I got to join the Porsche 718 Boxster Grand Tour in September at Mosport on the Driver Development Track. The whole thing took 2 hours so I guess I spent a bit over an hour on the track alternating as driver and passenger.
This isn't going to be a long review. I'm just summarizing my feelings after having had a bunch of fun.
If I'm honest... my only real complaint is that the throttle doesn't seem quite as responsive as what I'm used to. Whether this is because of the turbo or because of the PDK I really can't say. That's about all I've got to say to the negative though.
The looks are all subjective. I like the new headlights. I don't like what they've done with the back. I think the new interior vents don't look near as nice as the old ones but I expect they probably work a lot better. The new steering wheels look nicer but the silly button thing is... well... silly. The rest is much the same.
I wish they'd had a manual car. All the cars were PDK. With that in mind, I realized afterward that I don't even know where the red-line was. Did they lower it with the turbo engines? With a PDK it really doesn't matter but with a manual it's more obvious and a bigger part of the driving experience.
The extra torque is noticeable and quite welcome. Nobody complains about more power, right?
Finally, the elephant in the room. The noise. All I can say is that at no point did I ever find myself not enjoying the sounds they made. There was never a moment of "Well that doesn't sound very good". That said, there also wasn't a moment of "OMG THIS SOUNDS AMAZING!" which I get with my Boxster GTS on a regular basis. So I guess my conclusion on the noise is that I expect new owners will be completely happy with it.
In general, some cars sound better than others. Some cars have iconic noises that are all part of the experience. This car doesn't sound bad but nobody is ever going to reflect nostalgically on the wonderful noises the 718 made.
So that's that. They're great cars. I had fun in them.