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View Poll Results: S owner's regrets
Would buy S again 51 83.61%
Would buy base model if had to do over 5 8.20%
It makes no difference (don't know) 5 8.20%
Voters: 61. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-08-2007, 05:03 PM   #1
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Boxster S vs. Base

After glancing and reading the defense of base owners and such it occured to me that that isn't the best way in going about getting the most accurate answer. The threads often seemed colored with bias. I don't mean to discount their opinions, or start anything. It's that I appreciate critical thinking, and well, I think the proper question should be:

How many S owners regret getting the S, and wish they'd have gotten a base instead? The question is distinctly different this way, and I think far more telling.

I'll start. I do not have any regrets of paying more for an S, and would not consider a base model. If and when I look for a 987, it'll be another S. IF the price spread was say 10k, then I may consider a base.

This is not meant as gloating or any such nonsense.

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Old 06-08-2007, 05:15 PM   #2
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I hope my next Boxster is a "T"...as in TURBO!
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:14 PM   #3
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I think that S owners bought the S because it had what was important to them, and likewise for the base owners. People drive cars for different reasons. I bought the S because I wanted all of the performance that I could get, and am thrilled. Most people do not drive the way that I do. I love to experience the limit of what my car can do and more S owners probably do too. The base car has a lot of capability as well and is a very fun car to drive. Some people enjoy a car that performs wellin a more leisurely fashion. Sometimes I enjoy a leisurely drive in my S as well. All in all they are both great!
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:22 PM   #4
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hmmmmmm....not sure but if we are comparing apples to apples....I have an 05 987 base....if the original question is would I have picked it over an 05 987 S....no, I did pick it because of cost and looking back I should have been a man and bit the bullet

now if the question is would I have got an 986 04 S over my 05 987 base, not in the wildest....

I'm with B....next box will be a T
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:31 PM   #5
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this is something similar accross the boards.
Z28 and SS, C5/C6 and Zo6... you know.

i wouldnt mind getting the S, and would take it over the base, but at the time all i can afford to spend on the car was a base price, and i think that is the greatest factor here... im sure MOST people would take S over base.

but i would like to hear some more comments as well. great post tho
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:48 PM   #6
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Maybe the better question to ask is, for those who have driven each sufficiently, is the price differential justified? I got an S, but never drove a base so I can't compare. If I recall, in Excellence they said the S is nicer, but not 20% nicer. I also drive a 90 hp 914 and a 180 hp 911, both of which I enjoy. HP doesn't necessarily translate to satisfaction. But, I do most of miles on a sportbike, so most cars seem slow. On the other hand, nissan, or infinity or whatever makes the 350z. That car I understand is fast. They put the same motor in a sedan and a minivan. You can tell by the distinctive groan from the exhaust. I'm already tired of that sound even though I don't own one. If I were blown off by a minivan in my boxster I would be seriously concerned about my purchase, S or base.
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:00 PM   #7
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Well, since the Boxster is my daily driver, I went for a base model, so I could get the newest lowest mileage that I could. I also like the decent fuel efficiency.

When I have a different commuter, if something should happen to the Box, I would consider getting an S for a fun/weekend/track car.
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:23 PM   #8
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I can understand base owners with different objectives and such, and also owners who didn't have the choice before the S came out, and also owners who plain could not justify the extra $ for an S.

But for those who are on the fence and find it a hard decision, I can't really rationalize it since it was one of the easiest choices I've ever had to make. For ~20% more, you not only get 20% more power AND torque, you get the better brakes, 6 speed, AND suspension. That's a whole lot of performance and represents a GREAT comparative value for performance minded owners. After all, Porsche is known for performance right? Not so much for grocery getters or boulevard cruisin.

Again, I'm not hounding any owners.

Turbo Boxster would be AWESOME! I doubt the factory will put one out, it would be too easy to tweak and lay waste to the cash cow 911 NA.

I am curious as to the comparo of the 987 vs 986. The only thing that gets my blood pumping about the 987 is PASM (power bump is nice too, interesting same displacement of 996 3.4 yet still lower on power, who says Porsche didn't hobble the box!). Call me a heretic, I actually like maybe even prefer the fried eggs and non metallic interior. Though newer is almost always nicer, what else am I missing?

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Old 06-09-2007, 02:30 AM   #9
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Owned both, just as much fun in a 201HP base as the 245 S

Maybe even more fun because it was more the driver and his skill rather than the car and its HP.

Not that the S isn't a better car.

I totalled the base and bought an S with the insurance proceeds. I'd rather have the '99 base back in preference to the '01 S because then there would be one more P-car on the road.

And the grin was as big and the complements the same.

Besides, I was less tempted to get into trouble with less HP to pull me out of the situation.
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:27 AM   #10
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I've driven pretty much all of them, as I have a bunch of local Porsche buds here in the tri-state area that let me drive their cars: 2.5L Boxster with 201hp, 2.7L with 217hp (I own one), 3.2L with 250hp, 3.2L with 280hp(987S), 3.4L with 295hp (Cayman S), Base 997 Carrera Cab with 325hp, 997 Carrera S Cab with 355hp, and 996 Carrera GT3 with 381(hp).

Not counting any of the 996 and 997 cars, I honestly can say that from my experience, there really is not that much difference that I felt between driving my car (an 01 base 2.7 with 217hp) and the 986S with 250hp. I actually could hardly feel a difference in pull during acceleration. The 280hp Boxster S I drove, while a nice improvement in design inside and out from the 986, still didn't wow me with the power delivery. The difference I really did feel was between driving my car and the 295hp Cayman S. That drive really impressed me, and it felt like the car, in gears 1-4, had a real nice kick in the pants to it. I think the best value at Porsche today is the new 3.4L Boxster S. Top down, great looks, fast car, with all the new gadgets.

The Cayman S I drove felt almost just as quick as the base Carrera I drove, but of course, slower feeling than the GT3.

Back to the question though- do I regret not getting the S from the get go? Yes. I happened to first test drive a base, and felt it gave me enough grins, so I decided to buy it right there on impulse. Do I enjoy my car any less because of that decision? No. It's still a heck of a fun car to drive, and I'm gonna keep it for a while. Plus, it's nice not having a car payment when NYC parking costs me $560 per month.
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Old 06-09-2007, 09:25 AM   #11
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Before I bought my 2000 986 S several years ago, I drove the base and didn't feel the excitement. I was a little disappointed with the lack of get up and go. In fact, I kind of felt like it wasn't the kind of car I was looking for. I love the feeling of torque and started to look elsewhere. When I drove the S I couldn't wipe the grin off my face. While not the torque monster of a vette, it did feel like a different car than the base. I have since discovered and love the great handling characteristics of the car and now have a greater appreciation for the base. But the S to me is the way to go.
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Old 06-09-2007, 10:30 AM   #12
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I suspect part of the equation is whether one buys used or new. The difference in cost between the base and the S for a new car is pretty significant - but I think it diminishes over time.

I bought my 2000 S a month or so ago after having driven a friend's 2000 base model, and it feels significantly sportier to me than his did. Of course, I drove his like it was his, and I drive mine like it's, well, mine.

That said, I have no regrets over shelling out what looked to me to be the extra couple thou it took to get the S model of that age over the base model.
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Old 06-09-2007, 07:37 PM   #13
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I bought a 986 S and have no regrets. I test drove SEVERAL to make sure I was getting the one that I really wanted.

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Funny - I couldn't find much difference at first between the power going from Base to S, but once I got back into a base, I could feel the power deficit. Make any sense? I think the 986 vs. 987 debate is a different matter entirely - apple & oranges. But all advice appears to be that if the cash is there to be spent, the newer car is the one to get. I wasn't sure about the S vs. Base until I started asking around. I spoke with service techs at 4 dealerships in IL & 1 in MI and 2 Porsche specialty shops - all said that the S was the way to go for a stock car & if I wanted to make upgrades (I think they were thinking of REVO software.)

Now as for the apples vs oranges debate... I may be the only person on the planet who (even though I LOVE the look & quality of the 987) would not choose a 987 base over a 986 S. I just wasn't impressed with the power delivery (yes, I know the HP is almost identical.) I never said I was sane! Price was undoubtedly weighing in on my decision - there was about a $14K difference in the pre-owned 987 & my 986 S. Now if Loeber just "happened" to have a spare Arctic Silver 987 S that they needed to give away... my pops would be finding that 986 S in his driveway as a Father's Day gift!
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Old 06-10-2007, 05:00 AM   #14
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This seems like a self evident question.

Why are there so many posts about increasing HP? If base and "S" owners all would like to increase HP then why wouldn't anyone want to start with more HP to begin with by buying an "S"?

It simply a matter of budget not whether someone likes the Base versus "S". The "S" starts you off with more HP and a better braking sysytem (from the 911) and a better handling suspension setup. Who wouldn't prefer that?
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Old 06-10-2007, 01:39 PM   #15
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I bought the 2007 Boxster S and have no regrets. I didn't want to make the same mistake with the Boxster as I did with my 2005 BMW Z4; bought the 2.5L while I could have bought the 3.0L.

2 years later and at a great big hit on depreciated value, the Z4 was traded in for the larger engine Boxster (maybe that is not a bad thing). Either way, If I would have bought the larger engine (3.0L) in the Z4 originally, I probably would of held on to the Z4 for a little longer and received more value of my purchase.
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:46 AM   #16
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I too bought a 2007 Boxster S and did not test drive or consider the Base. I have always bought the highest performance version of any sports car when possible so there would be no regrets. I have never modded a car to increase power, primarily because I figured I would never see a return on that investment at time of resale (perhaps even a loss) and I typically do not keep any cars past 3 years due to boredom. Had I not been able to afford the S I likely would have bought a used 1996/97 993 Turbo or a 993 Cab, something I considered briefly before coming to my senses and buying the new Box. Always wanted a 993.....repair costs scared me away.
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:59 AM   #17
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I had a 2005 slk 350 which went away due to early engine failure and MB being total a-h's, but that's a whole 'nother story. After driving the base Boxster, the S , C4 and C4S , I felt that the 2007 BoxS had the best fun/$ ratio. It's easy to spend much more, yet end up without a lot more car or significantly better performance. I'd only consider the base if most driving is in the city or $$$ is a constraint.

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Old 06-12-2007, 08:10 AM   #18
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when it comes to power its mostly in your head, particularly with Roadsters.
My last car was a well modified 1.8 Miata with barely 160 hp. But it was very light so it launched from a stop in almost the same seat of the pants feel as my 3.2
Almost an additional 100 HP yet it didn't feel like a sinificantly faster car. When I went up another 100 HP and drove a 350 HP car (911S) that too didn't feel significantly faster. 0-60 times for all three were seperated by a few blinks of an eye.

THe big difference is felt when you are already moving, like merging or passing cars. In that context the difference is more than perceived. You're simply going to get past that SUV quicker with more power.
When it comes to power in general I think we have all conviced ourselves that we need more. But you end up getting used to that extra power just like the last car.
Its like a woman's diamond ring, sooner or later someone with a bigger rock will walk into the room, so why bother trying to be king of the heap? Its better to concentrate on other qualities like color or clarity or in sports car terms handling and braking.
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:18 AM   #19
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I wanted to buy an "S" model, but thought the insurance would be higher than that of a base model. Now I miss the performance of the "S" but figured I could add more performance mods to my base and perhaps make it even better than an "S' model. That was my way of thinking, since I like to modify my cars that I buy. Although there seems to be more available upgrades for the "S" than there are for the Base model in aftermarket parts. So I wish I had waited for the "S" now that I consider both options for performance upgrades. I guess I can always do an engine swap for a 3.2 Ltr. which is what I will wind up doing one day. Anyone know if the insurance of the "S" is more or the same as the base model?? Seem like it would be more.
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:21 AM   #20
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Agree with those who have said that this is 100% about budget.

There is no denying that the S is better, and there is no denying that the S is more expensive, all else equal. And the fact that you're buying a Boxster as opposed to a Civic implies that there is part of you who cares about either performance or status (I hope it's the former in most cases!). In both cases, the S holds the edge. So the question is whether it's worth the extra money. And I imagine that's as much or more about personal budget than it is about anything else.

I bought my non-S in college when $25k was a lot of money to me. Had I instead bought today, I probably would buy an '03 S. Had I instead bought it today AND had I not gotten married last year, I'd probably buy a new S. So it's budget/priorities that kept me out of the S, not some bizarre preference for exactly 201hp.

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