This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Porsche Boxster (12-16) review.

Parkers overall rating: 5 out of 5 5.0

There are two engine choices in the Boxster range and both are six-cylinder 'boxer' units. Originally the car was available with a 2.7-litre and a 3.2-litre with 285bhp. The 2.7-litre was upgraded from 240bhp to 245bhp in November 2006 making it capable of 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds and at the same time the Boxster S swapped its 3.2-litre for a 3.4-litre engine that boasts 295bhp and can cover the benchmark sprint in 5.4 seconds.

Both units sound wonderful with a distinctive engine note and acceleration in both is smooth and predictable as neither uses a turbocharger. For most owners the standard car offers more than enough performance but enthusiasts will enjoy the S which has more pulling power and comes with a six-speed gearbox as standard as oppose to the five-speed transmission in the standard car.

As a result the S feels more enthusiastic on twisting roads and doesn't need to be stretched as much when pressing on. The RS60 Spyder limited edition model is based on the S but has 8bhp more - although acceleration times remain unchanged. The increase in power comes from the cars modified sports exhaust which makes it sound even more sublime than the standard S.

There's also a button on the dash that opens baffles in the exhaust, helping the system to produce a fantastic wail at high revs. All three models are available with an optional five-speed tiptronic semi-automatic gearbox but it's not cheap at £1,760.

Porsche has an unrivalled reputation for pure driver appeal and that's evident even in the Boxster. It corners with a precision and incisiveness that few cars come close to and the perfectly weighted steering also has a delicacy to it that allows you to engage with the car at all times. Endless grip and virtually no body roll make it reassuringly surefooted and composed - even on rough surfaces - while the brakes are exceptional too.

There is plenty of compliance in the ride and, as a result, the Boxster is ideally suited to bumpy A-roads. A system called Porsche Active Suspension Management (or PASM for short) is optional (it's standard on the RS60 though) - this stiffens the suspension via a button on the dashboard. There seems little point in choosing it though as the factory setting proves to be more than sharp enough.