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Old 03-21-2017, 11:53 AM   #1
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Boxster vs miata handling

Just bought a 2001 miata. The miata handles
Unbelievably well. With the same tires, what
Would handle better, the miata or a 986? The
One I bought has been set up for driving fast, flying
Miata springs, bilsteins and some really nice
Tires I need to give back. My 2000 S has bilstein HD's, and
Lowering springs but the tires are questionable.
It feels like the miata does but maybe I
Just haven't pushed the 986 as hard.
Just curious. I know the 986 is faster.

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Old 03-21-2017, 12:22 PM   #2
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I've had an NA Miata R-Package that I sold to buy the 986S.

My Miata had the Flyin' Miata Stage 1.5 suspension, chassis rail braces, butterfly brace, Hard Dog roll bar, 205/50/15 Dunlop Direzza ZII's on 7.5" wide wheels, and a bunch of other stuff done.

My 986S has had a comprehensive suspension refresh (with all worn components replaced), new Bilsteins at all 4 corners with new hardware, and new Continental ExtremeContact Sports installed on the OEM 18" wheels.

The Miata had much more 'go-kart' handling feel compared to the Porsche. It also was much more of a momentum car. It wasn't fun on the freeway; one reason I sold it was it was tiresome to drive any distance at speed. But it would attack lower speed corners with ferocity.

The Boxster definitely feels heavier (which it is), and the midengine layout is very different; you feel the car rotating around the center of the car (where a majority of the weight is) unlike the Miata. The Boxster is less unsettled by mid-corner bumps, which is an issue with the Miata due to limited rear suspension travel (extended rear shock mounts help this which are OEM installed on the NB's).

I preferred the Miata's unfiltered manual steering over the Boxster, although the Boxster is light years ahead of the no-feel electric system in my Mk7 GTI.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:33 PM   #3
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I also...

....switched from a heavily modified 1990 Miata to my 2004 Boxster S with M030.

I concur with what the above posters posted.

The Miata is a more "pure" go-cart, and a blast on a twisty back road.

BUT, the Boxster is a better cross-country car.

I'd put it this way: The Miata is more fun to drive on the Tail of the Dragon, but I'd rather drive the Boxster the thousand miles to get there from my house, and it would still be fun on the Dragon.

But, if I LIVED on the Dragon, I'd rather have the Miata.

Since I live in Louisiana, Im glad I switched to the Boxster.

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Old 03-21-2017, 08:01 PM   #4
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We have both, his and hers. I prefer driving the Box as it has much more power to dive into turns and punching out of those turns. The Miata may out handle at slow speeds. The Box has more room and In my opinion is more fun to drive - for MY taste.

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Old 03-21-2017, 10:19 PM   #5
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I agree with the above posters, in that the Miata is typically more fun than the Boxster at sane street speeds. On the track I'd call it even because the Boxster is a lot faster and has better brakes.

One nice thing about both cars is that you can use the throttle to steer (or at least affect the attitude) of the car.
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:23 AM   #6
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I'm not entirely sure why people keep comparing the 2 cars, the only common thing between them is that they have a convertible roof.

One has twice the HP of the other, bigger brakes, a suspension set up to cross continents and the other is a basic roadster. The only thing the Miata has is a sweet gear change and apart from that it's a cramped little car that's fun for 10 minutes, I certainly wouldn't want to go across country in one and i have a european trip planned for later this year in the Box.

The other thing about the Box is i've never had a car before that begs you to throw it into a corner and see how big your balls are than this car. I've tried it in a Miata before and tbh it felt nowhere near as accomplished, it could have been the car i was driving but i wouldn't have the confidence to push that where i know i can with the Boxster.

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Old 03-22-2017, 03:58 AM   #7
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Both 2 seaters. Also a new car to me. If my old Saab felt as fast, I would have asked about the Saab. Anyhow, it sounds like it does handle as well.
Not my intention to question the excellence of the boxster. I was just curious if the miata did handle as well as it felt or if it was just the case of a slow car feeling fast. I do not track cars so I leave the answer up to those that do.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:06 AM   #8
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I've autocrossed both heavily and frequently run with Miatas on the track. Miatas are certainly very tossible and fun (more fun than a Boxster I think) but almost nothing (honestly) has more mechanical grip than a Boxster. It is also an incredibly easy car to get around a corner, it's hard to get yourself into much trouble.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:13 PM   #9
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I have both. And prefer the Miata. I agree for highway driving the Boxster is better. But for handling and connectivity the Miata, in my opinion, is far superior. Driving the boxster in comparison feels like a GT car. To be fair my '99 miata has a good set of coilovers, which definitely improves the car.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:23 PM   #10
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To me, this car is more inline with the BMW Z3/4 or even the Merc....not the Miata. Just two very different cars from very different price points.
I think the Miata is a great little car, but it's just outclassed by the Boxster, as it should be. If it wasn't, who would be crazy enough to spend that extra dough on the Box?
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:12 PM   #11
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I like them both. Not selling the box anytime soon.
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:15 PM   #12
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So the answer is the boxster will out handle the
Miata with equal tires.
I'll save the fun factor question for
Another day.
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:53 PM   #13
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I've owned both. My Miata NB was great, until I wanted to travel on a highway. There, it felt very much out of its element. I definitely prefer the mid-engine feel of the 986 even in around town slow driving.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:17 PM   #14
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Camber compensating suspension geometry = advantage Miata. (Boxster = mac strut all around. Miata is multilink / twin a-arm)
Lighter weight = advantage Miata. (2850 vs 2350 lbs curb weight. Not close! 20% extra weight in the porky Boxster!)
Weight distribution, mid-engine = low rotational moment of inertia = advantage Boxster. (Miata = front engined)
Horsepower = advantage Boxster. (c'mon, 2 extra cylinders!)
Wider available wheels and tire = advantage Boxster. 9" wide on the back is a factory option on the Boxster. No way is that fitting in a narrow-bodied Miata.
Badge = advantage Boxster "there is no substitute" or "zoom-zoom"?
Lower cost to acquire and maintain = advantage Miata.
Aerodynamics = advantage Boxster. (I would go so far as to say that aerodynamics are a Porsche core competency.)
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeru View Post
Badge = advantage Boxster "there is no substitute" or "zoom-zoom"?
^ This.

I've never seen a "My other car is a Mazda" bumper sticker....
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:18 AM   #16
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I am actually thinking about buying a Miata for a track car.
They are much much less expensive to build and fix. A Miata motor can be had for under $1k. I know several guys running Miatas for the track and several have dropped superchargers or Toyata/Honda motors and are in the low mid 200's for HP. That HP with the lower weight will out run a Boxster at the track.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Boxster, but I can build a Miata track car for under $10k and when it breaks, I don't have to get a 2nd mortage
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayG View Post
I am actually thinking about buying a Miata for a track car.
They are much much less expensive to build and fix. A Miata motor can be had for under $1k. I know several guys running Miatas for the track and several have dropped superchargers or Toyata/Honda motors and are in the low mid 200's for HP. That HP with the lower weight will out run a Boxster at the track.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Boxster, but I can build a Miata track car for under $10k and when it breaks, I don't have to get a 2nd mortage
ditto. been thinking the exact same thing. plus, run spec and it keeps you from getting stupid and spending $ on power, suspension and fiberglass.
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Old 03-23-2017, 01:58 PM   #18
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The expense and frustration of owning a Porsche will be substantial compared to a Miata.We have 2 Miatas and a Boxster S.The Miatas cost very little to run,seldom need repairs,are easy to work on,have full technical manuals (try getting a FSM or OBD manual for the Box!), every conceivable issue on a Miata has been researched and reported on in multiple locations on the Internet. I just wish there was a Miata for tall people.
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I am actually thinking about buying a Miata for a track car.
They are much much less expensive to build and fix. A Miata motor can be had for under $1k. I know several guys running Miatas for the track and several have dropped superchargers or Toyata/Honda motors and are in the low mid 200's for HP. That HP with the lower weight will out run a Boxster at the track.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Boxster, but I can build a Miata track car for under $10k and when it breaks, I don't have to get a 2nd mortage
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:04 PM   #19
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I too have owned both and had lots of fun with them, can't say a bad word, but now own only the Boxster and love it.
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayG View Post
I am actually thinking about buying a Miata for a track car.
They are much much less expensive to build and fix. A Miata motor can be had for under $1k. I know several guys running Miatas for the track and several have dropped superchargers or Toyata/Honda motors and are in the low mid 200's for HP. That HP with the lower weight will out run a Boxster at the track.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Boxster, but I can build a Miata track car for under $10k and when it breaks, I don't have to get a 2nd mortage
Strongest aspect of the Miata is low cost maintenance & consumables. Although I'm always tempted to AutoX our Boxster, the Miata is just the perfect tool for it.

I think for the purposes of this thread: handling, a Miata is really tough to beat - just look at the Solo Nationals entries.

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