Porsche Cayman S
We see how two-seater scores as an everyday car
Seen in some quarters as a poor man’s 911, the Cayman S is a car for those who care more about driving than status. It doesn’t have the same high profile as its big brother, but the flat tailgate and rounded rear wheelarches manage to give the Porsche an athletic appearance.
There are two fewer seats inside and a pair of modestly proportioned load bays rather than one large one. Due to these compact dimensions, the Cayman weighs a third-of-a-tonne less than the M3.
As a result, it needs considerably less power for potent performance. The mid-mounted flat-six engine lacks the output of its V8 rivals, but look at the acceleration times – a match for all bar the BMW. And it certainly packs a punch above 5,500rpm, when the guttural growl develops into a raucous wail. The engine is mated to brilliant brakes and a slick gearbox which makes shifts a pleasure, and so the Porsche immediately comes across as a very satisfying car to drive.
That’s before you’ve even got to a corner, where the Cayman really shows its class. The steering isn’t as positive as the BMW’s, so initially it seems slightly vague, but it’s not long before the magic of this car hits you. It’s well balanced and gives excellent feedback, yet with the supple suspension, the Cayman S floats over rough surfaces. Refinement isn’t flawless, as the noise levels show, but the Porsche’s ability to match your mood is unrivalled here.
With the exception of the instrument dials, which overlap attractively, the interior layout is nothing special. What’s more, buyers don’t even get leather seats or climate control as standard. Nevertheless, the Cayman S is one of the most fluid and rewarding cars on sale today.
Price: Price: £44,080Model tested: Porsche Cayman SChart position: 1WHY: It’s great to drive, but we want to see if the Cayman S is as easy to live with as its practical rivals
Sleeker and far lighter than rivals, the Cayman S returned 22mpg and hit 27mpg on the motorway. It has the longest range, and annual fuel costs are at least £350 lower.
Too few Caymans are sold for our analysts to predict accurate residual figures. However, second-hand values should be close to the Boxster’s, at 52 per cent.
Porsche has a small UK dealer network. The two-year warranty is stingy, and while the engine’s position makes it hard to work on, £1,383 is a lot for three services.
It has the lowest CO2 output by over 40g/km, and a fine reputation for quality and reliability. But the Cayman S costs 20 pence per mile more to run than the Audi.
In this review
- 1IntroductionIn what promises to be one of the most explosive tests of the year, we see if BMW’s new M3 can beat supercar rivals from Audi, Porsche and Vauxhall...
- 21st Porsche Cayman S - currently readingWe see how two-seater scores as an everyday car
- 32nd BMW M3About 80 per cent of the M3’s parts are unique, and it’s faster and more efficient than its predecessor.
- 43rd Audi S5With its stunning looks and powerful V8, A5 is a strong contender
- 54th Vauxhall VXR8V8-engined saloon looks the part – but is that it?
- 6Facts and figures