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Question Compare and Contrast: Base vs S

All else being equal which would be the better buy:
2000 Boxster S with 95K miles for $10K
OR
2003 Boxster Base with 74K miles for $12K?

So what is worth more? Lower miles? Larger engine? More gears? Glass window? Lower price? Bigger brakes? Other?

Old 08-27-2020, 09:06 AM
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The 2.5 I owned was as much fun as the 3.2. And the 2003 base is a 2.7.

The '03 has some significant improvements for day to day living.

2003 Base

2.7Litre engine 228 HP

5 speed manual transmission, Tiptronic 5 speed optional

Lockable glove box.

Improved cup holders.

Bose digital audio system option.

Base model gets same suspension as 2002 S model.

Glass rear window (heated) standard.

Grey/White turn signals replace the prior years yellow/orange ones.

Larger air intakes.

Side air intakes body colored.

Altered rear air spoiler.

Different front and rear bumpers.

Redesigned and lighter wheels.

Tweaked exhaust

Center vents smaller

CDR-23 uses MOST audio bus

Standard in-dash CD player

Optional PCM II using MOST

Switches horizontal

Revised console (between seats)

I'd buy on condition, maintenance history and willingness to submit the car to a PPI.
Old 08-27-2020, 09:50 AM
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Thanks Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefocke View Post
The 2.5 I owned was as much fun as the 3.2. And the 2003 base is a 2.7.

The '03 has some significant improvements for day to day living.

2003 Base

2.7Litre engine 228 HP

5 speed manual transmission, Tiptronic 5 speed optional

Lockable glove box.

Improved cup holders.

Bose digital audio system option.

Base model gets same suspension as 2002 S model.

Glass rear window (heated) standard.

Grey/White turn signals replace the prior years yellow/orange ones.

Larger air intakes.

Side air intakes body colored.

Altered rear air spoiler.

Different front and rear bumpers.

Redesigned and lighter wheels.

Tweaked exhaust

Center vents smaller

CDR-23 uses MOST audio bus

Standard in-dash CD player

Optional PCM II using MOST

Switches horizontal

Revised console (between seats)

I'd buy on condition, maintenance history and willingness to submit the car to a PPI.
Sounds like the 3.2 and 6 speed trans aren't really worth as much as younger, lower miles, and the various real-life enhancements. Thanks, Mike!
Old 08-27-2020, 12:13 PM
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Sooo, another thing I've seen is a bunch of Boxsters for sale with 5 or 6 previous owners. I have not seen this before in any of my previous car shopping experience. Common sense tells me to run in the opposite direction. but I'm wondering if anyone has insights into why so many Boxsters "seem" to change hands so much?
Old 08-28-2020, 04:31 AM
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My 2 cents. Boxsters aren't usually bought as daily drivers. They are bought as the extra fun car, and are sold when money is needed. OR They are bought by enthusiasts who buy them for the experience and after a few years move on to the next experience.

If maintenance and condition check out, I wouldn't worry about how many owners they have had.
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Old 08-28-2020, 10:34 AM
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Mine was two previous owners, so was my second one. After me the second one was known to have 2 more owners in the next few years.

Why did I sell? 50 miles to a dealer, driveway space, used 500 miles in the previous year, just deserved to be driven more. I put 4 new Michelins on it a month before I sold it. I also passed on its maintenance history, tools and documentation. The 5th owner actually found my name in a paper still with the car. My car was a daily driver except in extreme snow or ice, I had a 4WD for that. Every day to work and back, trips 250 miles to see the grandchild, etc. Then I retired, moved, no longer had two driveways, etc. Life changes, needs/wants change. They were wonderful cars.

I'd say a maintenance history is very important. A PPI is very desirable. Knowing why the car is being sold is really nice. An available P-car mechanic is mandatory. And some cash left over for taking care of the things in a 20 year old car.

Last edited by mikefocke; 09-01-2020 at 05:19 PM..
Old 08-29-2020, 04:34 PM
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2 seater sports cars are lifestyle vehicles and are not practical. After purchase something can change in the owner's life - get married, have a baby, get divorced, downsize or be downsized. Suddenly a 2 seater doesn't make sense. Or the car was bought on a whim and they realize it's not practical enough. A friend of mine bought a Boxster a few yrs ago. In order for him to drive it to work, he had to drive his kids in his regular car to school, come home to get the Boxster, drive to work, then drive home to get the regular car, and drive to school to pick up the kids. That got old pretty fast. He barely had the Boxster for a yr.
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Old 08-30-2020, 06:02 AM
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Test drive em! Maybe you like the white gauges of the S? or the red calipers? Maybe you like the 6spd vs the 5spd? Maybe the color really does matter? or man, that smaller, but glass rear window of the 03 is sweet or? ? ?

The point is, no two are alike. Porsche always makes improvements.

A common saying is "buy the nicest and newest you can afford".

Also, how will you use the car? Spec racer? Street fun? 3rd car for the weekends?

Performance wise at AX, I found my '00 base 2.7 to be just as quick , or quicker, as S models. Not too much slower at the track. Around town you could hardly tell the difference
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Old 09-01-2020, 08:14 AM
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Faster is usually Better!
Old 09-01-2020, 12:30 PM
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Love the discussion

Thanks for your contributions. I've been over all these different thoughts and it's good to know it's not unusual, and that it's hard to make mistake unless I don't do my homework.

Personally, I'm looking for a fun car to go on drives with my wife, do Auto Cross with, and maybe do track days? Completely impractical but not looking to spend a lot of money. I have my SUV for winter and for when I need to shlep stuff or more than one other person.

I'm willing to get my hands dirty but am not looking for a project or a headache, so I thank you for the advice.
Old 09-02-2020, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BYprodriver View Post
Faster is usually Better!
Faster is always more expensive.

But if you live in a crowded state with enforced speed limits, faster may merely be academic.
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:42 PM
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I think the key going in is to learn the cars failure points and issues and know if you will be comfortable living with them. After that, enjoy the shopping!
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Old 09-11-2020, 04:44 AM
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My uncle owned both S and non S versions.. he always said he liked the non S better I don't recall the specific years I am sure that makes a difference and the style and place one drives. Of my cars, I always preferred to hop in my 914 and drive the wheels off it.. it only had 79 Hp but was fun fun fun... it did lack power in some situations but MOST driving is done under 80 anyway, hell under 40 'round here.
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Old 10-11-2020, 09:16 PM
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owned all 3

'70 914, '99 986, '01 986S. Preferred in that order.

But the '914 was new, the '99 and '01S 12 years younger than the one the OP is looking at.

Condition, maintenance history, price and even a judgement about the previous owner.

And I wouldn't own any unless I knew there was a greatly regarded Porsche water cooled mechanic around. It is a 20 year old ish car after all..
Old 10-12-2020, 02:09 PM
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My brother had an '03 base while I had a '99 and his car just felt that much better (i.e. better quality) all around. I think it had a lot to do with the finish of the interior bits and the thicker top with glass window. 228 hp doesn't feel slow, but I will say, to me, a Boxster needs 250+ to really start to feel alive. YMMV, as they say.
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Old 10-16-2020, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jluetjen View Post
Faster is always more expensive.

But if you live in a crowded state with enforced speed limits, faster may merely be academic.
Low RPM torque is what gets you moving 1st & there is no replacement for Displacement.

Last edited by BYprodriver; 10-17-2020 at 09:27 AM..
Old 10-17-2020, 09:25 AM
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Hogwash.

I replaced my '01S with a 130 hp hybrid station wagon (Prius v) and I'll guarantee I was off the line 95% of the time quicker than the car next to me. And 90% faster to the speed limit. While still getting EPA MPG.

I have owned 5 sports cars. Displacement 1.3, 1.6, 1.7. 2.5 and 3.2. I had as much fun in the small displacement cars as the bigger ones. Every time I drove a 5+ I felt it was a heavy pig.

I was once waved to go faster coming out of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by a cop because I was only doing 100. You can guess which car I was driving.

Displacement isn't everything to everyone. It can disguise your short comings as a driver, true.
Old 10-17-2020, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefocke View Post
Hogwash.

I replaced my '01S with a 130 hp hybrid station wagon (Prius v) and I'll guarantee I was off the line 95% of the time quicker than the car next to me. And 90% faster to the speed limit. While still getting EPA MPG.

I have owned 5 sports cars. Displacement 1.3, 1.6, 1.7. 2.5 and 3.2. I had as much fun in the small displacement cars as the bigger ones. Every time I drove a 5+ I felt it was a heavy pig.

I was once waved to go faster coming out of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by a cop because I was only doing 100. You can guess which car I was driving.

Displacement isn't everything to everyone. It can disguise your short comings as a driver, true.
Hybrid electric vehicles have max torque at takeoff so same principal as what i stated HogWasher.
Old Yesterday, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BYprodriver View Post
Hybrid electric vehicles have max torque at takeoff so same principal as what i stated HogWasher.
Ah but if the max torque is mediocre (as in the example cited), then it isn't the car but the driver and his reaction. This driver enjoyed needing to react. Even next to much higher torque/HP cars. Sure they could beat me, but it was the car and not them and I was content with that being the case.

The OP should try several samples and see what his personal preferences are.

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