3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base
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Thread: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

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    3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    I've been driving various cars and thought I'd do a post to help others in the same boat out. And if anyone has any thoughts on these cars or my impressions let me have it!

    So far I've driven:

    2008 S with 28,000 miles, asking $30,500

    2005 S with 55,000 miles, asking $22,000

    2009 Base with 37,000 miles, asking $24,000

    The 2008 was great, but the price is a bit higher than I like and the car is physically far away (test drove it on a trip out of town). Lots of fun though, and it actually felt really fast to me. Like above 4,000 rpm that sucker scoots and pins you back.

    The 2005 S vs 2009 Base were interesting. They feel really quite similar. Slightly more body roll on the base but not much. Slightly faster in the S but not much. The HP difference between the two is pretty small. The S did feel a bit more fun though. Felt a little tighter, a little more torque, etc. Not amazingly different but slightly better.

    But man 2005 is the last of the year of prime IMSicon failures and it makes me nervous. The place said they'll sell a 5 year 75,000 mile extended warranty on it for peace of mind but that will cost $4,000. Ouch.

    The 2009 is appealing on paper. Good low mile car, very clean, nice price. I like the color (meteor grey). Felt nice to drive. IMO the dash is slightly nicer (better textured, softer touch) and the black electronics in the center console looks a lot more modern than the previous silfer. But the car is not as compelling as the 2008 I drove.

    If I had to rank these cars in order from best to worst just on driving fun I would say 2008 S, 2005 S, 2009 Base. But they're all pretty close. I really feel like the 3.4 in the 2008 S is a worthwhile upgrade though, I'd say the "fun" difference between the 2008 S and 2005 S is larger than the difference between the 2005 S and 2008 Base.

    At this point I'll probably keep looking for a 2007-2008 S at a decent price. That 2009 is tempting too though, no IMS worries, newer engine, low miles. It's slightly tempting to go that route and then go for a tune and suspension upgrade, but why do that if I can find an S that I like as is? I suspect if I'm patient I can find a 07/08 S for $25k without a ton of miles. I hope.
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  3. #2
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    I agree with your assessment and by now you know that S is the way to go, hence the low price for the base model, it's just not as desired. I'm sure you can have the IMSicon bearing replacement done for under $4K, but imagine simply adding that to your loan and getting the better 2008. All these prices seem reasonable, the 08 is 3 years newer and half the miles of the 05 for only $8500 more. You can find an 08 for mid 20's with that same 55k miles depending on options. I drove a few 08's, but my wife stipulation was I buy a car I'd keep for 10 years...So I went long and bought a 2013 981 BS and love it.

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    2013 Porsche Boxster S, Guards Red, 6-speed, 19" S wheels, Sport Chrono, PASM, PTV, AP Exhaust, AP Sport headers, BMC air filters, IDP Plenum with 82mm throttle body, Cobb Accessport and Pro Tune.
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    Quote Originally Posted by James III View Post
    You can find an 08 for mid 20's with that same 55k miles depending on options.

    Yep that's what I hope to find. 55k miles seems reasonable to me and for a lower price I'm good with it. I'm trying to get by without a loan and not diverting too much from savings so trying to keep it to a budget. If I were going to get a loan I'd just bite the bullet and get a 2009 S. Which tempts me at moments too...
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    08 " S " and don't look back ....other than those in your rearview mirror.

    Everyone dies, but not everyone lives.
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    Go with the 987.2 base, the 2.9L is under appreciated and depending on options can be a better car than the 987.1 S. Especially if has BOSE & PASM.
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    I keep my cars for a long time. I went with the 987.2 base 2.9 and love the car. Porsche used the bump from 987.1 to 987.2 to iron out all the mechanical problems.

    When I find a car I like, I keep it forever. If you switch cars every few years the 2.9's upgrades and fixes might not be that important to you.
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    The more I've mulled it over the more appealing the 2.9 seems. Low miles, really clean, manual transmission. It's a bit of a stripper though:

    https://www.vindecoderz.com/EN/check...CA29879U710789

    dealer ad: 2009 Used Porsche Boxster 2dr Roadster at Luxury Sport Autos Serving Tigard, IID 16260159

    It does just seem like they took care of a LOT of issues with the new engine though. What I really want is a 987.2 S though, but they're not quite cheap enough for me unless I find one with 100k miles.

    This base wouldn't be a horrible way to spend a few years while waiting for prices on the 987.2 S to come down... Still thinking it over but it's tempting, and $23,900 seems like a fair price for that car with 38,000 miles.
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    Drive the base again, warm it up properly then drive it like you stole it. It should have the same hp as the 987S (or very close to it) and could be lighter. If you like it buy it. If you have doubts wait until you can afford the car you really want. ANd with a manual transmission, you really don't need a whole lot of options.
    987 - 06 Cayman S - Seal Gray Metallic, black partial-leather interior, guards-red gauges, sport steering wheel, 6-speed MT
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    Base needs to be put up to 7600 rpm or so. to get the power out, but in terms of HP its not far off. Throw on some race headers and tune and your up at 285. Good luck with your decision!
    2011 Cayman S Sold
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    2007 Exige - Sold - Double Dang it!!
    1990 M3 - Sold - Dang it!
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    Not sure if they continued the gearing from the 2.7L into the 2.9L but I was amazed at driving a 987.1 S and then 987.1 base back-to-back. The 6 speed, in my opinion, holds back the S as the base seemed nearly as "zesty" but down 50hp on paper.
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    Yeah I agree it's not that much off. The 08 S I drove definitely felt faster but the 05 S vs the 09 Base are not really very different.

    I think I'm going to go for it, put a deposit down to hold it. I'll arrange to have a PPI done next week (every shop is closed on the weekend) and if that checks out I'll go for it. the price seems right and the carfax has it's entire life being serviced at the same dealership with oil changes right on time so it should be pretty well taken care of.

    Realistically I'm a pretty conservative driver 90% of the time so I suspect it will be more than enough car for me. And at this price point in a few years it shouldn't really depreciate that much given I'll likely put 3k miles a year on it or so, so it won't be too painful to swap it out if I want more in a few years.
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    Nice! Throw on a decent aftermarket (*cough* Cargraphic) exhaust and call it a day. The rest of the stuff, IPD/ECU/intake/whatnot, really doesn't have an impact. With the exhaust you do pick up the sound quality difference if you are into that kind of thing.
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    Quote Originally Posted by gnarfle View Post
    Yeah I agree it's not that much off......

    Realistically I'm a pretty conservative driver 90% of the time so I suspect it will be more than enough car for me....
    LOL

    It's like having an ugly wife that treat you well. You'll forget about her looks very soon (not that I know first hand) and be very happy with what you have. No IMSicon worries, a color you like, a manual transmission, a fair price, and more than fast enough, especially for a conservative driver.

    Good luck with the PPI. You're gonna have more fun than you can imagine, and will love it for a long time!!!
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    Ha true! I think the peace of mind is better than a little extra power. Years back I test drove a BMW 335 and a 328 and ended up getting the 328 because it seemed like plenty and would be more reliable. Also test drove a Camaro SS recently and felt it was too much for the street. I don't expect any regrets, but if I have them and upgrade in a few years at least I'm losing way less money than on a new car.
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    Never drove a 2.7 , interesting point.
    Quote Originally Posted by B8_RDC View Post
    Not sure if they continued the gearing from the 2.7L into the 2.9L but I was amazed at driving a 987.1 S and then 987.1 base back-to-back. The 6 speed, in my opinion, holds back the S as the base seemed nearly as "zesty" but down 50hp on paper.
    2011 Cayman S Sold
    2007 Cayman S -Sold - no regrets
    2007 Exige - Sold - Double Dang it!!
    1990 M3 - Sold - Dang it!
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    Yes, Cargraphic makes nice stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by B8_RDC View Post
    Nice! Throw on a decent aftermarket (*cough* Cargraphic) exhaust and call it a day. The rest of the stuff, IPD/ECU/intake/whatnot, really doesn't have an impact. With the exhaust you do pick up the sound quality difference if you are into that kind of thing.
    2011 Cayman S Sold
    2007 Cayman S -Sold - no regrets
    2007 Exige - Sold - Double Dang it!!
    1990 M3 - Sold - Dang it!
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    A rare 09 for $24k is a steal on a car with far more robust mechanicals than the 05-08. I would grab that one and never look back... Oh wait, I already did but I paid a lot more for it. Get the car you like but us old salts that have been around Porsche for a while understand the ground-up improvements with the 987.2 add a lot of value to the owner.
    2009 Cayman 2.9L PDK with a few tweaks
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    Seems like that 2.9 is pending... Great deal!
    2011 Cayman S Sold
    2007 Cayman S -Sold - no regrets
    2007 Exige - Sold - Double Dang it!!
    1990 M3 - Sold - Dang it!
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    i've said this before - I myself used to underrate the 2.9 until I tried one. lots of fun at legal and illegal speeds.and it'll give you a chance to go above 4k RPM regularly.
    if you're ok with 265hp then you're fine....if not get an S.

    options wise - i used to think I needed a fully loaded Cayman to enjoy it... ended up getting a rather simpler one and enjoying it just as much.
    you may need to list down your priority options before shopping so you can shortlist the right cars. Seats, lights, PCM and PASM may be some key ones to think of.

    from a 2.9 owner.....
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    Re: 3.2 S vs 3.4 S vs 2.9 Base

    I got a 2009 Boxster S. I like it. If you're considering/evaluating options - one that I think is worth something (if you do night driving) are the bi-xenon dynamic/adaptive headlights. They're amazing!!
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