A sports car does not fit everyone’s lifestyle – you may have kids, large dogs, or 200 pounds worth of tools you need to lug around. But for many, there comes a moment in life where the savings add up, the kids move out, and a dazzling sports car makes perfect sense.
Thankfully, when that time comes, you’ll have plenty of options to pick from. But which to choose? For the buyer looking for razor-sharp handling and drop-top motoring, the Lotus Elise and Porsche Boxster aren’t bad places to start. This 2005 Elise and 2004 Boxster are up for sale on eBay. We want to know, if it were your money, which would you buy?
The entry-level Boxster might not cross the minds of hardcore 911 Porschephiles, but that’s OK, because it was never intended to. During the 1990s, Porsche was gripped in the midst of financial turmoil. What Stuttgart needed was a lower cost, fine handing, sports car that was priced under $40,000 – well below the 911. The Boxster was that answer and it became a smash hit.
The first generation Boxster arrived with Porsche’s peppy 2.5-liter flat-six engine, good for 201 horsepower, and in 2000 an even sportier Boxster S showed up boasting 3.2-liters and 250 horsepower on tap. This 2004 model signals the final year of the first generation, and totes the 2.7-liter boxer six, rated at 225 horsepower. The years have been kind to the Boxster – it looks remarkably well aged.
Need something a bit more knife-edged? The Lotus Elise has you covered there. Just don’t expect the accoutrements of the Porsche. Lotus had been building its bare bones Elise sports car since 1996, but it wasn’t until the 2005 model year when a federalized version first made landfall in the US. For your $40,000 plus you didn’t get stability control or power steering, but you did get an extremely light car with the wind-in-your-hair experience and an absolute cracker of an engine.
Tucked in the rear is the high revving 1.8-liter engine from a Toyota Celica GT-S, which Lotus tuned to produce 190 horsepower. The scintillating blast to 60 mph takes less than five seconds, and for even more top-down performance, Lotus went on to offer the supercharged Elise SC. This 2005 Elise shows a mere 11,700 miles on the odometer, and despite celebrating its 10th birthday, still looks as gorgeous as ever.