2008 Porsche Cayman Interior
This interior review was written when the 2008 Porsche Cayman was new.
The 2008 Porsche Cayman has a distinctive interior feature: the engine sits just behind the seats. This quirk is part of an interior theme that emphasizes driving over creature comforts. Despite its one track mind, thereports that the interior is "reasonably roomy, with firm, supportive bucket seats and nicely placed instruments and controls."
The Cayman's mid-mounted engine means that the passenger cabin rides just in front (and slightly on top) of the car's power plant. That created an interesting design challenge, as engineers had to work to keep some (but not all -- this is a driver's car) of the engine's noise out of the cockpit, and had to remove the heat that the engine would produce. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says that the engine's proximity "provides some booming resonance inside," but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The reports that "in the throes of aggressive driving swamps the cabin with a bright, metallic resonance. Imagine the sound of someone cutting up Zildjian cymbals with a Husqvarna chain saw." Consumer Guide agrees that the engine noise is louder than in front-engine cars, but the "race-car engine note delights." Not everyone is as pleased, however. Automobile Magazine says the engine's position "makes life hard for the air-conditioning; the cabin serves up rump roast over frozen heart as a summer dish."
Both of the Cayman's seats get positive reviews. Car and Driver says, "Head- and legroom are ample for six-footers." Edmunds agrees, and adds that the seats "could use a touch more bolstering, but they've got plenty of electronic adjustments to tailor your ideal fit." says, "You'll find it easy to come up with a good driving position, once you get used to pedals closer together than is typical and offset slightly right." However, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel points out that the seats also fall victim to Porsche not offering some features that are expected at this price. They report that the Cayman "has manual adjustments on the driver's seat for height and fore-and-aft," instead of power adjustment. Still, they add that Porsche has "thoughtfully provided a power seatback adjuster, which is where you really need the fine tuning."
The Cayman's interior is a reminder that this car is all about driving. Consumer Guide says, "Rich-feeling, carefully assembled cabin materials enhance sophisticated ambience, but Porsche charges extra for amenities some rivals include as standard, including full leather upholstery and power seats." In addition to the extra-cost for some amenities, reports, "Steering-column stalks for cruise control, turn signals and other functions feel cheap. Aluminum-look trim is plastic and not always the robust kind. Satellite radio's not available." Still, the says the passenger cabin is "well-tailored and businesslike," because Porsche's aim is to immerse occupants in the car's performance, not the latest interior gadgetry.
The amenities that the Cayman does offer generally work well, though the focus on driving controls means that "[s]econdary controls for such things as the audio system, though, are almost too small for easy, quick use by a driver," MSN reports. Consumer Guide adds that, though the layout is logical, entertainment and comfort controls are "governed by too many undersized, look-alike buttons." Though Edmunds agrees that the small switchgear makes some controls confusing at first, "With familiarity, however, they become fairly easy to use and the gauges are also typically Porsche, meaning large and well-marked."
A navigation system is available on the 2008 Cayman, but most reviews don't mention it. Those that do continue the theme of fussy, tough-to-use controls. "Even worse," says Consumer Guide, the system "absorbs and complicates audio adjustments."
The 2008 Cayman has surprisingly good cargo space for a sports car. Its mid-engine design means that it has both a rear and front trunk. The front trunk (which is located where the engine is on most cars) has 5.3 cubic feet of cargo space. The rear trunk has 9.2 cubic feat of cargo space. Thanks to the two trunks, Kelley Blue Book says the coupe "has a good deal more practicality than might be apparent at first glance." The found the Cayman up to the task of taking a week's worth of recyclables to the recycling center, and says, "You can haul golf bags or a week's worth of luggage in the Cayman, even as you and a companion are tucked with comfortable tightness into its cockpit."
Inside the cabin, storage is more limited, but that fits the Cayman's sporting purpose. The mid-mounted engine creates a carpeted shelf behind the two seats, which Automobile Magazine says "probably could hold an attaché case under its net but not much more, since the rear glass closes in quickly here. There's a lot of floor space, but much of it is marginally useful." Hooks on the backs of the seats provide hanging storage.