2020 Porsche 718 Boxster vs. 2020 BMW 2 Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/29

The 718 Boxster’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The 2 Series doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

Both the 718 Boxster and the 2 Series 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 crash mitigating brakes.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 718 Boxster has a 175-amp alternator. The 2 Series’ standard 170-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

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 718 Boxster’s reliability 22 points higher than the 2 Series.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche 15th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Porsche fourth in reliability. BMW is ranked 17th.

Engine

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

Horsepower

Torque

718 Boxster 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

300 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

718 Boxster S 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder

350 HP

309 lbs.-ft.

718 Spyder 4.0 GT3 6-cylinder

414 HP

309 lbs.-ft.

230i 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

248 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

M240i 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder

335 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Porsche 718 Boxster is faster than the M240i (automatics tested):

718 Boxster 2.0

718 Boxster S

2 Series

Zero to 60 MPH

4 sec

3.7 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.9 sec

n/a

10.3 sec

Quarter Mile

12.5 sec

11.9 sec

12.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

112 MPH

n/a

111 MPH

Top Speed

170 MPH

n/a

155 MPH

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 718 Boxster lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The 2 Series doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the 718 Boxster Spyder’s fuel efficiency. The 2 Series doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The 718 Boxster’s optional fuel tank has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the 2 Series (16.9 vs. 13.7 gallons).

Transmission

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The 718 Boxster offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The 2 Series doesn’t offer an SMG.

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the 718 Boxster has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift, based on a value pre-entered by the driver. The 2 Series doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 718 Boxster’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 2 Series:

Boxster

Boxster opt.

Spyder

Spyder opt.

230i

M240i

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

15 inches

16.1 inches

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13.8 inches

15 inches

15.4 inches

11.8 inches

13.6 inches

The 718 Boxster offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The 2 Series doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The 718 Boxster stops much shorter than the 2 Series:

718 Boxster

2 Series

80 to 0 MPH

189 feet

209 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

143 feet

155 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

98 feet

113 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 718 Boxster has larger standard tires than the 2 Series (F:235/45R18 & R:265/45R18 vs. 205/50R17). The 718 Boxster’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 2 Series (F:245/35R20 & R:305/30R20 vs. F:225/40R18 & R:245/35R18).

The 718 Boxster’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 230i’s standard 50 series tires. The 718 Boxster’s optional 245/35R20 front and 305/30R20 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the 2 Series’ optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 718 Boxster has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 230i. The 718 Boxster’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the 2 Series.

Suspension and Handling

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The 718 Boxster has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the 718 Boxster flat and controlled during cornering. The 2 Series’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

Chassis

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The Porsche 718 Boxster may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 750 pounds less than the BMW 2 Series.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the 718 Boxster GTS/Spyder has an electronically controlled liquid-filled front engine mount and conventional liquid-filled engine mounts (standard liquid front mount on other versions of the 718 Boxster). A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The 2 Series uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Cargo Capacity

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To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 718 Boxster’s available trunk can be opened just by holding your hand near the emblem on the trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The 2 Series doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in service department satisfaction. With a 46% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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The 718 Boxster’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 2 Series doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The 718 Boxster’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The 2 Series has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

The 718 Boxster’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch. The 2 Series has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the 718 Boxster keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The 2 Series doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the 718 Boxster owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 718 Boxster will cost $235 to $6305 less than the 2 Series over a five-year period.

The 718 Boxster will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 718 Boxster will retain 57.09% to 60.51% of its original price after five years, while the 2 Series only retains 41.04% to 46.61%.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/29

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

The Boxster was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 15 of the last 16 years. The M235i/M240i hasn’t been picked since 2017.

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

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