2020 BMW 2 Series vs. 2019 Porsche 718 Boxster

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 2 Series offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 2 Series’ lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 2 Series’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 2 Series and the 718 Boxster have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 2 Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 718 Boxster has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 2 Series for 2 years and 26000 miles longer than Porsche pays for maintenance for the 718 Boxster (3/36,000 vs. 1/10,000).

There are over 82 percent more BMW dealers than there are Porsche dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 2 Series’ warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the 2 Series’ reliability 11 points higher than the 718 Boxster.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The 718 Boxster isn’t in the top three in its category.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Porsche vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 3 places higher in reliability than Porsche.

Engine

The 2 Series has more powerful engines than the 718 Boxster:

Torque

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

369 lbs.-ft.

718 Boxster 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

280 lbs.-ft.

718 Boxster S 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

309 lbs.-ft.

718 Boxster GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

309 lbs.-ft.

718 Boxster GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

317 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 2 Series Convertible gets better fuel mileage than the 718 Boxster:

MPG

2 Series Convertible

RWD

Manual

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

19 city/27 hwy

Auto

230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

AWD

Auto

230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

718 Boxster

RWD

Manual

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

S 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

S 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

Transmission and Drivetrain

The BMW 2 Series comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the 718 Boxster.

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW 2 Series, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the 718 Boxster.

All wheel drive, available in the 2 Series, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Porsche 718 Boxster is not available with all wheel drive.

The BMW 2 Series manual has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 2 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 2 Series’ wheelbase is 8.5 inches longer than on the 718 Boxster (105.9 inches vs. 97.4 inches).

Passenger Space

The 2 Series has standard seating for 4 passengers; the 718 Boxster can only carry 2.

The 2 Series Convertible has 32.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 718 Boxster (81.7 vs. 49).

Cargo Capacity

With its coupe or convertible body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the 2 Series offers cargo security. The 718 Boxster’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics

If the front windows are left open on the 2 Series w/Comfort Access the driver can close them at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the 718 Boxster can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 2 Series’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The 718 Boxster’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 2 Series to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The 2 Series’ sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The 718 Boxster’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

The 2 Series has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the 718 Boxster.

The 2 Series’ optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The BMW 2 Series comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Porsche 718 Boxster isn’t available as a coupe.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW 2 Series and the Porsche 718 Boxster, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The 718 Boxster isn’t in the top three.

The 2 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The 718 Boxster hasn’t been picked since 2014.

The BMW 2 Series outsold the Porsche Boxster by over four to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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