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Flight Service
Flight Service PowerDork
3/9/13 11:53 a.m.

I was browsing the web this morning and noticed with similar mileage and a few years to the Miata's favor you could get a Miata and Boxster for the same money.

I know we have hashed this before, but say for best performance now, with an eye to future radical mods later (turbos, V8 swaps, general stupid hooligany type things and the occasional track day)

Which would be the better starting platform?

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
3/9/13 12:02 p.m.

For awesome, crisp steering, sweet engine note and general driving pleasure right out of the box, Boxster. You can stuff engines in them too but since it goes under the back it's not quite as easy (IM perceived O, have not done it...)

To hack up and stuff V8 in, Miata. It's out in front as the swap gods intended.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
3/9/13 12:11 p.m.

Having driven (and autocrossed) many versions of both, including heavily modified, I'd have to say the Boxster. It's just a better platform from the get-go. Stock for stock the Boxster will always win, and anything you can do to a Miata (turbo, LS-swap, etc) you can do to the Boxster. Plus the Boxster can use wider tires, it has a wider track width, and it has a longer wheelbase.

The Boxster is of course pricier new, and used when looked at year-for-year/miles-for-miles, and costs more to feed, maintain, and modify. It's also harder to work on and modify, and more expensive to insure.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin SuperDork
3/9/13 12:26 p.m.

May as well include S2000s in your search as well.

Nathan JansenvanDoorn
Nathan JansenvanDoorn Dork
3/9/13 1:36 p.m.

IMS. Google it.

The cost of running the Boxster will be significantly higher than the Miata - stock for stock. The Boxster is more capable....and Renegade Hybrids has an LS swapped Boxster. I'd buy a Boxster with a blown motor and LS it, or simply cross my fingers, buy an 'S', and drive the wheels off it.

TxCoyote
TxCoyote New Reader
3/9/13 4:31 p.m.

I also have owned both and would say Miata unless you have deep pockets. Yes, the Boxster is a better overall car but the cost of maintaining one will be much higher than a Miata.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/9/13 5:06 p.m.

By the way, lots of Boxster tech tips in the next issue including, yes, talk about IMS failures.

Flight Service
Flight Service PowerDork
3/9/13 7:48 p.m.

cool David, I will look forward to that

Spinout007
Spinout007 SuperDork
3/9/13 9:58 p.m.

+1 here

mndsm
mndsm PowerDork
3/9/13 10:06 p.m.

Miat? That some sort of knockoff chinese Fiat?

nderwater
nderwater UberDork
3/9/13 11:02 p.m.

I was not impressed with the early 2.5L Boxter I've driven. I need to get behind the wheel of a 3.2L Boxster S, ideally back to back with my M3 or Miata, to get a better feel for the car's true potential.

TxCoyote
TxCoyote New Reader
3/10/13 12:13 a.m.
nderwater wrote: I was not impressed with the early 2.5L Boxter I've driven. I need to get behind the wheel of a 3.2L Boxster S, ideally back to back with my M3 or Miata, to get a better feel for the car's true potential.

Silly comparison. Little 4 in the Miata, 60% more HP for the Boxster and prob 100% for the M3. 3 cars in 3 different classes so fits like apples, oranges and bananas

M030
M030 HalfDork
3/10/13 4:51 a.m.

I have a 97 Boxster I love it! Compared to a Miata, it has much better steering feel & makes better noises when you flog it. Also my wife likes it better = win.

Max_Archer
Max_Archer Reader
3/10/13 4:54 a.m.

As I understand it, the Boxster's maintenance isn't as bad as you'd expect if you go with high-quality 3rd party parts and do the work yourself or take it to a good independent Porsche mechanic instead of a dealer.

M030
M030 HalfDork
3/10/13 4:55 a.m.

Looks everybit as girlie as the Miata though, so expect the same "chick car" comments

M030
M030 HalfDork
3/10/13 4:56 a.m.

In reply to Max_Archer:

I DIYmy Boxster & it really isn't too bad

M030
M030 HalfDork
3/10/13 6:31 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens:

When does it mail? I have the engine out of my Boxster to DIY an IMS bearing update. Very much looking forward to that article!

Flight Service
Flight Service PowerDork
3/10/13 9:12 a.m.
TxCoyote wrote:
nderwater wrote: I was not impressed with the early 2.5L Boxter I've driven. I need to get behind the wheel of a 3.2L Boxster S, ideally back to back with my M3 or Miata, to get a better feel for the car's true potential.

Silly comparison. Little 4 in the Miata, 60% more HP for the Boxster and prob 100% for the M3. 3 cars in 3 different classes so fits like apples, oranges and bananas

Ahh, but it's not in the used market. Say you have $8K to spend on the toy. That puts all those cars, with varying years, up for grabs.

Used shopping is the great equalizer.

spin_out
spin_out Reader
3/10/13 9:49 a.m.

I've owned a Mazdaspeed Miata and a Boxster S.... and I currently have a Miata in my garage. Boxsters are better cars if you have Deep pockets and an open course. Boxsters are torture on a tight Miata course because they are wider and you can't get on the power. Oh, and now I smile every time I buy new tires; that was not true with the Boxster.
I keep getting tempted by early Boxsters for under $8k on Craigslist.... Then I think about how expensive they can be to own. (A friend of mine is on his 4th motor in his Boxster S at $10k a pop.)

TxCoyote
TxCoyote New Reader
3/10/13 10:11 a.m.
spin_out wrote: I've owned a Mazdaspeed Miata and a Boxster S.... and I currently have a Miata in my garage. Boxsters are better cars if you have Deep pockets and an open course. Boxsters are torture on a tight Miata course because they are wider and you can't get on the power. Oh, and now I smile every time I buy new tires; that was not true with the Boxster. I keep getting tempted by early Boxsters for under $8k on Craigslist.... Then I think about how expensive they can be to own. (A friend of mine is on his 4th motor in his Boxster S at $10k a pop.)

Agreed in full. I had a 99 Boxster which I liked a 10AE Miata which I liked and now a 12 MX5 PRHT with Ohlins and 17x9 wheels and lots of mods that I LOVE. Better than the Boxster in almost all ways except torque and interior noise levels.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
3/10/13 10:14 a.m.
TxCoyote wrote:
nderwater wrote: I was not impressed with the early 2.5L Boxter I've driven. I need to get behind the wheel of a 3.2L Boxster S, ideally back to back with my M3 or Miata, to get a better feel for the car's true potential.

Silly comparison. Little 4 in the Miata, 60% more HP for the Boxster and prob 100% for the M3. 3 cars in 3 different classes so fits like apples, oranges and bananas

He's talking about comparing it to his M3 or his Miata.

I wouldn't be surprised if his Miata is still as fast if not faster than the other two.

DrBoost
DrBoost PowerDork
3/10/13 10:34 a.m.

I wasn't terribly impressed with the Boxster I drove extensively. Yes, it was nice but the price difference between the two didn't equal the performance difference. And the miata felt more alive in my hands.
All that being said, I'm sure the Boxster would outperform the Miata, but I spend 0.054% of my driving time at 9/10's, 5% at 7/ or 8/10ths. For the other 49+% of the time the miata was more funner.

Flight Service
Flight Service PowerDork
3/10/13 12:07 p.m.

I understand the Porsche extra cost going through Porsche and replacing Porsche parts with Porsche parts, but what if you go after market from the get go on replacements.

So if you need brakes go with an upgrade, bushings - upgrade, shocks - upgrade, engine - swap for small block.

Then where does the pricing come down to?

Nathan JansenvanDoorn
Nathan JansenvanDoorn Dork
3/10/13 4:07 p.m.

Porsche parts, aftermarket or not, come with a premium. No, I don't really know why.
Tires - much more money on the Boxster Brakes - upgrade (!?) - $$ Clutch - more money Etc.
Fuel, oil changes (9 quarts of Synthetic on Boxster) etc. It all adds up.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
3/10/13 4:22 p.m.

'It's much more satisfying to pass a Boxster with a Miata than to pass a Miata with a Boxster'.

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