By   August 25, 2013

Porsche Boxster

Porsche Boxster, 944 or 928

Recently, I’ve been looking at a few different used Porsches (thinking of adding another one to the garage in the near future). In my searching I’ve noticed that in the $7,000-$12,000 range you can find 944s, 928s and early Boxsters.

Porsche 944 S2

In that price range you can afford most 944 models in good condition. You can get a standard car, S, S2 or even a Turbo in that range. While a good cabriolet or Turbos S is a little out of the range, you have plenty of variants to choose from with the Turbo and S2 costing a bit more, but offering much better performance.

Porsche 928 S4

In that price range you can also find quite a few 928s. You can even find a better performing 928 S4. Some of the later cars have more modern styling and are pretty fast V8 cars. The 928 was the first production Porsche with a V8 engine and sat at the top of the model lineup for most of its production run, so you are getting a lot of car for the money.

In this price range you can afford an early Boxster (1997-2000). I’ve seen these cars as low as $7,000, but about $10,000 is what you should probably expect to pay. While not blazingly fast these early Boxtsers are capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and have a top speed of 155 mph. The great thing about the Boxster is that, at least from the front, you may get mistaken for a 911. With the mid-engined flat-six you get a great sounding car with styling that people will know as a Porsche when they see it (with the other two you may have to tell people that don’t know much about Porsches what kind of car you are driving).

It is a tough choice between these three cars as they all have great neutral handling and in this price range you can get decent performance. If you go for the 928 you are getting perhaps the best GT car ever made, but the Boxster feels more like a pure sports car and the 944 offers a good balance between the two.

All three of these cars are great Porsches, but if you had that kind of budget what would you buy? Let us know in the comments below.

Picture Source: Porsche Boxster, Stahlkocher; Porsche 928, Flickr; Porsche 944, Randy43

  • Pat

    I faced the same decision between the 944 or Boxster and couldn’t decide.. so I bought both, LOL!

  • Matthew Hermans

    I’m a 928 owner, but if I try and speak in an unbiased way about the three then it would need to be considered that the 944 and 986 were entry-level Porsches in their day and so are less likely to have some of the ‘luxuries’ that the 928 had. Cheaper parts make a cheaper car and this shows up in situations like the frugality of the 944/986 interiors. The 944 never attained the digital dash either. Small things, yes, but engine/weight differences as side there’s more differences then might be obvious…

    • Matthew Hermans

      The early Boxsters had some very plasticy interiors and the normal 944 seats are less comfortable than the 928 seats…
      obviously there’s enough fundamental differences between them that your choice would be made as to what kind of sports car you want before the quality of ride came into play ! :)

      • Pat

        There’s really nothing fragile about the 85.5+ 944 interior. Driving my 944 and Boxster back to back.. I’m surprised that the 944 actually feels like the more solid, more substantial car. Like an older Mercedes (bank vault!) vs Newer (tin can) That’s not to say the 986 feels cheap by any means. I’d love to own an 78-79 928 someday, just like the risky business car, but for anyone considering getting into a 928… holy smokes, get ready to open your wallet for potential repairs and maintenance.

        • Matthew Hermans

          Hi Pat, sorry i meant “frugal” i.e cheaper builds for a cheaper car. don’t take that the wrong way as one of my favorite Porsches is the 914 (built cheap as possible except the 914-6)

          The 944 is a very solid car, great engineering there. Becoming more and more a popular track day car.

          The 928 parts can be more expensive, for sure; and with more toys comes more woes and there are a myriad issues with all three cars. Just one for example is the Boxster’s IMS failure and the 928’s thrust bearing and valve interference . . . Nothing that a proper PPI won’t spot.

  • Carl Gimondo

    I’ve tried them ALL….928…high maintenance…but nice…N/A 944:..drives well..but a little lacking in power…944 Turbo:…likes to run hot..has power..but maintenance again..944S2…Best one I’ve owned,,Rides and drives well..Has a good road feel and enough power for anyone..Combined with a heftier timing belt it is made to go longer times between belt changes..It is a “true” freeway driving car..A lot of them came with upgraded stereo systems also. I took the advise to get one from a friend…and I sent them flowers after..Besides the 911..best one I own out of the 5 I have..