If you’re eyeing up a Porsche sports car as your next new car, then you’ve got a couple of options to choose from: the Porsche 718 Boxster and Porsche 718 Cayman. As their names suggest, the two cars are very similar to one another, so which one should you go for?
In this guide, we’ll break down all the differences between the two sports cars, and find out which one of the pair is the best Porsche 718 model for you.
Engines and performance
Across both the Boxster and Cayman ranges, the same selection of petrol engines is available. The entry point is a 300hp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, which is available on the base model and the slightly sportier Boxster/Cayman T version. If you’d prefer a bit more power still, the S models get a larger 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 350hp.
Sports car fans with deep pockets may want to go instead for the range-topping GTS models. Rather than using a yet more powerful four-cylinder engine, they instead have a 400hp 3.0-litre naturally aspirated six-cylinder petrol engine. As well as being a punchier engine, its lack of turbochargers means it has a more linear power delivery – and, in our opinion, produces a much more tuneful sound, too.
Likewise, all of the Porsche 718 models are available with the same transmissions. All cars come as standard with a six-speed manual, though you can specify Porsche’s PDK seven-speed automatic if you want even quicker gear shifts and faster acceleration. Regardless of the gearbox you go for, all of Porsche’s power will be sent to the rear wheels only.
Because they use the same engines and gearboxes, there’s barely anything to tell the two Porsches apart in terms of performance. In fact, according to Porsche, both the 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster cars are identical in terms of acceleration and top speed.
|718 Boxster||718 Cayman||718 Boxster T||718 Cayman T||718 Boxster S||718 Cayman S||718 Boxster GTS||718 Cayman GTS|
|0-62mph (manual gearbox)||5.1 seconds||5.1 seconds||5.1 seconds||5.1 seconds||4.6 seconds||4.6 seconds||4.5 seconds||4.5 seconds|
|0-62mph (automatic gearbox)||4.9 seconds||4.9 seconds||4.9 seconds||4.9 seconds||4.4 seconds||4.4 seconds||4.0 seconds||4.0 seconds|
|Top speed (manual gearbox)||170mph||170mph||170mph||170mph||177mph||177mph||182mph||182mph|
|Top speed (automatic gearbox)||170mph||170mph||170mph||170mph||177mph||177mph||179mph||179mph|
It’s not just on the stopwatch where the Porsche 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman mirror each other closely: both are pretty similar to look at, too. Viewed from head on, the two cars are virtually indistinguishable from one another, thanks to shared features like their large rounded headlights and slim bumpers.
Plenty more design details are carried over across both cars, too, including their slim rear light clusters and the subtle rear spoiler. One area where the two cars are completely different, though, is their roofs: whereas the Boxster has a folding fabric item, the Cayman is a hardtop coupe with a more flowing roofline. We’ll let you decide which of the two layouts works best.
As with many other aspects of the two cars, the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman are eerily similar on the inside. Both cars have pretty much identical dashboard layouts, and they also have the same broad transmission tunnel that runs down the middle of the cabin.
Interior build quality across both cars is also pretty good (as you’d probably expect from a Porsche), though the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman are starting to show their age in some places. For example, the infotainment display on the centre console is starting to look very dated in comparison with the displays on more modern cars like the latest Porsche 911. This also means there are plenty of buttons to operate the various interior features – though that may be a good thing for you if you much prefer physical buttons over touchscreens.
By virtue of being mid-engined cars, where the engine is mounted behind the two seats, the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman are surprisingly practical. As well as having a front boot with a capacity of 150 litres, there’s also a storage area behind the engine bay. In the 718 Boxster, this is 122 litres in size – though, because it has extra storage above the engine bay (mainly because there’s no folding roof mechanism to share the space with), this increases to 184 litres on the 718 Cayman.
In years gone by, it was the Porsche Cayman that used to have the price premium over the Porsche Boxster – which was quite unusual, as convertible cars are usually more expensive than their hardtop counterparts. However, the roles have been reversed for Porsche’s 718 models, as it’s the Cayman that’s now the cheaper of the pair.
Prices for the Porsche 718 Cayman start at £45,230 for the entry-level model, and rise to £65,390 for the range-topping GTS version. For the equivalent 718 Boxster variants, you’ll pay a premium of £1,860 across the board for the privilege of being able to have wind-in-your-hair driving thrills at the ready on the press of a button.
Both the Porsche 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman are cars we rate highly here at carwow. After all, we awarded both cars a nine-out-of-ten score in our official reviews. As a result, regardless of which one you go for, you’ll be picking up the keys to a very good two-seater sports car.
The big deciding factors, then, will mainly come down to whether you’d prefer a hardtop or a convertible, and if the extra price you’ll need to pay to have a 718 Boxster over a 718 Cayman is worth it.