The Porsche 718 Cayman S is a mid-spec version of the 718 Cayman generation that is now slowly edging to its end. Porsche is going to offer a new Cayman in a year or two which means that the 718 Boxster is also soon to be discontinued. Before the 718 Cayman S goes away, we have to ask ourselves, Is Porsche Cayman S a good car?
The Porsche 718 Cayman S is certainly a really good car because many people deem it to be the sweet spot of the entire 718 Cayman range. It may not come with a flat 6-cylinder naturally aspirated engine, but the 2.5L Turbo 4-cylinder is able to do the trick without any issues. The Cayman S also looks more appealing when compared to the regular Cayman and the Cayman T.
Reliability is decent as is the case with all 718 models, especially newer ones. The 718 Cayman S drives in a lot more focused manner when compared to the regular Cayman which is indeed exciting. There are some issues worth mentioning though.
The value proposition is fairly good because the Cayman S is known to retain value really well, better than almost all cars in its segment. Practicality is as good as it can be for a car of that size which means two separate storage spaces, but limited interior space.
Porsche 718 Cayman S – The powertrain
The 718 Cayman S gets a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo engine that makes 350hp and 109lb-ft of torque. This is 50hp and about 30lb-ft of torque more than the entry-level Cayman and Cayman T models. The Cayman S can reach 60mph from a standstill in just 4.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 177mph which is impressive given the car’s engine size.
The engine is mounted longitudinally in the middle of the car’s chassis which makes the weight balance perfect. The Cayman S is a RWD car as is the case with all 718 models. When it comes to transmission, you can choose between a short-throw Porsche manual or a 7-speed PDK dual-clutch that fits the character of the Cayman S really well.
This powertrain is able to return up to 30MPG combined which is a really good number considering the car’s 0-60mph time. All in all, it may not be a flat 6-cylinder engine, but the 2.5L turbo in the Cayman S can definitely hold its own.
Porsche 718 Cayman S – Design and chassis
The Porsche 718 Cayman S looks slightly better than the regular Cayman model due to subtle styling upgrades which include better wheels, larger brakes, and more accentuated body panels. The interior of the Cayman S is focused, but still packing some of the best material choices and an overall emphasis on the build quality Porsche is known for.
The Cayman S offers a stiff suspension setup, but not overly so to make you feel like you are riding on rocks. The chassis tuning is beautiful as the Cayman S offers perfect weight distribution which enables it to drive as well as it does.
Porsche 718 Cayman S – Reliability and common issues
Reliability-wise, the 718 Cayman S is as good as all other 718 models are. However, it’s worth mentioning that newer 718 generations, especially those after the mid-cycle refresh are a lot better. The Cayman S may cost more to maintain than most cars in this segment, but a Porsche is always going to cost more than a comparable Mazda or Toyota.
The most common issues are associated with the car’s turbocharger, the transmission, the equipment, the A/C system, and various overheating issues. It is true that these aren’t extremely common on 718 Cayman S models, but that is because there aren’t many Cayman S models out there and many people who own them don’t really drive them too often.
Porsche 718 Cayman S – Value and practicality
The Porsche 718 Cayman S starts at $72,500 which is about $12,000 more than the entry-level 718 Cayman. The bad news is that only Porsche enthusiasts will be able to tell the difference between the regular Cayman and the Cayman S, but the good news is that the Cayman S does retain its value really well.
Practicality is questionable because the Cayman is a really compact car. It does offer two storage spaces front and back, but the interior space is limited to say the least. Taller drivers are likely going to struggle in there while average-size adults will have no issues whatsoever.
Should I buy a Porsche 718 Cayman S?
If you are looking for a 2-seater sports car with a premium badge and one that is on the smaller side, the Cayman S is a great choice. However, if you are hard struck on having a flat 6-cylinder naturally aspirated engine, you will have to upgrade to the $88,150 718 Cayman GTS.
If you just want a sports car with a premium badge that does not disappoint when it comes to performance driving, the Cayman S is a great choice. We can certainly say that the 718 Cayman is a good car, but the question here is if you are ready to compromise on engine size and interior space.
Is the Porsche Cayman S a smaller Porsche 911 S?
No, it is not. The Porsche 911 is a completely different car that behaves completely different when compared to the Cayman and Boxster models. The 911 is a rear-engine mounted car while the Cayman is a mid-engine mounted car.
The 911 is wider, longer, taller, and has a longer wheelbase. The 911 is also more powerful, heavier, and more expensive. Don’t think of the Cayman as a poor man’s 911, because it is not. The Cayman is a truly different experience to the 911.
Is the Porsche Cayman S better than the Porsche Boxster S?
The Boxster S costs just a tad bit more, but it also weighs more than the Cayman. The Cayman is more structurally sound which means that it corners slightly better as well. The answer to this question depends on what you value more.
If you love a top-down experience with the wind in your hair, the Boxster is the better choice. On the other hand, if performance is what floats your boat, the Cayman is the better car for you.