Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Porsche Boxster 981 PDK Review

My 911was due a service recently so I booked it into the Porsche main dealer (OPC Tonbridge) as they are offering extremely competitive servicing on 996 models. A Porsche specialist was charging £290 for the minor service yet Porsche OPC only costs £265. As OPC also provide a loan car for the duration of the service it was a no brainer to use them for the interim service as well as getting an official Porsche stamp in the service book.

Porsche Boxster 981 PDK Review
Porsche Boxster 981 PDK Review
The loan car provided was a 2013 Porsche Boxster PDK (981 model). My 911 is manual so I was interested to see how the PDK gearbox performed and I wasn't disappointed! I've driven automatic cars and not been impressed with the gear selection and performance but the PDK gearbox in the Porsche Boxster is stunning and the best auto I've driven. At every point on the journey it felt like the car was in the correct gear with no delay in changing or sluggishness from incorrect ratio. The kickdown was fantastic and allied to the superb exhaust note under acceleration it really encouraged active use of the throttle!

Bumps on the road were very well controlled and the ride was excellent with equally good handling around corners. The roof folds down very quickly using a button in the centre console between the seats. On a rainy day there did seem to be a tendency for drips of water to come onto the driver's seat when the door was open as there is obviously no gutter along the roof.

The only two negatives I could find while using the car were the heater and air conditioning controls which seemed overly fiddly and not really in keeping with a premium car. Of more concern was the juddering from the front wheels/steering at low speed with the steering on heavy lock. The vibration from the wheels was not a pleasant sound which I thought was a fault with the car. On mentioning to Porsche when handing the car back I was told that this is a standard issue with the car having very low profile tyres which seems a very disappointing situation with a brand new car of this value.

Overall my impression of the Porsche Boxster 981 PDK were very favourable and it is certainly a car I would consider if I no longer have the need for a 4 seater. Even though the 911 has small rear seats they are still suitable for emergency use or for longer journeys with children.

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