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.
The Porsche 718 Cayman sits in the shadow of the firm’s iconic 911, but if you think the Cayman is a hugely inferior car, then, well, you’re wrong. It’s every bit as fantastic to drive and has a similarly impressive interior, even if its four-cylinder engine doesn’t put as big a smile on your face as the 911’s six-cylinder one does.
Still, even the entry-level 2.0-litre Cayman has 300hp and can get you from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds. The faster S model gets a 2.5-litre engine with 350hp, enough to get you from 0-62mph in just 4.6 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 range-topping GTS gets 365hp.
Enthusiasts will miss the characterful howl of the old model’s six-cylinder engine though – the latest version sounds pretty ordinary. And while it’s 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 old six-cylinder.
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 huge smile on your face.
I love everything about the Cayman except its engine. It’s quicker than before and every bit as good to drive, but I’m afraid the old Cayman just sounded better. End of.
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, the Cayman soaks up bumps surprisingly well – even with huge 20-inch alloy wheels fitted – and the even 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 405 litres – more than a VW Golf – although the boots’ shapes restricts you to carrying soft bags rather than suitcases. You only get two seats, of course, but the driver’s seat and steering wheel have a wide range of adjustment 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-inch screen and comes with Apple CarPlay and 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.