- Exceptional handling
- Surprising amounts of storage space
- Cheaper than a 911
- Only two seats
- Poor standard equipment
- Not the most refined motorway cruiser
Mini-911 is impeccable all-rounder
The Porsche Cayman, first introduced in 2005, is the hardtop version of Porsche’s best-selling Porsche Boxster, and the little brother of the iconic Porsche 911. Some critics have said that the Cayman is actually the best balanced sports-car in the Porsche range, which is remarkable when you consider it’s one of the cheapest. The mid-engined, rear-wheel drive setup is perfectly balanced, and there are few cars that are quite as rewarding to drive as the Cayman. There are a few niggles here and there, but it’s still a truly exceptional sports-car.
An update in 2016 featured new subtly-altered aesthetics, a longer wheelbase, a redesigned interior, and new improved engines.
Stylish, classy, surprisingly spacious, but not well-equipped
One thing that you’ll have to consider when you’re buying a Cayman is the lack of any rear seats. There’s only room for two, but there’s still plenty of storage space. Cabin quality is impressive, but there’s not much standard kit, and options can be expensive.
The dashboard of the Cayman post-2014 is almost identical to that found in the more expensive 911. That means it really does look the part. There’s the iconic Porsche overlapping dials, and materials used throughout are impressive. Controls can be a little tricky to get used to, especially the climate control functions, but they’re pretty well damped. A lot of buyers will probably want a full leather dash however, and this is unfortunately a rather expensive optional extra.
Storage space in the Cayman is actually pretty impressive for a car of this class. If you combine the front boot, and the rear boot, you’ll get a combined capacity of 410 litres. That’s mightily impressive, and there’s enough room for a couple of cabin bags, and a romantic picnic hamper, perfect for a wild weekend away in the south of France.
Equipment levels in the Cayman are far from generous, and you’ll need to budget for the rather expensive optional extras list. No Cayman comes with Bluetooth or sat-nav as standard, which is surprising at this price point. You will however get automatic headlights and air conditioning on all models, but not much else. Just go careful when you start ticking the boxes on the extras list.
Overall the interior of the Cayman is pretty impressive. There might only be room for two, but the cabin is spacious and classy, and there’s plenty of storage space. Spec levels are disappointing however, so it’s probably worth looking out for a nearly-new model where someone else has already taken the hit on the extensive options list.
Exceptional handling, but not the most refined at speed
The Porsche Cayman is a car that’s engineered to be incredible to drive, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. The mid-engined, rear-wheel drive setup makes the Cayman astonishingly well weighted, so you can really feel what’s going on underneath you. Handling is impeccable, and the steering is sharp and precise. It really is a fun car to drive, and it’s not too lairy that you run the risk of crashing it into a tree as you hurtle through country roads.
Suspension and Chassis
If you want your Cayman to be comfortable, it’s worth upgrading to the Porsche Active Suspension Management system, as without it the Cayman can feel a little firm. This option not only offers a more refined ride on motorways, it also stiffens the chassis, which adds to the Cayman’s driving experience. There is quite a lot of road and wind noise at speed however, so it’s not the quietest motorway cruiser.
Gearbox options in the Cayman come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is an excellent six-speed manual transmission, that’s engaging, sharp, and well-geared. The optional dual-clutch PDK semi-automatic is worth considering though, as gear changes are razor sharp, and you get flappy paddles for when you want to feel like an F1 driver.
Two powerful, responsive petrol engines
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Cayman, you’ve got three options. All engines offer enough power to consistently put a smile on your face, but true petrolheads will want to take a closer look at the awe-inspiring GT4 model.
If it’s ultimate power that you want from your Cayman, and you’re prepared to spend quite a lot of money, the 3.8 litre petrol engine in the GT4 is well worth considering. It really is blisteringly quick, as it produces an incredible 385bhp, and will fire you from 0-62mph in an eye-watering 4.4 seconds. It is however over £15,000 more than the 718 2.5 litre S model, and it’s only 0.2 seconds quicker to 62mph, so it’s only really for those who enjoy bragging about technicalities at dinner parties.
Eco-friendly buyers will not be drawn towards buying a Cayman, as no engine in the range is particularly green. The most friendly engine in the range is the entry-level 718 2.0 litre model, which produces 168g/km of CO2. It’s not going to enamour buyers to tree huggers, but it’s pretty reasonable for the class. This model is also the best option for those who don’t want to be on first name terms at the local petrol station, as it manages a respectable 38mpg. It’s obviously not as impressive as a diesel-powered Skoda, but this is a true driver's car.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your Cayman, you’re going to get a powerful, responsive car, that’s sure to put a smile on your face. The lowest powered unit is probably going to be enough for most, so unless you’re a true thrill-seeker, it’s unnecessary to upgrade beyond this.
Not tested by NCAP, but comes with impressive safety equipment
Unfortunately, the Porsche Cayman hasn’t yet been tested by NCAP, which is largely down to the fact that the Cayman doesn’t sell in huge numbers. The mid-engined layout makes the Cayman safer than most sports cars though, so you shouldn’t be too worried. You’ll also get six airbags, electronic stability control, and traction control as standard, which should hopefully prevent you having to deal with an accident in the first place.
Decent value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Porsche Cayman isn’t the cheapest car to live with, and there’s few people who would expect that. The latest 718 2.0 litre petrol engine offers the greatest day-to-day value, with respectable CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency for the class. The super-quick GT4 model should be avoided at all costs, unless you’ve got exceptionally deep pockets.
Insurance costs in the Cayman are also pretty expensive, no matter which model you choose to go for. This is again understandable, but there’s still some value to be had. The 718 2.0 litre model is the cheapest to insure in the class, whilst the GT4 is again only for those with money to burn.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Cayman, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Porsche Cayman is one of the most impressive sports cars that money can buy. Few cars can offer the thrills that the Cayman can, and it’s also reasonably easy to live with, especially if you go for the entry-level model. It is expensive to insure, tax, and fill up, but when you consider how much cheaper the Cayman is to buy than the 911, it begins to look like great value.
Buying a used Porsche Cayman online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Porsche Cayman for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Cayman. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Porsche Cayman online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Porsche? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Porsche Cayman, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Cayman, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Porsche to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.