2006 Porsche Cayman S Coupe Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Porsche Cayman S Coupe

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Porsche Cayman S Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.4 L Flat 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 295 hp @ 6250 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Porsche Cayman S

  • More than just a Boxster S with a lid, the Cayman S embodies the soul and heart of history's best Porsches.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Supreme handling characteristics, pinpoint steering, strong brakes, generous luggage capacity.

  • Cons

    Options are costly, audio and climate controls are a little busy, straight-line performance can be equaled by that of many less expensive performance cars.

  • What's New for 2006

    The Cayman S is an all-new coupe based on the successful Boxster platform.

Full 2006 Porsche Cayman S Review

What's New for 2006

The Cayman S is an all-new coupe based on the successful Boxster platform.


Although the 911 has been the staple of Porsche's lineup for over three decades, the debut of the Boxster in 1997 ushered in a new era of the more affordable Porsche convertible. With its compact, midengine layout and formidable handling prowess, the flat-six-powered Boxster quickly became one of the best-selling cars in the luxury roadster segment. Seeing the need to bridge the gap between the Boxster and the 911, Porsche created the Cayman S. In short, it's a hardtop version of the Boxster. The two cars share the same basic design, which means a midengine layout, rear-drive, two seats and a curb weight of about 3,000 pounds. But leaving it just at that would be a disservice. Porsche designed the Cayman S to take a more hard-core approach to performance. The Cayman's engine is more powerful, its suspension tuning is stiffer and it offers more sport-oriented options than the Boxster.

The Cayman S also boasts better versatility thanks to its hatchback design. Under that rear hatch, there's 9.1 cubic feet of storage -- twice that of a Boxster. And under that storage space, ahead of the rear axle, is the Cayman S's 24-valve four-cam 3.4-liter flat-six engine bolted to a six-speed manual transmission. A Tiptronic automatic is optional. Based on the Boxster S's 3.2 six, the Cayman S's 295-hp six draws its inspiration from a variable intake manifold, cylinder heads imported from the 911 Carrera S, and the 911's VarioCam Plus variable valve timing and lift. The engine snaps the Cayman S to attention just off idle, and lays down a flat field of peak torque -- 251 lb-ft -- between 4,400 and 6,000 rpm.

Adding a roof to any structure is a sure way to add stiffness, and Porsche tuned this law of physics to the Cayman's advantage. The car's newfound structural unity -- it's twice as resistant to flex as the Boxster -- allowed Porsche to play with spring, strut and antiroll bar settings to have the car engage corners much more aggressively, but still maintain ride quality. There are other sports cars that are faster than the Cayman S. There are even many performance cars in the $35,000 range that can post similar acceleration times. But very few cars approach performance the way the Cayman S does. In a way, one could argue that the Cayman S is a return to what the 911 used to be: a focused driver's car. If your idea of fun is just heading out to mountain roads on the weekend for no other reason than to just drive, you're going to love this car.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

This midengine, two-seat hatchback comes in one flavor, the Cayman S. The standard equipment list includes such features as a trip computer; a leather-covered steering wheel, gearshift knob, armrests and handbrake handle and a CD stereo with nine speakers. Optional equipment includes items like full leather power seating; adaptive sport seating; wood, carbon or aluminum trim; rear parking assist; heated seats; and a navigation system. Also optional are PCCB ceramic brake discs and PASM, or Porsche Active Suspension Management, which allows the driver to choose between a sporty but comfortable mode and a full-on race-worthy suspension setup at the touch of a button on the dash.

Powertrains and Performance

The Cayman S is powered by a 3.4-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine. It produces 295 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard. An automatic, Porsche's five-speed Tiptronic automanual, is also available.


Torso- and head-protecting side airbags, traction control and four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard. Electronic stability control, dubbed PSM, is also standard. The Cayman S has not yet been crash tested.

Interior Design and Special Features

The seats are firm and supportive, and headroom is especially generous. Like other Porsches, the Cayman's cabin is good-looking but a little confusing at first glance. The gauge cluster is well laid out, but the climate and radio controls can be hard to decipher. With two cargo areas (one up front and one in back), there is ample cargo space available.

Driving Impressions

The Cayman S, although midengined and rear-drive, is set up to understeer when overcooked into tight corners. Optional PASM, or Porsche Active Suspension Management, allows the driver to choose between a sporty but comfy mode and a full-on race-worthy setup at the touch of a button on the dash. PASM's Normal mode is quite livable, sucking up bad road with ease. Meanwhile, the Sport mode takes body roll out of the equation and rattles the cockpit more, letting you do amazing things as long as the road stays fairly racetrack smooth. The Cayman S's variable-assist rack and pinion steering is classic Porsche, with spot-on feel and direct action. Likewise, the brakes -- four-piston calipers clamping down on only moderately sized discs -- respond quickly and have excellent feel under foot.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Simply amazing and still strong

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Porsche Cayman S 2dr Coupe (3.4L 6cyl 6M)

This car is the best daily driver true sports car you will ever own (unless you want to fit more than 2 ppl). I've driven Lambo, Ferrari, etc... truly amazing cars, but not daily drivers. In this car you can fully utilize it's power and agility on the road while having the reliability of a Honda or Toyota. I'm near the 100k mark and have had no major issues. You want a safe car? This is it. You have all the tools you need to be an offensive driver and when those tools fail, you are surrounded by airbags to soften the blow. This car will follow your line of sight and place you exactly where you tell it to. It's an extension of the driver. This could easily be the only car I ever own.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Better than the 911 i

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Porsche Cayman S 2dr Coupe (3.4L 6cyl 6M)

Unlike all other sports cars I have owned or driven my Cayman S loves to dance. As an instructor for various car clubs I have had the chance to drive many Porsche products the way they were meant to be - on the track. The Cayman S in stock trim can run with race prepped older 911s and does a great job at hanging with the 997 cars. In my opinion to get a better track car you'd have to buy a GT3. To boot it has available all the creature comforts that you can afford to add, good economy (28mpg highway in my experience), and is a comfortable cruiser for 2 for the weekend. It gets looks all day long, as they are "rare".

7 of 28 people found this review helpful

Magic everyday--or for 20 -30.000mi.

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Vehicle: 2006 Porsche Cayman S 2dr Coupe (3.4L 6cyl 6M)

I bought my caymann new. Saved from the age of 14 to get this thing. WELL at @17000 mi. it was using oil witch they said was "normal"[1qt. per. 600mi] WOW!!! so at @ 22000mi. It was using MORE!! Turns out the motor was tearing itself to pieces when they said it was normal .. so out of warrantee it needs a motor. PORSCHE DID THE RIGHT THING AND replaced the motor.. it still cost me big.. But thats beside the point. I bought this car as a sportscar I can enjoy everyday. This motor only lasted as long as the tires. Its serviced reg. not tracked and stock.. not the robust car I thought I bought.Now my dream cars a nightmare and I don't know what to do with it. afarid to drive it over 22K

1 of 1 people found this review helpful


by on
Vehicle: 2006 Porsche Cayman S 2dr Coupe (3.4L 6cyl 6M)

The Cayman S is best all around Porsche I have ever owned. The quality is excellent. The Cayman S is well balanced between power and handling. Great roadablity around town and when I select the PASM and it is outstanding. And the servicing is only 2 year or 20K.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Nonstop problems

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Porsche Cayman S 2dr Coupe (3.4L 6cyl 6M)

I have had nonstop problems with my Cayman s 2006 converters had to be replaced, check engine lights several times, air bag lights and now a new clutch system because the wrong one was put in from the factory. Oh yes coolant light comes on but it is not low check the Cayman forums before you buy Porsche dependability was ranks last according to a recent survey

06 cayman s is a

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Porsche Cayman S 2dr Coupe (3.4L 6cyl 6M)

The most beautiful Porsche, ever. It looks great, feels great to drive, sounds great - and that Bose system is just amazing. Only downside is gas mileage.

Talk About The 2006 Cayman S

2006 Porsche Cayman S Discussions See all Started By

2006 Porsche Cayman S...

been quoted as much as $9K below MSRP for a 2006 Cayman S and $7K below MSRP for a 2007 Cayman S, what gives? Does $6K below MSRP sound like a good deal for a 2006 Boxster S or should I hold out for...

What was the in service date and MSRP on the 2006 Cayman S. You should be able to pick up a brand new one at close to 10% off. Unless you are getting at least 25% off the equivalent MSRP on a used o...

Read more about the 2006 Porsche Cayman S

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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