- A masterpiece of handling
- Quick in any form
- Slick transmissions
- Lots of build options
- High cost of entry
- Turbo-4s don’t sound like Porsches
- Limited safety options
features & specs
The Porsche 718 is a joy to drive in any form and additional performance equipment makes it a track star.
What kind of car is the 2021 Porsche 718? What does it compare to?
The Porsche 718 is a rear-wheel-drive, two-seat sports car offered in Cayman coupe and Boxster roadster body styles.
The 718 competes against rivals like the Chevrolet Corvette, Audi TT, BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra cousins, and the Nissan 370Z.
Is the 2021 Porsche 718 a good car?
The 718 is a great car but it’s not a practical everyday driver. Sharp handling, quick responses, and strong engines overcome its weaknesses to earn it a 7.0 rating overall. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What's new for the 2021 Porsche 718?
Porsche adds GTS 4.0 models to the 718 lineup for 2021, both powered by a 4.0-liter flat-6 that spins out 394 hp. The addition of the GTS also makes the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission available for the 4.0-liter flat-6. In addition, a new limited-edition Boxster 25 model sports cues from the original concept car, and all models add more standard equipment, including heated seats, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
The 718 lineup has a model at every price point from $60,000 to $100,000. It includes base, T, S, and GTS models for both body styles, plus the high-performance Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder.
The Boxster and Cayman play off the rounded curves of the 911 but create their own style. The headlights stray from the traditional rounded shape, the character lines lead into large rear cooling ducts, and overall it has a smaller, sprightlier appearance. Inside, the 718 recalls the 911’s last generation with a wide center console that rises to the dash, an excess of buttons, and a smaller center screen.
The 718 lineup is now split into turbo-4 and naturally aspirated flat-6 models. No 718 makes less than 300 hp and the GT4 and Spyder top out at 414 hp. Zero to 60 mph times range from 4.9 to 4.2 seconds, and buyers have a choice of two slick-shifting transmissions: a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual clutch automatic.
Handling is the greatest strength of this dynamic duo. The mid-engine layout creates incredible balance that enhances the agility of these light two-seaters. The tires offer tremendous grip, the steering has great feedback and responsiveness, the brakes are strong, and the smiles are unlimited. A host of additional performance features including adaptive dampers, carbon-ceramic brakes, additional drive modes, and lower ride heights turn the 718 into a track athlete.
The only areas where the 718 falls down are practicality and safety features. They offer only two seats and their front and rear trunks are too narrow to fit golf clubs. The 718 offers just a few safety features and doesn’t make most of them standard.
How much does the 2021 Porsche 718 cost?
The 718 starts at $61,250 for the Cayman and $63,350 for the Boxster. For that money, buyers get such features as heated sport seats, satellite radio, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, leather upholstery, and 18-inch alloy wheels on summer performance tires.
Where is the Porsche 718 made?
In Zuffenhausen, Germany.
2021 Porsche 718
The 2021 Porsche 718 plays off the 911 but manages an attractive style of its own.
Is the Porsche 718 a good-looking car?
The 2021 Porsche 718 is heavily influenced by the iconic design of its 911 sibling, yet it has a look of its own. It’s sleek inside and out and earns a 9 on our scale.
The 718 Cayman coupe and 718 Boxster roadster share a wide nose that also channels the discontinued 918 hypercar. Wrapped in similar curves to the 911, the nose drops away to create excellent sight lines. The headlights take on a nearly triangular shape to delineate the 718 from the 911’s classic round headlights.
The flanks are highlighted by sculpted character lines that lead into massive functional air intakes to cool the mid-mounted engines. The rounded look crests to create haunches over the wheels, and dips down in the front, middle, and rear. The Boxster is offered with several cloth top colors and presents a cohesive design top up or down.
In back, a full-width taillight bar sports the Porsche script in its center. A center exhaust outlet is another 718 cue that differs from the 911.
Inside, Porsche outfits the 718 with a wide center console festooned with buttons that have since been abandoned by the 911. The console rises to the dash to create a T shape, with black up top, metal trim in the middle, and the chosen upholstery color down low. It’s a sporty, simple, and timeless look.
2021 Porsche 718
Quick, balanced, precise, and communicative, the 2021 Porsche 718 is a joy to drive.
It’s hard to have more fun behind the wheel than in a Porsche 718. The mid-engine Porsche hits a perfect 10 for performance for its balanced and agile handling, fantastic grip, ready power, quick steering, and the feedback it gives to the driver. Few cars are as accomplished.
Is the Porsche 718 AWD?
No. The Porsche 718 comes only with rear-wheel drive.
How fast is the Porsche 718?
It’s quick in its base form and it gets quicker as the dollars increase. The 2.0-liter turbo-4 in base and T models makes 300 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque to motivate the 718 from 0-60 mph in as quick as 4.9 seconds. The 2.5-liter turbo-4 in S models turns up the output to 350 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque while cutting the 0-60 mph sprint to 4.4 seconds. Neither engine provides the signature Porsche flat-6 thrum, however.
The available 4.0-liter flat-6 produces 394 hp in the GTS and 414 hp in the GT4 and Spyder models. It makes the right noises and cuts the 0-60 mph time slightly to 4.3 seconds in the GTS and 4.2 seconds in the GT4/Spyder. It also delivers the highest top speed of 189 mph.
All models come standard with a crisp-shifting 6-speed manual transmission, though the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic can shift faster than a human and provide quicker lap times.
The acceleration is thrilling, but the 718 is even more fun when it’s time to turn corners. Its quick, direct steering provides smile-inducing feedback. Strong brakes stop it quickly, too. The handling gets even better with options such as adaptive dampers, lower ride heights, revised engine and transmission mounts, and sportier driving modes. The 718 is one of the most agile, fun-to-drive cars money can buy.
2021 Porsche 718
Comfort & Quality
The 718 fits two, and only two, in comfort.
The 718 offers less space than the 911, and just one row of seats instead of two. We give it points for supportive seats and fine fit and finish, but remove point for an overall lack of cargo space and its limited passenger capacity, for a total of 5.
One of the great sports car pleasures is settling into the comfortable, sporty, and ergonomically sound cockpit of a 718. Both occupants will be comfortable thanks to a variety of well-contoured sport seats. The sportier seats may pinch wider backsides, so test them first.
Porsche builds every 718 with care, outfitting the interiors with high-quality, well-assembled materials. And buyers can personalize many of the interior surfaces thanks to a wide range of trim choices.
While the 718 has both front and rear trunks, both are too small to fit a golf bag and they may not fit your rollerboard bag. The front trunk has a modest 5.6 cubic feet of cargo space, and the Boxster’s rear trunk has just 4.4 cubes. The Cayman has 9.7 cubic feet in the rear trunk, which gives the car some decent cargo volume, but, again, no longer items will fit.
2021 Porsche 718
The 2021 Porsche 718 offers few active safety features and no crash-test results.
How safe is the Porsche 718?
The thought of crashing a 718 hurts us and its sales volumes are too low to warrant official crash tests, so we can’t give the 718 a safety rating.
The only notable standard safety feature is front and rear park assist. Automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitors are optional. The park assist and blind-spot monitors are quite helpful given the 718’s poor outward vision.
2021 Porsche 718
Porsche makes a 718 for every type of enthusiast.
Every 718 is well equipped, and Porsche also offers plenty of options to personalize the 718. We rate it a 7, adding points for those two strengths.
Standard equipment on base 718s includes dual-zone automatic climate control, manually adjustable heated sport seats, auto-dimming mirrors, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, Apple CarPlay compatibility, satellite radio, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, leather upholstery, and 18-inch alloy wheels with summer performance tires.
Which Porsche 718 should I buy?
Move too far up in the 718 lineup, and you might as well buy a 911. We recommend the T models, which come with the base engine but add lots of performance equipment. They get adjustable dampers, a 0.8 inch lower ride height, a limited-slip differential with torque vectoring, the Sport Chrono package with additional drive modes and an analog and digital stopwatch, a short-throw shifter, and sportier seats. The Boxster T runs $72,350 and the Cayman T costs $70,250.
How much is a fully loaded 2021 Porsche 718?
The top of the lineup is represented by the Boxster Spyder and the Cayman GT4. Both have a 414-hp version of the 4.0-liter flat-6 and the T models’ performance bits, plus lightweight suspension components; adjustable toe, camber, and anti-roll bars; bigger brakes; a fixed rear wing (Cayman only); door pull loops; and leather and Alcantara seats. The Boxster Spyder runs $98,650 and the Cayman GT4 costs $101,550.
2021 Porsche 718
The 2021 Porsche 718 offers decent fuel economy for a sports car, even in its most powerful form.
Is the Porsche 718 good on gas?
For a sports car, it’s not so bad. We base our 4 rating on the most popular and most frugal base engine. With the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the base 2.0-liter flat-4 is EPA rated at 21 mpg city, 27 highway, and 24 combined.
The 2.0-liter with the 6-speed manual transmission is rated at 20/26/22 mpg in both the base and T models. However, the T models with the dual-clutch automatic suffer a slight bump down to 21/27/23 mpg.
Opt for the 2.5-liter flat-4 with the automatic in the S models and the ratings are 19/25/23 mpg. The S models with the manual are rated at 19/24/21 mpg, as are the GTS models with the automatic. GTS models with the manual get 17/24/19 mpg.
GT4 and Spyder models get 18/4/20 mpg with the automatic and 17/23/19 mpg with the manual.
Porsche recommends using premium fuel in every 718.