2014 Porsche Cayman Coupe (2.7L 6-cyl. 6-speed Manual)
Driven On 6/25/2013
It's hard to beat the 2014 Porsche Cayman unless you spend more and buy a Cayman S. They both handle and steer amazingly well, they're assembled like a fine watch, and either one is a daily driver candidate owing to comfort, cargo capacity and mpg. The 19-inch rubber here is more livable than 20s and the 6-speed manual is entertaining.
PerformanceSure, the base Cayman gives up 50 horsepower to the Cayman S, but it's still quick and it has the same phenomenal brakes and precise handling. And heroic driving skills aren't required to take advantage, either.
The Cayman's 2.7-liter 275-horsepower flat-6 is down 50 horsepower to the Cayman S, but it still hauls the mail to the tune of 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds and sounds incredible.
Confidence-inspiring brakes, with a firm, powerful pedal and the extremely stable nature that comes with the mid-engine platform. Standard brakes provide fade-free street stops.
Precise and direct, the Cayman's steering always lets you know what the front tires are up to. Our ealier Cayman S complaint resulted from Power Steering Plus, an option this particular Cayman didn't have.
Our Cayman is stable and precise in corners and grips the road like crazy. The optional Porsche Torque Vectoring system helps put the power down exiting even the tightest corners.
The 6-speed manual has precise clutch and shifter action, but 1st and 2nd gears feel a bit tall in town. A fuel saving stop-start system kills the engine at idle and restarts it before you get the clutch to the floor to engage 1st gear.
ComfortThe Cayman is a sports car you can drive every day, particularly if you go no larger than 19-inch tires. The 20s on a Cayman S were borderline brutal. Engine note is intoxicating, but fades into the background when cruising in 6th gear.
The optional 14-way power sport seats provide great lateral support without being confining. They look great, and they provide a good blend of cushioning and support.
The ride is fairly smooth and compliant in normal mode. It's certainly not punishing for daily driving. The 19-inch rubber helps here; a Cayman S we drove with 20s was notably stiffer.
You're always aware of the engine, but it's a great sound in the Porsche flat-six tradition. Throttle pedal = volume knob. Road noise from the 19-inch rubber less intrusive than the optional 20s.
InteriorDespite being a low-slung sports car, the Cayman isn't a chore to hop in and out of as the bubble-like roof gives good headroom. The center stack and console are too busy for our tastes, cubby space is lacking. And those cupholders?
Excellent driving position with airy forward view, although the hood falls away so dramaticallly you can hardly see it. New center console layout is clean, easy to master without the manual.
It's pretty easy to get in/out of the Cayman, the seat isn't too low or overbolstered. No fear of knocking head on roof. The door sills are a bit wide, but this is a sports car.
Headroom is not an issue, even for big guys, due to the tall roof. Elbow room, though, is a tad tight both on door-side and center armrest. Footbox is small, especially for the passenger.
The view forward is good due to narrow windshield pillars, and the driver's side rear three-quarter view makes lane changes a breeze. No rear camera option. Excellent optional adaptive headlights.
Interior cubbies are few and small, and the flip-out cupholders are pretty lame. But trunk space is good for two; the front trunk holds decent-sized luggage and the rear cargo area is handy.
ValueA mixed bag if you study the numbers too carefully. But then you realize you're getting a very entertaining Porsche that is more rewarding than the venerable 911 in many ways for less money.
Build Quality (vs. $)
The 2014 Porsche Cayman comes across as well built, worth the money. The materials look and feel good, and they are assembled with a high degree of accuracy.
The basic Cayman is an impressive machine, but some of the performance comes from options like PASM and Porsche Torque Vectoring. And basic items like Bluetooth, parking sensors and a rear wiper are optional.
The rather tempting base price of $52,600 won't hold because of the options you'll probably want. Our test car cost over $70,000 and there were many options left on the table.
The Cayman is rated 24 mpg combined/20 city/30 highway. We averaged 29.3 over our test loop and 23 in random suburban driving. Those that drove in the city with stop/start disabled got high teens.
The Cayman's basic warranty is 4 years/50,000 miles, the same as a BMW M3 and better than the Nissan 370Z, but the Z slightly bests the Porsche's 4-year/50,000-mile drivetrain coverage.
Porsche gives roadside assistance for 4 years/50,000 miles, but does not offer a free maintenance program for 4 years/50,000 miles like BMW does.
Fun To DriveIt's all here: excellent handling in a lightweight package, otherworldly brakes and that distinctive Porsche flat-six engine note in close proximity to your skull. Those that desire more power and raw speed can always step up to the Cayman S.
The Cayman is an impressive entry-level Porsche. Sharp steering, grip and maneuverability in abundance, snug seats and that intoxicating flat-six, which sounds better the more you rev it.
With 50 fewer horsepower than the Cayman S, the standard Cayman is more of a momentum car for the corners, less of a drag racer. But it's good at momentum. Very good.
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