2008 Porsche Cayman

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2008 Porsche Cayman Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Porsche Cayman was new.

The Cayman is generally regarded as a mid-engine masterpiece of performance and has a surprising amount of utility for a sports car. This Porsche is a dream come true for luxury sports car shoppers.

9.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.5
Performance: 9.1
Interior: 7.2
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Near-perfect handling
  • Sensual exterior styling
  • Comfortable, driving-focused cabin
  • A surprising amount of cargo room for the class
  • Interior lacks creature comforts offered by competitors
  • Some interior controls are fussy, hard to use

2008 Porsche Cayman Overview

Enzo Ferrari famously said that convertibles were for playboys -- serious drivers go for coupes. With the Cayman, the fixed-roof version of its successful Boxster roadster, Porsche has opened a door for serious drivers to enjoy the storied brand at an entry-level (for Porsche) price. Like the Boxster, the Cayman features a mid-mounted engine, which allows for almost perfect balance. That balance, combined with the hard-top's more rigid structure, makes the Cayman a hot performer that some test drivers believe even rivals the Porsche 911. According to Automobile Magazine, it's "everything the 911 has not been for most of its career: confidence-inspiring, super-stable, totally balanced, quite forgiving, a gifted storyteller that is equally good at listening."

In addition to the base model, there's also a Cayman S trim, which has a slightly larger engine that makes 50 more horsepower. It also comes with a standard six-speed manual transmission and an automatically adaptive suspension, though both can be added to the base Cayman, making the base the model most reviews recommend.

  • "Potentially... the Cayman S (named imaginatively for a breed of crocodile, not the remote Caribbean islands) combines the best of the Boxster and 911: the rigidity of a coupe body (like the Carrera's) combined with the superior weight distribution delivered by the Boxster's mid-engine layout." -- Car and Driver
  • "The good news is that you don't need any options unless you want to get into the personalizing one-upmanship game. Sure, there are a few things you might want, like automatic climate control or satellite radio, but the basic equipment works well enough, and the expensive frosting doesn't much affect the basic goodness of the Cayman driving experience." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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