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Old 10-06-2005, 08:09 AM   #1
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considering 2005 boxster, need advice

Hello everyone,

It is my first time here and would like your input.

I had the most amazing experience last week when I test drove a base Boxster. The grin was from ear to ear and now I know all the raves you hear about Porsche are true.

However, I have always owned Japanese cars and this car will be my daily commuter so I have concerns about its practicality.

How many of you commute with it and do you find the noise too much? I liked the driving experience during the test drive, but not sure if I can live with it daily once the novelty wears off. I commute about 40mi/day.

What about maintenance costs? Tire costs? The salesman said oil change at 20000mile or 2 years, cost about $200. What about the other interval service costs?

Are "blown engine" problems that common?

I would get the heated seats, wind deflector, xenons, 18in rims. It sounds like they are discounting because of the year end. What kind of deals have people been getting?

My other option would be a CPO M3 convertible that's more civilized, although sedate to drive compared to the Boxster.

Thank you in advance for your input.

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Old 10-06-2005, 08:22 AM   #2
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Coiguy,

Welcome to the forum. You will be getting some great advice from other members, I am sure, in the next several hours.

The information that I can give you is regarding pricing. You should be able to get at a mimimum 10% off of a 2005, including delivery. With a little work and good negitiation skills you can get another 1-3% off. Just play it right.

Good luck...and go Boxster!
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Old 10-06-2005, 08:28 AM   #3
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I had a 99 Boxster that was used as a daily driver. The car was lowered a little and had really wide 18's and honestly rode like a truck. I liked the car but when our first baby came along I sold it and bought an H2. My wife had a 325i (we've had about 6 BMW's between us) and just recently bought a new X5. Well I got the bug for a different car and started shopping around. I really thought I wanted an Infiniti G35 coupe because of the performance numbers, back seat and the pretty reasonable prices. Well I drove one and absolutely hated it because of my past experiences with my Boxster. All of a sudden I've realized how awesome of a car the boxsters really are. I too considered a e46 M3 but the prices were just too much for me and I could not find a low mile car. Seems that people really drive their M3's. So, last Friday I picked up an 02 Boxster S with 16K miles. Wow did I miss my boxster. I use it for a daily driver and have had no problems with either boxster. Loud, hmm maybe but not bad at all to me.

I drive like a wimp so tires and brakes last forever for me. Oil change with Mobil 1 from the dealer is $150. The 99 needed a new alternator for $900 but that was it. Never had any issues or problems at all. As much as I would love a garage queen if you park far away from people and take care of the car they hold up very very well.

Guess my point is they do work very well for daily drivers. The feel of a porsche compared to a japanese car is very hard to describe. Although I've yet to drive a 911 I can't imagine a better feeling car than the Boxster.

I say go for it!

--JK
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Old 10-06-2005, 09:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coiguy
However, I have always owned Japanese cars and this car will be my daily commuter so I have concerns about its practicality.

How many of you commute with it and do you find the noise too much? I liked the driving experience during the test drive, but not sure if I can live with it daily once the novelty wears off. I commute about 40mi/day.
We commute 40mi/day in ours and love it. We've had the Boxster for 2 1/2 years and my wife misses it tremendously if I have it in the garage for service.
Quote:
Originally Posted by coiguy
What about maintenance costs? Tire costs? The salesman said oil change at 20000mile or 2 years, cost about $200. What about the other interval service costs?
Maintenance costs are a little higher than most other cars, but as you said they are much less frequent. Maintence is relatively cheap if you are a DIYer (i.e. oil change is $55 DIY vs. $200 at the dealer). As a daily driver in traffic, plan on using the 10K mile oil change schedule. Tires (I use Kumho's) are about $300 front two and $350 rear two. The 30K services (plugs, oil & filter, air filter, cabin filter, fuel filter & misc. checks/lube) is about $800 at a dealer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by coiguy
Are "blown engine" problems that common?
They are not as common as it seems if you are judging it only by forums and not nearly as common in the newer models.
1) You have to realize most people on forums are much more interested in their automobiles and discuss everything about them. People tend to report negative things much more than positive, it's just human nature.
2) You'll notice a lot of the blown engine threads in forums start out "I'm new here" because they were seaching the net for info to help them with their problem and the forums pop up. Being upset with a problem, again human nature gets it out there.
3) Many people will do engine mods to their Boxster and, unfortunately, those mods can lead to early engine death or higher risk of a big problem. It's kind of like my computer. I can modify the bios to make the system run 2-3 times faster than the processor can really run. It will run at that speed, but the processor will run hotter than it's supposed to and die much faster than normal.
4) The most common problem was with the 1999 models that had imperfect engine blocks.
5) While it's not as widespread problem as it seems, it really sucks for the guy that has the problem and I don't blame him for posting it all over the place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coiguy
I would get the heated seats, wind deflector, xenons, 18in rims. It sounds like they are discounting because of the year end. What kind of deals have people been getting?
If you get the wind deflector (don't do without it) and xenons, make sure you lock the car up every time you leave it, no matter how long it is. Xenons are hot on the black market and it's easy to remove the headlights from inside the hood.

Finally, a word of warning. Once you get a Porsche, you will always want to have one in the driveway (or two, or three, or......)
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:00 AM   #5
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It's all relative. What car are you coming from? If you are coming from a SUV or large sedan, the Boxster is of coarse very different as a commuter. You're limited on passengers and cargo space (although the 2 trunks can hold quit a bit). I personally don't like commuting in my Boxster in stop and go traffic because it's a manual. But that's really the only thing that bugs. The noise and ride are fine and do not bother me.

For the maintenance, it's more expensive. The 30k service for my Boxster runs about $1k (from the dealership) vs about $450 for my honda. Although I DIY'd the Boxster 30k service for about $120. 18 tires are relatively expensive - if they are the same size as mine, then you are looking at around $1200 every 15k miles for Porsche approved tires; it's a lot less (maybe half) if you use different tires.

Engine issues did plague a batch of 98'- early99' Boxsters, but I have not heard of any of those issues occuring on newer ones.

Price - I was at the dealership the other day and I saw a sign that said $10k off MSRP 05 Boxsters. That puts the base model stripped at just under $35k, then add options from there. So i think you can get a great deal.

One thing about gas mileage. I get 23+ and sometimes 25+ per gallon, but I have the 2.5 engine.

HTH,
Larez2
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:19 AM   #6
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re: noise - it all depends.
The Boxster is one of the slickest "Jekyl and Hyde" acts ever to come along. The wife and I took a 400 mi. ride last weekend - cruise control set on 75, stereo easily audible, conversation at slightly elevated levels, but no complaints from the wife. Stock suspension is nice enough on the interstate. Good gas mileage too.
On the track - 10 mpg, lots of the best noises for sale on the market anywhere when the variable cam is goes into the exitement range, flat out handling my 911-owning instructors admire.
You get 2 cars in 1: the under 3500 rpm car and The Beast.
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:51 AM   #7
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Question for you guys who already own...Are Tequipment prices for items available as factory options more expensive? I assume so; I'm thinking of items available either way, like wheels, wheel caps w/colored crest, windscreen.

Thanks...
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:58 AM   #8
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John Y, the short answer is YES! It is usually cheaper to order as a foctory installed option, vs aftermarket through Tequipment. Especially the items you listed in your posting.
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Old 10-06-2005, 11:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Y
Question for you guys who already own...Are Tequipment prices for items available as factory options more expensive? I assume so; I'm thinking of items available either way, like wheels, wheel caps w/colored crest, windscreen.

Thanks...
From what I have seen, out of those choices, the windscreen is the only one I have seen that is the same cost later. Everything else is available from other vendors so you can get them at better prices later. That and many folks put new stuff on theirs and eBay becomes your best friend.

Like bmussatti said, if you get it through Techquipment, it's more expensive later.
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Old 10-06-2005, 11:03 AM   #10
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John Y, for example, here are the 2006 Prices for factory options (on a 987S) you have listed:

Windstop (#551) $375

Wheel Caps & Colored Crests (#446) $185

19" Carrera S Wheels (#403) $1,550

19" Carrera Classic Wheels (#405) $1,940

19" Sport Design Wheels (#407) $1,940

I don't know the Tequipment charges, so you need to do the comparisions. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-06-2005, 11:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coiguy
Hello everyone,

It is my first time here and would like your input.

I had the most amazing experience last week when I test drove a base Boxster. The grin was from ear to ear and now I know all the raves you hear about Porsche are true.

However, I have always owned Japanese cars and this car will be my daily commuter so I have concerns about its practicality.

How many of you commute with it and do you find the noise too much? I liked the driving experience during the test drive, but not sure if I can live with it daily once the novelty wears off. I commute about 40mi/day.

What about maintenance costs? Tire costs? The salesman said oil change at 20000mile or 2 years, cost about $200. What about the other interval service costs?

Are "blown engine" problems that common?

I would get the heated seats, wind deflector, xenons, 18in rims. It sounds like they are discounting because of the year end. What kind of deals have people been getting?

My other option would be a CPO M3 convertible that's more civilized, although sedate to drive compared to the Boxster.

Thank you in advance for your input.

I am in the same situation as you and planning to buy (lease) within a month or 2. I am up here in the SF Bay Area and pricing is about the same, 10% off at the minimum but i am sure 15% is doable if you wait a little longer and depending on how many options you get. As far as maintenance, I am a bit worry also coming from owning a Lexus, which has been problem free as most would agree. As a result, I am planning to lease it and just turn it in after 3 yrs and 36,000 miles. That way, all i need to do is just one oil change at 20,000 miles and walk away (maybe new tires). Good luck on your purchase.
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Old 10-06-2005, 12:14 PM   #12
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my advice:

Get a 2004 S

A whole lotta bang for the buck and the warranty is still good. Somehow I think you will have more warranty issues with an 05 which still has the new model teething problems.

once concern is gas mileage. If your 40 miles are highway miles you can probably get about 300 miles on full tank. Filling up my tank at $3 a gallon was about $60 last week. 3 filler ups a month? Something to consider.
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Old 10-06-2005, 12:50 PM   #13
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the useful information in response to my question, guys. That's pretty much what i figured, but is there aywhere I can go to verfiy Tequipment prices? They don't seem to be on the Porsche website.

As for me, I am considering replacing my TT Roadster, as dearly as I love it, with a 987 next year...I'll probably have a lot more questions as time goes by!
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Old 10-06-2005, 12:53 PM   #14
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Hi,

Contrary to some info here, there have been some very real Quality/Reliability issues with the Boxster.

In fact, had I known then what I now know, I may not have purchased mine at all.

I have owned several Lotus in my Life, and have one now, so I am no stranger to Design Flaws and lots of maintenance. Their performance more than makes up for it IMHO, and I like working on my Cars.

But, one of the primary reasons I chose the Boxster was the percieved reputation Porsche earned over the years for reliability (a reputation which I believe has waned considerably in recent years).

The M96/M97 Engines have several inherent flaws, the biggest being the RMS. This still plagues Boxsters 986/87 and 996/97s today. In an attempt to save on manufacturing costs, Porsche employs a relatively untried casting method for the Blocks which is supposed to eliminate the need for subsequent machining of the Block to Center-Bore and properly align the Crankshaft opening. The reject rate is fairly high and the RMS in many cases cannot be properly aligned on the Crank as a result. This leads to premature failure of the Seal with perhaps some consequential damage to the Engine. In most cases, since it's not the Seal but the Block which is to blame, the only long-term solution is to replace the engine (although there is a small % of engines which can be saved).

There is a guy (an attorney I believe who owns a 996) who is collecting data from owners which have experienced this failure in order to present Class-Action data to the Dept. of Commerce and the NHTSA in hopes of forcing a recall. To date, the data he has collected indicates an RMS Failure Rate between 20% and 25%.

This would be Bad enough for Kia, but it is simply Mind-Boggling for a Company with the reputation for Quality/Reliability Porsche has. Also, a change in the Intermediate Shaft from the Transmission (Manual Cars) has also resulted in quite a few failures. There are also numerous problems with the Coolant Recovery Tank and the Air/Oil Separators, which again should not be.

Now, Porsche has decided to take a Risk Management view of these problems, namely that's it's going to be cheaper to address them on a case-by-case basis rather than issuing a Recall. But, many owners are second-owners of cars out-of-warranty, and these owners typically must pay at least a partial cost (if not all) for the solutions, and, with no compensation for loss of Resale Value.

Now, all this said, if someone were to ask me if the Car is worth buying, from a Styling, Creature Comfort, Performance, point of view, I'd say "Absof*ckinlutely!".

But if they expressed concern over Reliability I'd have to tell them that there are many cars out there which have performance near-equal, equal to, or better than the Boxster, which don't seem to have as many of these issues, along with the Caveat that every car has some issues (including Daily Drivers, I have owned 39 cars in my life and every one had some issues - but, I personally find the seriousness of the issues with the Boxster to be a Black Stain on Porsche's Reputation). I'd tell them to thoroughly research all the various models out there and buy the one which best meets their criteria.

I've probably tarnished my Porschephile Badge for this post, but I gotta call it as I see it...

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99
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Old 10-06-2005, 01:28 PM   #15
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Coiguy:

I am a first-time Porsche owner (previously had MBZs) and have owned my Box for one month. Lately I find myself asking: why would anyone not buy this car? Especially compared to the MBZ and BMW roadsters; for me it wins hands down on all counts: styling, performance, sheer driving pleasure.

My communte is only about 30 minutes in stop and go traffic and even in this situation its fun to drive. I'm not sure about the noise you mention; the engine does have a decidedly different sound, but i don't find it distracting or annoying.

Regarding features, mine has all those you listed, except the 18 wheels and they are worth having. I didn't want the heated seats (who needs it in LA?), but after a few late night drives, I was glad i had them.

Regarding price, I didn't find the dealers very willing to deal, especially on the Tiptronic models. I wish i had found the dealership with the $10k off MSRP!

Regarding maintenance, too early to tell, but as I learned with my 280sl MBZ, the more you love the car, the less painful the maintenance costs are.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 10-06-2005, 01:45 PM   #16
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well the Porsche brand is teeny in terms of production numbers.

You have to take a big picture look at owning a P-car. Of course its not going to be as perfected as a run of the mill sportscar from Toyota or Honda in the reliability area. Those big maker's have mountains of R&D and service data from their road cars to rely on to share with their sportscar engineers.
Porsche don't really have that. But for a boutique manufacturer its reputation for reliability is better or as good as any other. You have to understand you are buying into an exclusive club sorta like buying a Panoz or a Ferrari.

outside of Racing and Porsche Club, Ask yourself how many people that you know own a Porsche? Most people seem to say less than three.
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Old 10-06-2005, 01:50 PM   #17
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Sounds like a lot of good but some caution also

Thank you all for your input.

In reply to some of you:

I would consider leasing, but I don't anything about leasing and don't know if I can keep it below the 36K mile. Work is not the killer, it's all the going out that will rack up the mileage.

Does the current model still use the same engine or same manufacturing technique that was so problem prone in the previous years? I don't think I would mind paying more for the gas, or even performance tires. But I don't want to make excuses for a powerful German brand why my car is in the shop if my car happens to be one of the unlucky ones that needs a new engine/RMS/Coolant transfer/et c. prematurely.

I am currently driving a stock TSX. Very quiet, reliable. Hence my hesitation at such a drastic change. My commute is against traffic so manual won't bother me.
I am single so two seater is not a big issue either.

I read in consumer reports that the car uses run flats. so when you replace, wouldn' t you have to get identical tires?

I would need to research a lot more how to do a $120 tune up that the dealer charges $1000.

Where was the dealer that had the "$10K off" sign?

I prefer the newew body style, so I don't want to get the 2004.

Also, do you guys recommend that clear bra? I have heard good things about it, but more concerned with paint damage, peeling, different shades of paint vs the exposed paint down the line.

Cheers.
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Old 10-06-2005, 02:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectlap
well the Porsche brand is teeny in terms of production numbers.

You have to take a big picture look at owning a P-car. Of course its not going to be as perfected as a run of the mill sportscar from Toyota or Honda in the reliability area. Those big maker's have mountains of R&D and service data from their road cars to rely on to share with their sportscar engineers.
Porsche don't really have that. But for a boutique manufacturer its reputation for reliability is better or as good as any other. You have to understand you are buying into an exclusive club sorta like buying a Panoz or a Ferrari.

outside of Racing and Porsche Club, Ask yourself how many people that you know own a Porsche? Most people seem to say less than three.
Hi,

C'mon... you're WhiteWashing the issues here. This isn't some mere Fit & Finish issue where the GloveBox Lid may be misaligned, or the Heater acts up on occaision, these are serious, blow-up the Engine kind of problems.

Regardless of Porsche's Production Numbers, they have short-cutted Quality in favor of making a Buck. The Posche of Today is a far cry from the Porsche's of Yesteryear in terms of overall Quality. Porsche used to be teetering on the Brink of the Abyss Financially, but they didn't sacrifice Quality. Today, they're in the best position in their History, and have the means to insure Quality like never before, but they don't. Could it be that they have sacrificed Quality in the name of Financial Performance?

Porsche is far from the Boutique Manufacturer you suggest. They are in fact a Low-Production Manufacturer producing sufficient numbers to warrant fixing the issues which have plagued the Models (986/87, 996/97) since 1997! All they've done is turn to BandAids without getting to the Root Cause.

And, One shouldn't care if the issues are due to Low Production or not. Porsche charges a Premium for their product which is waay more pricey than several of the Competing Brands.

For this they should offer more than the Bling of a Racing Heritage (not so strong of late), or a reference to a 20 y.o. Tom Cruise Movie. They need to provide a car which is at least near as good as those from the Giants.

If We don't demand it of them, who will? Things go on like this, and the much beloved brand will fade to obscurity because Buyers want more. If you love Porsche, it's argueably your duty to voice your concerns in an effort to improve the Marque.

IMHO, there are too many people caught up in the Mystique of owning one, Rich FatCats who want more to be seen driving one than actually driving one; who are willing to pay $$$ and have it in the Shop for the Priviledge. So they overlook these serious faults! Even you are guilty of this thinking by stating that there is some Exclusive Club which belies any accountability from the Manufacturer.

I certainly didn't buy mine to be in any Club, or for the Peacock Effect. In fact, after 6 mos. of ownership, only the smallest handful of my friends even know I have one. It's for me, no one else. I want it to go fast, maneuver like a Cat on Fire and live up to Porsche's Reputation for Reliability. That's what I paid for... not to hold my breath waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99
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Old 10-06-2005, 03:11 PM   #19
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The $10k off 05' boxsters sign was at the parts counter of the Pioneer Centres Porsche dealership in San Diego. I saw it on Tuesday.
http://pioneer.porschedealer.com/

I didn't look into it. There might be a catch or something, $35k sounds too cheap even for a stripped one. But maybe they are dealing, their lot was overflowing with new and used cars.

Regarding tires, the manual says to do at least 2 at a time or all 4 at the same time. You are supposed to match the front and rear tires too, not only in type but wear too. Let's say you go 60% of the tread life and then blow out your right front tire, you are supposed to replace both the front tires, not just the one that blew.

PM me if you want instructions on how to do the maintenance yourself - since you are buying new, you may have to get the service done at the dealer or at least show proof of it should you ever need any warranty work.

Not sure about the clear bra, i don't have one, but i do have quite a few chips in the front of my car.


Good Luck,
Larez2
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Old 10-07-2005, 12:15 PM   #20
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I would consider leasing, but I don't anything about leasing and don't know if I can keep it below the 36K mile. Work is not the killer, it's all the going out that will rack up the mileage.

If you don't know anything about leasing, go research and look it up. There are tons of resources available on line and i am first time leasing also. As far as mileage, you can negotiate to whatever you want.


Where was the dealer that had the "$10K off" sign?

I have never seen a sign and it's all about how good of a negotiator you are. Also, timing is everything. Go there on a rainy wk and for sure you can get a better deal.

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