2014 Porsche Cayman S | Model Review | Model Specs
Recently, I got the chance to test out a 2014 Porsche Cayman S, courtesy of Park Place Porsche in Dallas. I regularly keep an eye on their inventory and have been itching to get into the driver’s seat of one of these as they are becoming extremely palatable at the price point. This particular model was spec’d out pretty reasonably and when my pal Wade called to see if I was interested I jumped at the opportunity.
One of the greatest things about being at a Porsche dealership is that you are at a Porsche dealership. There is this sort of excitement in the air. Everyone is just excited that you are excited to be part of the heritage. If you haven’t been to one make the pilgrimage.
I’ve got the luxury of living fairly close to the best one in the country and they’ve always treated me well, whether buying or just enjoying the scenery. Anyway on to the meat and potatoes and the question everyone wants to know, is the 2014 Cayman S worth the money?
The answer is “yes, obviously”, but there is a caveat. That caveat is the prerequisite that you are in the market for a 2-door RWD coupe. And in that respect, there are few options coming close to this car for the price.
As far as car reviews go you can view my opinion on the current state of reviews in my post: The Problem With Car Reviews. This is simply my opinion based on driving the car and it is completely unfiltered. Proceed accordingly.
2014 Porsche Cayman S Specs:
- Engine: 3.4-Liter Flat-Six Cylinder
- Drivetrain: Mid-Engine Rear Wheel Drive
- Transmission: Manual or “PDK” Dual-clutch 7-Speed
- Horsepower: 325 hp @ 7,400 RPM
- Torque: 272 lb-ft
- 0-60 mph: ~4.2 seconds
- MPG: 20 City/30 Hwy
- Fair Market Value: $42,000 – $46,000
- Average Rating: 10/10
2014 Porsche Cayman S Background
The Porsche Cayman was introduced late in 2005 and was new for the 2006 model year. It was a hardtop coupe version of the popular entry-level Porsche the Boxtser.
During that time the Boxster wasn’t what it is today. It was the ugly stepchild of the Porsche line-up and realistically was viewed as a Porsche for people who couldn’t afford a 911.
Just being real here. You can find examples of 2005 Porsche Boxsters for less than $15,000 today.
That’s not to say the Boxster wasn’t a good car back then, because it was, it’s just changed dramatically. Some might say it grew up. It filled out. And that’s the case with the 2014 Cayman as well honestly. Early examples of this car look bland and boring. They drive great but they don’t look nearly as flashy and beautiful as they do today.
That’s because in 2014 the Cayman received a facelift which launched it into a different playing field. With the facelift came a few low-key but very awesome upgrades. First, the Cayman moved onto the new 911 chassis which is the car equivalent of a Prime Filet Minion.
Secondly, in the “S” trims the Cayman got a de-tuned version of the 3.4-liter flat-six used in the 911.
Thirdly, it filled out. It got curvy. In all the right places.
The mid-engine platform is so good for sports cars but we will touch on that a little later.
2014 Porsche Cayman S Interior and Cabin
2014 Porsche Cayman Interior highlights:
- Simple and beautiful gauge cluster
- Perfect steering wheel
- Ultra high-quality materials throughout the cabin
- Center console and entertainment center right at drivers fingertips
- Easy to use infotainment center
- Amazing field of view from the driver’s seat.
- Just the right amount of space for a two-seat sports car
You open up the door and slide down into the car. It feels snug in a good way. It sort of wraps around you. You get the impression you are in a sports car.
But don’t worry there’s luxury too. There’s something about a Porsche interior that makes you feel like you are driving a sports car but still feels extremely luxurious.
You grab the wheel and you know exactly where your hands are supposed to go, right at 3 and 9. there’s no question. You put the key in (on the left of the steering wheel) and then start it. No push-button bullshit here, just a key you put in an ignition and turn. It really sets the mood.
The motor is right behind you and it is great. It’s not loud like a Lambo, it’s just right. Like the sound of a fan blowing when you are falling asleep and need the white noise. You just don’t even remember what life was like before you had that noise in it.
The Cayman boasts the same three gauge cluster that is in the Boxster and it’s so perfect. The center is a tachometer and is a full circle, with the speed and gear in the center towards the bottom in digital numbers.
The left has the speed in mph/kph. The right has a digital screen that shows time and all the other fun stuff, even the navigation will show up in it so you don’t have to look at the center screen.
Driving the 2014 Porsche Cayman S
Here’s why I love it:
- Tight, heavy and direct steering
- Agility like a Gazelle
- The engine sounds incredible
- The breaking feels unreal
- Shifting is fun in both manual and automatic versions
- 7,500 RPM redline
- Quick off the line
- Enough corner grip to make your eyes bleed
- Mid-Engine and rear-wheel-drive
This particular model was a manual and I think there are pros and cons to that. I know you always hear a lot of people talk about how they “could never have a sports car without a manual” and okay I see some merit to that.
I’m an avid fan of manual transmission sports cars, but let’s talk about the PDK.
The PDK is Porsche’s dual-clutch automatic transmission and the name PDK stands for “Porsche Doppelkupplung”. You don’t care what it means and neither do I.
The only thing that matters is how insanely good this set up is. I had the chance to put a Boxster S through an autocross course at Barber Motorsport Park in Alabama and the automatic transmission knew what to do before my brain could even assess what was going on.
It’s lightning fast. I mean that. It’s so fast and smooth you don’t even realize it’s doing work. It’s a magic act that you need to experience. It feels like driving a supercar.
Toss it into manual mode (or sport plus) and wrap it out all the way to 7,500 RPM. That’s 5.0 V8 territory. Upshift and listen to the induction suck down a mouthful of oxygen before it lets out this little exhaust burp.
It’s a cool experience.
Even in city driving while being tame the car makes these noises that are just so dope. It makes you feel like you’re driving sporty when you’re just commuting.
The manual version is amazing too, don’t get me wrong. But it’s involved. Porsche clutches are ultra forgiving. It engages at the top of the pedal play and is very firm.
It feels like quality every time you push that left foot down. The indicator in the center gauge proudly displays that you are in third gear going 80 mph, but the tachometer only shows 5,000 rpm. You still have plenty of room to redline.
And that’s the beauty of the Cayman S. It has mojo man. It feels like a proper sports car, it sounds like a proper sports car, and it looks like a proper sports car. And that’s because, well, it is one. Dropping the car into third gear we rail an on-ramp with a nice curve and the Cayman S just hugs it yawning, but you feel like you’re at Imola going into turn one.
The car is stable and feels drawn to the road surface. Steering is heavy and tight like it’s mechanical. Hit the pedal from a stop and it feels powerful (it sounds powerful too). With a 0-60 mph pull of 4.2 seconds, it’s no slouch.
But that’s not to say this car is for everyone. I could go on for days about how great this car is, but let’s talk about who it’s not great for.
2014 Porsche Cayman S Final Thoughts
First, if you need a backseat slice this from your list. Unlike some coupes that offer a cramped back seat like the TT or any of the American muscle car coupes, Porsche doesn’t waste its time with stuff like that.
Secondly, if you are looking for a stoplight drag car, this isn’t the one for you either. The car is quick, but there are quicker cars from a stop than this one for much cheaper. Porsche builds cars for the track so bear that in mind.
Finally, this is not a flashy ride that will get you crazy looks. In fact, it’s somewhat muted. Most Porsches are, save for the ultra track ready models like the GT2, GT3, and GT4. So if you are looking to hit the streets and get tons of looks you might be better suited in an M3 or C63.
All that being said this one amazing coupe. It does everything well. It is a thoroughbred sports car that you can drive into the office every day and rip apart the track on the weekends. The 2014 Cayman S is the answer to those who are seeking excitement in an everyday car on bland and boring roads but still want enough luxury to impress their wife on a date night.
And that’s the beauty of the Cayman S. It sort of ticks all these boxes without sacrificing its core value and it proves that amazing cars are out there for reasonable prices.
A good used example of one of these cars will set you back in the mid-40’s which is cheaper than most other luxury coupes like the BMW M4 and Mercedes C63. So if you are in the market for a two-seater coupe that will inject some passion back into your driving this is a great option to start with.
Why You Should Buy a Cayman S:
- Perfect for daily driving and track days
- Superior handling in wet or dry conditions
- High safety ratings
- Not subject to steep depreciation
- Low maintenance requirements
- Relatively reliable when compared to peers
- Fantastic CPO warranty coverage ( 2 years and unlimited miles)
- Clean and sporty looks
Not looking for a coupe, but not trying to sacrifice sportiness? Check out our post: Best Four-Door Sports Cars.