Since Porsche’s Boxster was introduced in 1996, it, together with its Cayman stablemate, has landed on the “Car and Driver 10Best” list an astonishing 15 times (Porsche has been included 19 times total, with the 944 taking four 10Best from 1983 through 1986). It has been put up against the best cars in the world, and placed among them every year, without fail, since 2006. Last year, the 981 Boxster took the honors by itself, as the new Cayman was not yet available for sale, but this year, both cars are back at the head of the field.
The 10Best test is done every year, and only cars that won the previous year, or cars that have made substantial changes over the previous year, can be invited. Additionally, cars are only eligible if their asking price is under 2.5X the price of the average car for the year (this year that put the limit at $80,000). Manufacturers that would like to be considered must provide an example of the car for rigorous testing, and the vehicle must be on sale for public consumption by January of the year following the test. The Boxster’s inclusion on the list last year gave Porsche eligibility to compete this year, and the all new Cayman would have been included as well regardless. For the purposes of the test, Car and Driver consider the Boxster and Cayman to be a single entity.
While C&D don’t officially rank the cars they name 10Best, they have called the 981 twins “the winners among these winners“. Car and Driver have called the Boxster a “holistic sports car experience“, and claimed “if every car were a Cayman, we would achieve world peace“. It’s safe to say, then, that the 981 is held in high esteem by the testers on this panel. Over the course of the test, in fact, the Boxster and Cayman weren’t even discussed for inclusion, as they were resoundingly added to the top of everyone’s list.
The Porsche duo have been given credit in this test for working magic by making use of systems that often turn a driving experience synthetic (such as electric power steering), while not losing the organic feel that Porsche is known for. They lauded the launch-control, called the steering wheel a “high-fidelity rheostat of joy“, and their gorgeous appearance. With phrases like “you simply cannot find cars any more satisfying to operate than this duo“, you know that the 981 chassis belongs on the 10Best list. Unless the car world develops 10 stellar cars in the next 12 months, you can almost be sure the Boxster and Cayman will be included on the 2015 list as well.