BMW M2 vs Jaguar F-type vs Porsche 718 Cayman S

Is the turbocharged Cayman S the best sports car you can buy, or would you have more fun in a BMW M2 or Jaguar F-Type?...

BMW M2 vs Jaguar F-type vs Porsche 718 Cayman S
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What Car? team
7 Apr 2016 16:20

Our verdict

Despite subtle improvements in one or two areas, there’s no question that the new Porsche Cayman is an inferior sports car to the model it replaces. The blame for that lies squarely with the new four-cylinder engine, which really should sound better and deliver its power more smoothly. Given the new engine’s disappointing fuel economy, we can’t help but question why Porsche has made the switch.

Nevertheless, while the new Cayman doesn’t utterly destroy its rivals in the way old model did, it’s still an outstanding sports car. Its agile, delicate handling makes it bliss to drive on any twisty road, and it’s pretty easy to live with the rest of the time. It’s also predicted to depreciate far more slowly than its rivals and, officially at least, emits the least CO2, which means affordable tax bills for company car drivers. You will want to add quite a few options, though.

The BMW M2 comes a close second. It’s just as fast as the Cayman, sounds better, is much more practical and comes with heaps more standard equipment. It even handles well compared with most sports cars, although not nearly as well as the Cayman, and that’s ultimately why it loses out.

Finishing third in this company is no disgrace for the ageing Jaguar F-Type. Its catwalk looks and sweet sounding engine will still be enough to seduce many buyers, but in this form it doesn’t really handle like a proper sports car. Its woefully outdated infotainment system and unsettled low-speed ride also frustrate.

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1st – Porsche 718 Cayman

BMW M2 vs Jaguar F-type vs Porsche 718 Cayman S

For Straight-line pace; staggering balance and agility; steering; gearshift; classiest interior

Against Engine noise; stingy standard kit; real-world economy

Verdict The best sub-£50k sports car you can buy. Just not quite as brilliant as it once was.

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Porsche Cayman review

2nd – BMW M2

BMW M2 vs Jaguar F-type vs Porsche 718 Cayman S

For Fast and fun; practical and cheap in this company

Against Not as agile or as precise as Cayman

Verdict A great choice if you need extra space

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full BMW M2 review

3rd – Jaguar F-Type Coupé

BMW M2 vs Jaguar F-type vs Porsche 718 Cayman S

For Glorious engine noise; driving position; looks

Against Firm low-speed ride; so-so handling

Verdict Desirable, but outclassed by these rivals

Rated 3 out of 5

Read our full Jaguar F-Type Coupé review

Specifications: BMW M2 3.0 manual

Engine size 3.0-litre, petrol, turbo

List price £45,750

Target Price £43,124

Power 365bhp

Torque 369lb ft

0-62mph 4.5sec

Top speed 155mph

Official fuel economy 33.2mpg

True MPG 31.4mpg

CO2 emissions 199g/km

Specifications: Jaguar F-Type Coupé

Engine size 3.0-litre, petrol, supercharged

List price £51,705

Target Price £49,571

Power 335bhp

Torque 332lb ft

0-62mph 5.0sec

Top speed 161mph

Official fuel economy 33.6mpg

True MPG 28.8mpg

CO2 emissions 199g/km

Specifications: Porsche 718 Cayman 2.5 S manual

Engine size 2.5-litre, petrol, turbo

List price £49,689

Target Price £49,689

Power 345bhp

Torque 310lb ft

0-62mph 4.7sec

Top speed 177mph

Official fuel economy 34.9mpg

True MPG 28.4mpg

CO2 emissions 184g/km