The Best Sports Coupe? Porsche Cayman 2014 Review
Porsche Cayman 2014 in a nutshell: Do you have 911 dreams but Boxster money? The Porsche Cayman 2014 is essentially a fixed-roof version of the Boxster, but it more than holds its own when pitted against its bigger brother the 911, which costs nearly twice as much. The middle child of the Porsche lineup is one of the best sports cars “normal person” money can buy. The third generation Cayman keeps the traditional mid-engined, rear-wheel drive configuration, but has gained a longer wheelbase, shed a few pounds and picked up a few ponies under the bonnet. Oh yeah, and it’s also got perfectly placed curves and beauty to rival any pin-up model.
While the Porsche Cayman 2014 is fundamentally a Boxster topped with permanent sheet metal, the body is nearly twice as stiff, resulting in vastly different driving characteristics. Step down into the car and you will immediately become acquainted with the engine since it sits directly behind you. This can be either a 2.7-litre 275bhp unit, or a 3.4-litre 325bhp power plant depending on whether you’re piloting the standard Cayman (if there is such a thing) or the Cayman S. Either way, that’s 10bhp more than a corresponding Boxster model. Both variants of the six-cylinder engine are mid-mounted unlike the 911 which has the six-pot sitting behind the rear wheels. Having the engine in the middle greatly improves handling dynamics – you don’t need a physics professor scribbling maths equations to recognise that.
On paper, the figures are quite impressive also. The basic 2.7-litre with a manual gearbox will accelerate to 62mph in 5.7 seconds on the way to 165mph. If you opt for the 3.4-litre Cayman S with PDK and Sport Chrono, those numbers drop to a 62mph run in just 4.7 seconds before topping out at 174mph. Handling is as impressive as straight line performance – the Cayman never loses its composure even at speeds fast enough to impress a Formula 1 driver.
The Porsche Cayman 2014 backs up all of that brawn with an abundance of sex appeal. The nose is sleeker and features bi-xenon headlights, but the bigger changes are out back in the form of larger wheel arches and the swept-back roofline. The mid-engine layout provides a lot of space – at least for a two-seat sports car – with a total of 425-litres available for storage. Of course, that volume is divided between the 275-litre cabin space and the 150-litres under the bonnet.
The quality of the interior is outstanding, much like that of the Boxster. Unlike that car however, the Cayman only has room for two. But hey, in an elite sports car, three is a crowd anyhow.
At £40,000 the base advertised price of the Porsche Cayman 2014 isn’t too daunting. In typical Porsche fashion however, you should plan on pocketing money from the kid’s college fund to pay for “optional” equipment. Standard Caymans get Alcantara-trimmed sports seats with electrically adjustable backrests, 18-inch alloy wheels, a stereo with touch-screen control, auto headlights, air conditioning and an infotainment system offering the connectivity the modern world demands. The Cayman S will afford you 19-inch alloy wheels with larger front brake discs plucked from the 911 Carrera, bits of leather dispersed throughout the interior and Bi-Xenon headlights in addition to the larger 3.4-litre engine.
Safety hasn’t been neglected either with Porsche’s two stage PSM stability control system keeping the wheels on the pavement. An assortment of airbags – including knee bags – do their job to protect occupant’s noggins and limbs in the event of an accident.
Sports cars aren’t expected to achieve fantastic economy numbers, but then again, the Cayman isn’t like most sports cars. This Cayman S manual ekes out 32.1 mpg on the combined cycle whereas the PDK equipped variant gets 35.3mpg. The PDK’s better economy is due in part to its tall seventh gear. If you want to impress hybrid owners with your sports cars stellar economy, go for a Cayman 2.7 with PDK where you’ll average 36.7mpg with emissions of just 180g/km.
Insurance groupings are 37E for the Cayman 2.7 and 41E for this Cayman S. Overall, the cost of ownership for the Porsche Cayman 2014 is far from obscene – you may even have some money left over to purchase one of those fashionable prancing horse jackets.
Journalists gush over the Porsche Cayman 2014 as if it were a Hollywood movie star. In most cases, this type of bias leaves us sceptical, but in this case the praise is well justified. The Cayman is a bit of an underdog, stealing the spotlight from some of Porsche’s more expensive offerings. If you’ve got £40,000 to £50,000 to spend on a sports car, this is the way to go. I guess we better take that second job at the Supermarket and start saving those pennies.