The Porsche Boxster is a small, open-top sports car that has long been the enthusiast’s choice thanks to its razor-sharp handling and rousing six-cylinder engine.

During its 20-year on the market, rivals from Audi and Mercedes-AMG have had enough time to up their game with the Jaguar F-Type, Porsche has responded with an even more powerful turbocharged roadster. So, what’s new?

The biggest change for the Porsche 718 Boxster is under the engine cover.

Porsche used naturally aspirated six-cylinder motors in the previous generations. These gave the Boxster an amazing sound although it doesn’t sound as good as the old one, and that’s a shame and power delivery that felt much more exotic than the car’s relatively low price tag.

The interest of better fuel efficiency is now a trend so the 718 now uses a pair of four-cylinder turbocharged engines. They come in 2.0-litres and 2.5-litres for Boxster S.

The buyer should now expect 184g/km of CO2 for an annual VED bill of $300. That’s $84 cheaper than the old car would have cost. It’s also more powerful, with 350hp and a boost in torque too. As a result, the 0-62mph is done in 4.6 seconds.

This car is a seriously enjoyable steer – it’s way ahead of its rivals and is even more expensive supercars in this aspect. It really is that good.

The engine feels a lot more usable than the old one and misses some of the old car’s redline chasing character. The six-speed manual transmission is about as good as it gets. It’ll rev-match for you on downshifts too. This function can be turned off if you prefer to heel-and-toe, and the pedals are perfectly spaced for this.

Equipment

There isn’t a massive amount of standard kit included with this  car which suits its focused nature, but it’s odds with the starting price – £41,739 for a 2.0-litre car or £50,695 for the S. Anywat, that’s cheaper than the equivalent Audi TT RS or Jaguar F-Type.

As standard you get:

Updated Communication Management multimedia system

Bi-Xenon headlights with integral LED daytime running lights, and LED tail lights

Sound Package Plus with six loudspeakers and a total output of 110 watts

Manual air conditioning

Sports seats with electric backrest

Electrically operated fabric hood with heated glass rear screen Wind deflector

Leather on steering wheel, gear lever and door handles

Electrically adjustable heated door mirrors

The £9,000 leap to the Boxster S gets you specific 19-inch wheels, an uprated brake system and a tracker device in case it gets stolen.

£10,000 worth of options provide things like the rear parking sensors (£348), seat heating (£284), sat nav (£1,052) and digital radio (£284),

Verdict

All-in all, this car costs £61,466 and still feels like it’s missing out on some key gadgets you’d want to use every day. You’d almost be better off leaving it stock, saving your Boxster for weekend blasts and spending your options budget on a second car.

And that’s where it’s most enjoyable – cool drives on cool roads – despite the surprising aptitude for long distance cruising and easy-to-use turbo torque. While the new engine is not so exotic-sounding as the old one, you certainly can’t criticize its effectiveness.

Porsche enthusiasts would enjoy in the fabulously communicative and well-balanced chassis that makes this the best handling  small sports car around.