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isysman
Zolder


Joined: 22 Apr 2011
Posts: 5823
Location: Cheshire


PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 11:10 am    Post subject: Test drove a 718 Boxster and Diesel Macan yesterday. Reviews Reply with quote

So went to test a 718 Boxster (non S) and a Macan diesel yesterday and I came away with very unexpended feelings.

My job might be changing soon and I might be spending more time in Germany working in a shipyard on a new build. So I felt if this happens I'm going to buy a new motor to take with me. A new Boxster was first on my list of course as I have one now, and a Macan because I really like the shape and it's a more practical vehicle for lugging all kinds over to Germany. They both work out around the same when I spec them on the configurator but are very different vehicles of course. I love the open roof driving and I'd hate to lose it.

I arrived and was handed the keys to the Macan first. Good I thought, the slower more wallowy car first before driving the sporty Boxster. I was also let loose with both cars and unaccompanied on the test drives. I was also allowed to go for 'an hour or so' which was excellent, no slick haired bloke in a sharp suit telling me how good the car is. In actual fact Toni is the opposite of the stereotype. She comes across as a Petrolhead enthusiast 'girl racer' type working at Porsche. Easy to talk to and friendly and not pushy at all. In fact I don't think I have ever felt she was trying to sell me anything ever. The vehicles sell themselves she might say.

MACAN
The Macan whilst the base model 3 litre Diesel had a high spec, Sport, Sport+, PASM, Connect+ PCM (Carplay), and a panoramic roof. Having previously played on the configurator I had specc'd this feature as I figured it might make up for losing the convertible roof on my Boxster.

Representative of car tested


RIDE
My expectations for the Macan especially it being the lowly diesel were low. I wasn't surprised by the interior however as it was excellent, and no doubt a highly specc'd car seeing as it was being offered as a test car. There was little in the way of NVH and surprisingly it did not sound like a diesel at all at least from the inside. If Toni sales assistant had told me it was a petrol I would have accepted that. I was told it 'drives like a sports car' and that is true. How Porsche have managed it is a mystery. They have sprinkled their Porsche magic on this car for sure! The ride was compliant, smooth but at the same time sporty. The PASM which you can actually use in this car without feeling like you are attached to a snare drum gave it great poise in the corners. It also has two progressive settings which I didn't realise until I'd almost arrived back at the dealership.

On the country roads the car felt extremely nimble, with no noticeable roll in tight corners. The car felt wide as the roads got more narrow and I found myself visually measuring the width as trucks passed me in the other direction. Nothing I wouldn't do in my 911 though to some extent. The only time I felt the car's weight was when I braked rather abruptly to take a right turn so I could head back in the other direction. The car didn't stop quite as quickly as I expected it would. That was however a compliment to it's ability to convince me I was in a sports car, not an SUV.

ENGINE
The biggest surprise of this test drive was the engine. With Sport and Sport+ engaged the Macan was fast. And I don't mean fast for a Diesel I mean fast for a car! I was shocked the way this car pulled. I thought 260 horsepower in a big car like this would feel a bit sluggish but it was incredible. All I could think was what kind of crazy feeling must it be in the Turbo or the GTS (the model I am looking at)? Toni said they are 'bonkers fast' which I can well believe. Accelerating using the 918 style paddle shift steering wheel to change gears manually rocketed the car up to high speeds without any effort. Truly amazed at it's capable nature. Would I even need the GTS was my overriding feeling. Most of my test drive was testing the ability so I expected the fuel tank to be emptying itself at a rate imaginable with a large, heavy car. However in my 40 minute drive 90% of which was using the car to 2/3 of it's potential the fuel tank apparently didn't move from its half full position.

INTERIOR
As expected the interior was refined, comfortable and well equipped. It feels more like a flight deck than a car dash with Porsche's one button for one feature methodology. The panoramic roof (once I figured out how to open it) was a nice addition however I'm not sure it would be enough to help me get over losing the soft convertible top?

Porsche Air runway 3-2 ready for takeoff


MACAN CONCLUSION
Back off the power and turn the suspension back into comfort setting and the Macan turns back into the ultra luxurious grand tourer. With next to no engine noise and very little NVH in the cabin you could drive for hours and get out feeling fresh. Exactly what I would want on long drives to Germany. However when you are feeling the need, turn everything on and the car turns into a genuine Porsche sports car.



BOXSTER
If the Macan had surprised me in a positive way, the Boxster had also done so but not in a good way. This being the Non S 2.0L version, with a manual gearbox and a decent spec options wise I was expecting so much from this car, which is possibly why it disappointed me.

Representative of car tested
[/b]

SOUND
'Trust me it doesn't sound like a Subaru' Toni said to me as she handed me the keys. And boy was she right; it actually sounds like a VW Beetle (the original one). It sounded like it had something wrong with it and needed to go back in for repairs. The sound was so bad I was bordering on embarrassed as I drove it in traffic. I hated it. I don't think it is something I could get used to. The car tested had no sports exhaust but I don't think any type of exhaust can hide the fact that it sounds like a Beetle. Maybe the 2.5 will sound better? I am going to test drive that car later this year.

EXTERIOR
The styling of the new Boxster leaves me with some negative feelings. The 981 was such a looker that this feels a bit like Audrey Hepburn after ten rounds a plastic surgery. They've made it a bit chavvy especially at the rear and used some questionable plastics which give it a cheap feel unlike it's predecessor which felt expensive and refined.

INTERIOR
More cheap feeling plastics on the dash in this demonstrator, and the GT steering wheel as seen in the 918 was the most noticeable as you are touching it the entire time. The cheap plastic feel to the wheel in comparison with the metal GT wheel in the 981 was shocking. I had the tombstone seats in the car which I was unable to lower to get my head from touching the roof. It seems the newer cars don't have the lower seating position of the previous model or the 987 (of which my 987 has the same type of seats). I lowered the roof to get my head away from it but as I drove I had something rattling behind my head the entire time. Possibly the flap form the roof was loose but shocking really on a new Porsche. This car came with keyless entry, something I've never liked but this car has the most peculiar start switch I've ever seen. Effectively it looks like a key in an ignition. So you get in, have the key in your hand but have nowhere to put it. There is no receptacle in this car, and with the ignition having this bogus key in it you end up putting it on the seat net to you. I suppose in reality you would just keep it in you pocket. I don't a car that locks and unlocks itself. How do you know its locked, how do you know if it hasn't unlocked itself as you walk away? Luckily this is an option. Something I would recommend leaving well alone. How long before someone has their window smashed because a car thief thinks the have left the key in it?

The electronic handbrake has been improved since the 981. Now you don't have to turn it off when you are about to move away. It disengages automatically when it feels the car about to move. This is a massive plus as the old car had me cursing every time I had to do a hill start.

Wheel, looks nice feels cheap


Keyless key! Unremovable and looking like a key in the ignition.


RIDE
The car felt quite stiff, but I'm not sure if this was because I just got out of the Macan with it's super smooth ride (even with stage one of the PASM turned on). The test 718 had no PASM and this can make a car feel less compliant than a car fitted with PASM even when it is not active (based on older cars). I could feel a lot of feedback of road surfaces changing, even though they were not massively severe changes and the tarmac. Sure the car handled well as I would expected but I think PASM would be a must to take away some of the rebound and coarseness.

ENGINE
It's hard to talk about the engine without talking about the noise, it was hateful. The engine in the car tested is near on the same as my current Boxster 987 at approx 300hp. And it felt pretty much the same, so decent considering it's the non S and can now compete with the old S. The car had the switch on the wheel with Sport and Sport+ but I never used them as I looked at the old place for these features forgetting the new wheel had this switch fitted so I can't comment on how effective they are. It's possible they wake the turbo up a bit and give it some more feel, as it felt a little lethargic initially until the single non VVT turbo woke up.

The gearbox in the test car was the manual. Since the 981 I've always felt the gear lever is too high and makes changing gear feel a bit weird. The car's interior obviously designed for the PDK. However in the 981 I had used over a 48 hour period I had got used to that and had some great drives in the Midlands countryside in a 2.7 manual car.

BOXSTER CONCLUSION
I came away from the Boxster with two overriding feelings, the cheap feel of the interior and aspects of the exterior, and that noise! Porsche have made some dubious changes to the look of the car especially at the rear, an area that Porsche have historically excelled at which is all the more shocking. Dubious for styling which of course is subjective but also with choice of plastics used. The feel of the steering wheel shocked me, and rattling bits whilst the roof was down just completed that cheap feel to me.

However the main issue with the new car is that noise. VW Beetle sounds on a car that will now cost over £40k for the base model with nothing on it. Wilmslow have a 718 S in the show room that is very nicely specc'd but costs £75,000! That is about the same as a 997 Carrera S with similar spec would have cost in 2005. And it will still have that sound I expect. Something I don't thinkI could live with. In fact getting back into my 987 it was nice to start her up and have the flat six purring away.

Chavtastic!


Dubious design and plastics used. Defuser now has no holes making it look ugly IMO

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GT4
Nordschleife
Nordschleife


Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 30178
Location: Hertfordshire and Hampshire


PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent.

Are you joining Top Gear next season?
 
  
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isysman
Zolder


Joined: 22 Apr 2011
Posts: 5823
Location: Cheshire


PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT4 wrote:
Excellent.

Are you joining Top Gear next season?


Haha yeah why not! Thanks.
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grbspeedster
Montreal


Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 584
Location: Rugby


PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great write up, thanks for posting. Did wonder on how it would sound when viewing the car at the launch event. Thought backs a little too fussy with the badges. I was surprised when I got into my XER to find the same steering wheel as the new Boxster, different switches but everything else identical.
Good to see honest opinion of car, I am sure it will sell well but maybe not to long term Porsche owners
Thanks
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T8
General
General


Joined: 29 Jun 2010
Posts: 15621
Location: Kent


PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great reviews, thanks Thumb

I'm not surprised by your thoughts on either cars. I really must book a drive in a Macan.

718 Boxster = Scirocco Convertible. Yuk
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isysman
Zolder


Joined: 22 Apr 2011
Posts: 5823
Location: Cheshire


PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

T8 wrote:
Great reviews, thanks Thumb

I'm not surprised by your thoughts on either cars. I really must book a drive in a Macan.

718 Boxster = Scirocco Convertible. Yuk


I was surprised how much I didn't like it. I got back to Wilmslow and was shaking my head as I walked back into the dealership. Toni met me outside, maybe she knew my response would be like that?
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tim993
Zolder


Joined: 22 Aug 2006
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2016 Porsche Boxster 981

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great write up!

Remind me of my Boxster vs Macan diesel test drives of 2015.

Whilst I quite liked the Macan, i was so blown away by the sound, ride, looks and quality of the 981 there really was no contest.

Why would Porsche spoil a winning formula?

I reckon the residuals of 981s will reflect all these things, even though there are plenty of them around.

I'd still like a Macan one day, but it would have to be the turbo, i think
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apollokre1d
Sepang


Joined: 06 Nov 2012
Posts: 2938
Location: United Kingdom


PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent write up... your review of the Macan is so similar to how an owner described his car to me. Sounds like you're going with that or are you going to test drive an S just to be sure? Are you keeping your current boxster?
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isysman
Zolder


Joined: 22 Apr 2011
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Location: Cheshire


PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

apollokre1d wrote:
Excellent write up... your review of the Macan is so similar to how an owner described his car to me. Sounds like you're going with that or are you going to test drive an S just to be sure? Are you keeping your current boxster?


I'm leaning toward the Macan. I was so impressed and I'd be ordering the GTS if I get one so I can imagine it would be rapid. I woud like to drive the Boxster S but I'm pretty certain I wouldn't spend that kind of money on one with that engine. More likely to buy a 981 GTS.

I'm told there is a 8-10 month wait to get a Macan. I wouldn't be chopping in the Boxster as a deposit so I'm not sure if I'd keep it. If I go to Germany it would be sat in the garage with my 911 for a long time. With such a long waiting time I'd have to wait and see how i feel at delivery of the new car.
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Norfolk & Idea
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great write up thanks. I have dropped a £3k deposit on a Macan S or GTS (petrol) but my OPC have told me ridiculous lead times (18-36 months). Anyone else having any joy with Macan petrol lead times?
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tim993
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2016 Porsche Boxster 981

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi - did they allow you to be in both the S and the GTS queue at the same time and for just one deposit? just curious...
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isysman
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Norfolk & Idea wrote:
Great write up thanks. I have dropped a £3k deposit on a Macan S or GTS (petrol) but my OPC have told me ridiculous lead times (18-36 months). Anyone else having any joy with Macan petrol lead times?


Wow, I was told 8-10 months.
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Norfolk & Idea
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isysman wrote:
Norfolk & Idea wrote:
Great write up thanks. I have dropped a £3k deposit on a Macan S or GTS (petrol) but my OPC have told me ridiculous lead times (18-36 months). Anyone else having any joy with Macan petrol lead times?


Wow, I was told 8-10 months.


Really? For S or GTS petrol? Who's your OPC if you don't mind me asking?
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isysman
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Norfolk & Idea wrote:
isysman wrote:
Norfolk & Idea wrote:
Great write up thanks. I have dropped a £3k deposit on a Macan S or GTS (petrol) but my OPC have told me ridiculous lead times (18-36 months). Anyone else having any joy with Macan petrol lead times?


Wow, I was told 8-10 months.


Really? For S or GTS petrol? Who's your OPC if you don't mind me asking?


Well thinking about it I was told 8-10 months but not specifically for GTS. I've asked them to confirm.

These wait times explain why used models are so strong.
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Norfolk & Idea
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm told you can get a diesel pretty sharpish but petrols (S and GTS) are like hens teeth. I simply don't want an Audi diesel so not decided what to do. I'm not in a rush but 2 years is ridiculous.
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kas750
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a great write up! A new career beckons. thumbsup
 
  
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isysman
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Joined: 22 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Norfolk & Idea wrote:
I'm told you can get a diesel pretty sharpish but petrols (S and GTS) are like hens teeth. I simply don't want an Audi diesel so not decided what to do. I'm not in a rush but 2 years is ridiculous.


I just asked my local OPC for a time and they said 14-18 months for a petrol. That's just crazy
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isysman
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kas750 wrote:
What a great write up! A new career beckons. thumbsup


Haha, thanks. I was just going to say I test drove them both and liked the Macan but once I started writing it just kept coming!
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isysman
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So had some feedback from Wilmslow on waiting times.

"8-10 is for a Diesel. We currently have 15 orders awaiting build slots for the GTS model and we are averaging approx. a build slot per month, Diesel wise we have circa 35 and approx. 4-5 slots per month in allocation following the trends of allowance over the last few months."

It seems numbers are based on CO2 emissions, as they are getting more diesels than petrol slots, that's my interoperation anyway.
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isysman
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evo just released a review of the new entry level Boxster and it's intetesting to read that they have come to some of the same conclusions I did...

http://www.evo.co.uk/porsche/boxster/17792/porsche-718-boxster-review-why-everything-porsche-touches-doesn-t-always-turn

"If you, or a friend, ever owned an air-cooled VW Beetle you’ll immediately recognise the unsophisticated clatter when you hear a 2-litre Boxster for the first time. "
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