Pros: Impressive build quality; invigorating acceleration; agile handling; broad range of options for personalization
Cons: Limited cargo space; tight, low-slung cockpit; subpar rear visibility; prices rise quickly as options are added
CG Says: The Porsche Cayman is redesigned for 2014. Cayman is the hardtop-coupe version of Porsche’s two-seat, mid-engine Boxster convertible. The two cars share a platform and use mid-mounted, horizontally opposed (“flat”) 6-cylinder engines. The Cayman and Boxster can be considered Porsche’s “entry-level” sports cars; both are priced far below the Porsche 911, though the Cayman’s base price is about $3,000 more than a Boxster. The redesigned 2014 Cayman is based on the basic platform that debuted on the 2013 Porsche Boxster, so once again it more or less parallels the features of its drop-top sibling. Though the wheelbase increases by 2.3 inches, overall length changes only fractionally. Porsche claims a weight reduction of up to 60 pounds, depending on the model. Powertrains are revised, and new available features include adaptive cruise control and keyless entry and starting. Some less-expensive sports cars challenge Cayman on a fun-per-dollar basis, and some like-priced competitors deliver more outright power. Few, however, match the Cayman’s range of strengths: road manners and mechanical sophistication to satisfy the most discriminating driver, a good dose of everyday usability, and the cachet of the Porsche name. Prices quickly escalate with options, so seek a modestly equipped model for best dollar value.