- Sonorous flat-six engine
- Nimble handling
- Good cargo space, thanks to mid-engine layout
- Fair fuel efficiency
- Cabin noise
- Not enough bolstering on side supports
- Options can drive the price skyward quickly
Fantastic handling, comfortable seating, and better-than-average cargo room make the Porsche Cayman a success in the segment.
TheCarConnection's editors have driven the Cayman to bring you their firsthand impressions in the Bottom Line, and TheCarConnection.com has compiled the best reviews around the Web to bring you a comprehensive range of views on the 2010 Porsche Cayman and Cayman S.
Last year, Porsche introduced a second-generation Cayman with a host of mechanical changes. For 2010 the Porsche Cayman stays largely the same. Situated between the 911 and the Boxster in the brand's lineup, the Cayman shares much of its underpinnings with the Boxster roadster. Exterior changes carried forward from last year include upgrades to the exterior with redesigned front and rear panels that accommodate larger halogen headlights and LED tail lights.
The 2010 Porsche Cayman is powered by a 2.9-liter engine rated at 265 horsepower. Upgrading to the Cayman S boosts engine displacement to 3.4 liters and, thanks to the addition of direct injection, 320 horsepower. That's enough oomph to give the Cayman S a power-to-weight ratio of 9.3 pounds per horsepower. Despite the ready performance figures, the Cayman isn't a gas guzzler, due in part to its relatively low weight. New last year was the addition of a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission called the Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe, or PDK. A standard six-speed manual transmission is also available. Porsche rates the Cayman S's acceleration at 5.1 seconds to 60 mph with the manual transmission, and 5.9 seconds for the standard Cayman. Top speed for the S model is a heady 171 mph. An optional Sports Chrono package with launch control shaves that 0-60 mph time to 4.9 seconds for the Cayman S. These numbers do little to describe the sheer pleasure of the sound of the Porsche boxer engine, however.
The optional Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) allows the driver to tune the car's handling to suit the application, ranging from Normal to Sport for city and spirited driving, respectively. Regardless of whether you choose the PASM or the Cayman or Cayman S model, the fundamental chassis of the Cayman line is brilliantly fun to drive, with sharp and easy steering response and confident braking behavior. While these characteristics reward an average driver, a seasoned driver can extract true joy on the track.
Comfort isn't always a first consideration with a sports car, but the Cayman is acceptable for its level of performance. The ride can still be occasionally jarring on rough roads, and road noise can become tiresome on coarser surfaces, but overall the interior is comfortable. Despite somewhat narrow standard seats, they don't offer much side support, so enthusiastic drivers or those who spend much time on the track will want to opt for the adaptive sport seats with their power-adjustable bolsters. Materials and build quality are, as usual from Porsche, top-notch.
Without the need to stow a top and with a bit more room behind the passenger area, thanks to a hatchback design, the 2010 Porsche Cayman offers slightly more cargo practicality than the Boxster. Because of its mid-mounted engine, the Cayman can stow gear both in front and in back. Interior cargo space is lacking, but this is a compact two-seat sports car, after all. If you want six cup holders, consider the Cayenne.
The standard features list isn't exactly extensive, but the available options offer a lot in the way of upgrades. Let those options get out of hand, however, and you'll quickly be looking at a bottom-line price that's well beyond the base of $51,400. Standard equipment includes cruise control, theft deterrence, air conditioning, leather seating surfaces, and a five-speaker sound system. Optional upgrades include a Bose Surround Sound system, a hands-free-calling package with Bluetooth, and the Porsche Communications Management system, which includes a central source for navigation, audio, and communications. Several packages of options are also available that include more aggressively styled alloy wheels, a sport exhaust, dual zone automatic climate control, and a wide range of available trims and upholstery tones.
Safety features are similarly abundant, with dual side and side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, and Porsche Stability Management system, a performance-tuned stability control system. The Cayman S can also be fitted with ceramic composite brakes for superior fade resistance, and all models can opt for an upgrade to dynamic cornering lights to help see what's coming when the road ahead isn't straight. Crash testing hasn't been conducted by either NHTSA or the IIHS, however, so there are no official ratings for the 2010 Porsche Cayman or Cayman S.