Pros: The best in its class hands down!
Cons: Pricey options!
So I decided I wanted a convertible sports car to replace my Nissan Altima that was coming off lease. I initially looked at the Miata and the MR2 Spyder. The Miata was not bad to tell you the truth but I just couldn't bring myself to say I was happy with the car its styling was a little blah, and it wasn't as inexpensive as I thought it would be. Off to see the MR2 of which the dealer only had one on his lot. My decision was easily made once I opened the door and seen the interior that looked like it was made from a black plastic office garbage can! At this point I knew my motto was true, you get what you pay for and if I wanted a quality sports car I was going to have to shell out some dough! So off to the Porsche dealer I went. I wanted a boxster with a Tiptronic transmission so my wife could drive it and it would be nice for when I am sitting in traffic as well. The first dealership I went to was a real turn-off. The two salespeople tryed the whole good cop bad cop thing and I wasn't happy about it. Needless to say I left and did not buy the car from them. I decided that if I was going to spend this kind of money I would evaluate my options which I considered to be the Boxster, Mercedes SLK 320 or the BMW Z3 3.0.
I went to Huntington (Long Island, NY) were Porsche, BMW and Mercedes are within a mile from each other.
I went to the BMW dealer and I must say I am impressed with some aspects of the Z3. This car gives you alot for your money. A fully loaded Z3 3.0 was around 42k. There were a couple of things that bothered me though, the exterior appearance way kind of played out. I didn't like the squished looking rear of the car and another thing was that I see a ton of these cars on the road making them not as unique. The trunk is pretty small in the Z3 as well. The price of this car made it tough to walk away from since I knew if I went for one of my other options I would have to shell out more dough! The biggest problem was I wasn't sure if I would still be happy with this car after a couple of years. Nice car just wasn't for me!!!!
At the Mercedes dealer I sat in a SLK 230 on the showroom floor. Not a bad looking car but after the dealer asked me to hit the button to put down the roof my opinion of Mercedes totally changed. The roofed squeaked and clanked its way all the way into the trunk. What a hunk of junk! Besides after reading the reviews on the 230's 4 cylinder engine there was no way I would go for the 230. They had a yellow 320 right outside the showroom that I test drove. Got in the car and put down the roof and same problem. It also creaked and clanked its way into the trunk! I gotta admit a hard top convertible is an attractive option but not when it works like this, plus it felt like it took forever for the roof to go down. The car did drive very well and was pretty quick but the "auto-stick" functionality was garbage. It was just like manually shifting an automatic. I had the dealer work up the pricing anyway and became quickly dissapointed. This car was pricey and I was not at all impressed with its fit and finish especially for a 47k dollar car.
Now to the Porsche dealer. I sat in the porsche and it just said one thing to me: This is what a sports car is supposed to look and feel like. This car drives like its on a set of rails and the fit and finish is superior to both the SLK and Z3. The roof opens in 12 seconds without a creek, the seats are very comfortable and there is no comparison to the Tiptronic transmission. One complaint about all of these cars is that none of them has tilt steering, only the porsche has a telescoping steering wheel. I wish the seat would go further back in the porsche but I had the same problem in all 3 cars I guess 6'2" is pressing it for these cars. The porsche has great storage space 2 trunks (one of which I can actually fit my golf clubs in) and more storage in the interior. The SLK's trunk is pretty much non existent with the roof down and the Z3's is quite small as well. One thing to be carefull with the Porsche is on the options they are really really expensive. You can take this car up to 60k easily if you start to go nuts with the options. The porsche's engine hums a beautiful tune when you get it going, it could use a little more power down in the lower RPM's but I am told this is where the Boxster S comes into play. This is not the fastest car from 0 - 60 but certainly the most refined. I you are looking for more punch go to the Boxster S or if you have the dough a 911. If your sole interest is 0 - 60 go with the Vette it is a true sports car as well that is fast and still handles very well just not as refined as a porsche nor does it have the fit and finish.
The only Cons I could say about the Porsche are:
The stereo could be better or maybe I'm just not used to NOT having speakers behind me.
Could use a little more Oomph in the lower RPM's
Overall I would reccomend this car to anyone I am very happy with it.