1997 Porsche Boxster 2.5L from North America
Leads you to the 911
Convertible top arm (2 times), which is a known problem and very costly to fix. The levers become misaligned, and if you don't realize it, the convertible top lid gets destroyed.
Engine seals because the previous owner did not drive the car as it should have been driven. The low miles (10k in 2002) was actually a bad thing, and I didn't realize it at the time.
Plastic pieces on dashboard have fallen apart. The motion sensor covers fall off as well as steering wheel lever button pieces, the air vent pieces break.
I knew nothing about Porsche, I just wanted a classic looking roadster to drive. The previous owner had pre-ordered the car when the Boxster was first introduced. I drove it twisting around the mountains where he lived and instantly realized how exciting a driving experience could be... and why Porsche had such a following. The mid-engine, the response, with the top down you can't help but smile while you are driving the car.
In 1997 the Boxster was made in Germany after which Porsche outsourced production (98-00 years are troubled). The car was first introduced in Europe the year before, so the US 97 Boxster did not have the initial engine problems always talked about, and is very dependable.
Leather seats, but fake dashboard and plastic interior parts become a disappointment after owning the car for some time. Make sure the car you are considering has the full leather package.
The 2.5L engine produced 201 hp and great gas mileage, which is impressive but under appreciated by those proving they can beat you off the straight line.
But what this car really did was introduce me to Porsche. The 97 Boxster has the feel of a modern classic, but leaves you knowing there is something missing. Soon, convincing your wife that the Boxster is really the car for her becomes a priority. Because while you can't bear to part with such a wonderful car... the 911 calls to you like no other.
There are those who love driving a Porsche and everyone else. In the former, there is a connection between car and driver that is unexplainable. The Boxster retains that spirit, but will no doubt lead you to the 911. So if you enjoyed the Boxster test drive, allow me to save you endless hours of debate within yourself as well, as several thousand dollars of your money over the next few years. Do not be distracted by all of Porsche's other offerings... the 911 is what you are looking for.
1996-1998 993 Carerra, C4/S, or turbo if you can afford it... the last of the air-cooled. Stay away from '95, the targa, convertible. Stay away from 996 (per every Porsche mechanic ever to give an honest opinion).
Or if the convertible is what you want, wait until you can afford a 997, which became available ~2005.
>30k miles when buying a used Porsche is always a good rule of thumb.
Ultimately I found my dream car... a silver 1996 Porsche 911 C4. More in line with why you are reading this, my next Porsche would have to be a 997 Carrera convertible (any year).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th December, 2009