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#3

in Luxury Sports Cars

MSRP: $52,600 - $63,800
Invoice: N/A
MPG: 20 City / 30 Hwy
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Porsche Cayman Performance

Test drivers agree that the 2014 Porsche Cayman is one of the most engaging and delightful sports cars to drive, with balanced, nimble handling thanks to its mid-mounted engine. They say the base engine should have sufficient power for most drivers, but note that the Cayman S' more powerful flat-six engine helps return quicker acceleration. Some auto journalists comment that although it is positioned below the 911 in Porsche's lineup, the Cayman is in some ways a better and more-balanced sports car.

  • "Power-hungry drivers may find no substitute for the 911's rear-engined edge when it comes to outright acceleration, but the Cayman puts up an impressive fight with its balanced mid-engine configuration and rock-solid chassis. For sports car shoppers willing to pay the Porsche premium, this latest Cayman makes a compelling argument for going with the entry-level alternative." -- AutoTrader
  • "If an invigorating sports car driving experience is what you're after, the 2014 Porsche Cayman is one of the best options at any price. Although enthusiasts will no doubt prefer the more potent engine in the Cayman S, both cars deliver the one-of-a-kind experience of a high-revving flat-6 engine wailing directly right behind your head." -- Edmunds
  • "If you love driving sports cars, you'll find the Cayman a serious, willing partner." -- MSN Autos
  • "The 2014 Porsche Cayman is designed for enthusiasts who like their performance doled out in a user-friendly fashion." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The base Cayman is powered by a 2.7-liter flat-six-cylinder engine that produces 275 horsepower and 213 pound-feet of torque. The Cayman S has a 3.4-liter flat-six engine with 325 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Both the Cayman and Cayman S come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, while Porsche's seven-speed dual clutch transmission is optional. The base Cayman with the dual clutch transmission has an EPA fuel economy estimate of 22/32 mpg city/highway, which is good for sports cars and on par with that of its closest rivals.

According to Porsche, the Cayman S with the six-speed manual has a top speed of 175 mph and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.

Automotive journalists write that the base Cayman has a reasonable amount of power and torque for everyday driving, though some find that there isn't enough torque to execute quick passing maneuvers when the engine is in a high gear. Most agree that the more powerful flat-six in the Cayman S has ample power for spirited driving and highway passing. According to test drivers, the seven-speed dual clutch transmission executes quick, precise shifts and is a boon to driving in traffic congestion. Both trims are praised for their enjoyable engine and exhaust note.

See full 2014 Porsche Cayman specifications »

  • "That paltry-sounding 275 hp is fine as long as you keep the revs high and sling through corners while finessing the throttle. Torque is only 213 lb-ft at 4500 rpm, and at lower revs second gear is often found wanting, particularly when you need to pass." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "While 325 hp may not seem like a lot in a world where Mustangs make more than double that from the factory, the Cayman for the most part doesn't feel lacking. The only time it leaves you wanting is in the middle of a drift, when you return to power and the car smoothly straightens out. It's this situation when you think, 'Yeah, another 40 lb-ft might do.'There are few complaints." -- Motor Trend
  • "Critics of the optional dual-clutch automated-manual transmission (PDK) say it detracts from driver involvement. We say: 'Phooey.' It is true that using the paddles isn't quite as tactilely rewarding as rowing a stick shift, but PDK's shifts are quicker and more precise than you could ever achieve. Plus, PDK actually frees up your attention for other demands, such as picking the proper braking point or acing corners like a pro." -- Edmunds
  • "Revving either the 2.7- or 3.4-liter engine results in a major rush and a superbly tuned crescendo of Porsche's distinctive half mechanical, half exhaust soundtrack. Acceleration is snappy; perfect for passing on secondary roads." -- MSN Autos
  • "For the greatest acceleration regardless of variant, the Cayman's optional dual-clutch PDK transmission is the way to go. Beyond its performance credentials, the 7-speed PDK automatic provides a happy medium for drivers who need the traffic-friendliness of an automatic, but desire the raw, hard-wired feel of a conventional manual gearbox." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

The Cayman has rear-wheel drive, and an available Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system allows the driver to adjust the firmness of the suspension for either a more comfortable ride or firmer ride for greater handling agility. The Cayman is also available with carbon ceramic disc brakes. Test drivers agree that the Cayman is incredibly nimble and always feels planted to the pavement, even at lower speeds. Several also note that although the Cayman's new electronic power steering isn't as communicative as the steering in the previous generation Cayman, it still gives the driver a good amount of road feedback. Test drivers write that the Cayman has a comfortable ride, though some note that the ride is firm with PASM in Sport mode or models fitted with 20-inch wheels. The brakes deliver strong, consistent stops, reviewers add.

  • "Even at slow speeds, the Cayman conveys a sense of connectedness to the road, with an effortless air of maneuverability thanks to its taut suspension, small footprint and nimble dynamics." -- AutoTrader
  • "Regardless of whatever engine or suspension setting you might choose from the variously available adjustable systems, Porsche has only one steering calibration for the Cayman. It's perfect. True, the new electric setup isn't as tactile overall as the old hydraulic system was, but the swap has filtered out white noise-the conversation is now more to the point." -- Car and Driver
  • "Remarkably, the Cayman's supreme handling confidence doesn't translate to a jarring ride in normal operation. We'd be wary of the 20-inch wheels and their itty-bitty sidewalls, but the 19s are compliant enough to make the Cayman a reasonably pleasant road-trip car." -- Edmunds
  • "Driver inputs are met with pleasingly predictable responses, and the precise, communicative steering is nothing short of a revelation given the fact that it's electrically assisted. Braking in both the Cayman and Cayman S is urgent and powerful, without feeling overly sensitive. The highly rigid chassis and taut suspension of the Cayman S is well suited for track days, but have a tendency to transmit much of the road's bumps and rumbles. In 'Normal' mode, however, we found the available Porsche Active Suspension Management improves overall ride comfort without sacrificing dynamism, making the Cayman markedly more livable." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Braking performance was likewise consistent, with the best stop from 60 mph taking 106 feet." -- Motor Trend
Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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