Porsche Cayman S – Long Term Review

Max power: 290 (bhp)
Torque: 251 (lb/ft)
Acceleration: 5.9 (secs)
Max speed: 166 (mph)
Transmission: RWD, Tiptronic, 5 gears

18 months have passed so quickly with the Cayman S. It’s covered 30,000 miles with me in that time as my daily driver. That’s a lot of miles for a sports car and an initial testament to its overall capability. Snow, Rain, Sun, Damp, Dry, Bitter. All conditions experienced and easily dealt with.

I bought the car for £26,000 which looking back, may have been slightly overpriced! I was so excited though and it has come from Porsche with a full Porsche service history and a 2 year warranty from them for any failures on the car beyond wear and tear. The likely value now to sell privately is around £18,000 I believe due to the condition of the car (despite the slightly higher mileage of around 65,000). Now looking at that you could wince at the drop in value but the 30,000 miles and the fact the warranty is in there (which has been used a bit for smaller things) is fair enough. Cars aren’t investments!

Exterior

Lets be frank, I think the Cayman S is a beautiful car from most angles, especially from the front 3/4 view. It’s proportions all seems to make sense and the flow of bonnet to windscreen to the rear seems to flow seamlessly. The rear end is looking slightly dated now, especially compared to the 2013 Cayman with its beefy body, but still looks good enough for a car of this type. The 19″ sport wheels also set off the car wonderfully compared to a lot of the other Cayman wheels I have seen, filling the arches with a muscular feel. Finally, the silver splitter at the front really adds a lot to the stance of the car and I’d hate to be without it.

Performance

With a healthy level of BHP and LB/FT it’s no surprise that this car does well in terms of performance. It has the grunt to swiftly overtake with ease on country roads (where I spend a chunk of time driving) and easily speed up if needed on motorways and such like. Most of the time you accomplish what you want to with the performance not hitting it’s overall peak. So the times where you really do push it to the limiter, you remember just how frantic and fast this car can get and it never fails to bring a smile to your face.

The tiptronic gearbox as others have said can be a little dim witted at times as you would expect compared to more modern PDK setups, but that’s only when pushing on. To be clear, if you’re pushing on, you should be in manual mode anyway where things are good and fast. When you just want to drive normally though, the tiptronic does a fantastic job. With only 5 ratios you would think this isn’t enough but in comparison to some brand new cars with 8 ratios (including a Boxster) there’s very little gear hunting resulting in a smoother overall experience.

Handling

The Cayman S handles really well. Mine didn’t have the PASM option allowing for the different suspension modes but you don’t miss it. It handles very well with the traction control only stepping in if needed, and not even the obtrusively when it does. It has a huge amount of grip available through corners and it’s rare to get near it’s limit on the UK roads.

Equipment and interior

Porsche long seem to lead the way in fantastic interiors and that goes for this car with a well laid out dash, excellent materials and all the usual refinements with super climate control, decent sat nav and much more. My only issue is the car phone, its just not very good. It has to be said though, I haven’t found one that’s very good, even on modern cars. There’s no substitute for the standard Apple headphones so far for me for quality and reliability of the call.

Daily driver

An important section I thought- what’s it like to drive in snow, heavy rain, sun, motorway for 200+ miles there and back in a day and so on? The answer is, excellent. It is an exemplar of a car that combines almost everything you could possibly need (as long as you don’t need 4×4 or rear seats that is).

The luggage space is tremendous having both a front and back area. The back area is good for everyday use and can take a reasonable amount of stuff as long as it’s not too tall. A big soft bag plus bits can easily fit (e.g. all my race gear). The front boot is much deeper and can take a lot more stuff. The whole space can take a full set of Christmas stuff presents and all for 2 people.

I have gone from Chester down to Chertsey and back in a day with ease and with the cruise control and easy gearbox its a superb motorway cruiser as well as A road warrior. The only thing to note about doing a lot of miles is the running costs. A full set of pads and discs from Porsche comes in at £1,800 and new tyres all round will set you back £1,300 as well. Over all the miles I have replaced the rears twice and fronts once, which actually, I think is very good considering my style as well.

Conclusion

It’s a great car. Mile muncher, speed demon or country cruiser it performs all roles excellently. Are they any down sides? It might be too good. So good in many ways that it doesn’t always feel like it has the personality and the soul of some other vehicles I’ve driven or dream about. As a first foray into Porsche ownership though, it’s been a superb experience.

About Rob

I'm an average petrolhead - I love cars and get as much driving experiences as I can out in the world from test drives to track days.