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Old 04-04-2005, 09:02 PM   #1
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Has anyone compared BMW M Roadster to the Boxster S?

I searched the forum and didn't find anything.

Did anyone compare these two cars before choosing their Boxster?

I "think" I have it narrowed down between the 2001+ Boxster S and the 2001+ BMW M Roadster.

I'm looking for great handling, good preformance and reliablity.
I talked with a few members here a while ago and they set me straight on the Boxster S, so I know the issues it had in the past and the little quirks it still has. I also know about the bigger motor, brakes etc....

Also if you have owned an M Roadster I would like to hear your thoughts.

Thanks again for your time.

Neil
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:55 PM   #2
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I have not owned a M roadster, however I was in the same predicament as you. When I stumbled across the M roadster, I was completely stunned by the beauty of the interior and the quad exhaust pipes were impressive. The power of that car was also very impressive and the torque was greater then the Boxster. I have heard problems here and there with the s52 pre 2000 engines. Ican't quite remember what right now because I was in the market about a year ago.

I now own a 2004 boxster 2.7L and the handling of my boxster is a lot more confident then the M. Although I might not have the torque, I feel my car is a lot more balanced. The interior of my porsche is inferior to that BMW. But in the end, nothing will give oyu the same driving experience as the porsche.

Just my $.02
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:05 PM   #3
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I'm a multiple-time BMW owner and self-proclaimed pseudo-expert, trying to get into the Boxster realm.

The M roadster is an awesome, awesome car, but the key here is the chassis it's based on - the not-so-modern Z3. Even when "M-ized", it's got a bit more flex and isn't quite as sure-footed as a Boxster. It is, however, rear-wheel drive, which you may or may not prefer over the Boxster's mid-engine setup. And a BMW inline 6 (especially an M motor) is a glorious thing to experience.

The M coupe, on the other hand, is substantially more rigid and will give you top-notch performance. But it's not a roadster and I personally think it's butt-ugly.

The Z4 is considered to be on-par with the Boxster with regards to handling, and having driven one on multiple occasions I can say it is an absolute blast of a car to drive. The upcoming M version of that car will probably be disgustingly high-performance.

As far as reliability goes - BMW isn't king of the hill. They aren't bad (their powertrains are particularly strong), but all the electronics tend to go over time. Motors, switches, sensors, etc.

The one thing BMW has done that keeps me coming back to them is balance everyday drivability with performance, safety and incredible value. While many cars are a "9" in some things and a "2" in others, BMWs are typically "8"-"9" in *everything*. You can switch from a subtle, smooth ride to tail-out-happy-fun-times with a flick of a wrist and blip on the throttle.

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Old 04-05-2005, 06:52 AM   #4
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I got into a 02 M-Roadster before I purchased my "S." I picked the an 03 S as you can see. The engine is the real selling point of that car. I believe it's called the S54 and it has 315 hp and an 8k rpm redline. That engine is simply unmatched by anything else in the roadster market. It pulls very hard all the way from 3k-8krpm. The boxster S while strong is simply outmatched in the power dep. The M interior is also nicer albeit a bit cramped and the driving position subpar compared to the Porsche. Nothing else about the M impressed me at all. The trunk is the same size as the rear truck in the boxster, so the trunk space is half of the what the boxster offers. The 5 speed shifter on the M I drove felt long and rough. It was very dissapointing. The handling of the car while superior to your average car, can't hold a candle to the response, feedback, balance, and overall grip of the boxster S. The boxster S brakes are beefier and offer better feedback through the pedal as well. The model I looked at didn't have a power top or Xenon lights either. I'm not even sure if those things are even offered as an option for the M, but I'm leaning torwards no. In summation, the M is clearly superior to the S in the power dep...but behind in everything else comapared to the S. The S seems to have more than enough power for most peoples needs and it sounds a heck of alot better in the proccess as well. I'm a power junkie, but I still echewed the M for the S simply because the Porsche is so good.
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Old 04-05-2005, 07:02 AM   #5
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Buy a Boxster S.
This is a car that should have cost the public $80,000. At least that's what the engineers and designers were told after they presented their plans. By farming out the assembly of the car to Finland and Austria(I believe) and implementing new assembly line procedures from Japanese efficiency experts they were able to dramatically lower the cost.
A second hand Boxster S is allot of punch for the buck. Both in performance and reliability. Try to buy as new a boxster S as you can with as low mileage as possible. I found a 2000 S with only 10,000 miles and jumped on it. Best decision I ever made. This car has exceeded all expectations.

IMHO There's something extra that Porsche has that BMW and Mercs just don't have.
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Old 04-05-2005, 07:12 AM   #6
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You simply have to drive the cars, as they are very very different. No amount of feedback will substitute for this experience.

And they are both great cars.

Good luck!
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Old 04-05-2005, 07:52 AM   #7
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All I can say is Porsche...there is no substitute.
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Old 04-05-2005, 09:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowag
The Z4 is considered to be on-par with the Boxster with regards to handling, and having driven one on multiple occasions I can say it is an absolute blast of a car to drive. The upcoming M version of that car will probably be disgustingly high-performance.



Hell no. Not even close. The only people that think that are delusional Z4 owners. The Z4 handles ok but lacks the "right now" feel of the Boxster. The upcoming MZ4 is still rumor at best. Those same "spy pics" have been floating around forever. Right now, there is upwards of $10K off in incentives on the Z4. Why would BMW come out with an even more expensive version of a lousy selling car?

As to the original question, the only thing the MZ3 has going for it is straight line speed. The S52 motor is about as quick as a 986 S and the S54 motor is a lot quicker with it's 320hp.

However, it handles like ****************. The suspension is from the 2nd previous generation (E30) 3 series. Try taking some bumpy corners at speed and see what happens. That alone should make the Z3 a non-contender.

And lastly, the Z3 is fugly. Seriously. It looks like crap compared to the Boxster. Why is this even a comparison? What exactly is better on the Z3???


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Old 04-05-2005, 09:48 AM   #9
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yes I have seen some very modified Z3's (Dinan I think) at Autocross events and even those seem to sway like battleships. Along comes a BoxsterS and its sticking at all four corners like an open wheeler. The Z4 corners allot better than the Z3 (from a spectators point of view) but the demmand and resale isn't looking promising. I'm a fan of the styling of both paticularly the Z4 and M Coupe, very forward looking.
But not in the Boxster handling league. I doubt you'll find a better car for hand over hand steering than a Boxster which you really really really notice right away when you get out your Boxster and into another sportscar. Excellent for clipping those corner apexes.
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Old 04-05-2005, 10:27 PM   #10
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Well after takling to more owners of Boxster S's I'm leaning that way.

I can't really get an answer about that rear suspension "spookyness" on the Roadster and I won't want to, in a car I buy. Even BMW owners say the Boxster "S" has the upper hand in the control department. I like the increased power from the BMW and I think the BMW wins in the aggressive looks department while the Porsche looks great in a much more classy, refined way.

I guess it comes down to reliability and price. Is the Porsche more rock solid than the BMW and is the edge in handling and braking worth the extra 5k-7k {depending on the Coupe or Roadster}.

I'm also in Canada so add 20% to all prices.
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Old 04-06-2005, 05:49 AM   #11
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"I guess it comes down to reliability and price. Is the Porsche more rock solid than the BMW and is the edge in handling and braking worth the extra 5k-7k {depending on the Coupe or Roadster}."

As someone who deals in both BMW and Porsche, I would not call either marque "rock solid" if you are talking reliability. You would have to hand that title to Toyota or Honda for sure.

Having said that, both the M and the Box will hold up very nicely IF TAKEN CARE OF! If you intend to race on or off track weekly, expect to have a repair budget similar to racing teams.



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Old 04-06-2005, 07:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucelee
"I guess it comes down to reliability and price. Is the Porsche more rock solid than the BMW and is the edge in handling and braking worth the extra 5k-7k {depending on the Coupe or Roadster}."

As someone who deals in both BMW and Porsche, I would not call either marque "rock solid" if you are talking reliability. You would have to hand that title to Toyota or Honda for sure.

Having said that, both the M and the Box will hold up very nicely IF TAKEN CARE OF! If you intend to race on or off track weekly, expect to have a repair budget similar to racing teams.




Yes, I didn't think they were the "most" reliable of all cars, I was just comparing the two, thanks.

The car won't see a track and I will use it like I do any other car, so I don't think I'll run it into the ground.
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Old 04-06-2005, 08:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowag
I'm a multiple-time BMW owner and self-proclaimed pseudo-expert, trying to get into the Boxster realm.

The M roadster is an awesome, awesome car, but the key here is the chassis it's based on - the not-so-modern Z3. Even when "M-ized", it's got a bit more flex and isn't quite as sure-footed as a Boxster. It is, however, rear-wheel drive, which you may or may not prefer over the Boxster's mid-engine setup. And a BMW inline 6 (especially an M motor) is a glorious thing to experience.

The M coupe, on the other hand, is substantially more rigid and will give you top-notch performance. But it's not a roadster and I personally think it's butt-ugly.

The Z4 is considered to be on-par with the Boxster with regards to handling, and having driven one on multiple occasions I can say it is an absolute blast of a car to drive. The upcoming M version of that car will probably be disgustingly high-performance.

As far as reliability goes - BMW isn't king of the hill. They aren't bad (their powertrains are particularly strong), but all the electronics tend to go over time. Motors, switches, sensors, etc.

The one thing BMW has done that keeps me coming back to them is balance everyday drivability with performance, safety and incredible value. While many cars are a "9" in some things and a "2" in others, BMWs are typically "8"-"9" in *everything*. You can switch from a subtle, smooth ride to tail-out-happy-fun-times with a flick of a wrist and blip on the throttle.

Which one would you choose?
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Old 04-06-2005, 08:18 AM   #14
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Have you driven both yet?
(make sure you drive the S!)

I think once you take a quick turn in the BoxsterS the decision will be an easy one.
I don't consider 'drag racing' to be real driving. Any car can go fast in a straight line. But once you turn that wheel you see what that sports car is made of.
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Old 04-06-2005, 09:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectlap
Have you driven both yet?
(make sure you drive the S!)

I think once you take a quick turn in the BoxsterS the decision will be an easy one.
I don't consider 'drag racing' to be real driving. Any car can go fast in a straight line. But once you turn that wheel you see what that sports car is made of.

No, There aren't any listed for sale in my province, that's why I have been trying to narrow down my search so much. And I will make sure I drive the car that I will eventually buy and not a model that's "similar" to it.

As for drag racing, it's not what I'm into but more power is still more power. Staying in gear for short bursts of fun or just getting up to speed quicker is always good. How the car handles is more important than hp numbers, still.
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Old 04-06-2005, 10:33 AM   #16
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true power is nice.
BUT.....
as many many have experienced and can attest the 'power game' is an unending one. Eventually you get used to whatever you have at your fingertips and want more. Add some headers, more power, get used to it, get bored. A never ending list of modifications and you get used to it all.

Personally I think once you achieve a a very good power to weight ratio as the BoxsterS comes stock you are good to go.
250 hp per 2.5 tons of curb weight seems to be the magic range when a sports car seems to come "alive".

Now the handling of the boxster and the throttle response, torque delivery is something you NEVER get used to. Well at least I don't, Unless you spend a heck of allot time in the swiss alps doing time trials, I think you might agree that the Boxster's handling is world class.
Excellence Magazine recently had a Porsche round up of the greatest Porsche Roadsters and Targas and one contributor said "The balance and handling of the Carrera GT($700,000) and the BoxsterS ($60,000) are the best Porsche has on offer today".
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Old 04-06-2005, 11:12 AM   #17
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You really have to drive the car. There's no way to put into words how the Boxster drives. Honestly...no exaggeration.

I wasn't even looking for a Boxster after I sold my E36 M3. I was looking at the E46 M3 and Z06. Both are significantly quicker than the Boxster and are world-class handling cars in their own rite.

However, the M3 handling dynamics just didn't do it for me. It felt heavy and nothing like the E36. The Z06, while ungodly fast, felt cheap and crude. Handling didn't feel connected at all.

I came across the Boxster S kinda by accident. I used to think it was the "poor man's Porsche" and all that. Plus, I'm not even a convertible guy. But after one drive I was HOOKED. Since I bought my S brand new, I could've easily saved $$$ by getting the M3 or Z06. But neither of those cars even come close to the driving dynamics of the Boxster. It's that good.

Again, you really have to drive both. I have. The difference is huge no matter how closely they are on paper.

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Old 04-06-2005, 11:46 AM   #18
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"Again, you really have to drive both. I have. The difference is huge no matter how closely they are on paper."


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Old 04-06-2005, 02:41 PM   #19
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He said he was just going use the car like every other car so the boxster S might be over-kill and not the best choice. An M3 cabbie will get you to from A to B more comfortably and it's more practical. For just cruising I think the M3 Cabbie would maybe be a better choice. You might want to take a test drive to see if it suits your needs better than the both of the cars mentioned above.
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Old 04-06-2005, 03:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
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He said he was just going use the car like every other car so the boxster S might be over-kill and not the best choice. An M3 cabbie will get you to from A to B more comfortably and it's more practical. For just cruising I think the M3 Cabbie would maybe be a better choice. You might want to take a test drive to see if it suits your needs better than the both of the cars mentioned above.

Thanks for all of the posts guys.

And Adam I should have been more clear with my "drive it like a regular car" statement. I drive all of my cars harder than your average person. I can and do corner as quickly as possible {for the car I'm in at that moment} and I like acceleration as much as anyone else. That said, I'm not looking for the fastest car, I'm looking for the best handling car {within my price range} because I think any new car that can handle this well will already be quick, it just goes with the class.
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