2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 Long-Term Road Test: 10,000-Mile Update

10,000-Mile Update

This much was probably predictable: We were going to like our long-term Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0. A lot. Several intrepid web commenters said as much after reading our introductory piece, and one even wrote a synopsis of what he expected to read in the wrap-up story. We appreciate the help, but we don’t test vehicles for 40,000 miles based on what we or anyone else thinks the results are going to be ahead of time—even if we have certain suspicions. And, once again, the Cayman GTS proved the value of spending lots of seat time getting to know a vehicle as an owner would. In the Cayman’s first 11,476 miles, we’ve learned some important things about it we didn’t expect—and found that no one’s predictions about life with the 718 have been entirely correct.

Sure, we thought we’d dig this 394-hp flat-six-powered sportster. What we didn’t know is just how much we’d love it. Our logbook is one long love letter to the Aventurine-Green-over-Espresso fastback. Surprise number one: how livable it is. Some Porsches that wear the GTS badge are an assemblage of options that make the car more aggressive and stiffer riding, so we weren’t sure if we’d find the Cayman GTS too hard-edged to use as an everyday car.

Michael SimariCar and Driver

These first six months have assuaged those concerns. The GTS has turned out to be just as content and comfortable cruising down the interstate on a road trip as it is adept at attacking switchbacks or howling its tires around an on-ramp. It rides better than some sports sedans, steers as if it’s an extension of your psyche, accelerates with gusto, and makes thrilling yawps as it pulls to its 7800-rpm redline. It’s a sweetheart worthy of paeans, which we have not hesitated to scribble into its logbook. Here are just a few:

“Sublime handling and engine coupled with uncanny comfort and flexibility—a truly epic machine.” —Technical editor Mike Sutton

“Love this car. Perfect amount of power. Never discover something that feels like it hasn’t been thought through. Sign me up.” —Editor-in-chief Tony Quiroga

“The coordination and integration of the steering, suspension, and body dynamics is sublime. So natural, progressive, and predictable. A high-water mark in sports-car tuning.” —Chief brand officer Eddie Alterman

“There’s something delightfully vintage about this car. It expertly blends just the right amount of modern tech without diluting the driving experience. I love driving it.” —Buyer’s Guide senior editor Drew Dorian

Michael SimariCar and Driver

And the praise goes on and on, which is why the Cayman has proved to be a popular road-trip car for those traveling two-up and can fit their gear into the equivalent of three carry-on bags, two in the frunk and one under the rear hatch. Our Cayman has traveled as far north as Escanaba, Michigan, and as far south as Alton, Virginia, for a visit to Virginia International Raceway. The remainder of the miles to date have been piled on in local commuting and errand-running—as good a test of daily livability as there is.

Those miles have surfaced a couple of minor annoyances that made it into the logbook between the epic poems of praise. Just try finding a convenient storage spot in the Cayman’s cabin for your phone, wallet, or keys. The interior cubbies include a standard passenger-side glovebox, hard-to-reach flip-out door pockets, and a wafer-thin bin under your right elbow, none of them easy to use. Things can get loud inside as well; the GTS registered 75 decibels at a steady 70-mph cruise—and that’s on the smooth pavement of our test track. Hit rough asphalt or a section of coarse concrete on an interstate, and road noise reverberates through the cabin. One editor wondered why there was no on/off switch for the rev-matching feature and why it was always operating in Sport and Sport+ drive modes. (Turn off stability control in Sport and Sport+ modes to disable rev-matching –Ed.) Another wished for wireless Apple CarPlay, the lack of which is an oversight in such an expensive automobile.

Michael SimariCar and Driver

Yes, these are small issues in a car that spoils us in so many other ways, so they’re easy to shrug off. The GTS has also us pleased with its maintenance record—at least to this point. We’ve made it thus far without bending any of the GTS’s gorgeous 20-inch satin-platinum-colored 10-spoke wheels, and we’ve spent only $21 in the first 11,500 or so miles on maintenance-related items—for two quarts of oil to replace what the GTS ingested during that time. The just-completed 10,000-mile/one-year service, which includes an oil-and-filter change and a multipoint inspection, is complimentary. (We’ll be paying for future scheduled-service visits.)

We did make one unscheduled trip to the local Porsche dealer since the GTS arrived in mid-February, though. A warning light came on for an engine-cooling-fan fault, but it had apparently cured itself by the time the car arrived for its checkup. Maybe the GTS is scared of going to the Porsche doctor, because another one-off episode of electronic weirdness also corrected itself before we could take the car in: The air conditioning refused to blow cold air on one boiling-hot day, while at the same moment the SiriusXM radio-station icons disappeared from the touchscreen. The cold air came blasting on suddenly a dozen miles into the drive, and the station-button icons slowly came back to life by themselves over the next few days. Go figure. Maybe it was sunspots or errant radio-frequency interference from a hostile country’s cyberattack. All has been well since.

Michael SimariCar and Driver

Indeed, the 718 Cayman GTS 4.0’s few minor hiccups have been easy enough to forgive considering the joy it’s given its many pilots. We’ll happily keep rolling up the miles. As features senior editor Greg Fink put it: “If I had to spend the rest of my life driving only this car, then I’d die a happy man.”

Months in Fleet: 6 months Current Mileage: 11,476 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 20 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 16.9 gal Observed Fuel Range: 330 miles
Service: $21 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0

Introduction

Michael SimariCar and Driver

The very first day our new Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 went into long-term service, it got snowed on. Heavily. Six inches of powder, the kind skiers live for, piled atop a crust of ice from a blast of freezing rain that had arrived in Michigan earlier in the day. Welcome to your new home, Cayman!

Why would we subject a car this nice to weather this harsh? Because we praise Porsches for being everyday-drivable sports cars. Testing that belief requires living with one of our favorites from Stuttgart—we know, tough duty—long enough to experience it in a multiplicity of driving situations. A Cayman owner in Los Angeles might decide to take his or her car up to Big Bear for some skiing; a Michigander might want to do a little slip-sliding on a snowy day. We happen to know that a former C/D editor-in-chief bought a new 911 a few years ago and proceeded to use it as a daily driver in winter.

This isn’t the six-inch snow that buried our GTS on its first day in service. This is the two-inch snow that fell on it a few nights later.

Rich CepposCar and Driver

So, as we do with all our long-term test cars, we fitted the Cayman with winter tires when it arrived in late winter and proceeded to break it in. We’ll keep it long enough to rack up 40,000 miles through all four seasons and learn things about it that a short stay could never reveal. We’ll take it on cross-country trips and trundle down to the corner grocery in it to pick up a dozen eggs. We’ll lean on it hard on gnarly two-lanes. We’ll bring it to the dealer for service. And we’ll record every penny spent on maintenance, fuel, and repairs.

Snow or no snow, our Cayman will not remain parked for long periods, and with good reason: It’s the quintessential driver’s car. After all, the Cayman earned a spot on our 2022 10Best list—its 16th straight year—for its “shimmering combination of poise, grace, and grit.”

Michael SimariCar and Driver

Our new Cayman arrived well dressed for its stay with C/D’s staff of hot-footed drivers. It wears a coat of sweetly understated Aventurine Green Metallic paint—far better that than arrest-me red. This is the GTS 4.0, after all, which is Porsche-speak for “racy.” It’s powered by a mid-mounted, naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six that spins out 394 horsepower at 7000 rpm and 309 pound-feet of torque at 5000 rpm.

If that power curve sounds peaky, you’re right. This motor gets a big jolt of caffeine at about 4000 rpm—typical behavior for an unboosted Porsche engine—and it fills the intimate cockpit with an exquisite baritone wail as the revs race to the 7800-rpm redline. As if we needed more incentive to go fast. We opted for the six-speed manual gearbox—of course—and the stubby shifter moves through the Cayman’s tightly spaced gates with precision and delicacy.

Michael SimariCar and Driver

Yes, Porsche’s brilliant seven-speed dual-clutch automatic would chop a few tenths of a second from the acceleration times, but initial instrumented testing of our manual-equipped long-termer (conducted after easing it through its 2000-mile break-in period), confirmed that it’s plenty quick. It’s not the easiest car to launch—it doesn’t like its clutch slipped off the line—but it still busted out a 3.9-second run to 60 mph and galloped through the quarter-mile in 12.1 seconds at 118 mph. It also circled our skidpad at 1.03 g’s and stopped from 70 mph in 145 feet. That’s appropriate performance for a car wearing a Porsche badge and a $99,070 window sticker.

Ninety-nine large is a lot of money, and our long-termer is actually lightly equipped for a Porsche. Our test car (base price: $88,750) has $10,320 in extras—a mere sprinkling by Porsche standards. The list includes the special green paint ($650), rich Espresso leather slathered on most interior surfaces ($3680), and ventilated seats ($740). We also added a Bose Surround Sound audio system ($900), brushed aluminum interior trim ($900), and gloss-black-painted brake calipers ($900). Wait a minute: plain black brake calipers for 900 bucks? Yep, this is a Porsche all right. At least Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM)—meaning, adaptive dampers—is standard along with Pirelli P Zero PZ4 summer tires, size 235/35ZR-20 up front and 265/35ZR-20 rear.

Michael SimariCar and Driver

So now it’s on to the driving, 40K miles worth. We expect to bask in the Cayman’s sweetly intuitive steering; sharp, powerful brakes; and gutsy flat-six every time we climb behind the three-spoke steering wheel. What we can’t be sure of but hope to learn is whether that special driving character is matched by an equal measure of reliability though every season and situation. We’ll report back soon enough, with updates on how the Cayman’s stress test is going every 10,000 miles.

Months in Fleet: 1 month Current Mileage: 3845 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 20 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 16.9 gal Observed Fuel Range: 330 miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0

Specifications

Specifications

2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0
Vehicle Type: mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door coupe

PRICE

Base/As Tested: $88,750/$99,070
Options: Express leather interior and seats, $3680; Porsche Dynamic LED headlights, $1180; Bose speakers $990; black brake calipers, $900; black brushed aluminum interior trim, $900; ventilated seats, $740; passive entry, $680; Aventurine Green Metallic paint, $650; Wheels painted Satin Platinum, $600

ENGINE

DOHC 24-valve flat-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 244 in3, 3996 cm3
Power: 394 hp @ 7000 rpm
Torque: 309 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm

TRANSMISSION

6-speed manual

CHASSIS

Suspension, F/R: struts/struts
Brakes, F/R: 13.8-in vented, cross-drilled disc/13.0-in vented, cross-drilled disc
Tires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4
F: 235/35ZR-20 (88Y) N1
R: 265/35ZR-20 (95Y) N1

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 97.4 in
Length: 173.4 in
Width: 70.9 in
Height: 50.2 in
Passenger Volume: 49 ft3
Cargo Volume, F/R: 5/10 ft3
Curb Weight: 3185 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS: NEW

60 mph: 3.9 sec
100 mph: 8.8 sec
1/4-Mile: 12.1 sec @ 118 mph
130 mph: 14.7 sec
150 mph: 21.2 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 4.6 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 6.2 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 6.0 sec
Top Speed (mfr’s claim): 182 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 145 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 296 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.03 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY

Observed: 20 mpg
Unscheduled Oil Additions: 2 qt

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Combined/City/Highway: 19/17/24 mpg

WARRANTY

4 years/50,000 miles bumper to bumper
4 years/50,000 miles powertrain
12 years/unlimited miles corrosion protection
4 years/50,000 miles roadside assistance
1 year/10,000 miles scheduled maintenance

C/D TESTING EXPLAINED

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