Porsche 718 Cayman Review & Prices
Don’t write the Cayman off as a ‘cut-price 911’ – the ‘thinking person’s 911’ may be more apt. It’s simply superb to drive and has a high-quality interior, although its engine does lack charm
What's not so good
Find out more about the Porsche 718 Cayman
The Porsche 718 Cayman sits below the firm’s iconic 911 on the pricelists, but if you think the Cayman is a hugely inferior car because it’s cheaper, well, you’re wrong.
If you’re a Porsche 911, having a Cayman alongside you in the range must be like having your little brother come along and suddenly beat you at football, or on the PlayStation, or in a wrestling match. Yup, the Cayman could stake a claim as one of the best cars Porsche currently builds.
It’s every bit as fantastic to drive as its more expensive sibling, and has a similarly impressive interior, and while its four-cylinder engine doesn’t put as big a smile on your face as the 911’s six-cylinder one does, there are flat-six motors making a reappearance in the Cayman. It’s almost as if Porsche has realised the error of its ways.
Still, even the entry-level 2.0-litre Cayman has 300hp and can get you from 0-62mph in under 5.1 seconds. The faster S model has a 2.5-litre engine with 350hp, enough to get you from 0-62mph in as little as 4.2 seconds and onto a top speed of 177mph. There’s also a T model with the same power as the entry-level car, but has numerous performance options added, while the six-cylinder GTS 4.0 gets 400hp and the GT4 has 420hp. The intense GT4 RS, meanwhile, delivers a massive 500hp and a 3.4-second 0-62mph time.
The flat-four engines sound pretty ordinary. And while they’re more fuel efficient than the engines in alternative sports cars, in the real world it doesn’t actually save you much fuel over the Cayman’s six-cylinder units.
I love everything about the Cayman except the four-cylinder engines. It’s quicker than before and every bit as good to drive, but the six-cylinder Caymans just sound better. End of
But it’s the way the Cayman handles in corners that really stands out. Its combination of an engine located just behind your head and rear-wheel drive gives it huge levels of grip. Couple this with confidence-inspiring steering and brilliant brakes and you have a car that’ll put a big smile on your face.
Other sports cars – the Lotus Exige, for example – can do that too, but they can’t match the Cayman’s ease of use every day. With the (expensive) optional adjustable dampers fitted (they’re standard on the GTS and GT4 models), the Cayman soaks up bumps surprisingly well – even with huge 20-inch alloy wheels fitted – and the pricier PDK automatic gearbox is worth buying if you often drive in slow city traffic.
Thanks to the Cayman’s front and rear boots, you don’t even need to compromise too much on practicality. The Porsche Cayman has a total luggage capacity of 422 litres – more than a VW Golf's 380 litres – although the boots’ shape restricts you to carrying soft bags or carry-on cases rather than full suitcases. That overall capacity is much more than an Alpine A110 (196 litres) and the BMW Z4 (281 litres).
You only get two seats, of course, but the driver’s seat and steering wheel have a wide range of adjustments so you shouldn’t have any difficulty getting comfortable.
Interior quality is top-notch, and you can choose from all manner of leather upholstery and trim pieces. That said, even a light dabble in the options list can have the cost of your Cayman soaring. Fortunately, sat nav is standard. It works via a 7.0-inch screen and comes with Apple CarPlay (but no Android Auto), so you can mirror your smartphone’s media and navigation apps to the car’s built-in screen.
In fact, from the inside the Cayman could be mistaken for a sporty executive saloon rather than a track-ready racer, and that’s exactly what makes it a great car. It’s easy to drive on a variety of roads and perfectly at home on the daily commute, but take it to a track day and your friends will need something pretty quick to keep up.
If you want to get behind the wheel of a Cayman, you can lease one through carwow, as well as lots of other new Porsches. You can also check out used Porsches on carwow, and if you want to sell your current car to help buy a Porsche or any other model, we can help you with that too.
The Porsche 718 Cayman has a RRP range of £53,420 to £125,660. The price of a used Porsche 718 Cayman on carwow starts at £33,750.
The Cayman will be considered by people looking at a number of alternatives ranging from the Jaguar F-Type to the Audi TT RS, BMW Z4 and Alpine A110. It matches up well against these vehicles in base four-cylinder trim, but once you start adding options and moving up the engine range it can get rather pricey.
The same can be said for the Jaguar and Audi, though, and neither of these cars are quite as sharp to drive as the Cayman. The Cayman S equipped with the PDK automatic gearbox is a great all-rounder, offering strong performance while still being very capable in rush hour traffic. For the most immersive experience, though, we recommend the Cayman GTS 4.0 with a manual. A driving enthusiast’s dream.
While you get impressive performance across the range, the six-cylinder models offer the more intense driving experience but they’re rather pricey
You’d expect a sports car to be hard and unyielding around town, yet the Cayman’s suspension manages to smooth out bumps and it feels perfectly at home pootling around at walking pace. The direct steering and decent visibility let you dart around traffic with confidence.
The PDK automatic transmission is the better bet if you spend a lot of time in the confines of the city, but the manual is a far more engaging device, clicking into each gear with a pleasing mechanical feel and adding another layer to the already impressive driving experience.
You get parking sensors front and rear as standard just in case you are worried about scraping your car in a tight parking space. However, if you want to add a reversing camera it will cost you extra.
On the motorway
The Cayman is a relatively capable cruiser on the motorway, larger wheels won’t detrimentally affect the ride quality, but they do transmit more tyre noise into the cabin. Wind noise is noticeable though, with alternatives like the Toyota GR Supra being more refined at higher speeds.
Overtaking performance is towering, even the base 2.0-litre Cayman is flexible and powerful in any driving situation. Standard cruise control will help you avoid unwanted speeding fines (are there any other kind), and adaptive cruise control is available as an optional extra.
On a twisty road
Driving the Porsche Cayman along an empty stretch of twisty tarmac quickly brings to light just how good a sports car it is. The rear-wheel-drive setup, mid-engined layout, telepathic steering and masterfully tuned suspension all combine to deliver a driving experience that surpasses all its similarly priced alternatives as well as many far pricier ones.
An Audi TT RS feels blunt and heavy by comparison, a Jaguar F-Type and BMW Z4 too imprecise, and even the capable Alpine A110 loses its composure well before the Cayman starts to feel ragged. In a nutshell, look no further if you value superb driving dynamics above all else.
It’s comfortable enough for two adults, but minimal storage and luggage space limit practicality levels
In sports car terms, the Cayman offers a decent amount of practicality. In regular car terms, it is rather compromised. The front seats offer plenty of adjustment, as does the steering wheel, getting comfortable even for taller occupants won’t be a problem.
You can even option adaptive 18-way electric sports seats, but the standard items are perfectly fine and it’s always a good idea to be prudent with the box ticking when it comes to Porsche. If you need to take your baby along for a formative drive every so often, you may want to pay for the passenger seat ISOFIX mountings instead.
A pair of cupholders are built into the trim strip on the passenger’s side. Two narrow door pockets are provided for your various bits and bobs, there’s also a little storage spot between the front seats and a more substantial lidded cubby as well as a generously-sized glovebox. Both of these have USB ports for your mobile devices, but anything else you may have on your person will need to stay in your pockets.
Space in the back seats
This is a two-seater car, so no back seats here. The Audi TT manages to shoehorn in a pair of rear seats, and the bigger Porsche 911 does too, but here you are limited to a pair of small cubby holes with sliding lids beside the rear windows.
You get not one but two boots in the Cayman. Ok, so neither of them is particularly big, but the total space on offer is slightly more than you get in a Jaguar F-Type or Toyota Supra. You’ll need to get creative with your packing though, spreading your luggage between a few squashy bags. The front compartment can take up to 150 litres, while the rear will take 272 litres if you pack both of its compartments full.
The interior feels superbly made, with high-quality materials, pity the infotainment system is so outdated and even some basic features cost extra
Slide into the low-set seats and the Cayman’s driving position feels perfect straight away. The trio of circular dials facing the driver are pure Porsche, with the analogue rev counter taking pride of place in the centre. The analogue-speedo sits to the left of it, while a digital display is on the right, showing sat nav direction and audio info.
You’ll find a lot more physical buttons running along the centre console than in some more modern cabins, not necessarily a bad thing as they feel solid to the touch and allow quick access to common functions. It’s all very focused and logically laid-out.
All the touchpoints feel expensive and well-made, too, although the 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system is starting to show its age now. Inputs can sometimes take a while to be processed and the graphics are a bit outdated compared to newer designs. Apple CarPlay is standard, which lets you bypass the built-in sat-nav for your preferred app, but Android Auto is still not available. A 505-watt 10-speaker Bose audio system or 821-watt 12-speaker Burmester sound system can be optioned on.
Standard equipment is a bit sparse; you get parking sensors front and rear and cruise control but basically everything else costs extra. Even such basic features as a rear windscreen wiper and keyless entry don’t come included in the base price.
Customisation options are vast, with partial leather/Alcantara available as standard in the base trim with a variety of natural leathers in different colours available as an option. Aluminium, Carbon and leather interior trim is available, too. It’s worth noting that many extras require you to add additional items, which can significantly affect the final cost.
The entry-level flat-four cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged Cayman has 300hp and can get you from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds, or 4.7 with the PDK transmission and Sport Chrono Pack. The faster S model has a turbocharged 2.5-litre flat-four with 350hp, enough to get you from 0-62mph in as little as 4.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 177mph.
The T model uses the same engine as the base model but comes with some desirable performance bits to enhance its handling.
The Cayman delivers up to 30.4mpg, which is slightly behind the 32mpg of the 335hp six-cylinder Toyota Supra GR manual. The 340hp BMW Z4 M40i charges to 62mph in 4.5 seconds, which is slightly behind the Cayman S, although it is more fuel efficient at 35.8mpg versus 28mpg.
The next step up you get the naturally aspirated six-cylinder models. A 4.0-litre unit produces 400hp in the GTS 4.0 and 420 in the GT4 to deliver 0-62mph times ranging from 4.5 seconds for the manual GTS 4.0 to 3.9 for the PDK auto-equipped GT4. Not hugely faster than the turbocharged Cayman S, but the enjoyment here is in the scintillating sound and immediate power delivery of these characterful engines. Fuel economy figures are around 25mpg, and in the real-world you won’t get much better out of the turbocharged engines either.
The range-topper is the new Cayman GT4 RS, its 500hp 4.0-litre flat-six is plucked straight from the 911 GT3. It’s available solely with a PDK automatic transmission and will blast to 62mph in 3.4 seconds on the way to a 196mph top end. The 575hp 5.0-litre supercharged Jaguar F-Type R is almost as quick, but actually uses less fuel with an average of 25mpg compared to the GT4 RS’s 21mpg effort.
The Porsche 718 Cayman and its convertible sister, the 718 Boxster haven’t undergone Euro NCAP testing due to the niche nature of both models.
Standard passive and active safety features include parking sensors front and rear, cruise control and side impact protection. Keyless entry, adaptive cruise control, lane change assist and a reversing camera are all extra.
Porsche as a brand has generally scored very highly in customer satisfaction surveys, the Cayman has followed this trend and most owners are very pleased with their vehicles.
There have been four recalls so far for the current generation Cayman, ranging from airbag issues to potential problems with the rear axle carrier. A three-year, unlimited mileage warranty is standard with an extended warranty available on cars that are under 15-years old and have covered less than 125,000-miles. Most other manufacturers have a cut-off at 10-years and 100,000-miles.
A typical warranty policy extension will currently cost £660 for 12 months and £1,780 for 36 months. A minor service will cost an average of £500.