Is the Boxster 986 the best second hand sports car you can buy right now? | Road & Race S02E22

Is the Boxster 986 the best second hand sports car you can buy right now?  | Road & Race S02E22

This time on Road and Race my review of the
Porsche Boxster S 986 This is the Porsche Boxster S 986. From new it has 252 brake horsepower, 305
nm torque and 0-60 time if 5.9 seconds. Has done 50,000 and this one is in Lapis Blue. An example like this will set you back around
£7000. I’ve had mine for about 2 years now and
these are my thoughts on whats good and what’s bad about the car. Is the Boxster the best second hand sports
car you can buy in this price range? Well, I suppose the first question people
are asking is “what’s it like to drive?”.. With 252 bhp you have plenty of power. People complain that the Boxster is only a
baby Porsche but 252 bhp is enough, you don’t need any more for normal roads. It’s very enj -oyable on country roads , the
power delivery is smooth, the steering is direct and the chassis give great confidence. The roar from the flat 6 engine above 4000
rpm is lovely . Sounds like it’s absolutely screaming at you. Considering this one is 15 years old everything
still feels tight and together. The standard exhaust is a bit muted though. I’d have liked something a bit more exciting. There are modifications you can make to change
this though which I’ll show in a future episode. Also the brake pedal is quite heavy. It’s not as assisted as some cars which
is good for the track as you get a lot of control it’s just a little more tiring when
driving day to day. One of the main reasons I bought this car
is that straight out of the box you can track it. You have to change brake pads, but that’s
all and that’s the same for any car. I have the S version which means it’s more
track focused as you get a slightly stiffer suspension and the bigger brake package from
the 996 Carrera. Consider the car weighs just over 1300 kilos
you have a power to weight ratio of about 184 bhp per ton which is enough power to hold
your own on a track day and not get swallowed up. The car is buckets of fun on the track with
plenty of grip and a chassis that gives great feedback. This is the Tiptronic version so in town you
just leave it in automatic mode and you poodle around just fine. Out on the B-roads and on track days you can
flick the selector over to Manual mode then you have full control with the steering wheel
buttons. Whilst not a fast changing gear as modern
boxes this is sufficient. One problems though is that the indicator
that show you which gear you are in is very small so you cannot quickly tell when track
driving. I bought the Tiptronic as I live in London
and have to sit in a lot of traffic. Whenever I’m on the track I wish I’d bought
the manual though. Comfort wise this a frim ride. I don’t mind but it can get a little tiring
on long journeys. Passengers suffer more and I’ve had complaints
of bad backs on journeys over a couple of hours. Bear in mind this is comparable for all sports
cars in this range. Like all soft top convertibles there is road
noise on the motorway but nothing obnoxious. I swapped from Pirelli tyres to Michelins
and road noise from the tyres was reduced. So, onto looks. People say Porsches all look the same. What’s wrong with that?! They look great, why change it? Plus when you buy the Boxster no normal person
knows you’re not driving the more expensive 911. Looks are subjective so some will like them
some won’t but for me it’s certainly one of the best looking sport cars in it’s price
range. I especially love the factory “Swirl”
alloy wheels. Beautiful and uniquely say “Porsche” to
me. Inside it’s a nice place to be. Again 15 years old but due to use of leather,
carpet and nice plastics it still holds up and has that luxury feel. Much nicer than some cheaper modern dashboards. The buttons are solid and all compartments
are well built. The steering wheel is comfortable to hold
with no sharp edges and is a good size. I like being in here. Models before 2003 don’t get a glove box
but you do get 4 storage compartments to compensate and this , er…, letter tray to hold your…
essentials? Also, no cup holders but 3rd party options
for that exist so not a show stopper, just initially annoying. The in car technology is showing it’s age
with no Sat nav or phone connectivity. So unless you still enjoy the unique charm
of a C90 budget to replace the stereo. Alternatively you can do the budget option
like me and disconnect the CD changer and in it’s place fit a £20 cable for your
smartphone which will charge it, play music and do the sat nav. What’s good though because the engine is
mid mounted you get both a front and rear boot which is rare for a car in this price
range. Its big enough to fit a person in each so
surely that’s all you need? Seriously like any sportscar it won’t carry
big items but our monthly Costco visit copes fine. Whilst the roof will close in a fairly average
for 16 seconds it’s the opening process that is not that glamourous; due to the plastic
rear window you need to stop halfway though opening, get out and do what is known by the
owners as “the chop” to make sure it doesn’t get damaged. You can only operate the roof whilst stationary
but a 3rd parties solution exists to get round this which costs about £240 and just plugs
right in. Safety wise no Euro N-CAP crash test rating
for this car but you do get 4 airbags – one each for driver and passenger and one on each
door. Finally, you do get an automatically rising
rear spoiler when you go above 70 mph . How cool is that! Reliability
So buying a 15 year old car you should expect things to go wrong right? Well, anyone watching the channel will know
I’ve done a lot of things to my Boxster but I hope it’s fair to say most has been
either routine servicing or preventative maintenance. I’ve only had two small issues. The first were the bolts that hold the exhaust
together rusted away so a noisy leak occurred. The second was cracked the ignition coils
and their seals were leaking oil. To fix cost £30 and £230 pounds respectively
but I did this simple work myself. Garage fees would add about £300 or so for
both. In series 2, episodes 9, 11 and 17 detail
the repairs. The car only had 40,000 miles when I bought
it so that definitely a factor. Comparison
As a comparison I’ve put together a list of convertible sports cars around the £8000
mark. I also specified mileage under 50,000 miles
to try to make sure all the cars would be in a similar condition mechanically. Obviously this isn’t a list of every car
available but I’ve taken the most obvious ones for this example. Power to weight wise it’s all pretty close
with the Z4 being 15 horse power down on the average. On Fuel consumption again is close with the
Z4 coming on top marginally beating the S2000. The 350z is about 4 mpg worse than the average
mainly due to it being a heavier car. Price wise again it’s pretty close but the
Boxster S is the best value here. When you look at the competition in the price
range the Boxster is the most practical, drives brilliantly, has a great interior and is the
cheapest. Plus, I think it is beautiful and at the end
of the day when you’re telling people what you drive would you prefer to say a BMW or
Nissan or would you prefer to say “a Porsche”? Next time on road and race If you’ve made you mind up to buy a Boxster
what do you do? My next epsiode will be a buyers guide and
cover the common Boxster faults and what to look for when buying one. Also I’ll do a detailed look into the fabled
archiles heal of the Boxster engine the dreaded IMS bearing failure… Yes, I know the tray is for the hand book
and owners manual, but they’re less tasty. If you’ve found this video useful please
Subscribe and hit the Like button as it really helps us make more shows. Click the Suggested box at the top of the
screen to watch the next video in this series. Please feel free to get in touch by leaving
a comment on this video and you can keep up to date with us via our website, facebook,
twitter or Instagram. Thanks for watching.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. I've had my 01 Lapis Blue 986 Boxster S about 3 months now. Love it, and love your channel. I agree it's the best sports car you can buy in the price range. I use mine for track days and the only other car in my price range was the Miata. So glad I went with the Porsche. Here's a secret most folks don't know…with the S you get 911 brakes, 911 tranny, 911 detuned engine, 911 oil cooler and lots of other 911 bits. What this car really is…a mid engined 9/10ths 911 with a convertible top. Win Win Win

  2. Awesome video! Would dearly love some more open and closed-top spirited driving sounds. An aftermarket or Porsche Sport exhaust would be wonderful to hear. With every video, you're making it harder and harder for me to resist selling my 944 and getting a 986 or 996!

  3. Thank-you I enjoyed the video knowledge… At some point
    Will you be doing a 987 boxster video. (my car)?

  4. Great video man. I've had my 2003 986 for a little over a year now and it is a blast. These cars are so underrated it's insane. I don't mind it, once you've driven one you realise it's a gem 😊

  5. Another great video. keep up the good work. Maybe one replacing the soft top to glass rear window one? I love my 2.5. Could do with a little more power but still fun to drive.

  6. Great review and thanks for the series. It's very informative and looking forward to your thoughts on IMS.

    Any thought to swapping out your side markers and maybe headlights for clears?

  7. Thanks for your reply. So far I have installed headers, K&N filter, my own version of a plenum splitter and have purchased an under drive pulley but have not installed it yet. I did install a cat back exhaust mufflers but took them off as they droned uncomfortably. i replaced the originaI muffler but drilled 2x 10mm holes through the tail piece into the first chamber. It improved the exhaust note. I also installed LED headlights, tails and side markers. The stereo has been replaced with sat nav combo with reverse camera. Problems I am having now is that it struggles to rev strongly 5k rpm and above. It has more mid range torque. I will replace the plugs and igniters to see if it helps. Next I will replace the fuel filter. If that does not improve the problem, I will return the original plenum to see if that the plenum splitter is the caused the problem.
    BTW what is your name?

  8. Some good comments and tips. I have owned my 2000 Boxster for 8 years and it is still running strong with 129,000 kms. I would recommend this car to anyone who is interested in a great handling sports car and likes a little excitement on the track. Repairs and maintenance costs are a little higher than your for regular run of the mill car but you get what you pay for in quality and as you said, you get to say you drive a Porsche.

  9. the Boxster S 986 is a fantastic car and as you have shown it's relatively easy to service / repair yourself. I like your car, but if it was mine I'd have it in manual 😉 keep uploading DIY videos 🙂

  10. I'm enjoying your channel, keep up the good work.
    I'm considering getting a Boxster, and wondering if you are insured using a classic car insurance policy and if so who are you using. Thanks

  11. If you carry on like this I'm sure you will be up there with the likes of MightyCarMods in no time 🙂

    I'm turning 21 soon which means car insurance finally won't be too extortionate and Im looking to upgrade from my Golf GTI. Would you recommend getting a 2.5 Boxster at the £4K to £5K price range or are they all knackered for that sort of money?

  12. Nice video and I like your style. Could you give some more info on the CD swap to iphone cable that you mention at 4:45. Links? Instructions?

  13. This car will soon become a Porsche Classic. They're are lot's of them out there and a lot of them will end up in the scrap heap but the well looked after ones will become collectors items. Mark my words!!

  14. I have become a big fan of the Porsche Boxster S and your videos! I'm looking to join the club after the holidays! I have my eye on a very special model and if I pull the trigger will let you know!

  15. I love your videos! I've always wanted a Porsche, but people try to talk me out of it. They say they're too expensive. I also think it's because I'm female. I am however very fastidious about my vehicles and always keep my car on a proper maintenance schedule. I really want to take the leap!

  16. I'm looking to get a Boxster soon, my budget being max £9K, limits me to a 986, 986 S and 987. Not much of a limitation, I know!

    My question is, which should I put my money towards? I've read that S models are more likely to have the IMS failure. And are there that many difference between a 986 and 987? Or is it just horsepower, and slight interior and exterior changes?

  17. Just bought a black Boxster -00 and just loove it. Big thanks for these videos! Regarding this video in time 5:25 you said something about these electric components to plugin. What is it really?

  18. Regarding the competition, the 147 G T A, is the most practical in that range and has the best interior, and ( no arguments please) the best engine.

  19. Great show !!!  And nice Ocean Blue Boxster !   I like the first Orange turn signal lights more than the second generation 2002 /2003 ones. To much different grey tones.  Greetings from Germany !

  20. Porsche Boxster S is sure convincing after watching your video great Review on the vehicle pal keep up with the content. No doubt, no words can explain how much fun this car is to just experience cornerings and acceleration. Espicially with today tunes u can easily modify any car and get the horsepower needed. PLUS CLASSIC PORSCHE IS LIKE A ROVER "RICH MANS CAR" so its a Win/Win.

  21. In the pub when they ask me what I drive, i say a Mercedes Benz. Cus that is the company that makes the bus I take to work every day.

  22. I de snorkled mine but didn't crios as I wil be selling it soon once I've recovered the seats. The extra rumble around 4k rpm is awesome

  23. Great Video but please keep the background music low as its annoying if someone is not looking
    Love they way you speak – Hear every word an no silly accent

  24. What about when things go wrong like the you know what and the other you know what. It will bank rob you as we all know.. Get a Mazda mx no not a Porsche but will do

    over 200k miles with no probs or get a Toyota that will go for ever.. These German icons are not icons at all if you do your homework they are but a name a symbol in fact

    you could say a pile of marketing bull shit … Just like Land Rover which for what ever given reason I sadly love but again in truth are rubbish R/R gearbox issues with less than 100k

    on the clock. Over 100k car and the gearbox is suspect WHAT !! REALLY !!!!!!!!!!!!! Just get a Toyota and save a fucking fortune OK no R/R badge "but really do you care" if so go and

    get one and pay the price.. Better still get a Toyota and put a R/R badge on it if it makes you feel better/superior.. I always thought folk bought R/R to look superior but now i realize

    it really means I have one of these because i have got more money than any one else and i can afford the repairs as is the case with some Porsche cars sorry most Porsche cars..

    Leaking bearings scored cylinders etc etc etc etc !!!!!!!!!!!!!! When will we learn I have had 3 911's 2 Boxster's 3 B M W's 4 Mercs 4 R/Rovers All of which cost me

    a fortune in depreciation and running costs.I have since owned 1 Toyota land cruiser amazon 2 Toyota pick ups 3 Toyota Hi Aces 1 Toyota Gt 86 made by Suberu as we all know

    but still has the Big T badge .. All i can say they have cost me NOTHING YES NOTHING I only Yakel on to hopefully save you out there some hard earn't cash. The Hi ace after 287k miles

    needed a Bat yes a bloody Bat and 2 wiper blades how sad is that not even break discs not even a rad no exhaust pipe NOTHING !!!!! Land Cruiser bought for 8k sold 3 years later having spent

    nothing except M.O.T. and 4 tyres well what do you expect ???? for 6.5k having put on 32k miles How good was that ?????????????????Just get real and don't listen to these smart asses

    trying to make good their big big cock ups … Yes the Porsche name sounds good yes Porsche engines are good yes they are A GOOD LOOKING CAR and probably well put together

    but when they go wrong "AND THEY DO TRUST ME " They will drown you Yes drown you don't think fiesta /Focus we are talking Jumbo Jet figures honestly think hard think

    wise before you go there because i am 100% sure you will recall this note I made when you probably thought this guy is talking through his ass !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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