Having been interested in Porsche for many years, I began reading reviews of the new 718 series as soon as they began to appear. I finally got the chance to drive one (a base Boxster) about a month ago, and I was very impressed: it was superior in every respect to the 2014 Boxster S that I was driving. After thinking it over for a while, I returned to my dealer last week, and drove the base car again, followed by an S. I was again impressed by the base car, but the S clearly had higher performance. Having had a Boxster, I decided to buy a Cayman this time: better visibility, the ability to take it through a car wash, getting away from troublesome sun glare with the top down and less expensive. My dealer (Checkered Flag in Virginia Beach) gave me an outstanding deal, and I bought my new Cayman S on 11-29-16. If you have read reviews that whine about the noise of the new engines, ignore them: the new engines have a bass note that is very satisfying. The 718 is also superior to its predecessor in every respect - better steering, better ride, better handling, better acceleration. I am very pleased, as anyone will be who is looking for the quintessential sports car.
Let's get the disclaimer out of the way first; this is my first Porsche, so I can't do the sound comparison - I'm happy, but I can't compare to "back in the day." What I can say is that this is one fine, well-built, high performing vehicle. This car simply attracted me, especially after I couldn't find much else that appealed to me. Several makes and models seemed to be going for luxury at the expense of performance. I've always preferred cars that I drove, rather than ones that drove me. And those were getting increasingly difficult to find. I've always driven manual transmissions, and several "sport sedans" and even "sport cars" were abandoning them. So I plunked down a deposit in mid-July, knowing I wouldn't get it until around the first of December. It was worth the wait. Is the Porsche 718 Cayman inexpensive? No. But it's also not cheap, either. This is a well put together car with very good materials. It has an intelligent layout that is pretty darn intuitive and easy to understand. It has the smoothest shifting of any of my previous ten cars. I'd always wondered if a car can really feel like "it corners on rails"; now I know one can. The handling of this car, and its responsiveness, is what I'd dream about if I dreamed about "the ultimate car." I wanted a car that would be just plain fun to drive on meandering country roads, and now I've got it. We've all had that one car we felt connected to - I had mine in my late 20s. But this Cayman looks like it will rival, and likely surpass, that connection. I suspect that in a very short time I will know what the car will do, and it will know what I'm up to. I've only had that one other car that generated that level of trust. And the look of this car is stunning (and with better lines than the previous Caymans). Also, a plug for Sun Motor Cars in Pennsylvania, an excellent dealership, is in order. So let's sum it up: looks, handling, the fun quotient, comfort, acceleration, a (gasp!) car with a manual transmission, that feeling of connection, a car that exudes thoughtful class and excellence - yes, this new Cayman checks all the boxes for me. One. Fine. Vehicle.