2016 Porsche Cayman Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Porsche Cayman was new.


Performance: 9.3

The 2016 Porsche Cayman is incredibly engaging and fun to drive, according to automotive journalists. Although its base engine could use more power, the three optional engines provide vigorous acceleration. No matter which model you choose, the Cayman delivers confident and athletic handling.

  • "Thanks to its mid-engine configuration, lightweight construction and razor-sharp tuning, the Cayman delivers a different draw for performance-car shoppers, making this small 2-seater a hidden gem nestled within Porsche's growing family of sports cars, SUVs and sedans." -- AutoTrader
  • "There is a light simplicity to Porsche's 2016 Cayman coupe that is hard to describe. Although it has everything it needs to satisfy the most hard-core enthusiasts, the Cayman is the kind of car even a novice driver can feel confident piloting at high speed." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Although enthusiasts will likely prefer the more potent engines in the lineup -- especially the GT4's broad-shouldered 3.8-liter unit -- even the regular Cayman delivers the excitement of a sonorous, high-revving flat-6 engine wailing away right behind your head. It's a thrill ride every time you grab the key. There aren't many cars in the world that will make you look forward to running errands as much as Porsche's two-seat coupe." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The base 2016 Porsche Cayman is powered by a 2.7-liter six-cylinder engine that makes 275 horsepower and 213 pound-feet of torque. The Cayman S has a 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine with 325 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The Cayman GTS also has a 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine, but with 340 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. With all three engines, a six-speed manual transmission is standard and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional.

Fuel economy for a base Cayman with a manual transmission is an EPA-estimated 20/30 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for a six-cylinder sports car.

The all-new 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 is powered by a 3.8-liter six-cylinder engine. It produces 385 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque and is paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. Porsche says the GT4 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and has a top speed of 183 mph.

The base Cayman is less powerful than many rival sports cars. Its engine feels underwhelming when you attempt to pass other vehicles, though generally it offers adequate power. The S, GTS and GT4 trims feel much more potent. Regardless of which model you choose, you'll be delighted with the Cayman's rich engine sounds. Caymans equipped with the automatic transmission are faster than manual transmission models.

  • "The base Cayman's power delivery is gradual and fairly mild, culminating with a little spike at the 7,400 rpm power peak." -- AutoTrader
  • "True, Porsche still reserves its most powerful flat-6 engines for the 911, but it's almost churlish to complain now that the 385-horsepower GT4 model is available. No matter the engine you pick, the Cayman loves to rev and sounds fantastic doing it." -- Edmunds
  • "Manual lovers may not like to hear it, but to achieve the Cayman's best acceleration and performance figures, its dual-clutch PDK automatic transmission needs to be onboard. Use the fully automatic mode when stuck in traffic, but regain shift control when exiting that 5-lane freeway for a winding back road." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "If you're expecting straight-line perform­ance from these corner hunters, the base cars can be uncomfortably slow. The extra power of the S and GTS trims, however, transforms these cars into well-rounded athletes." -- Car and Driver (2015)
  • "That paltry-sounding 275 hp is fine as long as you keep the revs high and sling through corners while finessing the throttle. Torque is only 213 lb-ft at 4500 rpm, and at lower revs second gear is often found wanting, particularly when you need to pass." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)

Handling and Braking

The 2016 Porsche Cayman comes standard with rear-wheel drive. Along fast turns and winding roads, the Porsche Cayman delivers lively handling and an engaging driving experience. The car feels balanced through turns and has ample grip. The brakes offer good stopping power and the steering provides lots of feedback. Ride quality is generally very good, although the GTS and GT4 trims, as well as those fitted with 20-inch wheels, aren't as compliant over rough roads.

  • "The faster you go, the more the Cayman comes alive with a sense of communicative, intuitive handling resulting from its accurate and stable steering, quick turn-in and copious grip. Brakes are similarly balanced, with strong stopping capabilities when summoned. The real surprise comes on longer rides when the Cayman's friendly ergonomics and surprisingly smooth ride quality make it an easy accomplice for hours on the road." -- AutoTrader
  • "The Cayman's electrically assisted power steering is predictable, communicative and responsive, and the car's brakes obediently slow the action without ever feeling vague or overly sensitive. Driver input is taken without complaint as the stiff chassis and perfectly tuned suspension work in harmony to keep the Cayman planted. In the Cayman GTS and GT4, however, we found the track-inspired suspension a bit tiring in day-to-day driving, but perfect for a few hot laps on an enclosed course." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Press a Cayman along a winding road and you'll feel its superb midengine balance around those corners, egging you on where lesser machines would be begging for mercy. This is an easier car to drive hard than a 911, as its responses are more immediate, predictable and forgiving. Remarkably, the Cayman's supreme handling confidence doesn't translate to a jarring ride in normal operation; we'd be wary of the 20-inch wheels and their itty-bitty sidewalls, but the 19s have ample compliance by sports-car standards." -- Edmunds

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