Porsche's 2014 Cayman can be reasonably priced


Drop down a step on the Porsche ladder, however, and you find the more attainable Cayman, which has been redesigned for 2014.

Like the first-generation Cayman, this one's a two-seater. And it's also a great performer, especially when it comes to handling.

Whereas most cars have their engines in the front, and the 911 has always carried it in the rear, the Cayman is a mid-engine. That means more of the weight is toward the center for better balance.

It's a well-balanced sports car that also has a good degree of comfort and practicality.

Luggage space is fairly plentiful with not just one trunk, but two. The mid-engine layout means space at each end for cargo. As sports cars go, it's pretty easy to live with.

The Cayman is the lowest-priced hard-top sports car you can get from Porsche, with a base price of $52,600. That's more than $30,000 less than the cheapest 911. But Porsche is big on options. If you fully option a Cayman, it can cost more than a 911.

This particular car doesn't have nearly everything, but enough to really send the price tag soaring, like navigation, multi-adjustable sport seats with ventilation, an upgraded sound system and so on.

So after starting out at a reasonable-sounding $52,000 the options bring the total to over $70,000. And this car doesn't even have everything. Want to replace the six-speed manual with Porsche's seven-speed automatic? Add $3,200. Want the higher horsepower S model? Add $11,000 to the starting price. You can end up with a $90,000 Cayman in short order.

There was talk at Porsche of developing in a more affordable car, like they did with the 914 many years ago. But senior management nixed the plan, preferring to keep the car line more exclusive.

So for now, the Cayman is the affordable coupe from Porsche, assuming you take it easy on the options.

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