Porsche 718 Cayman review
The Porsche 718 Cayman is no poor-man's choice, as it's 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.
It’s still 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, because this offers the purest driving thrills with heaps of performance and plenty of luxury.
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 £47,000. 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, T or GTS versions. The track-focused Cayman GT4 speaks for itself and offers the ultimate driver’s package, being superbly balanced, precise and razor sharp in its responses.
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Used car tests
The Cayman still shares its running gear with the open-top Boxster, which is now around £2,000 more than the coupe, while the name change to 718 Cayman signifies that it too has switched, in the main, 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 has landed, and it's a strong opponent to go up against. Elsewhere, there's the Jaguar F-Type, Audi TT RS and Toyota GR Supra, while the new BMW 2 Series will also win over its fair share of customers.
The standard Cayman features a 2.0-litre turbocharged flat-four making 296bhp, and it comes with either a 6-speed manual or optional 7-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 £7,500 extra, the 718 Cayman T adds the Sport Chrono pack from the Cayman S, as well as ditching the infotainment system and fitting some additional mechanical kit to further sharpen the driving experience.
The Cayman S starts from around £57,000, and comes with a 2.5-litre turbocharged flat-four engine making 345bhp, again with 6-speed manual or 7-speed PDK gearbox options. The Cayman GTS gains 4.0-litre, 6-cylinder power, producing 394bhp and a price tag starting from just over £68,000. Like the rest of the range, this base price can quickly escalate if you are careless adding options.
The range-topping 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. You’ll have to really want one, though, as it’s priced at over £80,000.
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 no poor-man's choice, as it's 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, and as a result doesn’t benefit from particularly practical packaging
- 6Reliability and SafetyPorsche tends to fare well when it comes to reliability and safety, but those high star ratings don’t come cheap