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What Car? says

5 out of 5 stars

For Amazing performance, grip and agility

Against More expensive than most cars to run, but not bad for a Porsche

Verdict Almost as good as the iconic 911, but for a lot less cash

Go for… 2.9-litre

Avoid… 3.4-litre (291bhp)

Porsche Cayman Coupe
  • 1. Many purists think a 911 is the only Porsche worth considering, but they'd be badly mistaken
  • 2. The 2.7-litre and 2.9-litre models are perfectly suited to most drivers. They offer plenty of pace, but also help to keep running costs under control
  • 3. It’s a Porsche, so don’t expect to run a Cayman on pocket money, but that doesn’t make it overly expensive for a car of this class
  • 4. Despite the cost, it’s best to stick with a franchised dealer when servicing newer cars; this will help protect future resale values
  • 5. Some owners experience brake problems, with discs becoming warped if they're not used hard enough
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Porsche Cayman Coupe full review with expert trade views

Many purists think a 911 is the only Porsche worth considering, but they'd be badly mistaken. The Cayman provides over 90% of the 911’s performance, but costs considerably less to buy and run.

It is based on the Porsche Boxster, but has stiffer suspension and a much more rigid chassis. This, along with the mid-engined layout, gives the two-door sports car amazing agility and poise. It also makes the Cayman predictable and easy to control when pushed hard – something not often said of the 911.

The Cayman is also a masterpiece of ergonomic design, squeezing a surprising amount of cabin and boot space into a relatively small footprint: there are 260 litres of space in the rear luggage compartment and 150 litres in the front section.

Trade view

Don’t forget that a Cayman comes with a two-year warranty only from new.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The Cayman S was launched with a six-cylinder 291bhp 3.4-litre engine, but a year later a 245bhp 2.7-litre version, called simply the Cayman, went on sale. There was also a limited-edition 299bhp 3.4-litre Sport edition. A new range of engines was introduced in 2009, including a 265bhp 2.9-litre and an uprate 3.4-litre unit with 315bhp. Porsche also introduced its PDK twin-clutch semi-automatic gearbox, which is smooth. In 2010 the PDK system's confusing steering wheel-mounted buttons were simplified – making it easier to use.

In reality the 2.7-litre and 2.9-litre models are perfectly suited to most drivers. They offer plenty of pace, but also help to keep running costs under control.

The standard model comes with half-leather sports seats, climate control and stability control, while the S gets upgraded alloys and more aggressive bodywork detailing.

Trade view

One of the best driver’s cars bar none. The Cayman is fast, fierce and fun.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

It’s a Porsche, so don’t expect to run a Cayman on pocket money, but that doesn’t make it overly expensive for a car of this class.

The 2.7-litre does an average of 29.7mpg, while the less powerful 3.4-litre comes in at 26.7mpg. The newer engines are more economical, with the 2.9-litre averaging 30.1mpg and the more powerful 3.4-litre capable of 29.7mpg.

One benefit of opting for a newer engine is it emits slightly less CO2. The 2.7-litre produces 227g/km compared with the newer 2.9-litre engine at 221g/km. The older 3.4-litre emits 254g/km of CO2 compared with the newer version, which produces 221-223g/km. PDK-equipped cars have slightly lower CO2 outputs.

Despite the cost, it’s best to stick with a franchised dealer when servicing newer cars; this will help protect future resale values. However, for older cars, there are plenty of respected independent specialists who will do the job properly, while also saving you a tidy sum.

Insurance premiums are typical for a sports car, with the range classed between groups 42 and 44.

Trade view

Don’t forget that a Cayman comes with a two-year warranty only from new.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Few cars are as reliable as a Cayman but, like most thoroughbreds, it needs TLC to stay at its best.

A full service history is essential, and some owners save money by putting off expensive repairs, so consider an inspection if buying privately.

Using a Cayman for track days drastically shortens the life of tyres, brakes and the clutch, and takes its toll on the engine, drivetrain and gearbox. Cars that have been through the gravel traps or into a crash barrier will have the scars to prove it.

Of the small number of problems that are reported, most appear to be electrics or engine-based. However, some owners experience brake problems, with discs becoming warped if they're not used hard enough.

If something does fail, the bills could be sizeable. An extended warranty will help ward off sleepless nights. Don’t forget that a Cayman comes with only a two-year warranty from new.

Trade view

One of the best driver’s cars bar none. The Cayman is fast, fierce and fun.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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