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Porsche 718 Cayman (2019 - )

While everyone purrs with envy at the thought of owning a Porsche 911, there is a great deal to be said for the 718 Cayman, not least of all its price and performance.

Starting price:
£45,230 (£54,982 with options)

Why we love it:
  • Excellent power and handling
  • Beautifully appointed interior
  • The appeal of a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car
Where it could be better:
  • Four-cylinder engine sounds tamer than the six-cylinder version
  • It lacks practicality
  • Watch where you park – it has wide opening doors
Secure your test drive today
Request a Porsche 718 test drive

Introduction

Porsche 718 Cayman

While everyone purrs with envy at the thought of owning a Porsche 911, there is a great deal to be said for the 718 Cayman, not least of all its price and performance.

Admittedly, the two-door, two-seat 718 Cayman is not exactly cheap – our test model cost in excess of £45k. Move up to the 718 Cayman GT4 RS and the starting price jumps to a whopping £113,700.

However, this still compares very favourably to its bigger sibling - the 911 - with prices ranging from £89,800 to £214,200 (and that’s before any optional extras are factored in).  

So, clearly the 718 is a lot more economical to buy, but does it still have the wow factor that the sleekly-designed German sports car has always charmed us with? The answer is a very simple yes. 

And in other ways it could be seen as a more realistic car to own. For example, our test car could complete the 0-62mph dash in 4.9 seconds. A 911 will match that sprint time and slash it almost in half. Which sort of proves my point. Where on earth can you take full advantage of that sort of speed in the UK? A racetrack maybe, but that’s not for day-to-day driving.

Another plus-point for the 718 is the vast choice of models. There are Coupe or Boxster styles along with a wealth of trim and engine options to wade through too. 

Porsche 718 Cayman

The two-door Porsche 718 Cayman is a stunning piece of kit guaranteed to turn heads, especially in Racing Yellow as tested. 

It boasts sleek streamlining, side air intakes with two black grilles, a wide-opening rear hatch, black side window trims, an auto deploying rear wing, the PORSCHE logo on the rear apron, badging on the bonnet, Bi-Xenon headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights and a dark grey tint at the top of the windscreen to prevent glare.

Options on the car included back sports tailpipes, tinted rear lights, along with striking 20-inch Carrera S wheels (upgraded from the standard 18-inch ones).

Move inside and there are two-way electric sports seats that can be heated and are very body-hugging, a GT sports steering wheel, a 718 logo on the gear lever, high gloss silver trim to the dashboard and centre console, along with Isofix child seat mounting points on the passenger seat.

On-board tech is plentiful with the likes of a full navigation system, Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, an eight-speaker sound system and digital radio.

There is a separate panel for all the climate control functions, as well as a compact, but practical infotainment screen. Behind the wheel is a three-dial driver display unit showing all the vital data – namely speed and revs. A switch on the steering wheel can alter the information you can see and the driver can easily flick through settings such as the sat nav, Bluetooth, speed limit, tyre pressures, trip information and vehicle readouts including oil and water temperatures.

Everything within the cabin is perfectly positioned for ease of use on the fly without causing driver distraction. 

On The Road

Porsche 718 Cayman

Handling & Performance

The Porsche 718 Cayman is powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 300hp and 380Nm of torque. It bursts out the starting blocks with instant acceleration and can complete the 0-62mph dash in just 4.9 seconds going on to a top speed of 170mph.

It features a seven-speed PDK automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddles for added driver engagement. A Sport button livens up the handling even further giving the acceleration and gearbox sharper responses. In addition, the chassis setting can also be switched across to Sport.

The steering is direct and ultra-precise with ample feedback and, with its outstanding grip, this Porsche can be driven with ultimate confidence through twisting country lanes. The acceleration and power out of bends is almost as thrilling as the cornering itself and very little seems to unsettle this car. Much of this is down to the positioning of the engine just behind you for extra balance along with the rear-wheel drive set-up.

Noise levels within the cabin are actually quite refined, especially compared with the 4.0-litre, six-cylinder models that are available and even the UK’s uneven network of roads seem almost acceptable.

It’s also worth mentioning just how comfortable the 718 Cayman is. It looks like you will be shaken to pieces after a couple of hours firing through the countryside, but it’s certainly not the case at all.

It’s happy pottering around town too and can also put in a shift on motorways where it’s a deceptively comfortable cruiser.

Porsche 718 Cayman

Space & Practicality

The Porsche 718 Cayman is a two-door, two-seater sports coupe so it will never tick all the practicality boxes. But, despite the styling, the German carmaker has been clever to utilise all the available space.
For example, there is a 272-litre rear luggage capacity, but in addition there is a compartment beneath the bonnet that can accommodate a further 150 litres of lit. That’s because the 718 Cayman is a mid-engined car so it frees up that extra room up front.
The cabin is perfectly designed for two occupants and it doesn’t feel cramped or claustrophobic at all with bags of space to stretch out. And there are handy storage options scattered around too, including a lockable glovebox, door bins that can be extended, a tray beneath the central armrest, two cup holders that pop out the dashboard and a clip in the driver’s sun visor to keep the likes of parking tickets safe.
The car measures 4,379mm in length, is 1,994mm wide (without mirrors) and 1,295mm tall. It is very low to the ground so getting in and out with any sense of dignity requires practice, but I think we can live with that.
The driver visibility impresses with long side windows, plus the addition of Park Assist. This introduces front and rear sensors along with a reversing camera, but does add £464 to the asking price.
 

Ownership

Porsche 718 Cayman

Running Costs

Despite being at the lower end of the Porsche pricing structure, the 718 Cayman is still a premium car and has a price-tag to match. Our test car started out costing £45,230, but options such as the PDK transmission (£2,000), torque vectoring management with a lowered ride height (£926), 20-inch Carrera S wheels (£1,734), Porsche Active Suspension Management (£1,010), satin black wheels (£842) and a host of other upgrades saw the total cost increase to £54,982.
When it comes to day-to-day running, our test model powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine could deliver a combined 29.1-31.7mpg with carbon emissions of 201-220g/km under WLTP testing.
That CO2 emissions figure would see a pricey first-year road tax bill of £1,420, dropping to the standard fee of £165 after 12 months. 
But there will be further expense because any model costing in excess of £40k is subjected to a government premium car tax charge that adds an extra £355 to the bill for five years starting after year one. Fair to say, the extra costs do start to stack up then. But this would be the case on all similar models these days.
The 718 Cayman, as tested, sits in insurance group 42.

Verdict

Porsche 718 Cayman

The Porsche 718 Cayman really is the complete package. It looks drop dead gorgeous, is packed with tech and will put in a performance that many drivers can only dream of. Factor in the ‘reasonable’ asking price by today’s measures and it is a ‘must drive’ car for any purist out there.
 

Secure your test drive today
Request a Porsche 718 test drive
By Maxine Ashford
Jan 23, 2023

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