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Old 04-07-2006, 11:56 AM   #1
NNH
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987 or 986S?

I'm looking to spend less than $40k on a daily driver Boxster here in SoCal. Prices for a 2005 987 2.7 are pretty similar to a 2003/2004 986S. With 240hp, the base 987 shouldn't be much slower than the 258hp 986S. Does anybody have any advice to offer?

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Old 04-07-2006, 12:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NNH
I'm looking to spend less than $40k on a daily driver Boxster here in SoCal. Prices for a 2005 987 2.7 are pretty similar to a 2003/2004 986S. With 240hp, the base 987 shouldn't be much slower than the 258hp 986S. Does anybody have any advice to offer?
Ooooh. FUN!

Given that the HP is about the same, you might want to consider the esthetic factors. Which one do you really like? I think the interior on the 987 is much nicer than the 986. Also, there are likely standard features on the 987 which were optional on the 986S. Are you partial to Red Brake Calipers?

Would the 987 have a 6 speed for the non-S? I understand that's now an option - and one that I would definately want. Have you driven both? That, in and of itself, might just make your decision for you. Not to mention what a great way to spend a day!

From a warranty standpoint, you're obviously better off with the 2005 unless you pick up a certified 986S.

From a resell standpoint, I'd have to think that the 986S is actually the better buy. But, only because it's already 2-3 years old and you're stating it has the same value as the 987 non-S. But, that might be debatable.

Keep us informed and Good Luck!
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Old 04-07-2006, 01:34 PM   #3
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You can get a low mileage 2000S for much less than you will pay for that 987 on very similar power and performance. A little more money for 2003S and you get a glass window and some updated body enhancements.
Personally I'm not sure if the hit on resale value is worth trading up.
Trading to a CaymanS or 996 TT is another story as those cars are completely different to the 986S. And much pricier!
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Old 04-07-2006, 01:35 PM   #4
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About 9 months ago, I faced same decision. Intent was to purchase a 2004 used 986S, then I looked closely at the 05 987. All the upgrades, especially standard PSM, much nicer interior, added air bags, and, other than track, comparable performance, made it an easy decision to go with the 987.
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Old 04-07-2006, 01:59 PM   #5
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I actually bought a 986 and then traded it on a 987 just 3 months later! Performance is almost the same between the 04 and earlier S and the 05 and later base. But, to me, the new bodystyle, stance, interior.. it was a no brainer for me.. I liked my 986, but LOVE my 987.

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Old 04-07-2006, 03:10 PM   #6
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Just wanted to point out that Porsche says the 03/04 S is good for 0-60 in 5.4 sec and the 987 has a 5.9 sec time. The mag reviews have had similar times for both cars. A half second difference in the 0-60 alone should be noticable.
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Old 04-07-2006, 04:21 PM   #7
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Drive them both as often as you can. Only YOU can decide the cost/value tradeoff for you.
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Old 04-07-2006, 04:24 PM   #8
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The best thing to do is to test drive both cars and see which one you like better. Strictly from a value point of view, a 2000/2001 S with low miles would be the best bang for the buck.

With the money you save, you can mod an older S with body kits, intakes, exhaust etc. and still have money left over for a second car!
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Old 04-07-2006, 04:40 PM   #9
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I too was intent on buying a '03/'04 986 S, but then I drove a 987 and I just had it have it. I really liked the new interior, exterior and all the other changes. The 987 I was lucky enough to find had the 6 speed option which cuts down that .5 second 0-60 gap, between it and 986 S, to .3 seconds. Still not as fast, but pretty darn close! I also know that I will most likley only keep this car for 2 years. Knowing that it will still have a year left on the warranty when I sell should help the resale. There are good reasons to pick either one, but the reasons have to fit into your plans. In the end it all comes down to personal taste.

Good Luck! Don't beat yourself up over it, just go with what feels right.
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Old 04-07-2006, 04:57 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the insight so far! The reasons for not getting an older S are that I really hate plastic windows (done the whole Miata thing) and that this has to be my only car for now, with a 70 mile round trip commute, so I would like to have a car that's relatively young. I will certainly drive both, and I also need to drive my outside-chance option of a 2006 S2000.
LSoletti commented that 987 performance was slower on track, if I understood correctly. Why is that?
My ambition is to pick up a Spec 944 at the end of the year, but I'm still interested in tracking "my" Boxster from time to time.
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Old 04-07-2006, 05:16 PM   #11
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i'd go for the S. despite the smaller HP difference between the 987 and 986S, the torque curve on the S is preferable. plus, you get the brakes, the suspension, and probably some options you may not have gotten on the 987. but hey, i'm biased.....
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Old 04-07-2006, 05:18 PM   #12
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That's allot of commuting for the 986S and its not exactly easy on the wallet when you get to the pump. at $2.70 a gallon here I'm spending about $45 a tank and getting about 300 miles.

I'd make that S2000 a bit more than just an outside option. Its every bit as good as the BoxsterS in my opinion, well as long as you go with a 2005. The suspension was reworked and greatly improved. Bullet proof reliability with low maintenance.
But its no Porsche.

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Old 04-07-2006, 06:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectlap
That's allot of commuting for the 986S and its not exactly easy on the wallet when you get to the pump. at $2.70 a gallon here I'm spending about $45 a tank and getting about 300 miles.

I'd make that S2000 a bit more than just an outside option. Its every bit as good as the BoxsterS in my opinion, well as long as you go with a 2005. The suspension was reworked and greatly improved. Bullet proof reliability with low maintenance.
But its no Porsche.

p.s.
aftermarket glass tops are available to work with all Boxsters. About $1000 installed.

Thanks for making those good points, but since I'm a British expat in LA, any time gas costs less than $6 I see it as a bargain! Also, my current car is a bit of a drinker too, so it won't make a lot of difference.
Budget rents 987s and S2000s here in LA, so I'm thinking of spending a few days commuting in each to see how I like them. I've had a test drive in an S2000, but a few days on the 405 will really let me know what the cars are like!
Quite a few people are suggesting that a ~2000 986S is the way to go. Do they still behave themselves day to day, or are they getting to that scary age where they start to make odd noises and make you wonder if you'll get to work?
Thanks again to everyone who has made all these useful suggestions!

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