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Avg. Price Paid:$35,122 - $43,293
Original MSRP: $51,900 - $62,100
MPG: 19 City / 27 Hwy
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2011 Porsche Cayman Review

This review was written when the 2011 Porsche Cayman was new.

Meshing speed, agility and luxury seamlessly, the 2011 Porsche Cayman is one of the best luxury sports cars on the market.

If you’re checking out luxury sports cars, you’ve probably looked at both the 2011 Porsche Cayman and the 2011 Porsche Boxster.  Theses corporate siblings look alike; their main exterior difference is that the Cayman has a hard top, and the Boxster has a soft one. When you get down to the nitty gritty, however, you’ll find that the Cayman is more powerful than the Boxster. The base Cayman gets 10 more horsepower. Starting at $51,400, the Cayman is also more expensive than the $47,600 base Boxster.

Shoppers who value performance and can afford to pay more should go for the Cayman. Reviewers are positive that they won’t be disappointed -- there are few things the automotive industry doesn’t like about this car. As with all sports cars, you will have to compromise in a few areas. Cargo space is limited, but reviewers say trunk space is respectable for a luxury sports car. Rear visibility is also poor in the corners. On the bright side, taller passengers will be quite pleased when they step inside the Cayman. The cabin is comfortable, and many drivers should find a comfortable driving position.

Other Sports Cars to Consider

If you want all-out performance, give the Porsche Boxster a whirl. For 2011, it adds another model to the line -- the Spyder -- and test drivers are calling it one of the best luxury sports cars ever. Keep in mind however, that the Spyder isn’t for the faint of heart. It doesn’t come with air conditioning, a radio or normal door handles. These features weigh cars down, and to increase performance, Porsche took them out. You can choose to have them put back, but it will cost you.

The Chevrolet Corvette is another good option, but it appeals to a completely different audience because it doesn’t prioritize luxury. Rather, the Corvette is all about hardcore sports performance. The base coup gets a 6.2-liter V8 engine with a six speed manual transmission. This powertrain produces 100 more horsepower than the Cayman R. That said, if you’re looking for a famous American-made nameplate and a powerful engine at a cheaper price, the Corvette is worth a test drive.

Owning a Porsche or Corvette is a luxury for most people because their size, price and performance are too impractical for drivers who just need a daily commuter. If you fall into this category, you can still get an affordable sports car that offers more than enough pep for trips to the office. Take a look at the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the best option for sports car shoppers on a budget. True, all models only get a maximum of 167 horsepower, but that’s plenty of horsepower for a car that small. Also, at this price point, don’t expect the Miata to be as snazzy as the Cayman -- it’s nowhere near as luxurious.

 

Details: 2011 Porsche Cayman

The Porsche Cayman is available in three trims: the Cayman, the Cayman S and the Cayman R. The Cayman R isn’t available at the moment because Porsche is updating it. It’ll be a bit like the Spyder -- it dropped about 120 pounds to increase agility.

  • "If the 911 Carrera is Porsche's flagship, then the Cayman is the fleet's gunboat. With its crisp lines and superb mid-engine balance, the Cayman could easily outperform the Carrera if Zuffenhausen gave the okay." -- Road and Track
  • "Lithe on the road, fluidly seductive in appearance, and positively alive in your hands: It's now, in my humble opinion, very simply the best sports car in the world." -- Motor Trend
  • "The (base) Porsche Cayman still presses all the right buttons for me. It's one of those cars whose sensory rewards outweigh its high price. At first blush, a $55,000 coupe with only 265 horsepower seems a little silly - you get more ponies in a base Chevrolet Camaro at half the price. But the Cayman feels quicker than many cars with more power both because of its low weight and its good midrange torque. As ever, the satisfaction in driving this Porsche isn't derived from massive acceleration. It's the feeling of precision that does it." -- Car and Driver
  • "It is still a distinctly unique vehicle in design, appearance and performance. The 2011 model is no exception to Porsche’s long-standing rapport with luxury and sport." -- Automobile.com
Review Last Updated: 9/7/11

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