For more than three decades the 911 remained the only car produced by Porsche. In 1997, it got a sibling, the Boxster, which serves as a more affordable convertible. With this model’s popularity, Porsche recognized the need to bridge the gap between the 911 and the Boxster and introduced the Cayman S to do just that.
The Cayman S offers an extremely nice drive and a lot of fun as a driver's car. Reviewers compare it favorably to the Porsche 911, due to its high level of performance. In fact, it would be easy to choose this over a Porsche 911 apart from the fact that if you include too many extras, the price can quickly exceed that of the 911 base model. However, it really does come with almost everything you need.
Body Styles: Hatchback
Engines: 3.4-liter flat-six
Transmissions: six speed manual, five-speed Tiptronic
Models: Cayman S
The Porsche Cayman S debuts as a brand-new model in 2006.
The 2006 Porsche Cayman S looks very much like the Boxster, except it has a hardtop. However, it serves as a more powerful sports car than the Boxster and has a stiffer suspension and a number of additional options. Its hatchback design makes it a much more versatile car to buy as it offers twice the cargo space at 9.1 cubic feet.
The car’s hardtop design adds stiffness to the structure, and Porsche uses this to its advantage, allowing this model to corner much faster. The Cayman also measures a bit longer than the Boxster yet weighs a little less.
The exterior of this two-seat sports car will never be mistaken for anything other than a Porsche. It has side air intakes, dual sport tailpipes, excitingly curved rear fenders, and an automatically extending rear spoiler fitted to the trunk. It comes with 18-inch tires, and buyers have the option of an aluminum roof rack for transporting sporting equipment. Other optional extras include PCCB ceramic brake discs and active suspension management, which allows the driver to choose between a racing suspension and a sporty but more comfortable mode.
The 2006 Porsche Cayman S benefits from firm and supportive seating and taller people will enjoy the generous headroom. The cabin feels luxurious and well-appointed, but like the Boxster and the 911 it does suffer from slightly fussy radio and climate controls. It has two cargo areas, one in the front and one in the back, giving a good amount of storage space despite its lack of rear seats.
Standard equipment includes a leather-covered steering wheel, armrests, handbrake handle, and gearshift knob; a CD stereo with nine speakers; and a trip computer. Optional extras include adaptive sport seating, full leather power seating, carbon, wood, or aluminum trim; heated seats; rear parking assist; and a navigation system.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 Cayman S handles extremely well. It keeps things well-mannered enough to drive every day and definitely makes the daily commute a lot more fun. However, keen drivers may want to invest in the active suspension management system which makes it even more of a great drive while keeping the car glued to the road. The brakes respond very quickly, and tight steering adds to the enjoyment. It gives a more hard-core driving experience compared to the Boxster, and benefits from a more powerful engine. It still uses a flat six engine, but proves more powerful than the Boxster at 3.4 liters compared to the Boxster’s 3.2 liters, and it owes much to the Porsche 911. Its cylinder head and VarioCam both come from its larger cousin.
Standard safety equipment includes traction control, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, and torso- and head-protecting side airbags. Electronic stability control comes standard.
EPA Fuel Economy
Cayman S: 20/28 mpg city/highway
- Great handling
- Precision steering
- Generous storage capacity
You Won't Like
- Expensive extras
- Fussy climate and audio controls
A high-performance, fun to drive car.
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