TorqueNut New Reader
Oct. 18, 2014 4:22 p.m.

Hi,

I'm getting in the market for a Boxster. My previous 'fun' cars have been an MR2, 2nd Gen RX7, NB Miata. I'm thinking it is time for a P car and I've been reading up on 986 and 987 Boxsters.

The market price difference between a 986S (2003-04) and a 987S (2005-06) appears to be $10K. Except for a higher quality interior I'm having a hard time justifying spending the extra money on a 2005-06 model.

I've done a bit of reading on these cars and I'm familiar with a lot of the weak points on them, including the infamous Intermediate Shaft (IMS) bearing and the rear main seal. I plan to budget to replace the IMS with the LN unit when I get the car (provided that can be done, on mid 2005 and later cars that is much more difficult and probably not worth the expense).

My question to the forum is: are there any significant differences to the 2003/04 and 2006/06 model years that I might be missing that I should consider?

I've driven a number of 986's, and I plan to drive a 987S this week.

I have funds for either car, but for me, spending $26K for a 'fun' car (the current asking price for a 2005/06 MY) is pushing my sensibility. I'm willing to do it if it is worth it. And yes, I know the golden rule of buying on of these... buy the best example you can afford.

My use for the car is just fun driving in the mountains and commuting to work in the summer (22 miles on a freeway, one way) and maybe some track days with the local Porsche club. While I will do some minor work on the car, I'll leave the heavy stuff to a local mechanic.

Whichever car I purchase, I'll get a pre-purchase inspection done.

TorqueNut New Reader
Oct. 20, 2014 2:00 p.m.

A friendly Bump

Harvey Reader
Oct. 20, 2014 2:14 p.m.

I could have sworn I saw either an article or video where they brought in every generation of Porsche Boxster and literally drove all of the different cars and compared the driving experience.

I can't remember if it was this magazine or what, but whoever did it published it right when this current version came out.

Danny Shields New Reader
Oct. 20, 2014 3:35 p.m.

In reply to TorqueNut: We love our 2002 986S but they just keep getting better, at least by any measurable standard. I owned a nice 987 limited edition for a year. It was as though Porsche had surveyed 986 Boxster owners and then addressed every complaint ever mentioned (more power, legroom, visibility, features, etc.). Terrific car, but maybe not as endearing as the original.

The 2005/2006 987S still had the 3.2L engine, even when the Cayman S came out for 2006,with the 3.4L. In 2007 it got the same 3.4L engine as the Cayman S.

BradLTL Dork
Oct. 20, 2014 4:14 p.m.
Harvey wrote: I could have sworn I saw either an article or video where they brought in every generation of Porsche Boxster and literally drove all of the different cars and compared the driving experience. I can't remember if it was this magazine or what, but whoever did it published it right when this current version came out.

Yea, GRM did a 3 way compare when the latest gen came out. I think it was October 2012?

I can confirm when I get home.

Short version is 986 is a great car. 987 is slightly better in every area. 981 is a moonshot.

Standard Porsche buying procedure applies, buy the best one you can afford.

BradLTL Dork
Oct. 20, 2014 4:17 p.m.

In reply to TorqueNut:

No one will fault you for buying the cheaper car and using the change for track days!

I would say to make sure you get a S. The torque over the base makes traffic more manageable.

TorqueNut New Reader
Oct. 21, 2014 1:38 p.m.

Cool. Thanks for the input (and any future input from folks). I will have to go back through my back issues to find the comparison between all three. I forgot about it until now. I think I remember one quote from that article about the 986 "you will love the 986... until you drive a 987" so I think that the reason for my original question (is the difference worth $10K?). I'm thinking not at this point. the 2003/04 986's have a pretty decent interior,and while the 987 has slightly more HP, torque and maybe better handling, I'm getting old enough that I'm not going to push it enough to find out. Plus, I feel more comfortable working on a $14K car than a $28K car.

I think I'll be driving a 987S this week. I've driven 986's, so this will give me a comparison point.

btw, I could have posted this on Rennlist or Pelican, but I appreciate the 'well rounded opinion' of the GRM board.

Thanks, and keep the comments coming if you have any.

Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
Oct. 21, 2014 1:42 p.m.
BradLTL wrote: Yea, GRM did a 3 way compare when the latest gen came out. I think it was October 2012? I can confirm when I get home. Short version is 986 is a great car. 987 is slightly better in every area. 981 is a moonshot. Standard Porsche buying procedure applies, buy the best one you can afford.

Yup, that's my memory as well. Just checked and I don't see it online in articles, but there is a Boxster tech tips

Also the latest Classic mag has a one pager on the early 987 Cayman S

Tom_Spangler SuperDork
Oct. 21, 2014 1:57 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote:
BradLTL wrote: Yea, GRM did a 3 way compare when the latest gen came out. I think it was October 2012? I can confirm when I get home. Short version is 986 is a great car. 987 is slightly better in every area. 981 is a moonshot. Standard Porsche buying procedure applies, buy the best one you can afford.

Yup, that's my memory as well. Just checked and I don't see it online in articles, but there is a Boxster tech tips

Also the latest Classic mag has a one pager on the early 987 Cayman S

Confirmed. I just checked my back issue library, it's the October 2012 issue of GRM.

BradLTL Dork
Oct. 21, 2014 4:23 p.m.
TorqueNut wrote: I think I remember one quote from that article about the 986 "you will love the 986... until you drive a 987"

I may know the guy who said that.

My opinion, if I were buying today, I would get the 987. It still retains all the great things about the original car, it just does them better. That said, I've owned 2 986s and loved them both. I really don't think you can go wrong.

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