Few cars, including other sports cars we love, offer the same purity of mission as the 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman. Its mid-engine arrangement and expertly tuned suspension give it a joyful driving demeanor that’s truly addictive, and we again named it to our 2022 Editors’ Choice list. Buyers can choose from a horizontally opposed four- or six-cylinder engine, the latter of which sings a siren’s song that encourages aggressive driving. Fans of open-air driving will find the 718 Boxster a similar experience, but we review that model separately. While the Cayman commands a price premium over rivals such as the Chevy Corvette and Toyota Supra, its focused persona and Porsche brand image are enough to justify the increased cost. Of course, its transcendent driving traits are what secure its spot on our 10Best list.
What’s New for 2022?
Porsche heats up the Cayman line further with the GT4 RS track-oriented model. It borrows the 4.0-liter flat-six from the brilliant 911 GT3, tuned here for 493 hp, and adds suspension revisions and aerodynamics aimed at improving lap times. The RS also spawns a full-race version named the GT4 RS Clubsport, which is suitable for competition in several current road-racing series. The Cayman sees few changes for 2022, but the sports coupe is now available in two new colors—Shark Blue and Frozenberry Metallic. A handful of new customization features is also available, including key fobs painted to match the exterior body color and several leather accessories from key pouches and floormats to owner’s manual covers.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Porsche offers an assortment of potent engines on the Cayman. The entry-level version is a 300-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter flat-four. The S variant is motivated by a turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four that generates 350 horses. While the four-cylinders provide quick acceleration, we take issue with the coarse sounds they produce. Thankfully, the naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six fixes the Cayman’s auditory issues. In addition to the intoxicating noises it makes, the six-cylinder generates 394 ponies in the GTS 4.0, 414 in GT4, and 493 in the new GT4 RS. Regardless of which engine you choose, every Cayman comes standard with a slick six-speed manual transmission—perhaps the best one on the market. If you’re not into that, you can get a quick-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch automatic (DCT) with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. The Cayman’s willful chassis and telepathic steering transcend perfection. Credit the Cayman’s mid-engine layout and sticky summer tires, which work together to provide the sports coupe with stunning balance and stability on twisty two-lane roads. This car is a sublime mix of heady handling and a relatively relaxed ride.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates the base Cayman will achieve up to 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The more powerful S model is rated at 19 mpg city and 25 highway with the automatic, and a manual-equipped GT4 is rated at 16 mpg city and 23 highway. We tested the base car and a Cayman S on our 200-mile highway route, and both delivered a thrifty 32 mpg in the real world. For more information about the Cayman’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Easy-to-understand gauges, comfortable seats, and well-placed controls give the Cayman’s cabin a form-fitting feeling, not unlike a superhero’s suit. Still, a plethora of hard buttons and a number of cheap plastic pieces keep the interior from standing out in this class. Fortunately, Porsche will cover just about any surface in leather—at a cost, of course. A compact front trunk complements the Cayman’s rear cargo area, providing the small sports car with cargo space that rivals the best of its competitive set. We fit two carry-on suitcases in the trunk and two in the frunk. A steep rear-hatch angle, however, means owners will need to use soft duffel bags to make the most of the available space.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Cayman’s standard touchscreen infotainment system is straightforward and offers generally quick response times to user inputs. While Porsche nickels and dimes its customers by charging extra for some features, such as built-in navigation and a Wi-Fi hotspot, every model now has Apple CarPlay compatibility. Android Auto isn’t available, though. The audio system can be upgraded to either a Bose stereo or a high-end Burmester unit that has 12 speakers and a total output of 821 watts.