Porsche Cayman S

We see how two-seater scores as an everyday car

  • Sublime on all roads and flatters every driver, more involving and rewarding than any rivaltactility and precision of the Cayman’s controls that set Cayman apart.
  • Excessive road noise harms the Porsche’s cruising ability. Seat itself is narrow across the shoulder, storage space is also the least generous here.

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.

Details

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

Economy

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.

Residuals

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.

Servicing

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.

Tax

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.

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