion (whose cost is maintenance) get the boxster. Pocket the $4K for the warranty and invest it... use that money should anything go wrong.

Then.. Confirm if

1) you really want a convertible? I enjoyed mine but at times worried about the roof being vandalized and at times felt too "vulnerable" with the top down. Found it noiser up than I thought it would be as well.

2) you really want to bring the kids along? Not sure how old they are, but some states are quite overprotective about the use of car seats.. make sure they fit in whatever you get if in fact needed.

2b) Sometimes its nice to treat "1" kid for a ride in the fun car instead of all 3

3) If you cant afford the maintenance for ANY car (Porsche or other marque), why consider having a 3rd car at all? Theres tires, oil changes, brakes, suspension, clutches, INSURANCE, garaging costs, depreciation and so many other "costs" to car ownership. - conversely, maybe you should read this one as, Sell VOLVO, GET BOXSTER

4) Try another choice.. Like an E36 M3
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Old 08-27-2008, 02:34 PM   #19
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selling my volvo is not an option. I have put a lot of time/money into maintaining it and it is in VERY good condition despite it's age/miles. It's worth hardly anything if I sell it, but in terms of it's actual utility - it's priceless. There is a low, but possible chance my work location could shift some time in the future, increasing my commute distance, and I want to have a "disposable" car that I can rack miles on and not worry about. The volvo is perfect. it looks good, runs great, costs me very little to insure/maintain - and it *should* keep on running for a while.

I think i'm going to try and get the boxster. if I am honest with myself - the only car i have driven recently that really got my juices flowing was the porsche. i "liked" the rx8 a LOT. it's a really fun car. I "loved" the boxster.

a third car is not for practical purposes - it is for fun.it is a purely emotional purchase done for no other reason than it is fun. the boxster is probably the biggest bang/buck car to accomplsh that.

keep your fingers crossed i can get my hands on one at a good price.
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:04 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by racer_d
I know, a bit of a blowhard here, but a car is a car. If you want a car as appliance get a "honda". If you want a car with passion (whose cost is maintenance) get the boxster. Pocket the $4K for the warranty and invest it... use that money should anything go wrong.

Then.. Confirm if

1) you really want a convertible? I enjoyed mine but at times worried about the roof being vandalized and at times felt too "vulnerable" with the top down. Found it noiser up than I thought it would be as well.

2) you really want to bring the kids along? Not sure how old they are, but some states are quite overprotective about the use of car seats.. make sure they fit in whatever you get if in fact needed.

2b) Sometimes its nice to treat "1" kid for a ride in the fun car instead of all 3

3) If you cant afford the maintenance for ANY car (Porsche or other marque), why consider having a 3rd car at all? Theres tires, oil changes, brakes, suspension, clutches, INSURANCE, garaging costs, depreciation and so many other "costs" to car ownership. - conversely, maybe you should read this one as, Sell VOLVO, GET BOXSTER

4) Try another choice.. Like an E36 M3

Plus 1 on your #2 and #2b points. I wanted a Boxster 5 years back and was ready to pull the trigger when the wife reminded me we had 3 kids.....Doh. I folded and bought a Mustang Cobra Convertible, a pretty cool car though. About a year back I sold the Cobra and bought a Boxster S earlier this year, couldn't be happier. Also....it's a Porsche!!!

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