Porsche Boxster or a Nissan 350Z - you decide

AUTOMOTIVE >> ROAD TESTS >>   Porsche Boxster or a Nissan 350Z - you decide

Porsche Boxster or a Nissan 350Z - you decide

Neural Blog, 22 Aug 2006

Porsche 997 GT3 vs Gallardo Superleggera Video
Z06 vs. Ferrari F430 vs. Dodge Viper SRT10
2006 Mallett Pontiac Solstice
Z06 vs. Ferrari F430 vs. Dodge Viper SRT10

Porsche Boxster

Porsche Boxster vs Nissan 350Z

Porsche Boxster Nissan 350Z

Porsche Boxster or a Nissan 350Z, you decide.

I am still trying to decide on a toy car but am having trouble making up my mind. It is between two cars, the boxter and the 350z. I love the boxster from many perspectives but the sticker and maintenance costs are high. The Z on the other hand is a steal in value from every perspective but lacks prestige. It simply makes sense on paper.

Thus, I am asking for your input. Do any of you have any regrets withyour Boxster? Would you buy it again?

I am trying to obtain inside information from owners. I participate in other forums for the various cars that I own (Mercedes and Lexus) and frequently provide insight into different pro's and con's on my cars to assists people in my current position with this purchase. The best place to obtain this inside information is through the owners and I only know Carrera owners so I thought I would touch base with the people on this thread.

More specifically I am trying to gauge overall satisfaction, large problem areas, pitfalls and praises. A statement like "I owned several competing convertibles before and the boxster kills them all because..." would be useful or anything really.


I bought an 02 Boxster S, still under factory warr. (18,200 miles), car was showroom condition but had one broken cup holder and climate control head display did not show all the #'s. Both were replaced under factory warr. The S is an excellent handling car and has all the performance I feel I'd need. I have had several cars try to run with me on the highway (350z's included), but once in the curves and going thru traffic they can't ever stay close. I see the 350z's all the time where I live, but not the Porsche's, so my car's unique.

Since I bought used I didn't take the depr. coming off the showroom floor....i searched for about 3 months before I bought the car so I knew exactly what I was getting and what to pay when buying. I wouldn't get the regular Boxster....only the S, would I buy one again, definately.

I had considered the 350Z amongst others when I was looking for a new car, couldn?t wait for the 997 4S so I ended up getting the 987S, the car is so much more than the Nissan it really isn?t in the same league.

As you say the Nissan is a fantastic car for the price, over here in the UK it just comes as the track version and its about ?24,000 so you get a lot of car for the money but its no where near the same level of precision driving tool that the Boxster is, its just pure muscle car plain and simple.

I?d defiantly get another Boxster, even over the 997 as I?m kind of struck with the convertible driving thing and I?m not taken with the look of 911 convertibles.

I don't know if you are waiting to feel financially confident to buy a more expensive car like a 997, and you are buying either a Boxster or a Z to hold you through until that point. If that is the case, I would definately go with the Z. The boxster is a great car, but the Z has more bang for your buck, as far as I am concerned. It is a great value. Buying a Z is probably more practical. But if your planning on keeping one of these cars for a while, the Boxster is definately more fun to drive. It also carries prestige, if thats what your looking for. The best thing to do is test drive them both and make up your mind. The two cars can reach up to a $20,000 price difference. Good luck with your decision!

look at the depreciation of a nissan and decision will be easy to make


The truth is if you have to ask, you're probably not yet ready for a Porsche. I'm not trying to be insulting or elitist, but there is simply no comparison, so I'm surprised that these are the two choices you've come up with.

The Porsche is a more Limited Production Performance Car in it's own right, with it's own provenance. The Nissan is a High Production Coupe' offering good performance, but marketed using the provenance of another, totally different, car from Yesteryear - the 240Z.

In either event, should you decide on the Nissan (which is my guess), you'd be much better off going for the Infinity G35. Same PowerTrain and performance, but a lot more bang for the buck.

Thanks to all of you who responded! The feedback confirmed my initial feeling that the boxster is the next car for me. I look forward to chatting with you guys on an ongoing basis for years to come!

I have had both cars. Without going into details I would pick the Boxster over the 350Z. Interior quality of the Nissan shows itself after a couple thousand miles.

Drive them, then decide. I did that .. drove Nissan Z's, Z3, Z4, Miata (please, no jokes), S2000, Boxster .. the Boxster was the car that I liked to drive. It was like picking up a guitar ... pick the one that feels good, has a good sound, and one you will always want to pick up when its sitting in the living room. There's no better feeling than leaving work and slipping into the Boxster, turning the key, and escaping!

Regarding Porsche maintainence costs, depending on how handy you are, you can mitigate the crazy charges from the dealerships by doing some basic things yourself. This forum is great for that. I got good advice on replacing a dead ignition switch on my '97 ... saved a bundle, and if you're handy with tools you can do the same. Of course, there are some things I wouldn't do myself, because my garage isn't expertly equipped.

Enjoy the decision making process!

An observer from the UK, hello.
I have been following this thread with interest as I am in a similar situation to the original poster, I drive at present a MGTF 160, please do not scoff as it is a very versatile car giving a lively drive but with enough space to to use for extended holiday trips etc.
My original plan was to purchase another when this was 2 - 3 years old but now the company is bankrupt I have been looking at alternatives.
I arrived at a shortlist of a TT, a Mercedes SLK 280 and the Boxster ( the BMW just did not appeal, no justification just an appearance thing ), without doubt the Boxster was the most rewarding car of the three to drive but as is always it is the most expensive and Porsche dealers in the UK are not known for making any price concession.
The car purchase price was within my budget but my reason for reading these threads was to try to find out if there are any regular problems with the car that I should watch out for as retirement age approaches I have to consider the ongoing running costs involved.
I will continue my reading of your Boxster thoughts based on your experiences with the car with great interest.

I was in the same situation in January 2005 but unfortunately I bought a brand new boxster s in the uk for ?45000, According to Porsche these cars have a defect for which Porsche has no cure, when it rains you will get water inside the car!!!! not find specially in the uk where it rains all the time - Please read my other posts if you want to find out more about this design/quality issue with the new Boxster.

I've driven (owned) both. No comparision, the Boxster wins all around from my perspective. There is one big BUT.... on the 987 (2005) there is no spare and the tires are not run flats. That means if you are out on the highway and you lose a tire, you are stuck until the cavalry arrives from 1-800-Porsche.

Z4 doesn't even come close to the 987. I drove a Z4 before I bought mine and it was a very very different feel. Not really very refined in my opinion. But hey, to each his own.

I went to the dealer looking at Jags, drove a 2002 Porsche Boxter S with 4500 miles on it and haven't stopped smiling since. The more I drive it the more that I love it! In the comparison tests that I have seen between the Porsche and 350Z there doesn't seem to be much comparison. Even Consumers Reports picked the Boxster.

Prior to getting my 2005 Boxster, I had a 2004 350Z Coupe. Both are great cars.
I liked the Z car a great deal but I am glad I traded it in on my Porsche. The Z is quicker than my Porsche (287 hp versus 240), but the Boxster is more fun. I like have a convertible, the mid-engined layout and the much nicer interior. I get many more looks and compliments on the Porsche.

I'll try to be more specific. My Z coupe was the basic model. It didn't have a lot of options in it. The new z cars all have 300 hp standard instead of just the track. You are getting the hp of a Cayman S for almost 30k less. My 287 hp Z was quicker than my Boxster. I felt the cabin had more room and it was nice to have the big trunk in the rear (you won't have it in the Z roadster). For the eight months I had it, I never had a single problem. It was so sound and smooth. I got it up to a 157 mph (got my 987 to 157 also). I think it has a better exhaust note and rumble. I can't say it really has any flaws other than I think it makes and ugly roadster.

I think my Boxster looks a lot nicer, overall fit and finish is better (nissan did improve it a lot over my year and model though). The Boxster handles better and provides a ride that is less sheltered than the Z. As long as money isn't an issue I would go for the Boxster. I regret nothing. If you have any more questions about the Z car let me know I would be happy to answer. I also worked selling new Nissans for a few months while I took a break from school if you need to know anything. I do think you are right about the Z being a no brainer better value.

I tend to like all three cars and feel you can't go wrong with any one of them. I own the Cayman S. I have to say this is by far the best handling car I have ever set foot in. But the guy sounds as if he wanted a ragtop so he chose the Boxster. I would have went for the Boxster S myself but still not a bad decision. I do think the 350Z is a great car and awesome bang for the buck. I like the styling of the Boxster better....and I hate that "chick car" monniker people put on cars. True proven "chick cars" were the VW Cabriolet and Mazda Miata. You will have some (typically Mustang and Vette owners) call the Boxster a chicks car because it doesn't have a V8. Hell, some of those redneck clowns call my Cayman a chick's car. I just consider the source.

As far as the Cayman S not being a 997S....you're right, it isn't.....it's better. You get nothing more from the 997S in terms of performance/fit and finish. You do get history; I'll give it that. But I'll take the styling of the Cayman over history and the 997 styling anyday. FWIW, take a peek at the Ring times of the Cayman compared to the 997 and 997S. The mid engine car is killer.

I happen to agree with you, AmerLemans. The statement I made regarding the 997/Cayman was specifically for people who bad-mouth the Boxster as a "chick's car". These are the same people who, if they own a Cayman, deserve to be told that the Cayman is a "baby 911" or a 911 wannabe. Some people know it isn't so, and these are the same people who would not degrade any Porsche, like you.

I have the 'ring times established by Rohl for the 997S with sport suspension. Not that it means anything, but I'm curious. Do you have the 'ring times for the Cayman S, and who established it?

I was just giving you a hard time Palting. I love the 911 as well.....and the 993 and the Boxster......and......well, you understand!! The 911 IS PORSCHE, in my opinion. I do believe the Cayman is attracting alot of attention in its own right, however. I love it and couldn't be happier with my decision to sell the C6 Vette and get it. It is superior in every way to me.....albeit at 100 less HP on paper.

Walter did the Ring time in the Cayman as well. I don't know for sure what the actual time was. I'm sure its out there somewhere.

Here is an excerpt from Autoweek in June of '05 comparing it to the Boxster S and the 911 Carerra....not the S.

"As a measure of the Cayman's ability, Porsche claims a prototype version lapped the Nürburgring's North Loop in eight minutes and 11 seconds in the hands of former rally ace Walter Röhrl—an improvement of seven seconds over the time he recorded in a similar specification Boxster S late last year, and four seconds faster than the 911 Carrera."

hey amerlemans i saw your sig on caymanclub.net sweeeet ride, ill post mine soon.and go to farnbacherloles.com and see the 380hp cayman gtr,its got a 3.8,total bad ass!

LOL!! You crack me up, Lonny!

Sorry to disapoint. Posted on Pano during an interview with good 'ol Walter in a write up for the then new 997, the 'ring time for the 997S with dedicatedsport suspension was....drum roll........7:55. The 997S with PASM set to sport was 8:02, set to normal was 8:05. The 997 not S WAS 8:15. Elsewhere, in WHEELS mag, my lowly C4S only managed an 8:14 .

I'm STILL not letting you off the hook, lonny. What say we run laps in Mid-Ohio, BeaveRun, or Watkins Glen, your choice, for pinks? If you in your Cayman S can beat my best time in my lowly C4S, you can take my car. BUT, it also works the other way around. I beat your best time, I get your Cayman.

Wait a minute. You DID say the Boxster was a girlie car, right? OK. If you in your Cayman S can beat my wife in her 987S, same deal. Fair warning. She's a better driver than me.

BTW, I do know of one Cayman S owner. He owns several salons. He's my wife's hairdresser .

ill do one better ill do it in my z!!!!!!you better do some research before you run off at the mouth and learn a little something about me and my cars,and if your really want to put your money(hahahahahahaha)where your mouth is cmon down to moroso,oh yeah and if your wife is a better driver than you,doesnt say much for you,hmmmmm there that ssssssssth thing again! why is there always a know it all on these forums.(oh yeah no disrespect to your wife)

Oooooh, for "pinks"? Where can I come to watch?! My money's on the S, Lonny. It's not much money, but it will be fun to watch the S kick your Z's arse all over the track!

I have owned a Nissan 350Z with GT pack and a variety of options. It cost me £28,500 in the UK and owned it for 30 months before it got written off by a sideswipe by a foreign lorry on a motorway. I walked away uninjured but the car was a write off. After much soul searching I chose a 2.7 2006 model year Boxster with a sports pack and high spec (£40,000) to replace it and took delivery 6 weeks ago.

I'm delighted with the Boxster so far. It handles much better than the 350Z, is much more economical (33MPG average versus 25MPG for the Nissan) it handles better through the bends, but loses out on straight line poke. Yes the Nissan is a fine value for money car and I think it wins in the bangs for buck stakes, but it lacks retained value, is not as well finished and handles like an old fashioned muscle car - it lacks the delicacy of the Boxster.

You pays your money and takes your choice.

P.S. fully comp insurance for the Boxster turned out to be 30% less per year to insure than the Nissan, despite its higher value. Funny thing insurance!

blog comments powered by Disqus