Porsche 718 Cayman review
The Porsche 718 Cayman is a fantastically capable sports car, and arguably more exploitable than the firm's faster models
The Porsche 718 Cayman is a driving enthusiast's dream and is more than capable of lining up confidently alongside its 911 sibling. With the move to turbocharged four-cylinder engines, it lacks the previous generation’s electrifying soundtrack, and feels marginally less exciting as a result. However, Porsche has responded and restored a six-cylinder unit to the GTS 4.0-litre model.
Every version is superb to drive, though, and as it now undercuts the drop-top 718 Boxster, it’s the cheapest Porsche for sale. We’d go for an entry-level Cayman with small wheels and a manual gearbox, as it offers amazing value for such a talented machine, with the purest driving thrills and heaps of performance.
About the Porsche 718 Cayman
The 718 Cayman is the entry point to the world of new Porsche ownership, but it's by no means any less skilled than other models in the range. For starters, it's not cheap, with prices kicking off at around £52,000. But when you consider that it's one of the best handling and most accessible sports cars you can buy, it could easily justify a far higher price.
And that statement applies whether you choose the standard car, or go for the faster Cayman S or GTS versions. The track-focused Cayman GT4 speaks for itself and offers a driver’s package that is superbly balanced, precise and razor sharp in its responses, while the lightweight GT4 RS model takes things on a stage further and is one of the best road cars we've ever driven on a racing circuit.
Car group tests
- BMW M2 vs Porsche 718 Cayman GTS: 2023 twin test review
- BMW M4 CSL vs Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS: 2022 twin test review
- BMW M240i Coupe vs Porsche 718 Cayman vs Audi TT RS: 2022 group test review
- BMW M2 CS vs Porsche 718 Cayman GTS vs Alpine A110 S
The Cayman still shares its running gear with the open-top Boxster, which is around £2,000 more than the coupe, while the name change to 718 Cayman signifies that it too has switched, for the most part, from flat-six to four-cylinder turbo power. That change has boosted efficiency, while performance remains unabridged – in fact, the 718 has the best acceleration and handling of any Cayman yet produced.
Until recently, there weren't many direct rivals for the Porsche Cayman. But today, the Alpine A110 and Lotus Emira are strong opponents to go up against. Other rivals in the sports car world include our Performance Car of the Year for 2023 – the new BMW M2 – and the Toyota GR Supra, while the Jaguar F-Type and Audi TT RS both have their merits but are not long for this world.
The standard Cayman features a 2.0-litre turbocharged flat-four making 296bhp, and it comes with either a six-speed manual or optional seven-speed PDK twin-clutch auto. Both gearboxes are great to use, while opting for the latter sees fuel economy and acceleration improved over the manual.
For around £5,000 more, the Style Edition trim adds in a series of design tweaks including contrasting paint colour combinations, illuminated door sill guards and additional interior leather. Mechanically, though, this version is the same as the entry-level model.
The Cayman S starts from around £62,000, and comes with a 2.5-litre turbocharged flat-four engine making 345bhp, again with six-speed manual or seven-speed PDK gearbox options. The Cayman GTS gains 4.0-litre, six-cylinder power, producing 394bhp and a price tag starting from more than £73,000. Like the rest of the range, this base price can quickly escalate if you are careless adding options.
The GT4 uses the same 4.0-litre flat-six engine, but gains an extra 20bhp over the GTS and comes with more sophisticated suspension, special sticky tyres and a host of unique aero-kit. But, if you’ve got pockets deep enough to afford the GT4 RS then we'd say go for it – you won't regret it.
Very soon both the Porsche Cayman and Boxster will be ditching petrol engines in favour of all-electric power, and will sit on a bespoke platform. We don’t expect the next-generation Cayman and Boxster to arrive until 2025 though, so there’s still time to put your order in for the current petrol-powered versions.
For an alternative review of the latest Porsche 718 Cayman visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Porsche 718 Cayman is a fantastically capable sports car, and arguably more exploitable than the firm's faster models
- 2Engines, performance and drivePorsche offers a mix of four- and six-cylinder engines, helping ensure the 718 Cayman is a great car to drive in all its guises
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe benefit of the Cayman's smaller, turbocharged 2.0-litre engine is better fuel economy and lower emissions – although you still have the full-fat, six-cylinder option
- 4Interior, design and technologyLike all Porsches, the 718 Cayman is beautifully built – but be careful with the options list as kit is stingy and costs can spiral
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Porsche 718 Cayman is a two-seat sports car, but it offers some practical storage options
- 6Reliability and SafetyPorsche tends to fare well when it comes to reliability and safety, but those high star ratings don’t come cheap