Long-term tests

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0: long-term test review

First report: The bright green Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 sports car has quickly won our hearts and minds

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

Verdict

The Cayman GTS 4.0 is one of Porsche’s best models. It’s a superb sports car that we’re really enjoying driving and living with, although we’ll be keeping an eye on its oil use.

  • Mileage: 11,214
  • Economy: 26.8mpg

Let’s be straight about this, buying and running a car like the Porsche 718 Cayman 4.0 GTS isn’t ever going to be cheap. It is a lovely car to look at and drive every day, but financially and practically it is a pure indulgence; a luxury that only the very hard-working or the fortunate few can afford.

As standard it costs £65,390, but then add a few options, such as the Python Green paint (£1,658) and a pair of intelligent – but also excellent – LED headlights (£1,397), and you’re soon looking at well over 70 grand.

As tested, “our” Cayman GTS costs £74,343, which can be viewed in two distinctly different ways. Either it’s an awful lot of money for a car that has only two seats, and is about as useful a chocolate teapot when it comes to the school run or, indeed, just doing the shopping in (although it does also have two boots). Or it could be considered a bargain given that the GTS is one of the best sports cars you can buy this side of £100,000, and one that still sends a shiver of excitement up my spine pretty much every time I climb in and drive it.

But if you want one, no question, you are going to have to dig deep. The best deal currently offered by Leasing.com requires an initial down payment of £7,412, then 48 monthly payments of £824. For this you can only do 5,000 miles a year, at the end of which you’ll have spent just over 46 grand, and still the car won’t belong to you.

Or, of course, you could stump the full 65 grand up front and be done with it. In which case you’ll need to find anything from £800 a year to comprehensively insure it (five times that if you’re the wrong age and live in the wrong part of town), while the fuel consumption isn’t exactly slight either, at 27mpg if you drive it lightly.

Is the driving experience the Cayman GTS provides rich enough to justify its expense? And if you are going to spend this kind of money on a car as indulgent as this, is there anything better out there that deserves your attention more?

Answering part one to that question isn’t simple and involves ethical issues that are never going to be straightforward to explain. Some days I do feel a sense of guilt driving around in a bright green two-seat sports car that is as ostentatious as this. Answering the second part, however, is easy and the answer is no. In my opinion there isn’t anything else out there at this kind of money that can compete with what the Cayman GTS has to offer as a package.

I already knew it was going to be brilliant to drive, having spent time with this very car before. But what I never quite understood during those relatively short-term experiences is how damn special it feels just to sit in and generally to live with every day. So much so that I absolutely can’t get enough of this car at the moment, even though I’ve already done 2,500 miles in it.

Yes, there are some aspects about the GTS that irritate me, as there  surely are with all cars. The front parking sensors are far too sensitive in that they go off even when pedestrians walk past the nose, making a beep that I haven’t worked out how to turn off. It also uses a fair bit more oil than I was expecting; the low warning light has come on twice in less than 3,000 miles. So far I’ve fed it two litres of Mobil 1 at £20 a can.

The Python Green paint is a double-edged sword, too. I really like it but my better half categorically does not. And whenever I fill the car with fuel or just park it anywhere really, someone will usually pass comment about the colour – and the car in general – and not always in a positive way.

It doesn’t fuss me, though, because I know that when I climb back inside, fire it up and start driving again, most of the odd stuff about the GTS soon goes away. The self-conscious unease I feel whenever I drive it through the city in which I live (namely, car-hating Brighton & Hove) quickly fades when I head out towards less-crowded roads, ones with little traffic on them and, preferably, some decent straights and corners in which to let rip. Because that’s where the GTS excels, where it sounds and feels, and just is, a very special car indeed to drive. No matter what the car-haters might think about it, or, indeed, how much it costs.

Model:Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0
On fleet since:July 2021
Price new:£65,390
Engine:4.0-litre flat-six, 395bhp
CO2/tax:230g/km/£490
Options:Python Green paint (£1,658), GTS interior package in Crayon (£1,242), LED headlights (£1,397), Park Assist (£623), Speed limit indicator (£236), cruise control (£228), GTS interior package (£2,096), two-zone climate control (£539), Isofix mount (£126), BOSE surround sound (£834) 
Insurance*:Group: 47 Quote: £883
Mileage:11,214
Economy:26.8mpg
Any problems?2 litres Mobil 1 (£40)

*Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.

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