Outstanding driving dynamics
Exhilarating flat-6 engine option
Good cargo space for a sports car
Gets expensive with options
Base engine lacks character
New Shark Blue and Frozenberry Metallic paint options
Price: The 2022 Porsche Cayman starts at $60,500.
The Porsche Cayman is the iconic German brand’s entry-level sports car, but don’t let the term “entry-level” fool you. This is a premium sports car with a mid-engine configuration, superb driving dynamics, and unmistakable Porsche
styling. It’s even surprisingly practical for a 2-seater, with its characteristic roofline yielding a pretty roomy cargo area.
The Porsche Cayman 718
The Porsche Cayman is available in several different variants, and there isn’t a boring one in the bunch. Every Cayman model has a personality of its own, from the base model to the more energetic Cayman S to the 6-cylinder GTS and GT4 models. What they all have in common is an engaging driving experience and a premium interior with little room for complaint.
2022 Porsche 718 Cayman pricing
Pricing for the 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman starts at $60,500. The Cayman T starts at $69,600, and upgrading to the Cayman S with a bigger turbocharged engine costs $72,500. The 6-cylinder GTS 4.0 and GT4 models start at $87,400 and $101,200, respectively.
Like every Porsche, Cayman resale values are notoriously good. That’s true and then some for this gorgeous, talented coupe.
Driving the 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman
A joyful driving experience is the biggest strength of the 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman. This sporty coupe is as fun to drive as it looks, thanks to a range of energetic engines that seem always to encourage the driver to push the car a little harder. On top of the exciting engines, this car has the deft handling to match and outstanding balance partially thanks to the mid-engine configuration.
On top of being a thrilling car on a twisty canyon road, it’s also quite comfortable and surprisingly practical for everyday driving. This is a luxury sports car that could serve as a daily commuter as long as you don’t need back seats. It has the comfort of a luxury car in highway and around-town driving. The 6-cylinder models might be a big raucous for the daily commute, but the turbocharged 4-cylinder models are tame enough for daily driving while still exciting when you want a little extra adrenaline.
There’s enough variety in the Cayman model range to find your perfect balance of track-ready performance and everyday comfort. For example, the GTS and GT4 models are outstanding track toys that can also be driven on the road, while the T, S, and base models are more oriented for street use, but are still up for the occasional track day.
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The 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman is a stellar sports car that doesn’t forget that it’s also a luxury car. This 2-seater has generous legroom once you’re inside, but it can be a bit of a challenge to get in and out of since it is a low-slung performance car.
The interior design has a tasteful simplicity to it with upscale materials and modern tech features. The interior is oriented to the driver with a straightforward instrument cluster and ergonomic controls.
Part of what makes the 718 Cayman a practical sports car is its roomy cargo area. Its distinct shape yields a generous cargo hold in the back, plus there’s a “frunk” in front since the engine is behind the driver.
The 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman has a look identifiable as a Porsche from a mile away at any angle. The classic shape with the sloping roofline along with the distinct headlights and low-slung stance give it a look that bears a family resemblance to the 911 while having a character of its own.
The compact size of the Cayman is part of what makes it such a blast to drive. It’s small enough to be a nimble compact sports car but big enough to still be fairly roomy for a 2-seater.
The look of the 718 Cayman can change a bit throughout the model range. Every trim has its own personality, and various appearance packages, wheel options, and a wide range of paint colors make it customizable to make it your own.
Also see: The 2022 Porsche Cayenne: The pricey SUV that drives like a sports car
6-cylinder engine optionThe naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-6 option powering the GTS and GT4 variants of the 718 Cayman exudes pure, unadulterated Porsche character with strong performance and an intoxicating exhaust note, making for a driving experience that no other brand can imitate.
Sport Chrono packageThe available Sport Chrono package adds a dash-mounted stopwatch, four drive modes, and launch control when equipped with the PDK automatic transmission. We love that this package comes standard on most 718 Cayman models, but it’s optional on the base and S trims.
Standard features that make this an exciting sports car — even at the base level — include a 300-horsepower turbocharged engine, a 6-speed manual transmission, a sport-tuned suspension, electromechanical steering, and an enhanced Porsche Stability Management system.
There are a few features that used to be optional, but have recently been added to the list of standard equipment. These include dual-zone automatic climate control, heated seats, Apple CarPlay, ParkAssist, and 6-speaker audio.
Working your way up the model range of the Porsche 718 Cayman improves performance, appearance, and interior comforts. The 718 Cayman T gets upgrades like 20-inch wheels, PASM suspension, a locking differential with torque vectoring, and a standard Sport Chrono package. The 718 Cayman S comes with an upgraded turbo engine, while the GTS and GT4 turn up the heat with a flat-6 engine and various other performance upgrades.
One of the most popular options for the 718 Cayman is an outstanding PDK 7-speed automatic transmission. Purists will probably still want to stick with the manual, but the PDK transmission delivers smooth, quick shifts and should be test-driven by even the most die-hard stick shift devotees.
Other options include a Burmeister premium audio system, driver assistance tech like adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel, and many options for customizing the interior and exterior to your liking.
Engine and transmission
There are three engines available in the Porsche 718 Cayman, and none of them can be described as boring. The base engine is a turbocharged flat-4 that Porsche purists may not like for lack of character. However, if pure-Porsche DNA isn’t that important to you, then it’s a great engine with plenty of pep and decent fuel economy. It’s upgradable to a bigger turbo engine in the S model.
Finally, a naturally aspirated flat-6 powers the GTS and GT4 models. The 6-cylinder is highly satisfying not just because of its impressive power and torque ratings, but because of its excellent sound and distinct character that’s hard to imitate. It makes 20 horsepower more in the GT4 than it does in the GTS.
Every Porsche 718 Cayman is rear-wheel drive. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, and a slick PDK 7-speed automatic is optional.
2.0-liter turbocharged flat-4 (718 Cayman, 718 Cayman T)300 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm280 lb-ft of torque @ 1,950-4,500 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 mpg (manual), 21/27 mpg (automatic)
2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4 (718 Cayman S)350 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm309 lb-ft of torque @ 1,900-4,500 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/24 mpg (manual), 19/25 mpg (automatic)
4.0-liter flat-6 (718 Cayman GTS 4.0)394 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm309 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000-6,500 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24
4.0-liter flat-6 (718 Cayman GT4)414 horsepower @ 7,600 rpm309 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000-6,800 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg
This story originally ran on KBB.com.