Porsche Cayman coupe (2005-2013)
"With its brilliant design and engineering, the Porsche Cayman is one of the best performance coupes money can buy."
- Hugely entertaining driving experience
- Accessible performance, brilliant brakes
- Sensible fuel consumption and ownership costs
- Two seats only
- Need to add expensive options
- Interior doesn’t feel very special for the money
The Porsche Cayman adds a fixed roof, more power and a practical hatchback boot to the popular Boxster roadster. It gets its own distinctive looks, and the result is a car that’s even more driver focused. It’s more expensive to buy than the Boxster, but the bigger engined 3.4-litre S is faster - it can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 5.2 seconds, while the 2.9-litre Cayman achieves the same in 5.8 seconds. Both are a real pleasure to drive, thanks to hugely responsive controls, fine handling and excellent performance. In many ways the Cayman is better than the 911, especially as it’s cheaper to buy.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Given the performance on offer, the Cayman and Cayman S are competitively priced. Servicing is only required every 20,000 miles, while fuel consumption of 28mpg is possible. The warranty only lasts for two years, yet residual values are strong. It’ll always be worth more than its rivals should you decide to sell it.
Engines, drive & performance
The Porsche Cayman is brilliant on the road - even better than the Boxster. Thank the stiffer coupe body, the fine handling of its mid-engined design and the strong performance of the 265bhp 2.9-litre and 320bhp 3.4-litre engines. Power for each is up around 10bhp over their respective Boxster relatives, which drops their respective 0-62mph times by a tenth of a second and adds to the intensity of the driving experience. Hugely powerful brakes, steering that’s beautifully weighted and a gearbox - either a standard six-speed manual or optional seven-speed PDK automatic - that shifts quickly and accurately ensure that the Cayman offers an unforgettable driving experience.
Interior & comfort
Cayman buyers should consider paying extra for Porsche’s PASM active suspension. It gives the driver the choice of Normal or Sport settings. Normal provides a good balance between comfort and precision, with Sport stiffening the suspension up for track use. The standard suspension sits somewhere in between these two settings. Comfort is respectable for a performance car. It’s quiet with a slight rumble from the tyres when cruising, but the cabin fills with the glorious noise of the engine when you drive it fast.
Practicality & boot space
The Cayman only has two seats, yet it remains a very useable sports car. There are two luggage compartments: a deep one in the front, and a wider one in the rear that’s accessed via a large hatchback opening. Combined, they give family hatchback-rivalling luggage space, if not access – you’ll need soft bags to get them to fit in the awkwardly shaped load areas. Interior stowage is good too, with a deep glovebox and handy lidded door bins.
Reliability & safety
Porsche’s reliability record is superb, especially given the specialist, high-performance nature of its products. Safety is also impressive, with six airbags as standard, electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes. Quality is good, although some of the interior plastics do look a bit plain and cheap for a car costing so much.
Price, value for money & options
At basic list prices the Cayman and Cayman S look like great value, but making them perfect costs money. We would recommend that keen drivers choose Porsche’s PASM active suspension system, while satellite navigation, leather seats and the iPod/Bluetooth enabled stereo should be added, too. Go wild with the optional extras and you can push the price perilously close to that for an entry-level 911. However, sensible choices like those above will not only increase your enjoyment of the Cayman but add to its value when you come to sell the car on.