Nearly-new buying guide: Porsche 718 Cayman

Porsche 718 Cayman cornering

Used current-shape models are now a third cheaper than new

Loud was the hoo-ha in 2016 over the adoption of a four-cylinder turbocharged engine in place of the flat six in the then new 718 Cayman and Boxster. Feelings were so strong that the debate still rages, despite the 2019 reintroduction of a naturally aspirated 4.0-litre six-cylinder unit to two additional models, the GTS and the GT4.

If you are into your sports cars, such things as the number of cylinders in the engine and whether or not that engine is turbocharged are of paramount importance, so it wasn’t surprising that enthusiasts the world over wept when this car was introduced.

Nevertheless, you don’t just write off four-cylinder 718s. They’re much faster than the older Cayman, for one thing, and ruddy good to drive for another, having been comprehensively refreshed all over, with quicker steering, even more trick suspension and updated styling.

It isn’t short of power, either. The 2.0-litre is good for 295bhp and the 2.5-litre S version has 345bhp. Both will rocket to a licence-losing speed fairly quickly and, despite the turbocharging, it’s rarely caught out when it comes to puff. However, enthusiasts who bemoan the lack of aural pleasure are right to do so. It’s not nearly as pleasant as the old engine’s tone and it’s not very sports car-like.

Best to concentrate instead on the 718’s many pluses, such as its wonderful balance and eager handling. This car is brilliantly drivable at any speed, with endless grip and remarkable poise.

Its well-assembled cabin provides a comfortable and satisfying environment with a great driving position. All the switchgear has a solid, high-quality feel and the buttons operate in a slick fashion.

Buying a used example can get you some decent savings, too, despite Porsche’s rock-solid residual values.

Reckon on spending around £30,000 to get a 2016 model. You’ll be looking at the 2.0 version at this price, but increase the budget to between £35,000 and £40,000 and you should find an early S model. As for the flat-six cars, expect to fork out around £50,000 for a GTS Cayman or more than £80,000 for a GT4 version.

Engines and gearboxes are generally reliable, although earlier cars had problems with the dual-clutch transmission, and owners complained about the quality of the paintwork.

The 2.0-litre Cayman is the most economical, unsurprisingly, with an official WLTP combined figure of 32.8mpg, although if you enjoy the car as much as you should, you’ll probably not see anywhere near that. Insurance groups are, as you might imagine, high and range from group 44 for the 2.0-litre car up to 50 for the GT4.

Need to know

Tax for cars registered before April 2017 will be based on CO2 emissions, while those registered after that date will incur a flat rate of £150 a year and a luxury car tax, currently £325 a year.

Servicing will be expensive and is best carried out by Porsche specialists. Some garages operate a fixed-price servicing plan, with costs for a minor service starting at £485 for a Cayman.

There was mixed news for Porsche in the most recent reliability survey by our sibling title What Car?. The Cayman’s open-top twin, the Boxster, came in third place in the sports car class but Porsche as a brand finished in a disappointing 23rd place out of 31 manufacturers.

Our pick

718 Cayman: We love the S but, because it’s more expensive to buy, even used, we’d be quite happy with the regular 718 Cayman in real-world road driving. It’s a thing of huge delight.

Wild card

Cayman GTS: Its 394bhp six-cylinder motor is an absolute dream. It’ll pull easily in higher gears from low revs but offers explosive energy when you want to drive your sports car in a sports car fashion.

Ones we found

2016 718 Cayman, 36,000 miles, £30,950

2017 718 Cayman S, 28,000 miles, £41,500

2019 Cayman GTS, 18,000 miles, £54,500


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Source: Autocar

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