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The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 4.4

The Cayman is a coupe version of the Porsche Boxster offering superior practicality. It is also a superb drive thanks to a perfectly balanced chassis.

Reasons to buy

  • Quality build
  • Performance
  • Handling
Best on a budget
Cayman 2.9
Awesome drive, cheap to run but options are expensive
Best seller
Cayman 3.4S
More power gives greater driver enjoyment but it’s costly
Blow the budget
Cayman 3.4S PDK
The ultimate driver’s Boxster but with a PDK transmission

How good does it look? 5/5

The handsome Porsche Cayman’s styling incorporates cues from two classic Porsches, the 550 Coupe and the 904 Coupe. While it could never be called understated, it is more subtly styled than its Audi RS5 and BMW M3 rivals.

What's the interior like? 3/5

The Cayman is finished to a very high level inside. The cowled instruments are pure Porsche, with the large rev-counter giving the purposeful feel of a sports car yet the controls are user-friendly and well-placed.

How practical is it? 3/5

The driving position is excellent, as the standard front sport seats are comfortable and supportive. It might be a low-slung coupe, but even the tallest will get comfortable, as there’s plenty of headroom. The car is surprisingly practical, offering 410 litres of storage in the front and rear luggage areas. The front compartment is quite deep and the rear boot is a practical shape.

What's it like to drive? 5/5

A wonderfully balanced mid-engined chassis delivers a feeling of being connected to the road like few other cars. The steering is superbly weighted, needing just the smallest of inputs to place the car on the road. There’s no unruly behaviour, just lots of grip. Otional Porsche Active Suspension Management intensifies the driving experience further, although in sports mode it proves too firm for motorway and city driving.

How powerful is it? 5/5

Power comes from a 295bhp 3.4-litre engine that delivers strong response, especially in the mid-range. Top speed is 172mph, with the sprint to 60mph delivered in just 5.4 seconds. There’s a choice of a six-speed manual, or a more costly, but smooth-shifting seven-speed PDK double clutch gearbox.

How much will it cost me? 3/5

Although Porsche servicing, like that of any high-performance car, is far from cheap, the Cayman S does have the advantage of reasonably lengthy 20,000-mile service intervals. The automatic transmission version is the most fuel efficient, returning 30.1mpg average fuel economy, but the manual is not that far behind on 29.7mpg. Both models however produce CO2 emissions in excess of 222g/km.

How reliable is it? 4/5

Porsche performs consistently well in customer satisfaction surveys. High standards applied during the design and build processes help create reliable products and the Boxster Spyder should prove little different.

How safe is it? 4/5

There’s no EuroNCAP rating for the Cayman, but the Porsche coupe is fitted with six airbags and a sophisticated electronic stability programme system called Porsche Stability Management. This system incorporates a host of features including anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, traction control and emergency brake assist.

How much equipment do I get? 3/5

The Cayman is not particularly well equipped, although it does get air-con, a CD stereo system, an automatic rear spoiler, electric windows, front fog lamps and an alarm. Options include costly items such as satellite navigation, voice control, full leather upholstery, Bose audio, a six-CD autochanger, ceramic brakes, tyre-pressure monitor, automatic climate control and a sports exhaust system.

Why buy? 4/5

The Cayman S is an attractive mix of sublime handling, perfect balance and great performance, which go together to make one of the most accomplished sports cars on the road. Less intimidating to drive than the iconic 911, this Porsche is also surprisingly affordable compared with rivals such as the Audi RS5 and BMW M3.