With the 718 Cayman, Porsche offers a more affordable sports car with all the driving brilliance of the more expensive and famous 911. It’s the cheapest way into a Porsche sports car and boy, does it do Porsche proud.
By Freda Lewis-Stempel
You spot a Cayman and think Porsche. While it doesn’t have the same iconic shape as the 911, the Cayman’s 15 years on Earth mean it’s earned its owned famed status. It’s not a copy of the 911, so you’ll love the design for its individuality.
The 718 updates make the Cayman the most attractive it’s ever been. It’s a two-seater coupé, so it’s low, muscular, and sleek with the flyline you’d expect from a mid-mounted engine. The back is wide and powerful and gives a sense of the car’s speed and performance. The automatic rear wing – especially when finished in Racing Yellow or another standout Porsche colourway – is one of the nicest design features on the car.
It’s a vehicle that keeps wowing you the more you look at it.
The Cayman and Cayman S are very similar, but the Cayman T has its own graphics pack and wheels as well as the Cayman S’s twin exhaust. The GTS and GTS 4.0 are notably different and worthy of their own review.
It’s a vehicle that keeps wowing you the more you look at it
What’s it like to drive?
We dare you to find anyone who doesn’t agree that the Cayman is a driving enthusiast’s dream.
For a mid-price two-seater sports car, there really isn’t another car that comes close to the Cayman.
It used to be the poor man’s 911, but the Cayman is now worthy of all the clout it is getting.
The ride and handling – even for the entry-level 718 Cayman – comes as close to faultless as possible.
Considering the starting price point of the Cayman, the engagement and agility are sublime, as is the balance of the car.
You can choose between manual and automatic PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe) gearboxes, and the manual combined with the entry-level small wheels delivers some of the best performance and thrills.
All Caymans up to the GTS come with 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engines, and the turbo engines have some series kick.
0-62mph in 4.9 seconds and 300hp – this car is fast and reactive off the line. Top speeds of 170mph won’t disappoint either.
The engines are a little quieter than before but the drive is more exciting and playful, so we’d say it’s well worth it.
Despite how low the car is, and how powerful, the ride is remarkably smooth.
Even on bumpy country roads, the Cayman isn’t perturbed, so it really is a sports car that you can enjoy anywhere, anytime.
The Cayman is a two-seater that blends a clean design with neat storage tricks to make it as practical as possible.
In recent years, the 718 Cayman has had glow-up in the interior department – the dash and infotainment are more streamlined with fewer buttons and digital speed dials.
It’s easy to customise the navigation and dials, so you can change between navigation, media and computer setup.
There's even the option of Apple CarPlay if you don't fancy using Porsche's system.
The cabin storage is set up to get every inch out of the small space, with a folding cupholder under the glovebox and USB ports tucked inside the driver’s compartment.
As to be expected with Porsche, the interior quality is exceptional. You won’t find a cheap material in sight. Even the entry-level has heated Alcantara sports seats, and you get 718 logos throughout.
If you want to upgrade, then you can opt for full-leather bucket seats or Porsche racing seats.
Being a two-seater sports car, the 718 Cayman isn’t going to be the world’s most practical car.
Despite this, it is possible to be a cool parent and take your child (singular) to school in the Cayman if you opt for the ISOFIX child seat mount. For a parent and teenager or two adults, there’s plenty of space for two.
There are 425 litres of space split between the front boot and the back boot, so you’ll need to pack a few smaller bags rather than one or two big ones.
Storage space is smartly integrated, with a shelf behind the seats, a good-sized glovebox, and door bins with pull-out sides.
If you’re a driver who loves the outdoors and sports, then the hard-top Cayman’s roof rack is a lifesaver if you want to take your bike, skis or outdoor gear with you on your next adventure.
Running costs and reliability
The four-cylinder engines are, on paper, more efficient than the previous six-cylinder engines, but the WLTP figures manage between 31.-4-32.8mpg for the most efficient engines. Service intervals are only two years, however, so you should save there.
Porsche makes very reliable cars and is constantly praised by Driver Power owner satisfaction surveys. In 2022, Porsche came in as the top manufacturer and every Porsche comes with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty.
What we love
An entry-level sports car that will blow your socks off, the 718 Cayman delivers everything you could want from Porsche without totally breaking the bank.
It’s a powerhouse that even manages to be practical (well, as much as a two-seater can be).
Still looking for the one?
Use our comparison tool to find the car for you
If you're after a fun weekend sports car that can also be used every single day, then the Porsche 718 Cayman is the car for you.
It's great to drive, is surprisingly practical, and it isn't as shouty as a Ferrari. It's the perfect under-the-radar driving machine.
This review was