2021 Porsche 718 Cayman

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Review: More Than A Cut-Price 911

Starting at $59,900 in the US, the Porsche Cayman is the most affordable way to drive off in a brand new coupe from the famous Zuffenhausen automaker. While few Cayman customers are likely to go around town excitedly sharing this fact, there are many other facets of the range that are fully worth celebrating. From the base turbocharged boxer-four all the way up to the sensational GTS 4.0 with its 394-horsepower six-pot, every Cayman serves as a blueprint for how a sporty coupe should handle, mixing sublime balance with pin-sharp steering. Sexy looks and plenty of customization potential are other upsides to Cayman ownership, although the cabin needs an update and the four-cylinder models don't sound all that inspiring. But even at almost half the price of a base 911, the Porsche DNA still shines through brightly.

New 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 718 Cayman?

While not all-new, Porsche has made a few changes to the 718 Cayman this year to keep it competitive, adding some extra features that should've been standard all along. All versions now get dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming mirrors with a rain sensor, and heated seats. Apple CarPlay, which was previously an added-cost extra, now becomes standard as well. Outside, bi-xenon headlights with the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) become standard, with these lights being colored in black on the GTS 4.0. Staying with the GTS 4.0, it can now be optionally equipped with the fast PDK dual-clutch gearbox. Finally, Race-Tex upholstery replaces the previously used Alcantara.

Pros and Cons

  • Much more attainable than 911
  • Magnificent handling
  • Class-leading gearboxes
  • Quick acceleration
  • GTS is truly brutal
  • Four-cylinder models don't sound great
  • Average interior design and materials
  • Poor interior storage options
  • Pricey options can send the price soaring

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Cayman
2.0L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
$57,500
Cayman T
2.0L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
$66,400
Cayman S
2.5L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
$69,900
Cayman GTS 4.0
4.0L Flat 6 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
$80,700

718 Cayman Exterior

Porsche hasn't messed with the 718 Cayman's design this year. It's still instantly identifiable as a member of the Porsche family and doesn't really have a bad angle. The base derivative comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, black-painted brake calipers, an automatically extending rear wing, and bi-xenon headlights with the Porsche Dynamic Light System. The brand's familiar four-point LED daytime running lights are in place, too. Moving up to the Cayman S adds red brake calipers and 19-inch wheels, while the Cayman T reverts back to black calipers but gets 20-inch wheels. Most versions have a centrally-mounted exhaust outlet, with a single pipe on the base version and twin pipes on trims higher up in the range. The GTS 4.0 uniquely has separated twin tailpipes along with 20-inch wheels finished in Satin Black.

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Front Angle View Porsche
2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Front Angle View 1 Porsche
2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Rear Angle View Porsche
See All 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Although dimensions vary slightly across the range, every Porsche 718 Cayman has the same width and wheelbase. The width is 70.9 inches with the mirrors folded and 78.5 inches with them extended, and the wheelbase is a short 97.4 inches. Most versions measure 172.4 inches in length, but the GTS 4.0 is a tad longer at 173.5 inches. The Cayman and Cayman S share a height of 51 inches, while the Cayman T and GTS 4.0 both sit at a lower 50.2 inches due to their lower suspension. Curb weight ranges between 3,034 pounds for the entry-level version with the manual gearbox to 3,166 lbs for the GTS 4.0.

  • Length 172.4 in
  • Wheelbase 97.4 in
  • Height 51.0 in
  • Max Width 70.9 in
  • Front Width 59.6 in
  • Rear Width 60.3 in

Exterior Colors

The Cayman and Cayman S start off with a range of four standard colors: White, Black, Guards Red, and Racing Yellow. Following this are eight metallic shades that each cost $650. These are Carrara White, Jet Black, Agate Grey, Dolomite Silver, GT Silver, Gentian Blue, Night Blue, and Aventurine Green. Buyers with deeper pockets can shell out $2,580 for one of five special - and much more shouty - colors, including Carmine Red and Lava Orange, or $11,430 on a custom color. On the Cayman T, the color palette is reduced; while the same standard shades apply, five of the metallic shades fall away such as Dolomite Silver and Gentian Blue. The GTS 4.0 shares its color palette with the Cayman and Cayman S.

  • Carrara White Metallic
  • Jet Black Metallic
  • Dolomite Silver Metallic
  • GT Silver Metallic
  • Gentian Blue Metallic
  • Night Blue Metallic
  • Aventurine Green Metallic
  • Agate Grey Metallic
  • Miami Blue
  • Carmine Red
  • Chalk
  • Lava Orange
  • Python Green
  • Custom Color
  • White
See all 18 colors

718 Cayman Performance

There genuinely isn't a Cayman that can be termed slow, with performance ranging from energetic to breathtaking in the case of the GTS 4.0. The base version with the manual gearbox and the Sport Chrono Package takes 4.9 seconds to reach 60 mph and has a top speed of 170 mph, but it can complete the benchmark sprint in as little as 4.5 seconds with both the Sport Chrono Package and the PDK transmission. With neither the PDK nor the Sport Chrono upgrades, the base Cayman isn't much slower. With another 50 horsepower, the Cayman S can go from 0 to 60 in as little as four seconds with the PDK 'box and the Sport Chrono Package. The range-topping GTS 4.0 is the powerhouse in the lineup, serving up 394 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque from its naturally aspirated 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine, enough for a top speed of 182 mph. However, with the six-speed manual, it's slower to 60 than the PDK-equipped Cayman S, reaching that mark in 4.3 seconds. Tick the box for the newly available PDK gearbox on the GTS and it not only gets an increase in torque to 317 lb-ft, but it becomes the quickest Cayman of them all (disregarding the GT4 which we review separately), dispatching the benchmark sprint in just 3.8 seconds. If it's straight-line performance you're after, the Audi TT RS is even quicker to 60 mph, thanks in part to its quattro all-wheel-drive system. All Caymans direct their power to the rear axle.

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Front View Driving Porsche
2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Rear View Driving Porsche
2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Gauge Cluster Porsche

Engine and Transmission

The base Cayman and the Cayman T employ a 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer-four engine delivering 300 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Like the rest of the range, it comes paired with a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. Moving up to the Cayman S increases displacement to 2.5-liters and sees the outputs increase to 350 hp and 309 lb-ft. Remove the uninspiring acoustics from the equation, and there isn't much to criticize. The turbocharged Caymans feel rapid, responsive, and pair well with both gearboxes. Although the PDK is quicker and one of the best dual-clutch setups available in any car, the crisp six-speed manual is a joy to use, too.

If you can stretch to the GTS 4.0, you won't be disappointed. Its 4.0-liter naturally aspirated mill unleashes 394 hp and 309 lb-ft. With the available PDK gearbox, torque increases to 317 lb-ft. While not much faster than the Cayman S in manual guise, the GTS offers a much more exciting driving experience and sounds wonderful when pushed to its 7,800 rpm redline.

  • Engines
    2.0L Turbo Flat 4 Gas, 2.5L Turbo Flat 4 Gas, 4.0L Flat 6 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Manual, 7-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Other sports cars offer more power, luxury, or performance at the price, but the mid-engined Cayman continues to set the pace dynamically. Descriptions of the Cayman's handling makes many Porsche Cayman reviews sound like broken records, but there's no getting away from the supreme agility, wonderful balance, and the trickery that Porsche continues to employ when tuning its electric steering systems. All the major controls - brakes, steering, and gearboxes - work together beautifully to make this possibly the most complete sports car in the world to drive quickly. Whether in town or taking on fast sweeps, the Cayman's steering is extremely precise and offers just enough feedback to encourage the driver to press on. It's engaging on a level that leaves the Audi TT, BMW Z4, and others trailing. Pleasingly, it doesn't come at the expense of ride quality, either. Sure, the Cayman is quite firm, but excellent damping prevents it from being tiring. In the GTS, the more appropriate roar from the flat-six engine, coupled with that super chassis, is as close to driving perfection as you could wish for.

718 Cayman Gas Mileage

There isn't a big difference in consumption between the various four-cylinder configurations of the Cayman. The most fuel-efficient version is the base Cayman with the PDK gearbox, which returns figures of 21/27/24 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles. With the manual gearbox, those numbers drop to 20/26/22 mpg. The Cayman T will do 21/27/23 mpg with the PDK and 20/26/22 mpg with the manual, while the Cayman S with its larger 2.5-liter four-pot manages 19/25/22 mph in PDK guise and 19/24/21 mpg with the manual.

The six-cylinder GTS 4.0 will be heavier still, but EPA numbers for this version have not yet been published. However, the separately reviewed Cayman GT4 with the same engine in a higher state of tune returns 16/23/19 mpg, providing a clue as to the GTS' consumption. With the base Cayman, an available 16.9-gallon gas tank equates to a best combined cruising range of around 405 miles. The standard Cayman T has a smaller 14.2-gallon tank (the larger tank is optional, as on the base Cayman) and, with best figures of 21/27/23 mpg for the manual, its range is limited to about 326 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    14.2 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 20/26 mpg
* 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Cayman Coupe RWD

718 Cayman Interior

Our review of the Porsche 718 Cayman revealed a cabin that does nothing to detract from the driving experience. This means that all major controls are perfectly positioned, the driving position is spot-on, and the classic Porsche dials don't make us miss the more showy full digital instrument displays of some rivals. The general design is functional but it looks a bit dreary now, and although fit and finish are good, the Audi TT has the edge in this department. Porsche has improved equipment levels for the 2021 model year, making previously optional extras like automatic dual-zone climate control and heated seats standard. However, driver aids like adaptive cruise control and lane change assist remain added-cost options. At least front/rear parking sensors, regular cruise control, and auto-dimming mirrors are standard.

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Dashboard Porsche
2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Gauge Cluster 1 Porsche
2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Front Seats Porsche
See All 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Unlike the 911, the smaller Cayman seats just the driver and one passenger. There is sufficient head- and legroom for both, and although the Cayman isn't a big car, there is also enough width to the cabin. The driving position is a highlight, with plenty of adjustability in the steering column, electric adjustment of the seat backrest angle, and manual adjustment of the seat height and the fore/aft position. As sports cars go, the Cayman offers above-average visibility from the driver's seat. Other than needing to stoop down a bit lower to get in and out relative to the average sedan, the Cayman isn't a chore to live with on a daily basis.

  • Seating capacity
    2-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

The base Cayman comes with a Black or Agate Grey cabin with partial leather seats. The gear lever and steering wheel are leather-wrapped as standard. Numerous upgrades are on offer, starting with leather sport seats in the same colors for an extra $810. The standard interior with the leather package avails color combinations like Black/Luxor Beige and Black/Bordeaux Red, while full leather seats start from $2,520. The priciest upgrade is natural leather in Espresso or Espresso/Cognac, both of which cost over $4,000. Customers can also opt for 18-way adaptive sport seats with memory. On the Cayman T, a black interior with Sport-Tex seat centers is standard, but an extra $2,770 can equip one of four 718 T interior packs adding bright trim and seat stitching in shades like Guards Red and Lizard Green. Full lightweight bucket seats in carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic are optional. On the GTS 4.0, black leather seats with either leather or Race-Tex seat centers are standard, with a similarly wide range of upgrades available as on other trims. Porsche will also let you cover the dashboard, door panels, and even the steering column casing in leather, while brushed aluminum and carbon fiber can be used to dress up some or most of the interior.

718 Cayman Trunk and Cargo Space

The Cayman can accommodate a reasonable amount of luggage between its front/rear cargo compartments. In front, there is 5.2 cubic feet of cargo space, while the rear compartment measures a more spacious 9.7 cubes. That combines for a total of 14.9 cubes, a number on par with many sedans. However, because this number is split between two areas, bigger items can't be accommodated as easily as they would in a sedan. For instance, a set of golf clubs won't fit in the rear luggage area due to its awkward shape.

Interior storage space leaves something to be desired as well. Yes, you get two cupholders and a reasonably sized glovebox, but the shallow door pockets are both too small and inconvenient to access.

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Door Scuff Plate Porsche
2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Dashboard 1 Porsche
2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Gear Shifter Porsche

718 Cayman Infotainment and Features

Features

Last year's Porsche Cayman models were hardly what you'd call lavishly equipped, but things have improved a bit for 2021. Previously optional equipment like automatic dual-zone climate control, heated seats, and auto-dimming mirrors with a rain sensor are now included as standard. The same goes for bi-xenon headlights with the Porsche Dynamic Light System. Other standard items include electric seat-height adjustment, front/rear parking sensors, cruise control, a rearview camera, a programmable garage door opener, and a 4.6-inch TFT display within the instrument cluster. A lengthy options list can equip the Cayman with 18-way power-adjustable sport seats with memory, lane-change assist, adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel, ventilated seats, and more.

Infotainment

The Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system comprises a seven-inch color touchscreen. Although we found it logical to use and fairly quick to respond to inputs on our test drive, the screen is now decidedly undersized when ten-inch (or larger) screens are becoming the norm in the competition. For 2021, Porsche finally has made Apple CarPlay standard, although it's not of the wireless variety, and Android Auto remains absent entirely. You also get Siri, SiriusXM satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth connectivity, two USB slots, and two slots for an SD card. An old-school CD/DVD drive is fitted by default along with 11-GB internal jukebox storage, while the standard sound system is an eight-speaker unit with 150 watts of power. Navigation is an optional extra, as are two sound system upgrades: a ten-speaker Bose unit or a 12-speaker Burmester high-end surround sound system.

718 Cayman Problems and Reliability

According to the latest available information, the Porsche 718 Cayman is recall-free for 2020 and 2021, with the last recall coming in 2019 for a potential fuel leak issue following a crash, which could increase the chances of a fire. Other than this, no major issues have been reported and the Cayman's sturdy build quality and Porsche's reputation should see it rate highly for reliability.

If the Cayman does prove to be a hassle in any way, Porsche covers its compact coupe with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and 24 hours of roadside assistance. A limited paint warranty runs for the same period/mileage, while a limited corrosion warranty lasts for 12 years, regardless of miles covered.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Maintenance:
    1 Years \ 10,000 Miles

718 Cayman Safety

The 2021 Porsche Cayman has yet to be evaluated by either the NHTSA or the IIHS, so no official safety rating exists for this model.

Key Safety Features

Out of the box, the 2021 Porsche Cayman comes with the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system, tire pressure monitoring, a pad wear sensor on every brake pad, and six airbags, including curtain airbags for both occupants. Driver aids are limited to cruise control, a rearview camera, auto-dimming mirrors with an integrated rain sensor, and front/rear parking sensors. Adaptive cruise control and lane-change assist are only available as optional extras that will add to your bill. Overall, Porsche's standard and available array of driver aids fall short of competitors, especially at the Cayman's premium price.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman a good car?

Although it's now been around for a good few years, the driving experience offered by the Porsche 718 Cayman remains ahead of the game. That single trump card mostly atones for the range's handful of flaws like the merely average cabin design, a lack of modern safety features at the price, and the dull acoustics of the four-cylinder engines. Handling remains sublime and a cut above fellow German sports coupes like the Audi TT, and the GTS 4.0 is a truly marvelous specimen with that naturally aspirated mill at full cry. At just under $60,000 for the base model, you could also drive off in a V8-powered Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C8, which offers loads more power and will turn more heads. But if nothing but a Porsche will do and the 911 is too far out of reach, the baby Cayman has plenty to offer.

🚘What's the Price of the 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman?

For 2021, the 718 Cayman starts off with the base model at an MSRP of $59,900 in the USA, a notable $2,400 price increase over last year's model. Following this is the Cayman T at $68,900, and then the more powerful Cayman S at $71,900. For access to a naturally aspirated flat-six, the GTS 4.0 will cost you a hefty $86,800. All of these prices exclude any extras and Porsche's delivery charge of $1,350. The Porsche Cayman will cost an additional $3,210 if you spec the PDK gearbox on the base trim and the S, while this upgrade costs $3,730 on the T and GTS. The options list should be approached with caution - in no time at all, we were able to configure a Porsche Cayman at a price of over $140,000. This applies to the GTS 4.0 with several options ticked.

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Models

As before, the 2021 Porsche 718 is offered in a choice of four trims: Cayman, Cayman T, Cayman S, and Cayman GTS 4.0. All four versions are similarly specified but have different powertrains.

The base Cayman comes with a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 300 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. It's equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, front/rear parking sensors, partial leather seats with heating, a seven-inch central touchscreen, and an eight-speaker sound system.

The next step up is the Cayman T. It employs the same power plant as the base derivative but looks sportier due to its 20-inch Carrera S wheels and sport tailpipes in black. Other Cayman T enhancements relate to dynamics; it has a lowered PASM sport suspension, Porsche Torque Vectoring, and the Sport Chrono Package equipped as standard.

The first bump up in power comes via the Cayman S, which has a 2.5-liter turbo-four producing 350 hp and 309 lb-ft, improving the 0-60 sprint to as little as four seconds. It also has a larger fuel tank, twin exhaust tailpipes, and bigger 19-inch wheels relative to the base Cayman.

By far the most desirable model is the GTS 4.0, which is the only version to use a naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine with 394 hp. It comes with unique exterior styling and standard 20-inch wheels in Satin Black. Inside, the GTS 4.0 features a standard black interior with either leather or Race-Tex seats. Porsche Torque Vectoring with a mechanically locking differential is standard, as is the Porsche Track Precision app.

See All 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Depending on how much you're willing to fork out, there's no shortage of options if a stock Cayman doesn't offer enough equipment or luxury. On the base Cayman, the $4,140 Premium Package includes a Bose surround sound system, ventilated seats, lane-change assist, and more. 18-way adaptive sport seats with memory go for $3,830, while the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system adds $1,790 to the price. Navigation goes for $2,320. The Cayman S comes with all of these upgrades, too, and if money is no object, Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) cost a cool $7,410.

On the Cayman T, the Premium Package costs less at $3,600, although it misses out on some extras like ventilated seats. This trim has access to a specific 718 T Interior Package with leather that adds a total of $5,350 to the price. Finally, the GTS 4.0 also offers a Premium Package at $3,600, along with extras such as 911 Turbo wheels ($2,450), full bucket seats in carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic ($5,900), standalone adaptive cruise control (at $1,670, but this also requires upgrading to the PDK gearbox for an additional cost), and a heated steering wheel ($470). Most of these upgrades are available on other trims as well. The GTS Interior Package costs $3,690 and adds deviated color stitching, carbon fiber trim, and the GTS logo embroidered into the headrests, among other items. Essentially, the Cayman's base price is just the starting point - 911 territory awaits if you aren't careful with the options.

🚗What Porsche 718 Cayman Model Should I Buy?

With its flat-six naturally aspirated engine, the GTS 4.0 is the Porsche Cayman model that everyone wants. That motor simply elevates the driving experience to another level. That being said, it carries a hefty price premium over other models in the range. For a more attainable 718, the base Cayman with a few options thrown in is fast enough and comes with most of the equipment found elsewhere in the range. Some of the extras we'd go for include the 20-inch Carrera S wheels ($2,730), leather seats ($2,520), and the Premium Package ($4,140). Anything more than this, and you may as well get the more powerful Cayman S.

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman Comparisons

Porsche 911 Carrera Porsche
Jaguar F-Type Coupe Jaguar
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Porsche 718 Cayman300 hp20/26 mpg$59,900
Porsche 911 Carrera 379 hp18/24 mpg$99,200
Jaguar F-Type Coupe 296 hp23/30 mpg$61,600

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman vs Porsche 911 Carrera

Higher up in the Porsche hierarchy is the legendary 911. Like the Cayman, it's one of the best sports coupes to drive, yet is easy to live with and perfectly happy with the daily commute. Starting at $99,200, the 911 is a much pricier prospect, but it does have a more modern cabin and more available equipment than the Cayman, plus two small extra seats for emergencies. At that price, only the Cayman GTS 4.0 comes close, and despite this Cayman being both lighter and more powerful, it's not faster than the base 911 unless you get the PDK, in which case both cars have a best 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds. The GTS' naturally aspirated engine and superb agility are hard to match, but the 911 is nearly as enjoyable to drive, more refined, and has a better infotainment interface. If we could, we'd stretch to the 911, which ticks more boxes.

See Porsche 911 Carrera Review

2021 Porsche 718 Cayman vs Jaguar F-Type Coupe

Starting at almost exactly the same price, the Jaguar F-Type gets off to a lead here by being the more emotive car to look at and sit inside. Its latest redesign is a success - this is one truly gorgeous coupe. Like the Cayman, the F-Type offers a turbocharged four-cylinder at the bottom of the range, which trails the base Cayman by just four horsepower. In the Jag, it's paired exclusively to a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox; a comparison of the gearboxes sees the Porsche come out on top with a standard manual and a brilliant optional dual-clutch. As accomplished as the F-Type is dynamically, the lighter Cayman (it's around 300 pounds lighter at entry-level) is even better at entertaining its driver. On the F-Type V6, power goes to all four wheels so there is no shortage of grip. Inside, both cars are well built, but the Jag has a more opulent cabin, plus it comes better equipped with features like Android Auto and traffic sign recognition. For the fashion-conscious, the F-Type will likely come out on top. But as a driver's car, the Cayman takes it.

See Jaguar F-Type Coupe Review

Porsche 718 Cayman Popular Comparisons

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