2017 Porsche 718 Cayman 2.0-Liter Tested – And Not Everything Is Peachy

According to a few voices, Porsche may have downsized a bit too much when it came to the 718 Cayman’s power units. That’s because the entry-level model now utilizes a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, .

While that may not sound like a lot, with 300 PS (295 HP) and 280 lb-ft (380 Nm) of torque performance is not an issue: the base Cayman hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.1 seconds with the manual gerabox and 4.9 seconds with the PDK automatic.

Is it a good choice though? According to Edmunds’ senior writer, Carlos Lago, the answer is yes, but only if you view the Cayman as the sum of its parts.

During his review, he found that the Porsche had excellent handling and he seemed quite fond of the styling, too, although the latter is always up for debate. So, as a sports car, the Cayman will surely do its job well and keep its driver thoroughly entertained through the corners.

On the other hand, he wasn’t especially pleased with the engine, taking away points for a poor soundtrack and long gear ratios that didn’t help the car’s real-world performance.

Sure enough, if you’re unhappy with the entry-level Cayman’s speed, you can always upgrade to the Cayman S that has a 2.5-liter flat-four with 350 PS (345 HP) and 310 lb-ft (420 Nm) and, mated to the PDK, can hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 4.5 seconds. And, if you want even more, there’s the GTS that’s even more powerful and will get you to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4 seconds flat.

  • Dr Strangefingger

    Funny what folks will pay to claim their car is .5 second faster than the lesser model.

    Btw, why would anyone buy the base Cayman, when you could buy a new 370z with a v6 and better performance numbers for probably half the price? I mean, unless you’re a brand whore that is…

    • LeStori

      Performance numbers are not what really count except for those with small…. They go and buy a “tang.
      There is more to a enjoyable car. The dynamics play a big part. How the car feels when you are driving it.Then there is the non tangebles. How do you feel when driving the car etc

    • eb110americana

      The handling and feel of a 370Z is not even in the same ballpark as the mid-engine 718. I like the looks of the Nissan more (esp. prefresh), but it is aging, and is still based on a RWD sedan chassis from Infiniti, not a purpose-built sportscar. I doubt there is any track where the 370Z would beat the 718, nor the daily driving experience be any more sublime or cohesive in *any* car even at the higher prices of the Porsches.

    • Vassilis

      Because the Cayman is a better car.

      • Dr Strangefingger


        • Vassilis

          Not at all. It has better balance, it handles better, it’s nicer inside and it’s a newer car.

          • Dr Strangefingger

            Again, debatable.

          • Vassilis

            OK, how?

          • Dr Strangefingger

            Dollar for dollar, the 370z offers so much more… and in my opinion, is a better car. We can debate this until Christmas if you’d like..

          • Vassilis

            OK, go ahead, why do you think so. Before you start, may I ask, do you own one?

    • TheBelltower

      It’s absurd to say “buy a 370Z instead, or you’re a brand whore.” No one is buying a 370Z. It was a fine car years ago. But it’s ridiculously outdated today.

    • Nick099

      Clearly you have never owned a Porsche and driven it above 4500 rpm with a growling flat six in full song.
      Nor experienced the steering feel that reads every undulation in the road.
      Yes, jerks may buy a Porsche for brand cache, but those who actually love to drive understand their true value….and a Nissan does not compare. I’ve owned the former and drove the latter. No comparison.

  • Callanish

    I believe if any car needs a manual transmission, it’s this one. If you’re going to struggle to get the best out of the lowest HP version of the cayman / boxster, you may as well go all in with a manual transmission and reward yourself for the effort. Kills me when 300 hp these days, in a sports car, has an around town drivability issue all because of questionable gearing in the pdk transmission.

    • SteersUright

      The manuals in nearly all Porsche 911’s and Cayman/Boxsters have the same horrendously tall gearing as the PDK. It allows for excellent highway economy but just really kills the joy of extracting the most from the awesome high revving flat-6 engines and I guess also the newer flat-4’s. The tall gearing is something nearly every respected reviewer has complained about for years, I believe since the 997 generation.

      • Callanish

        Well, that’s disappointing. Do you have any idea on why they’ve done this for so long and why they continue to do things this way. Is it fuel economy related?

        • SteersUright

          Whenever I’ve googled it, everything always points to fuel economy. For Porsche its an easy way to have their older clientele that never really drive their cars hard, to enjoy 30mpg on the highway which truly is amazing for such capable sports cars.
          However, for all of us that would LOVE to drive the snot out of our Porsches, we want shorter gearing!!! I’ve heard they’ve modified for shorter gearing in special models like the 911T and others, but they are still too tall. We’d end up with like 23mpg highway as a tradeoff and I dont think Porsche is willing to offer this.
          However, they should at least offer a factory option as Ford does, so the owner can make the decision.

          • Callanish

            I’m all for better fuel economy, but to do it at the expense of getting in the way of a driver’ enjoyment is an affront to what these cars are all about. Shame that so many Porsche owners have voiced their frustration, only for it to fall on deaf ears at Zuffenhausen HQ. Thanks for providing that info, although it still won’t stop me from pining away at any opportunity to own a manual GT3 touring in carmine red; some day 🙂

          • SteersUright

            In total agreement. Porsche, of all experts in engineering, must surely be able to find a way to deliver!

  • jb

    I’m on my third one , 2006, 2014, 2017 CS , I had a MB SL, Corvette , BMW and the CS is the best one of all !!

  • I’ll have this any time.

  • stelvio

    nopes you get it in the aftermarket 😉

  • Joe Mosely

    The only issue is it sounds like a 1960 VW Bettle. Or a WRX. putt putt putt putt putt putt putt
    It’s the flat 4 configuration.

  • Dr Strangefingger

    I’ve driven both. For the money, I think the Z is far superior. But yeah, price aside, Apples to Apples I won’t argue with you there.

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