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S2000 vs Boxster

#1 User is offline   surf40 

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 07:21 PM

Hi All, First post to the forum. I’ve owned Hondas all my life (Accords and Civics), and have the worlds best independent Honda mechanic to work on them. But I’ve always had a love for Porsche, and have been thinking seriously of getting 2001-04 Boxster S. I’ve read up on all the good (superb handling, comfortable ride, Porsche logo!) and the bad (IMS goes bad and engine implodes costing $15k to fix)

So while my heart draws me to the Boxster, my practical side says get the S2000. I guy at work has a S2000, and he told me his wife refuses to ride in the car due to the harsh ride.

I’ve been reading all the Boxster forums, and they all told me why I should buy a boxster. Now it’s time for the rebuttal. Please tell me why getting an S2000 is better for me. It will not be my daily driver, but a weekend fun car. I live on the Pacific Coast North of Los Angeles, and have the Pacific Coast Highway at my doorstep for fun drives.
Let me have it guys (and girls), why should I buy I S2000?

#2 User is offline   StormTroopinAP2 

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 07:54 PM

One word: reliability
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#3 User is offline   RedCelica 

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 07:55 PM

IMHO, buying a boxster is like saying "I couldn't afford a 911." I love Porsche too, but I can't afford one (one that I would actually spend the money on if I had it), so I bought the S instead. The S is and always will be my "affordable dream car." Anything less than a 911 though just doesn't feel like a real Porsche. Let me put it this way...you're sacrificing one of the best Honda's ever made, arguably the best handling Honda every produced in mass for what...a bottom of the line pseudo-Porsche. If you're going to really weigh the two, look at the AP2s, and the really refined years are 06-09. You know with the S you're buying the top of the line for the given brand, and not the bottom. They might be the same reasons you've been driving Accords and not C-class Mercedes or 3 series BMWs. ;)
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#4 User is offline   StormTroopinAP2 

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 08:04 PM

nailed it on the head right there :thumbup:

#5 User is offline   zeroptzero 

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 08:07 PM

you don't need a lot of money to buy a Porsche but you do need a lot of money to own one. If you have the money buy what you really want, a $15K repair expense shouldn't bother a lot of Porsche owners, the Germans have a funny way of making that part of the mystique of ownning their cars.

Definitely try to test drive both cars, it's hard to say whether you will like either car unless you drive them and get a feel for them.

Early year Boxsters didn't perform all that well, the more recent year's got a bump in performance, I'd rather have an S2000 over the earlier year Boxters, the newer models seem to be better though. I've owned German cars in the past and I've had my fill of them, they can keep their overpriced maintenance and parts costs, I'll leave them for people that don't mind throwing money out the window.
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#6 User is offline   RedOne2007 

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 08:14 PM

I chose a 2007 S2000 over a Boxster or Z4 as I would have had to buy a 2002-3 model Porsche. They, and all the German marques, had reliability problems back then.

The S is even more money - I would have had to buy a 2000-1 to get to the same price. Of course, the base Boxster is a "chick" car to quote my car guy friends.

And in the end, you're still maintaining a less reliable $60,000 car (with parts to match) vs a reliable $35,000 car.

Go with the S - the purest driver's car I ever been in.
RedOne in Cranberry Township, PA


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#7 User is offline   deepbluejh 

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 08:22 PM

View PostRedCelica, on 26 June 2011 - 07:55 PM, said:

IMHO, buying a boxster is like saying "I couldn't afford a 911." I love Porsche too, but I can't afford one (one that I would actually spend the money on if I had it), so I bought the S instead. The S is and always will be my "affordable dream car." Anything less than a 911 though just doesn't feel like a real Porsche. Let me put it this way...you're sacrificing one of the best Honda's ever made, arguably the best handling Honda every produced in mass for what...a bottom of the line pseudo-Porsche. If you're going to really weigh the two, look at the AP2s, and the really refined years are 06-09. You know with the S you're buying the top of the line for the given brand, and not the bottom. They might be the same reasons you've been driving Accords and not C-class Mercedes or 3 series BMWs. ;)


Are we talking about the status granted by owning a car, or are talking about the driving enjoyment granted by owning the car? Sure, rich snobs are going to turn up their noses at anyone driving a boxter - especially the ones in a 911 Turbo or S class Mercedes. Then again those same people are going to turn their noses up at you in your cheap little S2000 too.

The Boxter S is a very capable sports car that I would be proud to own. Unfortunately I don't have the money to buy it or maintain it. IMO, the strikes against this car have far more to do with practical matters (money) than with brand panache. If you are looking for all out fun for a reasonable amount of money, an S2000 can't be beat by anything short of a motorcycle.
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#8 User is offline   DS/B MCS 

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 09:06 PM

View PostRedOne2007, on 26 June 2011 - 08:14 PM, said:

I chose a 2007 S2000 over a Boxster or Z4 as I would have had to buy a 2002-3 model Porsche. They, and all the German marques, had reliability problems back then.

The S is even more money - I would have had to buy a 2000-1 to get to the same price. Of course, the base Boxster is a "chick" car to quote my car guy friends.

And in the end, you're still maintaining a less reliable $60,000 car (with parts to match) vs a reliable $35,000 car.

Go with the S - the purest driver's car I ever been in.


Same thought process I used when making my purchase. I've owned my S for almost a year now, and looking back it was a great decision.

#9 User is offline   vactor 

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 09:23 PM

View PostRedOne2007, on 26 June 2011 - 08:14 PM, said:



Go with the S - the purest driver's car I ever been in.

i was making the same choices and drove the Z3M, Z4, Boxster, Boxster S (both older and newer) ... the older boxsters were not very performance orientd and had very little feel. the bimmers jsut did not strike my fancy. the newer boxster, especially the S, have a LOT of performance, but, they cost twice as much as an S. and in the end, the above statement is very true. i have driven a LOT of sports cars ... a LOT. and many out perform the S2k in many categories, but, you don't buy this car for the numbers, you drive it and buy it because it IS the last, best pure roadster that will ever be. period. NO other car i have driven gives that Immediacy, connection, pure feeling of being one with the car like the honda. in the end, for me, it was a no brainer. S2k all the way.

#10 User is offline   Old racer 

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 09:34 PM

The guy I bought my S2k from bought it to replace his Morgan +8. His new lady complained the +8s ride was too rough.

My lady loves weekends away in my very highly tuned, & quite stiff TR8, but thinks the Honda is harsh.

My son can't believe how compliant the Honda's suspension is considering it's handling.

I can't understand how the Honda can be so firm, but hit bumps much more softly than the Triumph.

As people are different, so are cars. Try to spend some time in each, as they are so different, one will suit you much better than the other.

#11 User is offline   Saki GT 

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 10:06 PM

The Boxster is a great car, anyone that disparages it doesn't know better IMO. That said, the S2000 is a better car than the 01-04 Boxsters, and I don't know if I'd trade an S2000 for any model, S or not, that is before a 2006 model year. By then, The Porsche got enough incremental improvements to make it a better car, and something worth trading an S2000 for.

I bought an S2000 in 2004 because it was a better car for the money than the Boxster. By 2006, the Boxster S I would say is a good alternative as Honda let the S grow stagnant while Porsche kept improving it's roadster, but the cost of the Porsche is greater.

While I'd take a Boxster S over a 911, I'd take an S2000 over both for the bang for the buck and for the owners community. A lot of great people own S2000s.
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#12 User is offline   steelers743 

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 10:07 PM

Depends what you are trying to do with the cars and what you want them for.....what drives me away from the boxster is no LSD

#13 User is offline   woodburn 

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 11:05 PM

Why come on here and ask? have you not seen top gear when they compare the z4, s2000, boxster? the s2000 is a way better choice. Dont take my word for it check the reviews.
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#14 User is offline   kolyan2k 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 03:09 AM

I wanted to buy Cayman S, but then lost a job and bought s2k instead. base Cayman is not something I wanted. I heard they are very reliable, but still scary to own without warranty

This post has been edited by kolyan2k: 27 June 2011 - 03:11 AM


#15 User is offline   takeshi 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 08:22 AM

View Postsurf40, on 26 June 2011 - 07:21 PM, said:

Please tell me why getting an S2000 is better for me.

As always: test drive. Don't expect others to do your work for you. Why one option is better than another is something that you need to determine for yourself. The Boxster vs S2000 question isn't one with a one-size-fits-all answer. Don't overlook TCO as stated above several times.

View PostRedCelica, on 26 June 2011 - 07:55 PM, said:

IMHO, buying a boxster is like saying "I couldn't afford a 911."

Oh please. And Miatas are teh ghey and S2000's are chick cars, etc etc. :rolleyes:

View PostRedCelica, on 26 June 2011 - 07:55 PM, said:

The S is and always will be my "affordable dream car."

So your S also says that you couldn't afford a 911.

This post has been edited by takeshi: 27 June 2011 - 08:26 AM


#16 User is offline   Moddiction 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 08:26 AM

NA they aren't very fast(in a straight line) but still an awesome driving car and tons of fun! Like others have said, if looking at older boxters don't bother as the s is a better car all around, newer boxter S would definitely outperform the s however. Haven't driven a newer boxter s to compare how they drive. Even the older ones "feel" faster since they have torque which the s is lacking.
Test drive both and you should find your answer. Either choice will be a blast. To drive. Personally not a fan of the boxter looks though.
S2k+ supercharger ftw! Probably more reliable still and tons faster as an alternative.
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#17 User is offline   JLUDE 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 08:36 AM

The S2000 is:

1. Easy to maintain
2. Very reliable
3. parts are cheap (for a sport car)
4. Tires are affordable (for a sport car)
5. Fuel economy is excellent (for a sport car)
6. THE BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK, especially used.
7. One of the most enjoyable cars to toss through a curvy mountain road with the top down.
8. Excellent seats...the best sport seats I've ever had the pleasure of riding in.
9. One of the best gear boxes in the industry
10. Insurance is reasonable (especially if you are over 25 with a clean record)
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#18 User is offline   TrumpetTitan 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 08:49 AM

As a trumpet player, I have to add that the S2000 has a MUCH more exciting engine noise than any of the boxters and Caymans I've seen at Autocrosses. Then you add an intake and the sound is twice as good as it originally was.

Some people may not like the noise. They must be violinists :LOL:
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#19 User is offline   JackS 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 08:55 AM

I'M pretty jaded when it comes to the S2000 and might be, could be, probably be wrong in my thinking that when I come across either one of these cars on the road and I imagine right or wrong that the drivers of these other cars are thinking to themselves, jeez, I wish I had bought an S2000 . I prefer to think this way and even have noted a definite superiority complex over these other drivers. Ignorance may be bliss but, so be it.

#20 User is offline   ninjajwl 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:18 AM

View Postwoodburn, on 26 June 2011 - 11:05 PM, said:

Why come on here and ask? have you not seen top gear when they compare the z4, s2000, boxster? the s2000 is a way better choice. Dont take my word for it check the reviews.


I love that Top Gear episode because of all the compliments they gave the S2000... but didn't the Boxster win that one? :ponder: It posted the fastest lap time, followed by the Z4 and then the S2000.

I always found the S2000 as a more refined sports car than the Miata (tuning excluded) and the Boxster a bit more refined than the S2000. It's less twitchy in the corners, it's still a convertible, it has a great gearbox, it's (slightly) more luxurious than the S2000, and it has the torque to back it up. It may be the bottom of the line Porsche, but it is still a Porsche nonetheless. I'm just not a fan of the $55,000 price tag for a well equipped one.

I don't know of any good sounding Boxsters off the top of my head, but I remember the Cayman having one of the best sounds I've ever heard. (Close enough to a Boxster, right?)



#21 User is offline   TrumpetTitan 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:54 AM

View Postninjajwl, on 27 June 2011 - 10:18 AM, said:

View Postwoodburn, on 26 June 2011 - 11:05 PM, said:

Why come on here and ask? have you not seen top gear when they compare the z4, s2000, boxster? the s2000 is a way better choice. Dont take my word for it check the reviews.


I love that Top Gear episode because of all the compliments they gave the S2000... but didn't the Boxster win that one? :ponder: It posted the fastest lap time, followed by the Z4 and then the S2000.

I always found the S2000 as a more refined sports car than the Miata (tuning excluded) and the Boxster a bit more refined than the S2000. It's less twitchy in the corners, it's still a convertible, it has a great gearbox, it's (slightly) more luxurious than the S2000, and it has the torque to back it up. It may be the bottom of the line Porsche, but it is still a Porsche nonetheless. I'm just not a fan of the $55,000 price tag for a well equipped one.

I don't know of any good sounding Boxsters off the top of my head, but I remember the Cayman having one of the best sounds I've ever heard. (Close enough to a Boxster, right?)





Wow, that Cayman does sound good. I still prefer the angry growl of a Fujita Intake below VTEC followed by the SCREAMING ROAR during VTEC though. I may be a little biased though. Most of the Cayman sounds I heard at AutoCrosses were covered up by that fingernails-on-chalkboard sound of understeer scrubbing. You won't hear that sound in an S2K :p

Also, the S2K got the slowest lap time in that episode because there was torrential rain during the laps, and I attribute the .4 second difference over the others to the extra twitchiness the S2K has in the rain, especially with the stock Bridgestones (not sure if the UK ones come stock with those though).

#22 User is offline   ms32s2k 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 12:52 PM

View Postsurf40, on 26 June 2011 - 07:21 PM, said:

Hi All, First post to the forum. I’ve owned Hondas all my life (Accords and Civics), and have the worlds best independent Honda mechanic to work on them. But I’ve always had a love for Porsche, and have been thinking seriously of getting 2001-04 Boxster S. I’ve read up on all the good (superb handling, comfortable ride, Porsche logo!) and the bad (IMS goes bad and engine implodes costing $15k to fix)

So while my heart draws me to the Boxster, my practical side says get the S2000. I guy at work has a S2000, and he told me his wife refuses to ride in the car due to the harsh ride.

I’ve been reading all the Boxster forums, and they all told me why I should buy a boxster. Now it’s time for the rebuttal. Please tell me why getting an S2000 is better for me. It will not be my daily driver, but a weekend fun car. I live on the Pacific Coast North of Los Angeles, and have the Pacific Coast Highway at my doorstep for fun drives.
Let me have it guys (and girls), why should I buy I S2000?



When I had to make this decision whether to buy a 986 01 - 04 Boxster S over the S2000 I kept thinking about the joy of not worrying about the car. I am not the type to tolerate failure with my cars. I refuse to drive a car that needs constant maintenance. I want to turn the key and drive with minimal time in the shop. That's the beauty of this car for me, I have a sportscar that is as reliable as a Civic. It keeps the wife off my back about it too! I could only imagine how much stress it would cause me if I bought the Porsche and it needed $1,000 in repairs every year...

Bottom line is that the S2000 is so close in all out performance to the 986 S boxster that I couldn't justify it. I didn't want to worry about high ownership costs and a grenading engine due to IMS (however rare it is, from what I can gather its undetermined). Sure the Boxster has more torque and other pros over the S2000, but I don't feel any 986 Boxster is a better sportscar than the S2000 is for the money.

Now, 2005 + 987 Boxster's are a whole different story, and I would gladly buy one of those over the S2000. That's where I draw the line to make buying a Boxster worth it for me over the S2000. In fact that is the likely upgrade for me when my time with my S2k is done.

Way higher ownership costs, IMS worries and the fact the 996 Boxster S doesn't really outperform the S2k make the decision easy.

This post has been edited by ms32s2k: 27 June 2011 - 01:01 PM

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#23 User is offline   t3am 83rd 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 01:00 PM

Intersted to know what were the pro-Porsche points given by their forum.

#24 User is offline   Arcoril 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 04:17 PM

View PostRedCelica, on 26 June 2011 - 07:55 PM, said:

IMHO, buying a boxster is like saying "I couldn't afford a 911."


That is such an ignorant remark. Clearly, you must have purchased an S2000 because you couldn't afford an NSX.

I cross shopped a Boxster S and an S2000 and it was a very tough decision for me. I went with the S2000 primarily because of the IMS bearing issues and the fact that the Boxster would be harder to work on. While I gave up an awesome mid-engined chassis and more power, I gained a double wishbone suspension at all four corners, one of the best manual transmissions in the business, and a limited slip differential.

I still love Porsche. Now that Honda is dead to me and is only building appliances, I can still see a 987 Boxster or Cayman in my garage at some point in the future. This won't be your last chance to get a mid-engined Porsche, but it may be your last chance to experience one of Honda's greatest achievements.

#25 User is offline   kolyan2k 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 04:25 PM

View PostArcoril, on 27 June 2011 - 04:17 PM, said:

View PostRedCelica, on 26 June 2011 - 07:55 PM, said:

IMHO, buying a boxster is like saying "I couldn't afford a 911."


That is such an ignorant remark. Clearly, you must have purchased an S2000 because you couldn't afford an NSX.

I cross shopped a Boxster S and an S2000 and it was a very tough decision for me. I went with the S2000 primarily because of the IMS bearing issues and the fact that the Boxster would be harder to work on. While I gave up an awesome mid-engined chassis and more power, I gained a double wishbone suspension at all four corners, one of the best manual transmissions in the business, and a limited slip differential.

I still love Porsche. Now that Honda is dead to me and is only building appliances, I can still see a 987 Boxster or Cayman in my garage at some point in the future. This won't be your last chance to get a mid-engined Porsche, but it may be your last chance to experience one of Honda's greatest achievements.



This remark been going on for YEARS. I used to hate Boxsters myself....new ones are nice though...Cayman S even better.

This post has been edited by kolyan2k: 27 June 2011 - 04:26 PM


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