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Old 09-05-2020, 03:03 PM   #1
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Unsuccessful Boxster S search - What do I miss out on/gain with a C5 Corvette?

Well, itís in the title. The used Boxster market is horrendous in NorCal. I thought Iíd be able to find a good pick sometime this summer. I was wrong.

Whether they had too many problems to be a decent investment, or sold out under my nose, I failed at finding one. Luckily there seems to be a contender from the other side of the Atlantic.

Iíve gone to a bunch of different forums, reading threads from years ago about both and how they compare and differ. Even the E46 M3 gets thrown in the discussion quite often.

But itís 2020 now, and times have changed, and cars have aged. What do you guys think about the C5 Corvette vs a 986 Boxster S?

Some of the more glaring points that you guys can choose to gloss over or perhaps even nitpick:

C5 - 5.7L V8 350hp/350lbf - 0.94g skidpad
Boxster S - 3.2L F6 250hp/228lbf - 0.92g skidpad

It would seem to me that cost of ownership for the C5 is drastically cheaper than the Boxster, not to mention servicing and modding will be easier and cheaper, since the LS engines are exceptionally plentiful.

The Boxster is obviously going to win in regards to interior quality, and probably just overall prestige but I donít mind either of those, itís more of a moot point for me. 2001+ Boxsters have cup holders, but again, moot point.

In regards to seating quality they seem to be well matched, one not being significantly better than the other, and most choose to replace them with something of their own choice and I will do the same.

I plan on getting inside a C5 sometime soon to gauge how much space I have and if the pedals are comfortable for me (both must be manuals!), but I would expect the C5 to have more cabin space, and even more trunk (or just storage space as the Boxster has a frunk!).

From an outside personís glance, such as mine, it seems the C5 is the better performing car, almost all around, as long as you overlook the cheap interior, which like with most cars, you can change with a bit of time and money. Gas mileage somehow looks like a wash too.

If my info is incorrect, or you have some more pointers, please share!

Thanks all.

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Old 09-05-2020, 04:24 PM   #2
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The c5 is, forgive me: a **************** car.
It represents the full monte of mullet- wearing redneck-ism.
It's not anywhere near as fun to drive as even a base boxster. Personally, I think you'd be sorry.
But drive one and see: maybe you HAVE a mullet? ;-)

What are you looking for in a boxster? And what's been stopping you? I see the word "investment" in your post, but i don't think you really meant it that way, right? 'cuz these cars aren't investments. They're likely at the bottom of their depreciation.... but they're not likely to increase dramatically.

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Old 09-05-2020, 04:47 PM   #3
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Unsuccessful Boxster S search - What do I miss out on/gain with a C5 Corvette?

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The c5 is, forgive me: a **************** car.
It represents the full monte of mullet- wearing redneck-ism.
It's not anywhere near as fun to drive as even a base boxster. Personally, I think you'd be sorry.
But drive one and see: maybe you HAVE a mullet? ;-)

What are you looking for in a boxster? And what's been stopping you? I see the word "investment" in your post, but i don't think you really meant it that way, right? 'cuz these cars aren't investments. They're likely at the bottom of their depreciation.... but they're not likely to increase dramatically.

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Hahaha, love it Maytag! I donít plan on blocking any of your posts anytime soon ))))

I donít have a mullet, luckily. I have a head full of black curly hair. Not quite an afro though.

Investment might not have been the best term for it, but thatís what came to mind when spending 10 grand on a car. I think most cars would be considered an investment no?

Iím looking for a ďcoolĒ car, hah! Arenít we all.

It must handle well because I love the twisties up here in NorCal. Iíd prefer it to have the ďoh look a Ē behind it too. Doesnít have to be ďDAMN WHAT A SICK CARĒ like certain car manufacturers in countries that start with I and end with talian get. But enough prestige behind the look and name that itís not a Lotus Espirit and people go ďwhat is that?Ē.

Probably a key determinant: It cannot be passed by ugly ricer cars who think adding stickers and makes their cars faster and thinks slamming and camming so theyíre scraping on every bump and driveway is cool.

Oh and this car will just be daily driven to and from work and school (should it start again). So Iíll be ďcommutingĒ 70% of the time in this car, but not like a 30 mile commute.

The redneck stigma comes up with about 30% of people if you ask them their thoughts on Corvette. I had thought they grew out of it with the C5 generation and newer. Shoot, the C8 is doing laps around everything under the sun, and they havenít even released their track versions yet (The C8 Z06 is said to rev out to 9k, which will sound absurd on a track). I donít think people are too happy that some rednecks are beating them around every single loop around the world. Donít mention that their car costs half as much as their competitors

But yeah thatís where I sit. And Iíve never owned a car that itís hood opens the other way!

Iíd be intrigued to hear more about why you think even a base boxster will be way more fun to drive, as fun to drive is indeed a top factor.

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Old 09-05-2020, 05:39 PM   #4
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Investment might not have been the best term for it, but thatís what came to mind when spending 10 grand on a car. I think most cars would be considered an investment no?

Iím looking for a ďcoolĒ car, hah!

Probably a key determinant: It cannot be passed by ugly ricer cars who think adding stickers and makes their cars faster and thinks slamming and camming so theyíre scraping on every bump ......
I think we've got some competing interests here. ;-)

Perhaps it's because of the years i spent on superbikes, and drag-racing musclecars, but i don't find the straight- line speed exhilarating any more. So for me, a "cool" car doesn't need to care about how many ricer cars can beat it from stop light to stop light. And since that's not on my list of what makes a car fun to drive, well, then my list might be different from yours. My fun-car list includes a base boxster because it's like driving a go kart, which makes you earn every mph you can gain on a straight by carrying a few more through a corner. To me, watching someone who's been toying around with you in traffic fade in the mirror as you accelerate into an interchange for which they are braking.... well.... THAT'S fun. Same can be said for braking zones. Like the corvette (of any generation) it's easily recognizable, but carries a little more sophistication on the badging.

In my own opinion, the C7 corvette is when I started noticing that Chevy was interested in moving the focus of the car; once this happened, the C8 was inevitable. And, because i happen to own one of those starts-with-an-I ends-with-talian cars, I'm active on the Ferrari forums, where the C8 is a hot topic right now. Having driven one, I'm quite confident i could rally a C8 pretty hard at the racetrack, haha. Seriously: it would demoralize my F430, which even 13 years old still costs more than the C8. (But then again: it's 13 years old.... should we be comparing them?)

Ok.... back to your fun-car. Maybe the C5 hits the buttons for ya. I think if I were looking corvette, I'd be more inclined towards an early-to-mid '70's. It seems they're beginning to outgrow the stigma. You should go drive some, and get back to us. ;-)


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Old 09-05-2020, 06:14 PM   #5
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My buddy is going into a pre-mature midlife crisis and he's getting a C5 soon.

I'll let you know about the comparison, but my box is chevy powered so I got the best of both worlds.


C5 is powerful and reliable, but I don't think you're missing out on much. I get the feeling its like ridding a Harley Davidson. When you ride a Harley you get the feeling of "murica" when you twist the throttle; a C5 is probably the same thing. BTW HD motorcycles are TERRIBLE; I only had one to try it out couldn't get rid of it fast enough.
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Old 09-05-2020, 06:34 PM   #6
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I think we've got some competing interests here. ;-)

Perhaps it's because of the years i spent on superbikes, and drag-racing musclecars, but i don't find the straight- line speed exhilarating any more. So for me, a "cool" car doesn't need to care about how many ricer cars can beat it from stop light to stop light. And since that's not on my list of what makes a car fun to drive, well, then my list might be different from yours. My fun-car list includes a base boxster because it's like driving a go kart, which makes you earn every mph you can gain on a straight by carrying a few more through a corner. To me, watching someone who's been toying around with you in traffic fade in the mirror as you accelerate into an interchange for which they are braking.... well.... THAT'S fun. Same can be said for braking zones. Like the corvette (of any generation) it's easily recognizable, but carries a little more sophistication on the badging.

ó-

Ok.... back to your fun-car. Maybe the C5 hits the buttons for ya. I think if I were looking corvette, I'd be more inclined towards an early-to-mid '70's. It seems they're beginning to outgrow the stigma. You should go drive some, and get back to us. ;-)


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Well I find a lot of fun in being able to experience Gís in all 4 directions. The last 2 directions you probably donít want to be experiencing Gís, lol!

I find myself smiling when I take my current 330i (being replaced as the slush box is soon to go!) around the 270į on-ramp, pushing the tires to the brink of audibly complaining, and then opening it up on the merger.

But I love working on cars also. Call it being inexperienced or even lazy, but working on German cars, especially in their stupidly compact and over complicated engine bays is not a whole lot of fun. (Seriously though, on the right side of my engine bay I canít even stick a fist through, but behind the left kidney grill I can nearly see the engine splash guard straight down!) From photos and forum posts, the expansive engine bay of the C5 must be a joy to work in.

Iím mostly overlooking the ďPorsche taxĒ for now on parts and maintenance, because even though American muscle is generally cheap, there seems to be a ďCorvette taxĒ too on certain things!

But thanks a bunch for your input Maytag.
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Old 09-05-2020, 06:47 PM   #7
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My buddy is going into a pre-mature midlife crisis and he's getting a C5 soon.

I'll let you know about the comparison, but my box is chevy powered so I got the best of both worlds.

C5 is powerful and reliable, but I don't think you're missing out on much. I get the feeling its like ridding a Harley Davidson. When you ride a Harley you get the feeling of "murica" when you twist the throttle; a C5 is probably the same thing. BTW HD motorcycles are TERRIBLE; I only had one to try it out couldn't get rid of it fast enough.
That would be awesome if I could get your input after trying out his C5. What color does he want? I think the yellow looks phenomenal.

Thatís actually the one thing on the C5 I wasnít too keen on. Iíve (Sadly? Luckily? However you want to cut it) been brought up around nearly 100% German cars. Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Mini (Mini BMWís lol!), but mostly BMWís, and gotten used to that, I donít even know what to call it, but it just sounds German. Or just not American. Lol.

Going to an American V8 will be quite interesting. But thatís nothing some metalwork never solved. X pipes, equal length headers, lightweight mufflers, it wonít be all that bad with some time and experimenting.

My grandpa owns a Dodge Viper, which is definitely no C5, but is most certainly a slice of ďMuricaĒ, and I loved it, through and through. I couldnít hear anything after being driven around in it for 15 minutes, but Iím sure it sounded sweet!!!

No plans on getting a Harley Davidson! Always thought the GSX-Rís with Hayabusaís were cool though. Ever ride one of those?
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Old 09-05-2020, 06:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Well, itís in the title. The used Boxster market is horrendous in NorCal. I thought Iíd be able to find a good pick sometime this summer. I was wrong.

Whether they had too many problems to be a decent investment, or sold out under my nose, I failed at finding one. Luckily there seems to be a contender from the other side of the Atlantic.

Iíve gone to a bunch of different forums, reading threads from years ago about both and how they compare and differ. Even the E46 M3 gets thrown in the discussion quite often.

But itís 2020 now, and times have changed, and cars have aged. What do you guys think about the C5 Corvette vs a 986 Boxster S?

Some of the more glaring points that you guys can choose to gloss over or perhaps even nitpick:

C5 - 5.7L V8 350hp/350lbf - 0.94g skidpad
Boxster S - 3.2L F6 250hp/228lbf - 0.92g skidpad

It would seem to me that cost of ownership for the C5 is drastically cheaper than the Boxster, not to mention servicing and modding will be easier and cheaper, since the LS engines are exceptionally plentiful.

The Boxster is obviously going to win in regards to interior quality, and probably just overall prestige but I donít mind either of those, itís more of a moot point for me. 2001+ Boxsters have cup holders, but again, moot point.

In regards to seating quality they seem to be well matched, one not being significantly better than the other, and most choose to replace them with something of their own choice and I will do the same.

I plan on getting inside a C5 sometime soon to gauge how much space I have and if the pedals are comfortable for me (both must be manuals!), but I would expect the C5 to have more cabin space, and even more trunk (or just storage space as the Boxster has a frunk!).

From an outside personís glance, such as mine, it seems the C5 is the better performing car, almost all around, as long as you overlook the cheap interior, which like with most cars, you can change with a bit of time and money. Gas mileage somehow looks like a wash too.

If my info is incorrect, or you have some more pointers, please share!

Thanks all.
In 2002 I test drove new cars for a living. My favorites were Porsches & the C5. C5 is very comfortable & has as much leg room as any vehicle I've driven. The seats are a simple design but they work. It has instant throttle responce & lot's of torque. It's relatively cheap to maintain & looks good too. handling is good with those wide tires & suspension. The same year Boxster S is smaller inside & out & more expensive to maintain. I had nothing but muscle cars up to this point but wanted a new car, something about the Boxster was just funner at sane speeds & the C5 just made you want to break the law to enjoy it. So I bought my 2000 S in 2003 & have never regreted it. I did rebuild the engine to 3.6 litres in 2010 to give it more power.
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Old 09-05-2020, 07:21 PM   #9
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That would be awesome if I could get your input after trying out his C5. What color does he want? I think the yellow looks phenomenal.

No plans on getting a Harley Davidson! Always thought the GSX-Rís with Hayabusaís were cool though. Ever ride one of those?


I don't think he has a particular color in mind. I know he wants the coupe version.



I'm more of a Honda guy but I've had a few Suzuki's. Closest I've owned to a Hayabusa was a GSF1200. Fabulous bike, retarded fast, but like most of my encounters with Suzuki motorcycles while fun and fast they are always broken in some way.
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Old 09-05-2020, 07:34 PM   #10
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In 2002 I test drove new cars for a living. My favorites were Porsches & the C5. C5 is very comfortable & has as much leg room as any vehicle I've driven. The seats are a simple design but they work. It has instant throttle responce & lot's of torque. It's relatively cheap to maintain & looks good too. handling is good with those wide tires & suspension. The same year Boxster S is smaller inside & out & more expensive to maintain. I had nothing but muscle cars up to this point but wanted a new car, something about the Boxster was just funner at sane speeds & the C5 just made you want to break the law to enjoy it. So I bought my 2000 S in 2003 & have never regreted it. I did rebuild the engine to 3.6 litres in 2010 to give it more power.
A car thatís encouraging you to break the law is never fantastic, but thatís definitely interesting. Iím sure it has something to do with the fact that youíre doing 100+ in 3rd gear with the C5 :O

Glad you agree that the C5 would be easier and cheaper to maintain.

If you had to take one on a 800 mile road trip, which would you pick and why?

You can factor in the fun aspects you pointed out above, or just talk about driving comfort/ease. Or both. But as you know, speed limits only go up to 70mph here in California
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Old 09-05-2020, 07:56 PM   #11
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If you had to take one on a 800 mile road trip, which would you pick and why?

The Chevy hands down.

Just cause if your alternator (or whatever) decides its time to bite the dust at mile 498; there is bound to be a repair shop at mile 500 willing to do the work on the chevy. Not so with the Porsche.

Both cars equally fully restored to concourse perfection. I'd take the Porsche.
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Old 09-06-2020, 01:54 AM   #12
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From what I've seen at the track, the boxster out handles and brakes the corvette. The corvettes walk away in the straights though. There's a lot of corked horsepower with the first gen boxster but there's not much you could do to catch up with what the corvette has stock. Interior wise, the 2000+ porsche interior might look better when new but is one of the least durable interiors of any car. You'll scratch that soft touch paint if you even look at it wrong and the seats start looking old around 70k. I've never driven a C5, so I can't comment on how they ride, but the boxster is pretty impressive to me. Looks wise, hands down the boxster wins. I've always thought the C5 and C6 looked like an okay looking woman in the front but when you get a view of the back she has a flat ass. The rear on them are hideous. It's like the designers got to the back and clocked out. I doubt anyone has confused a corvette with a Ferrari but I've had a few people ask if my boxster was one. If you factor in the cost of ownership(specially if you're paying someone to work on it), the corvette has an advantage there. In my opinion they're a coin toss on which is better overall.
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Old 09-06-2020, 02:21 AM   #13
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I guess most of you never really owned a C5 or later model Corvette, so you speak with the typical ignorant arrogance. I own both a 2000 Boxster S and a 2002 Corvette Z06. There is no comparison between the two. My Boxster S is fun to drive and I drive it daily. My Z06 will kick it's butt any day any place, at the track thru the S's at Rd Atlanta.etc, etc, ..period!

As far as interior quality, while maybe boring, the Z06 doesn't have the soft paint that scratches, it doesn't have the top that constantly needs repairing with a cheap plastic window. The C5 has far more leg room, so no need to do the console delete. Get my point. How about respecting each car for what it is. My Boxster S was ordered with the leather interior options and cost a lot more than my Z06. I like them both. But if you want performance the Boxster is no match for the Z06. I am not bashing the Boxster, (just some you arrogant know it alls) like I said I drive it daily. The Z06 is a track beast and an awesome performance car at an affordable price.
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Old 09-06-2020, 04:31 AM   #14
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Up until a year ago I owned a 2000 C5 Vette Convertible and a 2000 Boxster S at the same time. Driving them side by side Iíd say they are both great cars, but so different they just donít compare. It completely depends on what you want. The best way to explain the difference is how they each run through a twisty road I like near us. They both get through it in the same time. The Vette does it with pure brut force. Super loud, tires squealing, heavy feel, much driver input needed, totally in your face. The Boxster is completely in its element. Under control, smooth, everything working together, light and fast. I love both experiences, but if you canít have both, you have to choose. But bottom line, itís just not an either, or, choice. They are completely opposite experiences.
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Old 09-06-2020, 06:31 AM   #15
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A neighbor has a pristine C5 ZO6, imo it's VERY capable car and a bargain for what they currently cost. I know many like to denigrate it with the worn out cliches and rag on the interior (the Boxster interior ain't that great either) but I'd suggest they drive one before regurgitating things they've read.

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Old 09-06-2020, 06:35 AM   #16
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If you get a C5, your going to have to choose a hood art option. Personally, I'd do a flag and eagle style. ...maybe we should start doing hood art on our Boxsters to show off our spare tires?
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Old 09-06-2020, 06:45 AM   #17
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Honestly, you should probably just get youself teh turbo'd Civic with some JDM stickerz. They will always be faster.
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Old 09-06-2020, 07:01 AM   #18
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It's all up to what you value in your motorcar..

Hunt down a copy of the Road & Track Jan 2000 issue's comparison article of a C5 vs a Boxster S. Pros and cons of both cars from back when they were new..

Spoiler alert - they liked the Boxster S better!
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Old 09-06-2020, 08:26 AM   #19
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Unsuccessful Boxster S search - What do I miss out on/gain with a C5 Corvette?

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If you get a C5, your going to have to choose a hood art option. Personally, I'd do a flag and eagle style. ...maybe we should start doing hood art on our Boxsters to show off our spare tires?


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Honestly, you should probably just get youself teh turbo'd Civic with some JDM stickerz. They will always be faster.

Hahahahaha!

I know man. Those turbo civics are just too fast. What can we do once theyíre at theyíre 50th+ sticker. Thats like +250 hp with zero weight gain!
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Old 09-06-2020, 10:28 AM   #20
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Hunt down a copy of the Road & Track Jan 2000 issue's comparison article of a C5 vs a Boxster S. Pros and cons of both cars from back when they were new..

Spoiler alert - they liked the Boxster S better!

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.caranddriver.com/reviews/comparison-test/amp15140186/1999-porsche-911-carrera-vs-1999-chevrolet-corvette-archived-comparison-test/

I tried to track down that article but couldnít find it. I may have to search through some mags we have at home.

I only found this one. 911 vs Base C5. They placed the C5 in first due to its better value, but if the 911 was that much better than the Boxster S, it would seem hard to believe they said the Boxster S was preferable.

Of course, I need to find that actual article first.

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