Can something 12 years old be a classic?

2009, Porsche, Boxter

I say yes, if we're talking about the Porsche Boxster. For the 2009 model year, this roadster continues to wow with its great looks, outstanding performance and pretty fine value.

Porsche appears to have not wanted to get too fancy in designing the Boxster, and that was a great move. The simplicity of the exterior and interior designs are easy on the eyes, yet still convey distinctiveness.

The base Boxster has a 2.9-liter six-cylinder engine that makes 255 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission. There is also a Boxster S with a 3.4-liter six-cylinder power plant. The Boxster can sprint from 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds, Porsche says.

But the pleasantness with which the Boxster approaches its road duties might be what's most remarkable. When you drive a mid-engine car such as this one, you might expect a bit of harshness and some kind of feeling that you are sitting right on top of the engine (since you basically are).

But with the Boxster, this feeling is virtually negligible, because the car is so mannerly. Its handling, braking and gear-shifting are so smooth and responsive that you might be tempted to believe for a moment that you are in a mid-size sedan (except for the fact that there are no back seats).

But most mid-size sedans wouldn't be nearly this fun on winding roads. It's impressively free of the vibration that normally accompanies convertibles. It may not be as comfortable as a new 911, but its seats are supportive and relaxing.

Gas mileage is pretty good too, considering the strength of the engine: 20 mpg city, 29 highway for the 2.9-liter engine. The Boxster S engine delivers 18 and 25. The base engine brings a deep, guttoral current of air that rushes through the intakes and is most exhilarating to the ear.

But even with that, you can still enjoy cruising around residential areas or busy in-town streets at low rpm. You'll also love the easy livability of the Boxster. The top can be raised or lowered at a moment's notice, making top-down motoring an easy decision.

There is a great deal of standard equipment, such as automatic air conditioning with air filtration, a CD stereo, a rear spoiler, leather upholstery, heated washer nozzles, and locking alloy wheels.

The Boxster also comes with front, side, and special head-protecting side-impact airbags, which deploy from the doors' windowsills. That safety gear is standard.

Under the front hood, there is a pretty sizable storage area, which helps compensate for the tiny interior space. You could certainly pay less for a nice convertible roadster, because the Boxster starts at around $46,600, and the Boxster S starts at around $56,700. But then you wouldn't be driving a Porsche, with all of its style and character. chassis with welded steel unibody construction carries front and rear subframes to mount steering and suspension systems.

By Rob Douthit

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Images of the 2009, Porsche Boxter

2009 Porsche Boxter front view
2009 Porsche Boxter front view
2009 Porsche Boxter rear tail light detail
2009 Porsche Boxter rear tail light detail
2009 Porsche Boxter rear shot
2009 Porsche Boxter rear shot