Premium sporty/performance car; Built in Germany, Finland
  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door hatchback
  • longitudinal mid-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $16,500 – $62,500*


2005 Porsche Boxster and Cayman


2005 Porsche Boxster and Cayman


2005 Porsche Boxster and Cayman


2005 Porsche Boxster and Cayman

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Steering/handling
  • Brake performance
Cons:
  • Cargo room
  • Entry/exit
  • Ride (w/ 19-inch tires)

Some less-expensive sports cars challenge Boxster on a fun-per-dollar basis, and some like-priced competitors deliver more outright power. But few match its range of strengths: road manners, mechanical sophistication to satisfy the most discriminating driver, a good dose of everyday usability, and the cachet of the Porsche name.

Overview

Porsche redesigned its least-expensive car for 2005, giving it more power, a new interior, and revised styling. Size and weight changed only fractionally from the 1997-2004 version, and Boxster remained a 2-seat convertible with a mid-mounted, horizontally opposed 6-cyl engine. It returned in base and S models, both with a power soft top and heated glass rear window. The base retained a 2.7-liter engine, but with 240 hp vs. 228. The S reprised a 3.2-liter, but with 280 hp vs. 258. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard on the base model. A 6-speed manual was standard on the S, optional on the base. A 5-speed automatic with manual-shift capability via steering-wheel buttons was optional on both. ABS was standard, as was the previously optional traction/antiskid control. Base models traded standard 16-inch wheels for 17s and are available with the 18s standard on the S; 19s were optional on both. Front torso side airbags were included, as were side airbags that deployed from the doors. Options included leather upholstery and a navigation system. An available Sport Chrono Package included a dashboard stopwatch and controls that modified throttle, traction, and suspension systems to suit racetrack-type driving. Also optional was Porsche’s Active Suspension Management with normal and sport settings. The S was available with ceramic composite brakes.

Yearly Updates

2006 Boxster and Cayman
Porsche expanded its line of two-seat midengine sports cars for 2006, adding a hatchback coupe version to the carryover convertibles. The coupe was called Cayman, and it shared its basic design and powertrains with the Boxster.
2007 Boxster and Cayman
A slight horsepower bump for the Boxster marked 2007 for Porsche’s line of two-seat midengine sports cars. For ’07, the base Boxster gained 5 hp, matching the base Cayman at 245. Boxster S gained 15 hp, matching Cayman S at 295.
2008 Boxster and Cayman
The 2008 Porsche Boxster and Cayman were largely unchanged.
2009 Boxster and Cayman
The 2009 Porsche Boxster received slightly freshened styling and more power. The Base model received a 265-hp 2.9-liter that replaced a 245-hp 2.7. The S reprised its 3.4-liter engine, but it now made 320 hp vs. 295. A new 7-speed automatic became optional, replacing a 5-speed automatic.
2010 Boxster and Cayman
The 2008 Porsche Boxster and Cayman saw no major changes.
2011 Boxster and Cayman
The 2011 Porsche Boxster lineup expanded to include a new lightweight, high-performance model, the Boxster Spyder, which had a 320-horsepower version of the S model’s 3.4-liter engine.
2012 Boxster and Cayman
For 2012, the Porsche Boxster added an S Black Edition trim level that shared the powertrain of the Spyder model. Meanwhile, the Cayman lineup gained the Cayman R, which was a bit lighter and more powerful than the Cayman S.

Engines

longitudinal mid-engine/rear-wheel drive

For 2005, Boxster remained a 2-seat convertible with a mid-mounted, horizontally-opposed 6-cyl engine. The base retained a 2.7-liter engine, but had 240 hp vs. 228. The S reprised a 3.2-liter, but with 280 hp vs. 258. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard on the base model. A 6-speed manual was standard on the S, optional on the base. A 5-speed automatic with manual-shift capability via steering-wheel buttons was optional on both. Model-year 2006’s Cayman had the same 6-cyl engine with 245 hp, while the Cayman S had 295. All variants offered a choice of 6-speed manual transmission or 5-speed automatic; base models were also available with a 5-speed manual. For ’07, the base Boxster gained 5 hp, matching the base Cayman at 245. Boxster S gained 15 hp, matching Cayman S at 295. For 2009, the Base model received a 265-hp 2.9-liter that replaced a 245-hp 2.7. The S reprised its 3.4-liter engine, but it now made 320 hp vs. 295. A new 7-speed automatic became optional, replacing a 5-speed automatic. The Cayman R, added for 2012, had a 330-hp version of the S model’s 3.4.

dohc H6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.7/164
Engine HP 240-245
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 199
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
6-speed manual
5-speed automatic
20/29
20/28
18/26
dohc H6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.9/177
Engine HP 265
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 221
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
7-speed automatic
19/27
20/29
dohc H6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.2/194
Engine HP 280-295
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 236
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
5-speed automatic
19/27
18/27
dohc H6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.4/207
Engine HP 295-330
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 251-273
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
5-speed automatic
7-speed automatic
20/28
20/27
20/29
21.7

Road Test

Boxster and Cayman, particularly the S versions, have smooth, ready power. Though not sports-car ideal, the available automatic transmission is a good substitute for the standard manual. Porsche’s 0-60 mph acceleration claims seem credible and are as follows: 5.9 sec for base with manual transmission, 5.2 for S with manual, 6.8 for base automatic, and 6.2 for S with automatic. The R, introduced for 2012, may be a bit quicker, but has little power below 4000 rpm.

While we have not had an opportunity to measure with the Boxster, test Cayman S models with manual transmission averaged 20.5-22.8 mpg. Premium-grade fuel is required.

With most sporty/performance cars, there is a tradeoff between ride comfort and handling prowess. Boxter and Cayman are no exception. Ride quality in these vehicles largely depends on tire selection. There’s little undue harshness on models with 18-inch tires. A test Boxster S with 19s was uncomfortably choppy on all but the smoothest surfaces. A 2012 Cayman R was stiffer still, being harsh over even moderate bumps. The convertibles also display more structural jitter than in BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Honda rivals.

The tradeoff is handling that can be described as invigorating. Steering is responsive with tenacious grip in turns. The Cayman R takes that up a notch, and is one of the best-handling cars on the market. The standard traction/antiskid control aids in driver confidence. Braking is strong.

Boxter’s and Cayman’s engine is mounted behind the seats, which means more mechanical ruckus than in other models with front engines. But most drivers shouldn’t mind the precision noises that emanate from these Porsches. Road and wind noise aren’t objectionable, though Boxsters are slightly louder than Caymans. Top down noise is prominent in Boxster, but again, it doesn’t annoy.

Inside, both cars have an orderly control layout, but small, look-alike buttons govern the audio and climate systems. Those are further complicated by the available navigation system.

Boxster and Cayman have seats that are exceptionally supportive, and there’s enough leg and head room for six-footers. Rear visibility is severely limited in Boxster, and only marginally better in Cayman. Both cars have front and rear cargo bays, and they require careful packing in order to maximize the space available.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Porsche Boxster w/18-in. wheels, manual

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 8
80%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 3
30%
Steering/Handling - 10
100%
Quietness - 3
30%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Rear - 0
00%
Cargo Room - 2
20%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 50

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
95.1 17.6 70.9 51.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
9.5 16.9 2
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.4 41.6
2-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
95.1 172.1 70.9 51.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.1 19.6 2
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Clutch
Description: The clutch pedal may return slowly or incompletely due to either air in the line which must be bled or a bad slave cylinder (2005-09)
Cold-starting problems
Description: Squealing noise when 2.7L engine is first started cold due to problem with oil pump piston. (2005-06)
Exhaust system
Description: A campaign was conducted to replace a clamp on an exhaust system hanger that may allow the pipe to move and point downward. (2005-06)
Keyless entry
Description: The remote keyless entry fob may quit working if repeatedly attempting to unlock the door from too great a distance requiring resynchronization with vehicle. (2005-06)
Vehicle noise
Description: Rattling noises from the front are caused by nuts on the stabilizer bar links working loose. (2005)
Headlights
Description: The nozzles for the headlight washers may pop out during freezing weather. (2005)
Electrical problem
Description: Various convenience functions initiated by pressing the buttons on the key may activate unintentionally and dealers have been instructed to deactivate some and/or change the time the button is pressed for activation. (2005-06)

Recall History

2011 Boxster Spyder 2-door convertible
Description: It is possible that the locking hook on the sun shield (temporary soft top) may not engage correctly into the lock catch, which is positioned on the windscreen frame of the vehicle. If the sun shield is not fully locked, the sun shield can open when travelling at higher speeds increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will have both the locking hook and lock catch replaced with redesigned components. This service will be performed free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.