Sedans & Coupes

This Porsche Cayman Model Year Is the Best Used Sports Car You Can’t Ignore

Porsche vehicles have a certain timeless quality to their design. No matter how old a Porsche is, the vehicle’s sleek structure does a great job of attracting attention. Porsche cars are the vehicle of choice for some of America’s most popular celebrities as well as normal folks looking for something exotic but still affordable. Like any other auto manufacturer, Porsche has certain model years that drivers fondly remember for high-quality vehicle production. And after over a decade, Porsche fans are still going wild over a certain version of the Porsche Cayman.

An affordable, dynamic vehicle

The 2008 Porsche Cayman looks and feels like something well into the $30,000 or even $40,000 price range, but it can be found for as low as $20,000 at some dealers. Kelley Blue Book recently published a list of the 10 best used sports cars below $20,000. Surprising no one, the 2008 Cayman topped the list.

One thing to note when reviewing the KBB list: many other sports cars at this price point are much newer. For example, one spot behind the 2008 Cayman is the 2015 Nissan 370Z, which came out seven years later. Many other manufacturers’ latest models are just now catching up to the elegance and style that Porsche rolled onto the lot 12 years ago. Aside from the Honda S2000 and Chevrolet Corvette, every other model on Kelley Blue Book’s list comes from the 2010s.

Reviews of the 2008 Cayman – both nowadays and back when it first debuted – emphasized how much it feels like the Porsche 911. The tight handling translates easily to the road below and makes the driver feel completely in control. Even the base version of the 2008 Cayman comes in at 245 hp, which is more than enough to feel powerful driving it.

The history of the Cayman models

RELATED: Be the Quintessential ‘Bad Boy’ With the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

Since its introduction in 1996, the Porsche 718 Cayman has delivered an excellent driving experience and reliability for its price. Even today, the versions of the car through the ’90s find themselves on lists of older sports cars that still run great without costing an arm and a leg.

Since then, the Cayman has become sort of a younger sibling to the 911. Less expensive but with a slightly less powerful reputation. However, Porsche knocked it out of the park in 2008. That year’s Cayman outperforms the Porsche 911 in some areas, even boasting comparable handling.

Since then, Porsche has continued to update the Cayman for each new model year. As of 2017, the Cayman is produced under the 718 model number, but it’s still the same popular car. Interestingly, every Porsche model until the Boxster featured a number model: 356, 911, 912, 914, 924, 928, 944, 968. Then the Boxster, the Cayman, and the Porsche Panamera brought the company into the 21st century (and now, the Taycan).

How the future of the Porsche Cayman looks

Recent models of the Porsche Cayman continued to stack up well against the competition, making the model years after 2008 a great choice if you’re looking for something just a little older. The 2008 Porsche Cayman most frequently draws comparison to the Porsche 911 and the Porsche Boxster (even if both the Boxster and Cayman will be under the 718 label going forward).

Everything lined up just right for the 2008 Porsche Cayman to provide incredible value at a lower price than many 2020 new cars. Even as we enter the 2020s, it’s likely that dealerships will continue to burn through 2008 Caymans at an extraordinary rate as budget-minded consumers look for a fun, reliable sports car. It’s not the flashiest car on the road, but it’s certainly close – especially for a car produced before the fourth Fast and Furious movie.