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Hi guys,

I just registered today and this is my first thread.

I'm planning to buy a new base Cayman or Boxster very soon and I have some questions that I'd like to consult you guys with.

1. base Cayman or base Boxster? I cannot decide and I don't know what the right questions to ask myself are. How should I go about deciding which one of the two is right for me?

2. Regardless which one, I will keep it bone stock with no options whatsoever. Is this the most "bang for the buck" way to option these cars? Are there options that are such a steal that I owe it to myself to order the car with?

My reason for buying these strictly base is because to me, they are already so so good that I don't feel I need the extra touch of any options. What do you guys recommend?

3. Are the manual transmission on these cars nice to use? Or just an after-thought? I've heard that the PDK is where it's at and the manual is not that good. Clutch is strange and heavy and overall feel is not great. Any truth to this?
 

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I'm looking for a used 981 but went through the same questions.

1. Depends if you like top down driving or not, and if you live in a region where the weather permits it regularly. I guess the cayman might be a bit more convenient with the larger storage behind the seats vs. trunk in the boxster. Then there's the aesthetic preference.

2. If you go with PDK, the Sports Design Wheel with its paddle shifters is recommended by many. Personally I tried both the standard shift buttons and paddles and got used to both pretty easily. If you go with shift button, the multifunction wheel seems convenient and looks less plain than the standard wheel. It's relatively cheap option. For a base I would definitely upgrade wheels and the lights to xenon. For a boxster I would take the convenience package for the wind stopper and heated seats - a must in a convertible IMO.

3. I tried the base with manual and loved it. I tried the base with PDK and found it slow to take off, although the shifts were fast and the gears well staged. With the manual I didn't have any problem with the clutch and the shifter feel was among the best I've experienced. I liked both transmission equally, but would base choice on everyday necessity (long commute in traffic, significant other than cannot drive manuals) and counter balance that vs. personal emotion generated by driving a manual.

Hope le this helps and good luck with your decision!
 

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I'm looking for a used 981 but went through the same questions.

1. Depends if you like top down driving or not, and if you live in a region where the weather permits it regularly. I guess the cayman might be a bit more convenient with the larger storage behind the seats vs. trunk in the boxster. Then there's the aesthetic preference.

2. If you go with PDK, the Sports Design Wheel with its paddle shifters is recommended by many. Personally I tried both the standard shift buttons and paddles and got used to both pretty easily. If you go with shift button, the multifunction wheel seems convenient and looks less plain than the standard wheel. It's relatively cheap option. For a base I would definitely upgrade wheels and the lights to xenon. For a boxster I would take the convenience package for the wind stopper and heated seats - a must in a convertible IMO.

3. I tried the base with manual and loved it. I tried the base with PDK and found it slow to take off, although the shifts were fast and the gears well staged. With the manual I didn't have any problem with the clutch and the shifter feel was among the best I've experienced. I liked both transmission equally, but would base choice on everyday necessity (long commute in traffic, significant other than cannot drive manuals) and counter balance that vs. personal emotion generated by driving a manual.

Hope le this helps and good luck with your decision!

Thank you. It really helped a lot. Your answers largely aligned with what I'd thought already and it gave me more reassurance to go ahead with this.

Just one question, why should I upgrade the wheels and lights? Is it just for looks? Or are the stock wheels bad and stock lights bad? I think the cars look already very beautiful and probably would skip any aesthestic upgrades.
 

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I read that larger wheels helps the driving experience although, having tried both 19's and 20's, I can't say I noticed any difference. Xenon lights I thought provided a better illumination.

But the real reason is that I'm shallow and thought they look cooler on a sporty car :D
 

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I can give you my opinion, as I just picked up a 2.7 Boxster in Germany two weeks ago. I am fairly lightly optioned, check out my signature.

Bone stock is a fantastic car. Ragtop or Hardtop is purely personal.

I have PASM, and I like it, but mostly kept it in normal mode, so I imagine that the stock suspension is similar.

Two way standard seats were just fine. I set mine up once and never adjusted it for the two weeks.

Standard radio? Well to tell the truth, I never turned it on for the two weeks we were in Germany. I had more than enough sensory input.

18 inch wheels were fine. I actually like the look of the 5 spoke wheels very much. The larger wheels do not mean larger outer diameter tires, they are all about the same. Steering and handling should be a bit more precise with the larger wheels due to less sidewall, but for normal street use, the standard setup is very good. I think most opt for the larger wheels for cosmetic reasons.

I have PSE, but I have to admit, it is just a fun luxury, not a necessity.

I also have SC, and I love the rev matching. It does a few other things that are nice to have, but hardly a deal breaker.

Heavy clutch???? I don't think so (and I am not exactly a strong-man.) We even drove in some hour long traffic jams and my left leg never got tired. Clutch feel is much better than my Audi TT which had very little feel and I was never really sure when it was going to engage. Shifting the 6 speed is a pleasure.

Speaking of the traffic, the auto engine stop and start was annoying at first and I turned it off. But when we hit the heavy traffic and city driving, I found I liked it and then left it on.

If there is any way you can swing it (sell the first born, etc) opt for the factory delivery. Even though it is technically a no cost option, the reality is that it will cost almost $3K due to the fact that dealer has to pay it and it hurts your bargaining position. It is an experience you will never forget.

Whatever you chose, rest assured you will have a great car. Enjoy!
 
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Well, I've had 2 981s, both 2.7L. One was a Boxster, one a Cayman; one a manual, one a PDK...so I have a pretty good grasp on all aspects of the base car haha.

1. My first 981 was the Boxster. I was initially pumped to have a roadster, but found I put the top down less and less over time. The Boxster feels quite a bit more claustrophobic inside, and rear visibility is terrible. To me, the tradeoff wasn't worth it. There were times when dropping the top felt amazing, but not enough to justify the shortcomings. If you're a convertible person and will drop the top more than not, it's obviously worth it. I'm not one of those people. Where you live makes a big difference as well. The brutally hot southwest isn't roadster friendly. I absolutely love my Cayman and don't miss the Boxster at all.

2. I personally think the 18" wheels look ridiculous, but that's me, others think the larger wheels look dumb. I love my platinum 20s, but they're unnecessary. If I were keeping to a budget the 19s look great too. If I could only have one option it would be this. I'd also want heated seats and xenon lights. Can't imagine buying a car without either of those, but not everyone has the same needs as me and the car is exceptional bone stock. If you don't think you need these things, you probably don't.


3. The manual is great, you'll be very happy with it no doubt. My Boxster was manual and it was fun to drive and easy to shift. The clutch wasn't heavy but it had a lot of travel which was a bit annoying to me, but overall it's a solid transmission. If you've driven manuals and you like manuals, you'll be happy. My Cayman is PDK. It's a daily driver and I live in a highly congested city. That, and I've driven manuals exclusively for 10 years (and i've only been driving for 11 so it's basically all I know). I really wanted to try something new, and the PDK always intrigued me. I absolutely love the PDK...wouldn't go back to a manual.

So in conclusion, after having owned every combination of base 981, the Cayman w/ PDK is the winning combo for me. The two cars offered a surprisingly different experience so I'd encourage you to test drive multiple times. The roadster with a manual feels more raw and basic, while the coupe with PDK feels more precise and modern. Regardless of what you choose, any 981 will be one of the best cars out there, and I know you'll be happy.
 
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OH...my first 981 had the standard seats, new 981 has the 14way power seats. To me they make a world of difference. I'm a 27 year old guy in good shape, no bad back or anything...but I never found an optimal position in the 2way seats. The 14 way offer far more flexibility, as well as lumbar. I love them. We all have different bodies and others find the base seats perfect. Just try out both to be sure.
 
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Put down your phone/tablet/mouse and get yourself to a dealer, and drive a manual car. Walk around and sit in a ragtop and cayman. You are getting some ideas from the Internet that sound a bit weird. You might decide from what other people think that you like a Boxster or Cayman, and then deny your true feelings or regret your choice when you take delivery.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

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^^^^^What Difool just said^^^^^^

Go and drive a few....you'll realize right away what you perfer.

Bill
 

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What everybody else said above. ^^^

Couple other things though. You live in Washington, not in the sunny south. Just a consideration. Several folks including a moderator have Boxsters in Washington and love it. If you've heard the manual is not very good, you are talking to the wrong people. It's awesome. I've heard the pdk is great also but I've never driven one.

As far as the bare bones base? Good luck with that. If you hang out here long enough you will end up with a $90k 981. This is mostly a financial decision, all the 981s are just fabulous regardless of any configuration. Options don't hold value at all. If you want the highest percentage resale value, then a bare bones 981 is the way to go.

Good luck and welcome aboard!
 

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Hi guys,


1. base Cayman or base Boxster? I cannot decide and I don't know what the right questions to ask myself are. How should I go about deciding which one of the two is right for me?

2. Regardless which one, I will keep it bone stock with no options whatsoever. Is this the most "bang for the buck" way to option these cars? Are there options that are such a steal that I owe it to myself to order the car with?

My reason for buying these strictly base is because to me, they are already so so good that I don't feel I need the extra touch of any options. What do you guys recommend?

3. Are the manual transmission on these cars nice to use? Or just an after-thought? I've heard that the PDK is where it's at and the manual is not that good. Clutch is strange and heavy and overall feel is not great. Any truth to this?
We're on our third Boxster so I'm a bit biased but if you live somewhere that weather allows for top down driving a good portion time of the year, it is the best choice--nothing like top down driving. OTOH, if you're in an area with a lot of rain, I think the Cayman will work better.

We have a BS with few options and without a doubt that is the best way to go if you're on a limited budget; options I would include:
-smokers package--$0
-sport design steering wheel--$250 (?)
-convenience pkg ( windblock/heated seats/) $1000
-19" rims $1500
-Sport + seats (more bolstering) $800

If you have no track driving aspirations, the base car with a manual will be a lot of fun to drive. I drove one before we bought the S and thought it was a great car but I wanted more HP for the track.

First and foremost, I think the manual is the way to go on this car--you need to get into the upper rev range to enjoy the car, and a manual is the way to get that done. The PDK is faster but less involving--to easy to leave it in D and drive the car just like a sub-compact.

You can spend a ton of money on the entertainment system and interior, which I don't think will be much of a consideration on resale if that's a consideration. The base interior is decent, the seats are comfortable; the base radio is ok but the lack of bluetooth streaming on a car of this price stinks but a cheap aftermarket gizmo will get it done.
 

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From all of us, you get preferences and biases.......our opinions in other words but that is what you seek, so, here goes. I currently have a 981 2.7L with PDK, 14 way seats, bi-Xenons, infotainment option, 19" Cayman S wheels, heated seats....so, in the grand scheme, lightly optioned. I test drove a comparable Boxster before making my decision. I am on my 3rd Porsche and each time have test driven Boxster before going with a Cayman choice. I have owned an 08 Cayman S, a Cayman R.........both were 6MT and all were DD just like my current one. For my use, the 981 is just about perfect. Never thought I would say it but I prefer the PDK. The other thing I do not normally do is recommend a magazine review but if you look at the current issue of European Car........they have a decent comparo of Boxster and Cayman each Base, S, and GTS. It may help in what they relative pluses and minuses are including 6MT vs. PDK.
 

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I much prefer manual transmission, and it really is a terrific driving experience after I installed the short shifter. I have a 2007 Cayman, if you will be in the Portland area anytime soon you're welcome to take mine out for a spin.
 

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Most of the OP's questions are a matters of preference but here goes...

base Cayman or base Boxster? I cannot decide and I don't know what the right questions to ask myself are. How should I go about deciding which one of the two is right for me?
You really have to determine this and it can be tricky if you have no experience with a convertible. if you've owned a convertible you'd know if you're a convertible person or not. You can consider the weather in your area but that's not the only factor that matters as people have varying tolerances for temperature. I bought my first convertible sort of on a whim. I assumed I'd rarely have the top down given how hot and humid it is most of the year here in Houston (and I'm always hot) but I was completely wrong. Maybe only in the mornings and evenings at the hottest times of the year at most but there are quite a number of others times where I drive our convertibles with the top down.

Regardless which one, I will keep it bone stock with no options whatsoever. Is this the most "bang for the buck" way to option these cars? Are there options that are such a steal that I owe it to myself to order the car with?

My reason for buying these strictly base is because to me, they are already so so good that I don't feel I need the extra touch of any options. What do you guys recommend?
Keeping the bucks down by not getting any options is one way to increase bang/buck ratio but it's really you that determines what bang is for any given option. You really need to decide based on how much you need/want options and your budget. Porsche isn't known for inexpensive options.

While I do drive top down a lot more than expected given the weather here we had ventilated seats on the must have list for our Boxster as we find that they do help with increasing the number of top down days. Others don't find much bang from ventilated seats. Our other must haves were heated seats, heated steering wheel, 14 or 18 way seats, Bose & Bluetooth and PDK. However, our budget allowed for such options and we were looking for a luxury sports car and not a base model with no options. Ours was slightly used and came with some other options that we would not have necessarily selected on our own but came to appreciate such as the Sport Chrono package, 20" Carrera Classics, painted roll hoops and painted side intakes. We later added the colored crests on the wheel center caps. I can't tell you how much bang you'd get from any of those options.

I recommend going with whatever you need/want that fits in your budget. We can tell you what we like but that may or may not be relevant to you.

Are the manual transmission on these cars nice to use? Or just an after-thought? I've heard that the PDK is where it's at and the manual is not that good. Clutch is strange and heavy and overall feel is not great. Any truth to this?
Sounds like you need to consider the source. The 981's have a good manual transmission. Maybe not S2000 good but good. PDK may be popular but don't rely on popularity to determine what you get. Consider what you prefer and your driving conditions. We went with PDK because my wife primarily drives the Boxster and it's not uncommon for her to have to deal with stop and go traffic. If it was primarily my car it would be manual given my strong preference and that I'm rarely in traffic.
 

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The MT transmission on the 918 Cayman/Boxster is very good. It is considered by some to be better than the 911's 7 speed.
A No options package is the best deal.

I spent a lot of time with the Porsche Configurator, adding an removing options until the balance between price and 'luxury' was just right for me.

Most of the options are surprisingly expensive, especially the audio options.
In general the options can be configured ala-carte.
The exception to that are 'ventilated seats and entry-drive which are only available in the US with the 'premium package plus'

The only good deal is the premium package with 14way seats. Its price is lot less that the options packaged ala-carte.
Its only good though if you really want 14way seats.

Chris Harris did a couple of video reviews of the CaymanS and Boxster that are quite good.
2013 Porsche Cayman S Thrashed - /CHRIS HARRIS ON ...
The 2012 Porsche Boxster S - /CHRIS HARRIS ON CARS ...

The 'configurator' is your friend:)
 

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First and foremost, I think the manual is the way to go on this car--you need to get into the upper rev range to enjoy the car, and a manual is the way to get that done. The PDK is faster but less involving--to easy to leave it in D and drive the car just like a sub-compact.
I read this claim quite often when discussing MT vs PDK, but it is not quite true. You can stay in the upper rev range with PDK, just do it in Manual mode.

Yes, driving PDK is less involving, because there's no clutch pedal.
 

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I read this claim quite often when discussing MT vs PDK, but it is not quite true. You can stay in the upper rev range with PDK, just do it in Manual mode.

Yes, driving PDK is less involving, because there's no clutch pedal.
With PDK, somethings lost...but somethings gained. I'm very glad I checked the PDK box.
 

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I have a base 2011 Cayman with PDK, so what follows is totally biased and shouldn't be used to make any serious decisions;-).

First off, glad you aren't hung on the 'base' bit. Believe me this car is a pocket rocket in any configuration. 0-60 in a tad over 5 seconds is seriously fast in my book.

Mine has a few options I really like. Sports steering wheel with paddle shifters is a lot of fun. It won't make you actually go any faster-PDK can't be beaten, but it will make you feel you are going faster! Auto climate control is so good, it would be a shame not to have it. Mine was used so didn't have a choice, just got lucky.

Having a base edition you are able to drive your car closer to its limits. May sound strange, but my Ferrari friends only get to use about 50% of their cars potential. My 'S' Porsche friends don't get to use as much of their potential as I do. If you are going to track it, then its a different story.

I live in AZ, but still went with the Cayman not the Boxter. For me Cayman looks better. In fact I'm still hard pressed to tell the difference between a Cayman and a 911 from the the front. 95% of the non-Porsche public certainly can't, not sure why that's important?

Boxter's have a great roof, but I still prefer the quiet (some will argue that) of the Cayman over the Boxter. For me getting in and out of the Cayman is easier, tad more head room when you open the door. Having driven both a 911 and Cayman/Boxter, the handling is totally amazing on the latter, its on rails. I don't have PASM, so not sure what, if anything I'm missing, but for me the standard set up is flawless. Mine has 18" wheels, ride is excellent, its a daily driver, handles well in corners, but is also comfortable for long trips, 500+ mile days.

If you haven't, join the local Porsche club-they'll let you join without a VIN# for six months. Go to a few breakfasts or dinner meetings there is fanatical wealth of great-totally biased-first hand information.

One minor thing, I'm 5'11" and the seat is all the way back on the engine bulk head, but its perfect for me. If you are 6' plus make sure you can get peddle-wheel-seat comfortable for you. Some of my taller colleagues can chime in here.

When I lived in WA (assume its not DC?), my neighbor had a Boxter, he had to keep out side and the roof got a nasty case of green mold!!

Machog
 

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Don't worry about the manual gearbox or the clutch - both sweetest on the market (just read the numerous reviews from many sources).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I much prefer manual transmission, and it really is a terrific driving experience after I installed the short shifter. I have a 2007 Cayman, if you will be in the Portland area anytime soon you're welcome to take mine out for a spin.
Stop burning me with your kindness
 
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