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Old 05-23-2014, 11:41 AM   #1
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Boxster S 02 vs. 04 deciding which to buy

I have been searching for the right Boxster to fit my budget. I have narrowed my search to a 2002 and a 2004 Boxster S. Could you please gives me your thoughts on which you would recommend given a $2,400 price difference?
Both have low miles (33k on the 02 and 39k on the 04). Both are manual, are similarly equipped, both have passed a PPI with only minor cosmetic flaws noted. The 02 has had 3 owners and has been driven only 1,000 miles in the last 3 years. The 04 has had 2 owners and been driven only 6,000 miles in the past 3 years.

The price for the 02 is $17k and the 04 is $19.4k. I realize that I haven't provided complete information, but would be very interested in your thoughts on whether the additional price is worth paying for a two year newer model.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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Old 05-23-2014, 11:45 AM   #2
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Which color do you like best?

Ok, more seriously, standard logic is to buy the newest model you can afford so I'd say start with the 04 and negotiate hard to get the best deal you can. If the owner won't move on the price, see what you can make happen with the 02.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:46 AM   #3
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And good job on getting a PPI on both cars! A round of 986Forum cheers for this fellow!
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:04 PM   #4
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I would try getting the 04 at a lower price and buying it. As mentioned it is always better money wise to get the newest model you can buy.

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Old 05-23-2014, 12:33 PM   #5
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get the 04 S, don't mess around get the IMSB done now, then go out and drive it like you stole it!
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
Which color do you like best?

Ok, more seriously, standard logic is to buy the newest model you can afford so I'd say start with the 04 and negotiate hard to get the best deal you can. If the owner won't move on the price, see what you can make happen with the 02.
you jest, but that is big deal to me. I passed on several cars because of the color. I even had a list of acceptable colors in order of preference. Got really lucky and found the color I wanted, great condition and great price (thanks to my frugal Asian wife).
In my younger years I had often settled on a car that I didn't like the color. always regretted it.
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:14 PM   #7
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IMHO, I would go with the 04 and try to get a better price (although that is not a bad price). The interior changed a little in 03 and among other things, it has a real glove box. I think the glass rear window also came in starting in 03 (I could be wrong on the start year) Both have very few miles in the last 3 years, which is not as good as moderate driving.

Are there service records for either one? You can sometimes get some idea form a CarFax. Also if they are local cars, check with the local Porsche dealers and see what service was done.

Expect with little driving in the last 3 years you will need to replace all or most of the fluids (oil, coolant, brake). Unless you have proof they were changed you will need to do it. Also the tires may be dried out and possibly flat spotted, check the date codes and look at them carefully for cracks in the rubber.

For my money, I would buy the newest one.
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:26 PM   #8
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04S gives you glass rear window and 6 speed - not sure if the 02S is 6 or 5, but I know it has plastic window. I would go 4 the 04S unless you really like the colors on the 02S better.
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:39 PM   #9
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Both cars sound high on price, but the S is easily worth the price difference, also it is actually better that the S has been driven more in the past 3 years.
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:36 PM   #10
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Go with the 04 since it has been driven more lately and has the glass rear window, glove-box, but only if you like the color.

The price is too high on both by about 2-3K so you need to do some haggling.

You don't lose anything by trying if your nice about it and can always pay asking price if all else fails and you can't bring yourself to walk.
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:23 PM   #11
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Another vote for the '04. The money you save if you go for the '02 will quickly be gone when the plastic rear window cracks and you have to replace the top...
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayG View Post

Are there service records for either one? You can sometimes get some idea form a CarFax. Also if they are local cars, check with the local Porsche dealers and see what service was done.
You can setup a free account at mycarfax.com, and while it won't give you the same thing as a regular carfax, it may show some service records. My boxster had 2. A used Tacoma I bought had tons of records, including showing an engine replacement 60k ago.

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Old 05-23-2014, 08:03 PM   #13
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I'd consider both those cars as very low mileage and the price seems like a good starting point. Most sellers expect to take a 10% hit. So go for it and make an offer on the 2004. You will be glad you bought the newer model.

Got luck on your quest.
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmairspotter View Post
04S gives you glass rear window and 6 speed - not sure if the 02S is 6 or 5, but I know it has plastic window. I would go 4 the 04S unless you really like the colors on the 02S better.
'02 S manual is a 6 speed.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tucker2 View Post
'02 S manual is a 6 speed.
all manual S have 6 speed
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:43 PM   #16
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Update: PPI results

The PPI results are in. Here is a summary of the inspection report on both vehicles.

'02- this Boxster S is rated overall as Excellent. No engine codes, one small scratch noted on the front bumper, it has Pirelli S tires which have 40% remaining, foam is blowing out of the AC vent, and the roll bar wind deflectors are missing. Driving, shifting, and braking all rated excellent. Some of the lug nuts have rust. Clean inside and out and well taken care of.
'04- this Boxster S is rated overall as Good. The scanner returned one engine code-P0332 - knock sensor 2 circuit low input Bank 2. There are three minor scratches noted on the paint- one on the front right fender and one on each of the doors. The drivers door storage arm rest does not stay up. The headlights are sun faded. Tires are new, 85%, Sumitomo tires. Driving, shifting, and braking all rated excellent. The oil appears new and there are no leaks.

So there appear to be some pros and cons to both vehicles. Any further thoughts?
Thanks again for your counsel on this big decision. I will keep you posted on the remainder of the story and appreciate your further advice.

Oh, and by the way the 02 has a blue exterior and gray interior. The 04 is black on black.

Last edited by Mstephensfache; 05-23-2014 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:49 PM   #17
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Update: PPI results

Sorry, duplicate post.

Last edited by Mstephensfache; 05-23-2014 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Duplicate post. Sorry.
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:39 AM   #18
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I believe we all misunderstood and thought the 02 was a base model. Since both are an S it is a closer battle, dont worry about the wind deflectors i have been searching for a replacement car myself and their literately is not a single car with them for sale. I usually stay away from cars where the lights are particularly sun faded, not because it can not be fixed or it looks bad, but i use this a judge on how well it was cared for, under a car cover and what not. Especially if a newer car has fadded lights, it is inevitable on a 97 but and 03 is a bit worse.
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:01 AM   #19
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The foam is normal for these cars as it breaks down from age. As Jake mentioned, missing wind deflectors is common. I bought mine off of eBay. Yellowed lenses mean the car has spent a lot of time sitting outside. Something to think about. Hopefully others will chime in on the engine code. The interior/glove box and the glass window on the 2004 are very nice to have. I upgraded my plastic window top to glass to the tune of $1100.
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:14 AM   #20
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03 , 04 cars are much better . the motors are much smoother and they have the newer version of vario cam which makes the power in the upper revs much better. way more car than just a glass window and glove box !

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