Best Roadster: Porsche Boxster
Why it won...
We had high expectations for the new Porsche Boxster, and the desirable two-seater didn’t disappoint. Faster, sharper to drive and more efficient than ever, the mid-engined machine goes straight to the top of the roadster pile.
At the heart of its appeal is a beautifully balanced mid-engined chassis and exquisitely weighted controls that serve up unrivalled driver thrills. Point the Boxster down a twisting back road, and you’ll have a huge grin plastered on your face from the first corner to the last.
And that’s not all, because a pair of new flat-six engines deliver more power than ever, but back up the boost in performance with wallet-friendly running costs – when fitted with the slick-shifting PDK twin-clutch gearbox, the entry-level 261bhp 2.7-litre engine emits just 180g/km of CO2 and promises to return 36.7mpg.
Despite their improved green credentials, the new engines still deliver the same wailing, spine-tingling soundtrack and razor-sharp throttle response.
But there’s more to the new Boxster than improved driving dynamics. The soft-top model looks absolutely superb, with more than a hint of the forthcoming 918 supercar in its lines.
And there’s a completely overhauled cabin that feels every bit as upmarket as the brand’s more expensive models, while the well insulated roof is now easier to operate – the fabric covering can be raised or lowered in just nine seconds, and at speeds of up to 30mph.
Whichever way you look at it, the Boxster is better than ever and fully deserves its place on our list of 2012 winners.
Our choice: Boxster
It's a case of keeping it simple when choosing a Boxster. Yes, the range-topping 3.4-litre S has performance to burn, but the entry-level car has all the pace you’ll need, plus the same sublime handling and eye-catching looks.
Since its launch nearly three years ago, the BMW Z4 has proven to be a slow burner. It always boasted eye-catching looks, agile handling and a neat folding hard-top, but the recent introduction of powerful and efficient turbocharged engines has finally delivered a much needed injection of pace and desirability.
The Mazda’s six-year reign at the top of this category is at an end. However, it’s still a brilliant choice, thanks to its engaging rear-drive handling, low price and affordable running costs. Adding to its appeal is a choice of traditional soft-top model or the more secure folding hard-top RC version.
- 1IntroductionThe awards everyone wants to win are back as we name the finest models in 18 categories and crown our Car of the Year for 2012
- 2Best City Car
- 3Best SuperminiPeugeot has rediscovered its touch. The RCZ coupe has been winning awards and turning heads for the last couple of years
- 4Best Compact Family CarIt was always going to take something special to beat the Volkswagen Golf, and the new BMW 1 Series is exactly that.
- 5Best Family Car
- 6Best Five-Seat MPVThe C-MAX has emerged from the shadow of the big-selling Ford Focus, and it deserves to take centre stage.
- 7Best Seven-Seat MPVThe SEAT Alhambra has made the MPV sector its own and after scooping the top prize last year, nothing in the past 12 months has been able to dislodge it from the top of the class
- 8Best Estate CarThe Skoda Superb Estate has scored a hat-trick of wins in the Estate Car category at our annual awards, and it’s going to take something seriously talented to knock it off the top step of the podium next time around.
- 9Best Crossover
- 10Best Compact SUV
- 11Best Large SUVIf the Discovery carries on at this rate, it will deserve an outstanding achievement award at our next New Car Awards.
- 12Best Hot HatchA fast Ford is back on top of the hot hatch pile, and having met the people behind the new Focus ST, we’re not surprised.
- 13Best ConvertibleThe best convertibles need to be as good with their roofs up as they are with them folded, and the Golf Cabriolet is exactly that.
- 14Best CoupePeugeot is back with a bang this year – although it never really went away.
- 15Best Roadster - currently reading