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Old 06-28-2003, 01:05 PM   #1
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CAR and DRIVER

Just read the August edition of CAR and DRIVER. Article on "Racy Roadsters" rated the Boxster third out of five. Honda S2000 came in first, Nissan 350Z second, Boxster third, BMW Z4 fourth and Audi TT fifth.
Can this be true? Has anyone driven the S2000 or the 350Z?

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Old 06-28-2003, 01:42 PM   #2
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The S2000 was the last car "in the running" for me when I bought the Boxster (yes, I tried them all, starting with the Mazda Miata, and right on up at the time). The S2000 was a nice car, but definitely not at the same level of refinement and poise as the Boxster. I distinctly remember the shift lever dancing around madly in my hand while going over a slightly bumpy highway surface in the S2000 - didn't inspire confidence in me for comfort on long drives (if only I'd known about the "2-hour" Porsche seat ache at the time... ) and long-term ownership. May well have been a better "deal" for the money, but the overall difference to me was enough for me to spend the extra $$ for the Porsche. However, I have a co-worker that bought one of the first S2000s delivered and he still loves it...

I will say that the Honda dealership was way better in terms of customer approach at the time (~April 2001) - I didn't buy the Boxster for the "experience" at the time, that's for sure. Based upon the economy and the number of customer surveys, etc. I've been getting from Porsche lately, I'm hoping that's now improved.

I've now seen several 350Zs around and they definitely appear well constructed. Nissan knows how to package cars well from a Marketing perspective - they look much more than they are (bigger, more expensive, etc.)... not having driven one, I can't comment on whether the performance matches the finish.

Part of my criteria for picking the Boxster was performance with comfort and usability -- the car I chose had to support the idea of a couple going away for a long weekend together. No other convertible in the category/class at the time had the performance and the luggage space in one package.

For just plain fun at the money, the Toyota MR2 was a blast -- if I was shopping for an all-weather motorcycle replacement that would be it... great around-town handling and pretty good pep, decent headroom, really low $$, but just enough luggage space for your lunchbox - not even a picnic basket, if two people were going!

Last edited by donv; 06-28-2003 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 06-28-2003, 04:31 PM   #3
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I have driven the 350Z several miles. It has very good power, but feels like a rice burner (I know, smack time....). However, both z cars I have driven have numerous rattles and just don't feel as tight as my Boxster. Also, I do not like th tranny: first gear hits red-line at about 15-18 mph. Seems like you have to shift a lot when accelerating hard. Brakes are not as firm as Porsche's and the car seem to have some over steer. Typical of Nissan, the car has gizmos everywhere and is definately priced well. From my understanding, Nissan's goal was competition with Honda and Toyota; not Audi, BMW, and Porsche.

I have not driven the HOnda. However, I am sure, as in most of their cars, it is a well built car.

The main question from my perspective: How long will these rice burner model be around? Porsche has been refining the flat 6 for many years, each car (and model) evolves with minor refinements each year, each year getting better and better.
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Old 07-01-2003, 08:27 AM   #4
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Well, the article says it best by stating... The boxster just doesn't break down on paper as well as it should... I think they just had to put it aside to let another car come in first... Come on, the boxster has been winning these awards for a few years now straight ;-)

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