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Considering a Boxster, please advise


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I have been looking(lusting) at Porsche's for 30 years. And now used Boxsters are within my price range.

I owned a Miata for about 5 years and loved that car. It was all I needed in handling, but could have had a bit more power. Repairs/maintenance were nothing but scheduled maintenance. Oh, and there's just something about convertibles that satisfys my need for wind in my hair.

I have been reading what I can find about Boxsters, but only today found this forum. After reading postings here, I am becoming concerned about maintenance/longevity issues with them. I am not mechanically inclinded and not really looking forward expensive repairs.

Here's my question, given what little info I have given, would you recommend me buy a used Boxster ($25k) or another Miata.

All opinions appreciated.

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If you are at all worried about being able to sustain maintenance costs, stick with the Miata. The Miata is a very friendly car to work on and has just as good of a online community for support as well as many local Miata clubs you could hook up with.

I am fortunate enough to own one of each. I started with the Miata and learned how to work on it which gave me the confidence to do basic maintenance on the Boxster when the time comes.

If you have done your research here on rentech (also check out rennlist.com and 986forum.com), and you still really want to find a Boxster, you will hear how important it is to get a PPI (Pre Purchase Inspection). Do it.

I love both for different reasons and the same reasons. The Boxster is my daily driver and I love it. The Miata is now our weekend autox toy and I can’t think of a better combination. Choosing one over the other would be difficult (for me) having spent plenty of quality time with each. Though from a DIY mechanical standpoint, the Miata seems easier to work on and parts are less expensive.

Hope that helps a little.

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I say buy the Boxster. Just by chance I have a 2002 Boxster S for Sale. It is black with gray leather and only has 7300 miles. Also it is porsche certified with warrenty to 4-09 or 100,000 miles. If your interested give me a call at 512-632-0702. Also has all the right options and great wheels.

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I have a 94 Miata M Edition and a 2000 Boxster (non-S). I second Kabel's advice, but a lot will depend on how you plan to use the car. If you want to have a weekend toy, both cars are great but the Miata fills the bill at a much lower cost for acquisition, maintenance and operation.

For a daily driver, the Boxster is superior. The Boxster is more comfortable on the Interstate and it is probably much safer. (I have not driven the newest version of the Miata, so that statement just applies to the first two generations of the Miata.) The Boxster has more front and rear crush space, side-impact air bags and an integrated roll bar. You can add a roll bar to the Miata, but the Boxster solution is more elegant.

If money is no object, choose the Boxster, but keep in mind that a Miata in similar condition will be less than half the price and will be almost 80% as good.

Good luck.

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I have been looking(lusting) at Porsche's for 30 years. And now used Boxsters are within my price range.

...

Here's my question, given what little info I have given, would you recommend me buy a used Boxster ($25k) or another Miata.

All opinions appreciated.

I'll chip in here despite having never had a Boxter (I went with a 911 from a similar but more costly dilema against staying with BMWs, but I am familiar with Boxters and MX5s [they aren't called Miatas in Europe] from people I know who do own them).

The bottom line is that the Porsche is (IMHO, and probably that of most people here) a better car, but you are never going to get near the pure value for money of the Mazda, which has a worldwide reputation as THE value for money 'drivers car'. Your real dilema is not so much one car or the other, but how prepared are you to swallow an entirely different level of cost of motoring. It isn't even a simple question of whether you can afford it, more whether you are prepared to swallow the (financially) poisoned pill in order to live the dream.

My advice is to sit down and work out the cost of a year. If you buy a Boxster, run it for a year (fuel, servicing and above all depreciation) and then sell it, what is it going to cost you? (Cannot help you here - prices in the UK for pretty much everything automotive are well beyond what you guys pay, but try to think closer to worst case than ideal world). This number is essentially the cost of finding out whether it is worth it TO YOU. Nobody can tell you the right answer but yourself - this is actually a very personal dilema. If you can swallow that number as a pure and total financial loss against satisfying 30 years of automotive lust then you really should buy the Porsche. If it looks like too much money against other factors in your life where it could bring you more smiles - stay Miata. They are truely great cars and awesome value.

If you are like me then you will buy the Boxter though : a waste of money is far easier (even if it is going to really hurt) for me than not knowing. Life is too short to waste time on regret, and there is no more painful regret than what might have been...

Colin

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I was in the same situation. I had looked in the local classifieds for the last 35 years but only at Porsches. I had bought 2 Mazda 626s, still have an '86 in the family. Excellent, reliable. But I really couldn't fit in the Miata..at least the earlier versions...too tall.

I thought I wanted a 928, that is the car I was lusting after. Several extensive drives told me I didn't want a car designed in the '70s even if it still is a beautiful car. One 20 minute ride in a Boxster and I bought it.

I was, at the time, not too worried about finances, and my experience over 2 years and 2 Boxsters has been that my unscheduled maintenance costs have averaged $7 per month. I bought a '99 base with around 24k miles and, when it got totaled, a '01 S with 42k miles. Neither was under Porsche warranty and I declined to buy an extended warranty on the second car even though it was available for $3k. At the same time, I'm aware that expensive things could go wrong and that even routine maintenance is more expensive ($60 in parts for an oil change).

I live in the Washington DC area so I do get bad weather in the winter and I drive a CRV for those times. Otherwise, it is my daily driver. I commuted to work, to the grocery store (20 bags in the rear trunk and I have the front trunk still empty). I take trips that go non-stop around 250 miles.

To help you in your decision, I would offer this link which will tell you about my ideas on buying a Boxster, model year differences, what to look for, etc.

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I think you should go for the boxster.

just make sure you buy one with warranty. if it does not have warranty buy a extended one.

If I were you .I would buy 97-99 for 14-15k and the spend the rest of the money on 3.4L 996 conversion.I think the 996 engine is alot better than the boxster 320hp in boxster thats mean 0-60 in less than 5s

top speed of +180 mph .

just make sure you buy one all the options.and check the car before you buy it.the most important thing is DO NOT BUY ONE WITH OUT WARRANT.

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I own a 98, it averages a problem every two months or so. All problems are not mayor, last 12 months: MAF, oxygen sensors, coolant reservoir, starter, slave cylinder, door handle, ignition switch etc...

My advice is: buy it if one or more of the following applies:

You are a mechanic (or your best friend is), it would be a weekend car and don't mind to visit shops/dealers more often than other more reliable cars, it is your mid-life crisis car and you would get rid off it as you grow out of the crisis (hopefully soon) :lol: , you are going for the amateur race car driver experience (track weekends).

I am actually considering buying a daily driver (fourth car in the family) and keeping the car till it is an antic or just replacing it for better overall car (I an not considering pouring gasoline over it and throwing a match anymore -it was my feeling last week :wacko: ).

Good luck with your decision

Edited by Rolando
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I have been looking(lusting) at Porsche's for 30 years. And now used Boxsters are within my price range.

I owned a Miata for about 5 years and loved that car. It was all I needed in handling, but could have had a bit more power. Repairs/maintenance were nothing but scheduled maintenance. Oh, and there's just something about convertibles that satisfys my need for wind in my hair.

I have been reading what I can find about Boxsters, but only today found this forum. After reading postings here, I am becoming concerned about maintenance/longevity issues with them. I am not mechanically inclinded and not really looking forward expensive repairs.

Here's my question, given what little info I have given, would you recommend me buy a used Boxster ($25k) or another Miata.

All opinions appreciated.

There are only a few things in life that are absolutes:

You will die eventually.....

You will pay taxes, one way or another.....

No one will ever say "Holy crap!, you drive a Miata?"......

To a true gearhead a Porsche is a WHOLE LOT MORE than just another car.....

You DO only have one life to live.......

SO.....swallow hard, learn some basic maintenance, and buy the Boxster. There may be days that you are mad at it...kind of like your wife....but If you've been "lusting" after a Pcar for 30 years as you say, you'll never once regret buying it....not really. Because if your like me - and you "miss" this window of opportunity - you just might spend the rest of your days kicking yourself in the *** because you'll always wonder: what if......

If you do buy the Pcar, when you need help - there are a whole crapload of great people right here to share your pain and guide you through. Dude, it doesn't GET any better than that.........

"Git 'er done !"

Edited by Andy_M
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My Boxster is a 99 and has had virtually no problems in the last year. Only problem it did have was an RMS leak, but that was sorted under warranty as I bought the car from a dealer who gave me 30 days warranty (and I made sure I looked over the car thoroughly during that time). The leak was probably there for ages though cuz the oil leak was very slight from the crankcase and only showed up after a 500 mile trip to Los Angeles! If the dealer didn't do the work, I would of done it myself and would of cost very little (just the cost of the RMS seal).

The other minor issue it's had is the drivers door window motor bush is worn - but everything works just fine (it still has that problem - all it means is that sometimes I have put push down on the window slightly before closing the door cuz the play in the bush means the half-inch auto-drop doesn't always drop half an inch. Other than that, the window works just fine.

So, when buying a used car, as with buying any car, some cars will have more problems than others. The only thing you can do is make sure the car has full service history, relatively low mileage (although if the mileage is too low, that can cause problems too!), and doesn't look like it's been driven in to the ground. An independent inspection can also give peace of mind, but that costs money. Of course, always make sure you run a check on the car so that you know its history. Generally stay away from cars which have had accidents, and also make sure that the dealer has completed any TSB's that might be needed. You can also go to any dealer and ask them to give you a print-out of any warranty work performed on the car during its life (they do it by VIN on a central database). If a car has had 10 RMS seals replaced in the last 2 years, obviously stay away from it!

Thanks and good luck!

Shash

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A word to the wise though.....be very careful with a Boxster built between 9/98 and 4/99. If it has 35k miles or so on it it may be fine, but if not, be careful. There was an engine problem during those build months and they have been known to blow at around 25k to 29k miles. It isn't all cars made during that time, of course, but why risk it? I don't think that miles mean all that much much if the car has been well maintained, so do try and check out service records on the car etc. If you are in the market for a newer MY, and you can afford to, try and by a Porsche Certified Pre-Owned car, as I did, then you basically get a full warranty for 2 years.

I have business acquaintances who live in Germany, and they tell me that it is not unusual at all to see 20 - 25 year old Porsches being driven daily. :drive:

Edited by Andy_M
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My mileage comment was more to do with higher miles == higher chance of car being driven hard, potentially causing more problems. Generally, though, more miles do equate to more issues as more wear and tear has occured. The car itself should be fine for several hundred thousand miles, but it does mean more maintenance.

Thanks!

Shash

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