The brilliant Porsche Cayman pips its big brother - the 911 – and three-time winner the Peugeot RCZ to the Best Coupe prize
Even by Porsche’s standards, the new Cayman is something special. We’ve come to expect scintillating performance, race-bred handling and exquisite build quality from the company’s entry-level coupé, but its appeal has now been boosted further by seductive styling and surprisingly low running costs.
It’s a measure of the Cayman’s talents that this was one of the easiest categories for our judges to decide on: it was the panel’s unanimous choice, and has ended the Peugeot RCZ’s three-year reign.
Porsche’s engineers know how to mix the essential coupé ingredients in the right quantities: you get incredible pace, a distinctive engine note, a well crafted cabin and head-turning design. And don’t forget the precise steering, engaging chassis and huge grip.
Most buyers will opt for the smooth-shifting PDK gearbox, but we prefer the extra driver appeal of the manual and its perfectly positioned pedals.
There are only two seats, but the Cayman is easy to live with thanks to its comfort, refinement and spacious twin boots. Plus, with technology like stop-start and a coasting function, the Porsche’s fuel efficiency and emissions figures put some executive saloons to shame.
OUR CHOICE: Cayman S (£48,873) The Cayman S can blast from 0-62mph in just five seconds – even less if you go for the PDK transmission – and it sounds, grips and stops unlike anything else that’s available for the money. The standard Cayman is still a fantastic driver’s car, but the S is well worth the extra cash.
Still a benchmark in so many ways, the brilliant 911 is an automotive living legend. It lives up to considerable hype by delivering a balance of intoxicating performance and everyday usability in a stylish and highly desirable package.
Toyota GT 86
Just when Toyota needed something to shout about, it came up with this. The GT 86 is an old-school coupé with its engine in the front and rear-wheel drive. Performance is modest, but so is the price – and that’s all part of the charm.
- 1Introduction18 class winners, 36 commended cars, 8 Special Awards and the 2013 Auto Express Car of the Year – it's all here
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- 5Best Compact Family CarThe SEAT Leon fights off its fellow VW Group rivals to take the gold medal in one of the most competitive classes around
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- 7Best Estate CarOffering peerless practicality, huge value for money and attractive lines, the Skoda Octavia is the best Estate on the market
- 8Best Five-Seat MPVFord's innovative small MPV pips its big brother – the C-MAX – to the Best Five-seat MPV award
- 9Best MPVFor the third year in a row, the SEAT Alhambra wins the Auto Express Best MPV award
- 10Best CrossoverThe Mazda CX-5 is a talented all-rounder that offers everything you could want from a crossover
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- 12Best Large SUVThe talented Santa Fe is one of the best models Hyundai has ever produced
- 13Best Hot HatchThe Ford Fiesta ST is in a class of its own – and better value for money than its key rivals
- 14Best Coupe - currently readingThe brilliant Porsche Cayman pips its big brother - the 911 – and three-time winner the Peugeot RCZ to the Best Coupe prize
- 15Best RoadsterThe new Porsche Boxster is so good it makes you question why anyone would every buy a 911
- 16Best ConvertibleWith funky looks, premium quality and low running costs – frivolity has never been so sensible. Or so desirable
- 17Best Pick-upWith decent handling, comfort levels and build quality, the VW Amarok is a cut above its rivals
- 18Best Compact Executive CarThe 3 Series continues its undisputed reign as king of the compact executive class
- 19Best Executive CarBMW 5 Series fends off some impressive German rivals to take the executive class crown
- 20Best Luxury CarAs a 4x4, an SUV and a luxury car, the Range Rover is jack of all trades. But it's a master of all trades, too
- 21Performance Car of the YearThe entertaining GT 86 outguns a host of big-name sports cars to take Performance Car of the Year
- 22Design Award The latest incarnation of the iconic Range Rover is voted by Auto Express readers as the best designed car of 2013
- 23Green AwardThe Vauxhall Ampera's innovative range-extending powertrain wins it our Green Award
- 24Van of the YearOur Van of the Year is hi-tech, practical and the first van in its class to get a five-star crash test rating
- 25Safety AwardThe Volvo V40 is probably the safest car ever made, and a worthy winner of our Safety Award
- 26Driver Power AwardThe Japanese premium brand has reclaimed its Driver Power top spot for the first time in four years
- 27Hall of FameBMW board member inducted into the Auto Express Hall of Fame