Porsche Cayman Buyer’s Guide | WATCH THIS BEFORE YOU BUY ONE!

Porsche Cayman Buyer’s Guide | WATCH THIS BEFORE YOU BUY ONE!

Hi there! MAX REVS talks cars. I’ve just
discovered what I think is the best super car you can buy for under £30,000 and I’d like to share that with you right now in this video. That car is the Porsche Cayman, that’s right I said Cayman.
I didn’t say 911. I definitely went for the Cayman that’s the car with the
engine in the right place. Let’s just quickly go over the different
generations, they first started with the 987, the Gen 1 and the Gen 2 and they
followed that by the 981, and then the recently released 718.
Now I’ve test-driven each one of the iterations of these cars and I’d
definitely say I’ve got a favourite, and say that’s the 987. Now I
know some of you may be saying okay fine you understand why the 718
isn’t the best one that’s out there because everyone’s talked about the
engine, so I’ll keep it brief here. That engine is just lifeless to me, it doesn’t
communicate with you. One of the beauties of that car, the Cayman and the
Boxster is the flat six boxer engine. Get it up above 6,000 rpm and suddenly
it’s your best friend This is a used buyer’s guide so
obviously they’re not that many 718s on the market, and those that are
available they’re kind of like approaching list price anyway,
so for me the 718, it’s not even one to consider. So then we’re left between the
3 different cars. The 987 Gen 1 and Gen 2, and then the 981.
Quickly covering the 987 I’d say the Gen 1 is the one to avoid
principally because of the engine issues and also it’s got less power. It was
initially launched with a 2.7 litre engine which put out about 245 brake
horsepower and then we had the 3.4 litre engine in the S model which pumped
out about 295 brake horsepower. That same engine was then uprated to 320 brake
horsepower in the Gen 2. Gen 2 is the one to get out the 987 range, it just removes
the issues with the bore scoring. I believe it only affected about 5
percent of the cars but still I do believe Porsche acknowledged that there
were a few design issues with the oil flow and the oil pump, and for that
reason I’d say the Gen 1 is the one to avoid. So out of those two we’re going to go
for the 987 Gen 2, and now it gets interesting because between the 987 Gen
2 and the 981 Cayman S it kind of falls into two camps and I would
say I’m more in the purist camp. What do I mean by that? So the 987 Gen 2 was
the last Cayman to actually have the hydraulic steering and they went for
electrically assisted steering in the 981. I know some would say that the 981 is the last Cayman before they went nuts and put the four-cylinder
engine in, and therefore that’s where you want to put your money, and I’m not going to
knock you, you know if you’ve got the budget fine, go for it, but I don’t
believe for the extra money you pay for the 981, that you get much more than what
the 987 Gen 2 has to offer. I would actually say the 987 Gen 2 is the better buy. It’s the more natural purist sports car, for the
money I think it can’t be bettered. If you had the money I’d say go get the
Cayman R. It’s about an extra £14,000 in the UK for an extra
10 brake horsepower about 50-60 kilos lighter. I don’t think that’s worth
it in my opinion, so the 987 Gen 2 is cheaper than the 981, the interior is
not as cool as the 981 but hey, you don’t buy a driver’s car for
the luxury of the interior. It’s all about driver engagement, the engine is
right behind your head, it’s the only place to put your engine. I don’t think
that’s a controversial thing to say you know, you may not agree with me but I
would say there is only one place the engine should be and that’s in the
middle. Unlike a typical engine where the pistons are firing vertically
which causes the engine to be a bit taller than usual, the pistons in the boxer
are firing horizontally. That means effectively they’ve squished the
height of the engine, and the engine is in its widest form as opposed to its
tallest form like a normal engine, and what do you get from this? A low center
of gravity, they place that engine low down in the center of the car exactly
where it needs to be, and I would say that’s one of the key differentiating
items of the Porsche Cayman is that boxer engine. You get all that weight as
low as possible, and you do feel it in the handling of the car. Some people
might say these are things you read about in magazines, these are things you
can’t really feel, I’m telling you, you really feel something special when you
drive a Porsche Cayman

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Sir, you are so pinpoint precise in analysis. As a 4 yr 987.2 owner, I can say you profoundly understand what this car is about.

  2. Wrong – Gen 1 launched, or should that be lunched with the 3.4s – the 2.7 followed later and is fine, and the 6 speed version of that is rare as hen's teeth and the pick of the bunch. Gen 1 have more character, quirky roofline which gives them a definite 'look' less plasticy interiors too than the gen 2.Of the Gen 2 the 2.9 is bulletproof, rare but hard to find with good spec. As always with Porsche, the base cars are often the best road cars. That applies with this model too.Mine? A gen1 2.7 6 speed with PASM. Very happy!

  3. I’m addicted to my 2010 cayman s ..it’s a drivers car I’ve owed a 996 a Camaro S.S. 350z …. this cayman is pure fun and passion. For anyone looking for a sports car .. do yourself a favor Drive one

  4. Minor descrepancy – the 987.2 3.4 motor is not the same as the 987.1 3.4. Same capacity but completely redesigned heads and block for starters….Not to mention the addition of Direct Fuel Injection to the 987.2 3.4, though the 2.9 retained traditional MPFI. By the time the 981 came out either engine was DFI.

  5. but that problems you're stating about 987.1 cars…isn't that specific to S models so 3.4 litre engine and smaller 2,7 is bulletproof? 😀

  6. You probably should have mentioned that most 9 series Porsches have always been horizontally apposed boxer engines. Not much different there. The real difference is the mid engine configuration. Otherwise interesting video.

  7. Thanks for the breakdown Max. I'm an Audi/Porsche fan. My "want" is Porsche (Cayman), but my budget is Audi (TT/TTS). You're insight is greatly appreciated as I buy my first sportscar.

  8. Interesting video especially since you seem to prefer the car I drive as my daily!! 😉 I have a 987.2, 2009 Cayman S manual 6 speed and love almost everything about it except the stock throttle response seemed delayed and the clutch uptake is a bit high off the floor for my liking… I've been driving manual cars for over 40 years from hot rods ('68 Camaro with a built 327 including a six pack set up), to little roadsters ('72 Fiat 850 Sport or '77 MGB), and the combo of both ('75 Triumph TR6 with a Ford 289 under the hood/bonnet), and my other present love, a slightly modified '76 BMW 2002, with its light flywheel and mechanical throttle linkage, but I have to say that this Cayman S is the only car that I have stalled more than once while softly launching… I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience…?? As a solution to make the throttle response a bit more active for the Cayman, I installed a "Sprint Booster" which has seemed to help with the electronic throttle delay! It now has little to no delay when stomping down! Just thought that I would throw this out there…

  9. Too bad the 987 gen 1 is so worrisome. It's a very pretty choice. Slightly lighter in appearance. Still your insights are appreciated.

  10. I have a 2006 Cayman S. It suffered from the bore scoring and it was upgraded to a 3.8. This is how all Cayman S cars should have come from the factory IMO. Very quick and a blast to drive every time I drive it.

  11. Brilliant and spot on. Having owned and tracked a 987.2 Boxster, I can confirm this guy's observations. My next car will likely be a slightly newer 987.2 Cayman S, and I will be tracking the hell out of it.

  12. Im currently looking for a 2007 or 2008 2.7 with a 5 speed stick ,stock wheels and tires thank you ecocar4u at yahoo

  13. Great honest guide which echos my views too, so much so i am picking up my 987, 9 year old with 24,000 miles gen2 3.4s in the morning…..Can not wait.

  14. IMS bearing – From 2006 forward the IMS bearing is virtually a non-factor in the 987 platform (2005 Boxsters are still subject to a higher rate of failure). Porsche installed a modified IMS bearing that virtually eliminated the problem. Reports of IMS bearing failures on 2006+ cars have been almost non-existent on this website. While there may be a small percentage that do fail, the frequency of failures is by far much lower than prior to 2006. So much has been made of IMS failures (class action lawsuit, etc.) that some vendors have created hype for their IMS repair kits and will attempt to sell them to anyone with an IMS, regardless of year/make/model. If you are fearful of an IMS problem in a 2006-2008 987 then have it checked out, but likely you will not have a problem. That isn't so much a track day thing. Seems to affect the odd car that has been stored a lot and not revved much or had oil changed much. Automatics seem more vulnerable than sticks because they typically don't get the revs on a regular basis, but we don't have scientific data only occasional word of mouth postings.

  15. The Cayman and notably the Cayman R are the cognoscenti's Porsche (disclosure, I own a Cayman R). When the Macan came out, the dealer told me it was to the Cayenne (we owned then) what my Cayman is to the 911. Smaller, nimbler, just more fun. Now we have both the Cayman R and a Macan and he was right….

  16. Absolutely! Just bought a 2009 PDK Black over tan for 20K, (needed a few things) but great price for an incredible drive.

  17. Nice review of all Cayman generations. I love my ‘15 981 and glad I was able to get one of the last 6 cylinder models. By the way, it’s pronounced “Por-Sha” (two syllables).

  18. Very informative video, Max! Kudos to you ! Really appreciate it…. I am considering a 987 Gen 2 Cayman S…. Was wondering what's the actual running/maintenance costs and can I use it as a daily driver? Thanking you sir in advance.

  19. This guy is spot on. I've owned my 07 Gen2 for 10 yrs and i will never sell it as it is the best Car I have ever owned. I drive my Cayman daily and love it, I do all of my maintenance and it is in perfect condition. I can't go a day without some asking me about it and admiring it. When I first bought I was afraid I spent too much money on it but after owning it all these years I can still get a decent amount for it if I ever decided to sell it (not). Great Buy, amazing car and I feel completely blessed to own it!!!

  20. Great video, I agree. It's fascinating how it's widely known that if Porsche had it to do all over again, that they'd opt to go with the mid-engine platform, rather than restrict the power of the Cayman for the sake of protecting the 911's historical significance (and marketing). Gen 2 Cayman definitely makes the most sense in my opinion, for all the reasons you've stated.

  21. I just bought a 718 – and since I've never driven a 987 G2, I'll not notice what it could do – and probably won't care. I like to buy new and with the upgraded interior. The engine is still behind your head in the 718, right? If you could tell me if I could buy a 987 G2 BRAND NEW, let me know, and I'll cancel my build and buy it.

  22. Wanted a Boxster since the original concept car was presented. Cayman makes more sense as I live in the NE and we get six months of winter followed by three months of rain.

  23. Good video. Have a 981S and love it. Would have been happy with the 987.2 also, except I did want the nicer interior and features.

  24. DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST… Cayman and boxter have the same engines, the IMS issue and # 6 cylinder becoming oval because not cooled adequately- faulty engines – do not touch any of them 2007 to 1998. Thats why they are so cheap.

  25. The engine issues on early Caymans is almost a myth. I'm not saying IMS never happens on those early cars. Just that i failed to find a single example online of a cayman that has suffered an IMS failure and asking my local Porsche specialist he has never come across an IMS failure on a Cayman so it must be quite rare. Bore scoring however is an issue.

  26. great video dude, you seem really passionate about your car and I LOVE that 🙂
    I've been lucky enough to drive the 'Cayman R' twice now, and for me it's the best car I've ever driven.
    It's not the fastest obviously, but has more than enough power for public roads and definitely the most engaging drive I've experienced.

  27. I like to think the 981 is preferable, because except for the engine, which gives you about the same feeling in both cars, the 981 is a true step up. The entire car is virtually rust free now, i.e. aluminium or plastic body parts and structural parts, which also lowered the weight. So if you want to buy a keeper, seeing how the latest engines sound crap, a 981 can materially be as pristine in 20 years as it is today, but a 987 will be a lot more prone to rust, deterioration…

  28. I must completely disagree with your assessment of the 718. You can't possibly have actually driven one if you believe it's "lifeless" to drive. Let's be honest, your moaning is really just about the engine sound, isn't it? The 718, with either flat 4 engine, outperforms its predecessor in every way, due to its wider, flatter torque curve. This is simply undeniable. Now if you're just talking about the 'feeling' that the engine's sound gives you, that's a very different and a very subjective matter, but if you're trying to suggest that the 718 Cayman isn't still the same brilliant driver's car it always was, I call bullsh*t.

  29. Max Revs, enjoyed the music in your video, so who are the artists ?? Slick production and liked the Drone shot at the end. Keep up the top work. Cheers.

  30. I’ve owned them all. For me the 718 is a masterpiece . Okay,the engine may sound flat but 40 plus mpg and 180mph. Torque,flexibility………stunning.

  31. Great Video! I was in doubt about wich model of Cayman should I choose and now… no doubts anymore! Thank you very much, all the best, Marcos (from Brazil)

  32. Everything you anaylzed is right, but 987.2 is too ugly to watch, can't lay my sight on it for more than 5 seconds xD

  33. Why not buying a Camaro SS that got the same price of one USED 981 and got a 0-60 3.8 (almost 1 second faster)?? Beside being daily drive

  34. I bought my first ever Porsche three days ago. And it's a 2011 Cayman S 987.2 with 320 hp and PDK. Before I bought it I came to the same conclusion that is expressed in the video. It's either 987.2 or 981. And if you are rich enough GT4 is incredible. Overall my car is fantastic and I'm glad I saved money over 981.

  35. You may be right but to me the 981 interior and exterior are so much better looking than the 987 plus it doesn't look as dated. I don't mind buying a pre-owned car as long as it doesn't look "old". The only thing I like about the 718 are the lights. Very informative video though.

  36. Yes, I am very pleased with this report for obvious reasons. That's a 987.2 S in the photo which is in superb condition. I have had it for just over a year and now am more confident with it and push it a little harder each time.

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