Parkers overall rating: 4.6 out of 5 4.6
  • Instant turbocharged punch on tap
  • But flat-six howl is lost to turbos
  • A very rapid sports car indeed

It’s hard to believe the 718 Cayman is the cheapest car in Porsche’s range now, such is its performance. Even the slowest entry-level model can top 170mph and crack the benchmark 0-62mph sprint in 5.1 seconds - no mean feat. Step up to the S, and that figure drops to 4.6sec while top speed climbs to 177mph.

There’s no denying that the switch to smaller, downsized four-cylinder power has come at the expense of an aurally stimulating soundtrack, however. The whipcrack flat-six bark that has come to characterise generations of Porsche has, sadly, been lost with the loss of those two cylinders.

What the Cayman has not lost is outright speed. You’ll maybe detect a tiny bit of turbo-associated delay if you catch it off-boost in the wrong gear, but this is a problem rarely encountered on the road. Instead, you get lashings of pulling power thanks to the colossal torque on tap. If you can afford it, we’d recommend picking the S, but the entry-level 718 is no disappointment.

We’ve tested both six-speed manual and seven-speed PDK automatic derivatives and can attest it’s really down to personal preference.

The DIY choice is a pleasure to use and suits the character of the car well; but if you live in a city or prefer autos, we’d heartily support the PDK choice too. Gearchanges are quickly and smoothly carried out, and this version is actually cleaner and more efficient.

How does it handle?

  • One of the sweetest-handling cars of all
  • Sublime poise and handling overall
  • Guaranteed to put fun back into driving

This is a rewarding car to drive – for both the enthusiast and the sports car newcomer. We can think of few vehicles we’d rather drive along a twisting mountain road – at any price.

The poised balance provided by having the engine positioned amidships is the key to this agile handling, aided by rear-wheel drive. In short, the 718 Cayman is seemingly plugged into your synapses, pointing into a corner the moment your brain sends messages to your fingertips.

Steering is well judged, quick and accurate, with no hint of the nervousness you’ll find in big brother the 911. And the chassis is well set up for comfort: the suspension quashes bodyroll effectively and yet there’s real compliance here, even on the larger 20-inch wheels many buyers may spec.

For the best ride comfort, however, we’d recommend sticking with smaller rims. The Cayman comes with 18in wheels as standard, rising to 19in alloys on the Cayman S. The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) option is worth pursuing for its blend of sporting firmness and softer compliance allowed by switchable dampers.