Another area where the Boxster feels like it sits on a different tier to its mainstream rivals is in cabin quality and design. In an Audi TT or a BMW Z4, there are always some buttons or trim pieces that feel like they’re taken from a dowdy saloon, but in the 718, everything feels bespoke. True, it's not as modern as a TT Roadster, with conventional dials (albeit with a handy colour screen in one of them for key driving- and map data) and lots of switches on the centre console, but high-class materials (including metal and leather) are used on all the parts you most regularly touch. The driving position is spot-on, you sit low to the ground, the pedals are perfectly spaced, and visibility is decent, although it decreases significantly with the roof up. The 718 has the latest Porsche infotainment system, with high-definition maps, a responsive touchscreen and connectivity to your iPhone via Apple CarPlay
(but, annoyingly for non-iPhone users, no Android Auto). The seats are worthy of a mention, too, for being very supportive, but still comfortable over long distances.
So many other roadsters are compromised in their practicality by a complicated roof mechanism, but because the Boxster is mid-engined, there is a deep luggage area in the nose that will swallow a large suitcase, while smaller bags can go in the 125-litre compartment at the back. You can stow coats and loose items behind the seats, but room in the cabin is still adequate. The glovebox is a good size, but the door pockets are narrow, and it's hard to get anything bigger than a wallet in or out of them. The Boxster really is one of the most practical two-seat sports cars money can buy. The electric roof stows away neatly in seconds and can be operated at up to 31mph; handy if you ever get caught in a sudden shower. Refinement with it up or down is pretty good, although we'd recommend choosing the optional plastic wind deflector to sit behind the headrests if you plan on doing any long-distance topless motoring.
When it comes to handling, the Boxster has ruled the roadster roost for years, and the 718 continues where its predecessor left off. In fact, it's better than ever at tackling corners and putting a smile on your face. A key part of that is the mid-engined layout, which puts most of the weight between the wheels, and this helps the Boxster feel balanced and poised at all times. Its steering is borrowed from the 911 Turbo, so it's quick, direct, beautifully weighted and delivers enough feedback to keep you on top of the action. On a dry road, the Boxster has tremendous grip and body control, and because it stays so composed, with little body roll, you have total confidence when flinging it into a tight hairpin. If you want an even sharper driving experience, you can opt for a lowered, adaptive suspension set-up (standard on the GTS), which drops the ride height by 10mm, or the 'Sport' chassis, which is 20mm lower and considerably firmer when placed in its sportier settings. As standard, though, the 718 rides superbly, cushioning the driver from the worst bumps, and it doesn't suffer from as much flex or wobble as you can get in less rigid open-top cars.