The Porsche 718 Cayman is the entry-level Porsche 2-seater hardtop sports car that shares many of its parts with the 718 Boxster. The 718 family comes with either relatively anticlimactic 4-cylinder Boxster engines or true Porsche 911 grade flat 6-cylinder engines with just the perfect amount of power for the 718’s size.
When it comes to reliability, the 718 lineup is relatively dependable, but there are some issues worth dwelling into. For starters, the 718 Cayman suffers from transmission-related issues which are more common in earlier 718 models. The 718 Cayman also suffers from issues associated with the A/C compressor.
Other issues are related to the engine, the fuel system, and possibly the airbags. Porsche has continuously been updating the 718 lineup in order to solve many issues that plagued earlier models. That is why newer 718 models are much better when it comes to reliability.
It makes sense to buy a 718 Cayman because it is a really exciting car to drive. It may cost more money to maintain than some of its competitors, but most people are willing to pay for it because the Cayman drives great and has that beloved Porsche badge on the front.
Porsche 718 Cayman – Transmission issues
The Porsche 718 Cayman used to have several PDK automatic transmission-related issues. The PDK dual-clutch gearbox is widely considered one of the very best dual-clutch gearboxes in the industry, but things weren’t so bright when the PDK first found its way into the 718 Cayman and Boxster models.
Many sources state that the transmission in these two used to be jittery, unresponsive, and sometimes even slipping. The limited-slip differential was known to slip from time to time and the car’s maneuverability at lower speeds was a bit too harsh and jumpy.
Porsche 718 Cayman – A/C issues
It comes as no surprise that the 718 Cayman gets an A/C system from the factory, but what is surprising is that the A/C system sometimes tends to cause trouble. Owners have reported that the A/C compressor is a bit too loud and rattly while the condensation lines are known to wear out prematurely on older 718 models.
Sometimes the car is unable to heat or cool down the cabin fast enough which usually requires a system flush and refill. All in all, if you are looking for a 2nd hand 718 Cayman, be sure to test out the A/C system in order to be 100% safe that everything is as it should be.
Porsche 718 Cayman – Engine issues
The 718 Cayman gets a plethora of engine choices but most people prefer the 6-cylinder units over smaller 4-cylinder units. However, many 6-cylinder engines in the 718 had serious issues with the connecting rod that even made Porsche halt the production of the 718 model before this issue is completely resolved.
These issues could potentially lead to stalling, engine damage, or even engine fires in the worst-case scenario. Cars that were delivered prior to this stoppage have had their engines replaced. As such, be sure to check if the car you are looking at has a newer engine.
Porsche 718 Cayman – Airbag issues
Airbag issues are a common occurrence in the current automotive industry because many cars come with dozens of airbags and all of them need to be in perfect working order, otherwise, they can cause more harm than good. Porsche issued two separate recalls for many 718 models in order to replace faulty airbag modules.
The first recall took place early in the 718 production in 2016 while the later recall was issued for cars made up until 2018. These can be a serious threat to your life therefore they need to be replaced if they aren’t already.
Porsche 718 Cayman – Fuel system issues
Some Porsche 718 Cayman models suffer from bad fuel lines which need to be replaced because they can form leaks and thus lead to an engine fire. Porsche issued a recall because of this and it seems like cars manufactured between July 2019 and January 2020 are the ones suffering from these issues.
We have already mentioned that airbag-related issues are a huge issue, but issues related to the fuel system are potentially even more serious because they can result in a fire. As such, due your diligence and check if the model you are looking at has had these lines replaced by Porsche.
Should I buy a Porsche 718 Cayman?
If you are after a 2-seater compact sports car with a premium badge, there are no cars that can compete with the Porsche Cayman. The only car that could potentially compete with the Cayman is the Boxster which is basically the very same car, but without a roof.
The Porsche Cayman has been around for quite a while and everyone knows how good the Cayman is when it comes to driving. It offers a mid-mounted engine that ensures perfect weight balance and thus the Cayman feels incredibly engaging to drive.
Which 718 Porsche Cayman is best?
The best 718 Porsche Cayman is the newly released 718 GT4 RS. This $140,000+ 2-seater racing car for the street is the most serious Cayman model of all time, not just the 718 lineup. This was the first time that Porsche decided to give the Cayman an RS treatment which transformed the car into a go-kart.
Until the GT4 RS, the top-of-the-line Cayman was the GT4 which is a highly decorated car as many automotive journalists named it the best car of the year or the best car Porsche makes. This is a huge success for the Cayman as the 911 was always the one everyone wanted.
Is Porsche Cayman a poor man’s 911?
No, the Porsche Cayman and the Porsche 911 are vastly different cars and it makes more sense to say that the VW Beetle is a poor man’s 911 than to say that the Cayman is. The Cayman is a mid-engine mounted while the 911 is a rear-engine mounted car.
The Cayman is smaller, more agile, and better balanced while the 911 drives like a 911 always has, different from all other cars out there.