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Consumer Reports


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Ok. so i was in Walmart minding my own business and i see the consumer reports mag at the stand. I look inside just curious as to how they rate the boxster. well.. In bold black letters...."Consumer reports no longer recommends the boxster due to reliability issues" or something to that effect. Where do they gather their stats from? I wish i could find the report online with all the stats and examine it more closely.

I find this surprising.

Comments very welcome.

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Mistake #1, Walmart.... okay, just kidding.

Found another report - 34 out of 100

http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/1997-to-2004-porsche-boxster-6.htm

and this...

" Porsche intended to compete against the Mercedes-Benz SLK and BMW Z3, and perhaps attract a few buyers who might otherwise fall for a Mazda Miata (which cost considerably less)."

"intended" - that seems to imply that Porsche wasn't successful - at least that is how I read it (?)

Mazda Miata - I mean really? I have never met a Boxster owner who was in any seriousness weighing options between the Miata and the Porsche.

Also, what I find interesting is that the title states 1997-2004 models, and all of the "trouble spots" are for pre 2000 models for the most part. And if the article was last updated 12/2009, where are the more recent models?

If you look at Edmund's, they have reviews up to 2008. 8+/10 editor ratings and 9+/10 Consumer - consistently.

I would be your own judge. I have my complaints about my boxster ('01S), but the joys have far out weighed any of them!

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Having just wrote a book about 101 things to fix on your Boxster, I'd say that they are way more reliable than some Porsches that have been produced in the past. That said, I would estimate that the bar has been set pretty darn high by Honda and Toyota in the pursuit of higher quality. Bottomline, I'm guessing that the Boxster has more problems than a Honda Accord. But it's also a performance car, and there's no such thing in life as a free lunch - you have to have tradeoffs...

-Wayne

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Having just wrote a book about 101 things to fix on your Boxster, I'd say that they are way more reliable than some Porsches that have been produced in the past. That said, I would estimate that the bar has been set pretty darn high by Honda and Toyota in the pursuit of higher quality. Bottomline, I'm guessing that the Boxster has more problems than a Honda Accord. But it's also a performance car, and there's no such thing in life as a free lunch - you have to have tradeoffs...

-Wayne

One would think with the Boxster starting at almost 30 grand more than the Accord, that would have been the tradeoff. ;)

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I think you have to look at what the expectation of the owners of these cars is. If my Boxster makes a sound that I have not heard before I immediately suspect that something is wrong (which there never has been). On the other hand if my daily driver, a 2005 Subaru Outback, makes a noise, I may barely even notice it or care. I still have to bring in my Subaru to have the wheel bearings fixed for a recall.

I just have very different expectations and purposes for the two cars. I recently had my Boxster on the track at Lime Rock, the performance was unbelievable. The car's capabilities are well in excess of my driving ability. If I had brought my Subaru to the track I suspect the brakes would not have performed anywhere close to that of the Boxster, not to mention the handling, etc.

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I think a couple of assumptions are safe to say:

1). Consumer reports is and probably will always be biased toward the Japanese car manufacturers. Their target audience is not your car enthusiast who buys with performance and passion high on their ranking. That plain Jane Toyota Camary may be boring and uninspiring but it will reliably get a librarian to work without a single mechanical failure for years. I believe that is their target audience. Normal people who just want to get to work and perhaps impress the neighbors.

2). Porches are not even remotely as reliable as most of the Asian makes when neglected. The Boxster is a fine tuned instrument which needs to be maintained and let's face it that is not one of our strong points in this country.

This is an enthusiasts car which is probably best owned by an enthusiast. I personally drove a Fiat X1/9 for 7 years and 100k miles and it never let me down. On the other hand I never let it down.

I will conclude with the fact that my last car was a 2002 Miata SE. I don't miss that car in the least but then again I never feared an IMS catastrophic failure either.

Tony

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Porsche makes appliances? Awesomeclapping.gif I want a 997 toaster and a Boxster microwave (spyder)..

I agree with the feedback on Consumer reports and their target audience. My father in Law told me that a Honda S2000 was faster and better than my 997. He read that in Consumer reports so it had to be true. Then he went for a thrill ride in my car (after testing a S2000) and didn't have much to say after that.....rolleyes.gif

cheers.gif

Edited by phillipj
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Porsche parts typically wear faster than a Toyota. They are much higher performance and will wear faster. The payback is that I have an 03 S that handles almost as well as a new one. There is more maintenance involved, but they are wonderful cars if you are a driver. I took mine to my first DE racing event the other day and all I can say is that you can have my Boxster S when you pry it out of my cold dead hands. :)

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Porsche parts typically wear faster than a Toyota. They are much higher performance and will wear faster. The payback is that I have an 03 S that handles almost as well as a new one. There is more maintenance involved, but they are wonderful cars if you are a driver. I took mine to my first DE racing event the other day and all I can say is that you can have my Boxster S when you pry it out of my cold dead hands. :)

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Porsche makes appliances? Awesomeclapping.gif I want a 997 toaster and a Boxster microwave (spyder)..

I agree with the feedback on Consumer reports and their target audience. My father in Law told me that a Honda S2000 was faster and better than my 997. He read that in Consumer reports so it had to be true. Then he went for a thrill ride in my car (after testing a S2000) and didn't have much to say after that.....rolleyes.gif

cheers.gif

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CONSUMER REPORTS has given the Boxster it's highest OVERALL rating for cars of it's class, roadsters, for model 2010 and for years prior, even though CU does not recommend the car. Let me repeat, CONSUMERS REPORTS has continued to rate the Boxster, including Model year 2010, HIGHEST SCORE OVERALL for ROADSTERS based on 50 tests and evaluations for roadsters. YOU NEED TO ACTUALLY READ THE MAGAZINE, including footnotes such as what their evaluation of a given test result is based on. This allows the reader to come to his own conclusion. Be sure to research the OWNER'S SATISFACTION section. Used to get a real kick out of the Corvette's miserable reliability ratings, but at same time get highest owner satisfaction score. CU is not CLIFF NOTES.

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So, they recommend you buy a new one, but not a used one? I guess that makes sense, as parts are very expensive and the cars are difficult to work on without the proper knowledge and tools.

-Wayne

No, CU's annual auto survey of subscribers, over 1,000,000 respondents, measures reported problems with approx 16 "trouble spots", of the various mechanical components. However, the complete review of any given vehicle includes things like emergency handling, braking distance on wet and dry surfaces @60 mph (Boxster has topped this category, among others, for years) etc... Because Boxster's overall "trouble spot" rating has not been above average in recent years, it is not on current "recommended buy" list. But it remains the top rated roadster due to the excellent test track results achieved on CONSUMER REPORTS state of the art test track.Check out the annual April AUTO ISSUE.

Edited by jotoole
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I've owned 3 Porsches. 2 Boxsters. 3 Honda products. 1 Nissan product. Probably 30 other cars. (I'm 67)

My 2 Boxsters have been far more reliable and cheaper to maintain than any of the other named brands above. This in spite of my using the best tires, batteries, etc I can find on all cars and the best most OEM parts. Yep, even though the Porsche tires cost $1,100 and the Honda or Acura tires only $800, the overall maintenance costs of the Porsche have been cheaper. Never left me stranded.

About 3 months ago, I needed to replace the O2 sensor on my CRV and I wanted to replace one on my Porsche. Same part, same week. Guess which dealer quote was more. Guess which car-manufacturers part was more. Guess what OEM part was more. Honda on all 3. By 50%.

If you have to repair the body on a Honda...cheaper. Replace or rebuild the engine...cheaper. But my experience in owning/repairing 2 Honda products and one Boxster of the same vintage and mileage...says the Porsche wins.

I don't answer CU surveys.

IMHO, YMMV

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If you did answer CU surveys, the Boxster ratings would be more accurate. The 2004 MY was not given a rating at all because CU did not receive the required minimum of 100 survey replies for that MY. A sample size of at least 1,200 and you start getting accurate reliability predictions. I don't understand your position on this.

Then again, if CU did receive 1,200 survey replies on the Boxster, it's rating could tank, but I doubt it.

I've been a CU subscriber for over 30 years, and do not always agree with their conclusions. But at least they provide the information they based the conclusion on, which allows me to come to my own conclusion. Anecdotes are not very useful.

Edited by jotoole
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Consumer reports relies on user reporting. This works out well when you have lots and lots of owners reporting, but not so well when the sample size is very small. They don't even report some model year Porsches some years because they don't have enough data points; the years they do have don't seem statistically reliable.

I mean, when we see graphical reports like AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME CRAP AWESOME on a particular item that didn't change at all between model years, it's pretty telling. I think it tends towards bad because Porsche owners aren't really the target demographic for consumer reports, and those with a bad experience are more likely to take the trouble to report than those with good experience. If you look at other quality surveys, Porsche's marks are all over the board- the source numbers just aren't large enough to be statistically relevant. Most of them tend towards casting Porsche as excellent in reliability- right up there with the best of the Japanese car makers. Considering how badly Porsches are flogged on a daily basis, I'd say even par is good, but they seem to be significantly better than that.

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