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Old 07-26-2009, 09:48 AM   #1
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Which Boxster 2001-2004 or 2005

I am in the market for a Boxster. I have my eye on a CPO 2004 22000 miles or a 2001 Boxster S or I may save some more money and go for a 2005. I have read about engine failures. Which model should I stay away from?

I like the Boxster. Is it reliable or should I go for a Corvette?

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Old 07-26-2009, 09:53 PM   #2
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In my opinion, the Boxster is a pretty reliable car.

It's no Toyota, don't let my opinion fool you. Things go wrong, sometimes very frequently. But I think most of the things you can fix yourself and it isn't that bad.

Engine failures, as far as I've seen, are rare. You see them a lot on the internet, but what you don't see is the majority of Boxster owners posting "MY BOXSTER IS DOING GREAT TODAY!" In other words, people only post when something goes wrong.

I'd go for a 2001-2004 Boxster S in mint condition. It's a much better bet than buying a lower priced 2005, most of the time fixing the thing raises the price way high.

If you like Corvettes, go for one. It's never been my thing, but they do have a lot of power.
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:20 AM   #3
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Smile 2001-04 Boxster or Corvette

if you're considering owning a sports car which appeal to you most? lot's of power in a straight line or just enough power and handling for the twisties ? Corvettes are nice , but they do fall into the muscle car category, the Boxster is a much refined vehicle.. if you like taking off hard and 1/4 mile racing, go for the Vette, if you prefer good handling, form and function, and on the track... go for the Boxster.. now for the reliability issue, the Boxster or even the Vette are just about the same considering they were both maintained properly.. the Boxster will be more costly for parts etc..
image/class/prestige and all the crap that goes with it, i'll leave it for you! i maybe biased 'cause i own an 04S, but i would'nt mind considering an older 66 or a 71 Vette oven a newer Vette in the 05-07 model year.. confusing isn't it?
good luck!
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:37 AM   #4
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The later model run of 986's seem to be reliable. I've been very happy with mine for the last 6 years...nearly zero problems. Corvette's are definately a different type of beast and more rough around the edges. Both are great their own right. Test drive each and see which one suites you best.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:27 AM   #5
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The Boxster is a fantastic car. Caveat: if you think you'll have the urge to wrench, go with the Vette. The amount of power you can get from the LS motors with bolt-on blowers is amazing.

If you can accept that the Boxster is not a drag race machine, go with the Porsche.
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Old 07-27-2009, 02:11 PM   #6
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To give you a bit more info on reliability, I got a 98 Boxster with 94k miles now. I bought it a year ago, not exactly in the best of conditions. It needed a 90k service, a new clutch, and new tires. Clutch and tires are not reliability issues, they go naturally. The only things I've had to change other than that was a leaking spark plug tube, the oxygen sensors (again, they go naturally at 90k miles), and the regulator on the left side window.

Not too bad for a 12 year old car with 94k miles, it's been a bit expensive but most of the issues I knew about before buying the car and used to drop the price. I got it at 9,500 dollars and at that time most Boxsters were selling at least for 13k.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:52 PM   #7
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I'm actually about right where you are. I test drove a Vette and hated it. Very fast yeah (too fast really-- couldn't open it up without risk of going to jail)--I'm in the camp that says it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. but the worst thing about it was the interior and overall build quality---it's SOOO cheap. Just looking at that disgusting cheap steering wheel every morning would have made me regret my decision. Was looking for something more refined, better build quality with handling as my number 1 priority. Also having good storage as my wife and I like taking weekend mountain getaways.

Fast forward 2 months and I test drove a MY09 Boxster w and w/o PDK. I fell in love with her instantly---then she showed me her $78k sticker price! We had to break up... So now I'm looking for late 986 (your 2001-2004 range) or early 987 (2005+). There are several threads here addressing this very question--search for them. I'm leaning towards 987 due to the improvements made that I like (especially the interior). But something I've learned from this great forum the past couple of months ---if you are "scraping the bottom of the barrel" to buy this car---then maybe it's not for you. parts are expensive and repair by a shop will be expensive and you need to plan for something bad to happen. Like Lordblood said, it's no Toyota. But obviously the potential for repairs is greatly offset by shear driving pleasure---as evidenced by the fact that they seem to hold their value pretty well. If these cars had serious reliability issues, I would love to be able to find my MY05 S for $10k ...but alas...they're still in the low-mid 30's for a model in good shape.

P.S. I'm really hoping for 987 with CPO warranty!! at least I get some piece of mind for the first few years of ownership..
My $0.02 as a future member of the club (hopefully)

Last edited by CRCGuy; 07-27-2009 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:40 AM   #8
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In terms of reliability, overall the vette will be less expensive to maintain. But, many of us (including myself) have not had any problems with our cars. The bigger issue for you if what car drives better for your tastes. You must test drive both the vette and boxster and different years of both. When you drive the right car for you, you'll know it. I think it makes more sense to spend a few extra thousand dollars and be happy with the choice you made for years.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:12 PM   #9
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There are sizable performance differences in a 2001 boxster and a 2005 Boxster S apart from the radically better interior the 05 - present boxsters have. The 07 - present S model Boxsters also have a 3.4 liter motor in them that is very zippy off the line and fixes that "gee I wish I had just a little more grunt off the line" so many of us complain about.

The Corvette is a completely different animal. Even a base Corvette has "throw your head back" acceleration, but you have to love the Corvette brand a lot to put up with the outrageous amount of rattles, the ride quality (it's as if the car has absolutely no suspension whatsoever according to my kidneys) and the way one feels inside the cabin sitting so low and far away from the dashboard.

If my garage was large enough, I'd have a newer body style Boxster S (or the hardtop version, Cayman S) for twisty road driving and track use and the Corvette for raw 'git down the road as fast as possible driving.

I am actually glad I do not own a Corvette. I would be dangerous with that much power under my right foot.

Drive a bunch of Porsches and Corvettes and delay your purchase and have fun shopping for them. You can't go wrong by driving too many of them and discovering differences in year models, options, and performance.

Boxsters go around corners much better. Corvettes get off the line much better. Both have build-quality issues, although the newer ones on each side are built better than the older ones.

Are you a Porsche man or a Corvette man? Which car did you dream about owning one day when you were a kid? That's the one you will probably not regret buying.

Be sure to return to this thread and let us know what you bought and why. We'd love to know.
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New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...

Last edited by RandallNeighbour; 07-28-2009 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 07-28-2009, 04:50 PM   #10
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IMHO the 987 is better looking

Test drove the vette and numerous 986, waited for the 987 and I was sold.

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