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2009 987 VS 2015 981 ????

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Hi guys, newbie here.

I've been lurking here for a while, finally registered. After enough research to be familiar with the mechanical differences, I'm hoping for some opinions from the peanut gallery. I've decided that I'll be buying a 981 or 987, but the options have my head spinning. The car will be a daily driver, but not my only car. Might participate in a track day here and there as I did with my previous lotus and M3.

I've narrowed it down to 2 cars -

2009 with 55,000 miles, 6 speed, $56k sticker price so fairly low build spec. Very nice shape. - $25-30k (auction)

2015, 17,000 miles, PDK. $69k sticker, higher end build spec. - $44.5k

On one hand, I don't mind higher miles, and the less worry about a scuff or wear and tear. On the other, the 2015 is still in warranty, has a nicer interior, and I like the styling better. But 17-20 grand better? I don't know. I can see the benefits of both PDK and manual, and I'm on the edge so neither is a deal breaker.

Thanks so much!!!!
 

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First decide on a budget. Then see what's the best Cayman you can buy for that budget. 987 , 981 , 718 does not matter since they are all good and each have some unique characteristics. This is where the subjective part comes in. What do you prefer ? The visceral , mechanical old school classic feel like an E46 M3 ? Then go with the 987. Like slightly modern and refined with bells and whistles like auto rev match, electric steering , upgraded newer interior then go with 981. James Dean style rebel without a cause ...don't care what others think and want something that defies everything out there then get the 718 S. Read somewhere that it almost ties the Nurbering lap time with a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. (530 hp V10). good luck
 

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981 is more comfortable yet less go cart feel, the 987 feels more like a raw small sports car.

The PDK is better for rush hour traffic, but less fun for weekend drives if you want to feel engaged as a driver.

The 981 styling has higher door lines for safety and a modern style to fit its part in the new Audi, VW, Porsche matrix. The 987 represents the historic styling of 60 years of Porsche’s history and feels more exciting with lower door-lines for less of an isolated vault like feeling (less safe but more exhilarating).

The 987 has a pure sports car interior. The 981 has a SUV luxury interior shoehorned in which eliminated the handbrake that some old school drivers actually miss.

The 981 achevies better handelling with a longer wheelbase and bigger wheels, the 987 is more tossable on public roads and thus more fun if you know how to make a sports car dance.

Drive both and pick what works best for your driving style. Boy racer, old-school pure sports car 987 or the modern luxury, new technology 981.
 

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I've has 2 987s and one 981, which is what I'd choose again. IMHO, it's prettier and it certainly is quicker. To me it was like the 987 with noticeably more power and small betterments here and there, The warranty is important. I'd also have an over-rev report pulled. That alone may decide for you. If the 981 is a CPO, that's another plus; I pay $191/month for a third-party extended warranty. Bummer.
 

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There's nothing about the 981 mentioned here that makes me feel like my 2010 987.2 is less than for me. At $29,950 with 59,750 miles, PDK, Sport Chrono, full service records, I'm really satisfied.
It gets better with about $8k of service performed in the last 6 months at Arlington Porsche $3k & $5k at Silver Springs Porsche where I purchased it and drove it from D.C. to Seattle, 3,000 miles home.
Rev match is cool but with the PDK, less of an issue. The lower "waist line" of mine is much more appealing than the "floating head" design of the 981...for me that is.?
 

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981 is more comfortable yet less go cart feel, the 987 feels more like a raw small sports car.

The PDK is better for rush hour traffic, but less fun for weekend drives if you want to feel engaged as a driver.

The 981 styling has higher door lines for safety and a modern style to fit its part in the new Audi, VW, Porsche matrix. The 987 represents the historic styling of 60 years of Porsche’s history and feels more exciting with lower door-lines for less of an isolated vault like feeling (less safe but more exhilarating).

The 987 has a pure sports car interior. The 981 has a SUV luxury interior shoehorned in which eliminated the handbrake that some old school drivers actually miss.

The 981 achevies better handelling with a longer wheelbase and bigger wheels, the 987 is more tossable on public roads and thus more fun if you know how to make a sports car dance.

Drive both and pick what works best for your driving style. Boy racer, old-school pure sports car 987 or the modern luxury, new technology 981.
Bang on. My only add is that the 987.2 is likely fully (or nearly fully) depreciated, and if kept in top mechanical and cosmetic condition will always sell for about what you paid for it. With a 981, there's still depreciation to come.
 
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Great summaries in previous posts on contrasting the 2 models. Not sure how long you see yourself holding on to the car. If you like to trade frequently, the point raised about depreciation may tip you toward the 987. Plan to hold on to it, I'd lean toward the 981.

Final decision, IMHO, is purely emotional (given both check out mechanically). I was seeking a nice 987 until I sat in and drove the 981 (now in my garage). I knew driving it. +1 on PDK. Deliciously wonderful.

Either way, you have great motoring pleasures in store. Let us know where you land.
 

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At the risk of beating a dead horse, the PDK really is something that’s huge value added. My current Cayman is the first PDK I’ve owned after two 6 speed Porsche cars and I would never go back. If you do purchase a PDK I’d strongly recommend the sport steering wheel for paddle shifters.

I had a 987 era Boxster and I really liked it, too. The interior of the 981 feels far more “luxurious” if that sort of thing matters to you. Otherwise, you’re not going to gain much in functionality.

Either way, you’re likely to be very happy!
 

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I've owned both a 987 and a 981... of the options you have on "your" table, the one with PDK will definitely "feel" more upscale. (really similar comments as "wnaderingsheelz" above). The interior is really a classic above. I still love the 987 exterior, but the 981 isn't bad, just more "edgy" --- and I'm not trying to re-ignite the 987 vs 981 styling threads ...
Either way, you really can't go wrong with either "models"... so it comes down the the state of repair, color and pricing of the two cars on "your table" of consideration.
 

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I?m in the same boat between choosing a 981 or the 987, but I had the impression that that PDK is available for the 987.2 (year 2009) onwards. Not true? What is the difference between the 987.2 vs 981 PDK?
 

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but the options have my head spinning.
Sounds like you need to sort out your priorities. When you have that the right option will be clear to you. List out your must haves and then list out the nice to haves and what doesn't matter. The options you've picked reinforce to me that you're not sure what you want. If you use this approach with any topic, of course you'll have your head spinning.

I wouldn't be considering either but I prefer manual even though I think PDK is a great auto. I'd prefer buying newer for the warranty though I like the driving characteristics of the 987. Given that, I'd be looking for a manual 981. However, what I'd do doesn't matter which is why polling isn't the way to sort these thing. What's important to you? What are you specifically looking for? Are options completely irrelevant since you don't mention them at all? Heated and ventilated seats, for example, were on my must have list and that's based on my prior experiences with convertibles.

Your best bet is to test drive both vehicles and pick the one that is more fun to drive.
With all that I wrote above this is really the most important thing to me -- the driving experience. Driving the options should really be the deciding factor -- at least, it would be for me. If the year, transmission, miles & price are all that matter to the OP then he could certainly approach it differently.
 

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I assume you compare Base 987 and Base 981.

For reference, I picked up 2013, 981 BS 15,000 miles @ $45K. PDK, PASM, Sport chrono, BOSE, 20" Carera wheel, MF Steering wheel ( the feature I enjoyed the least, I wish the car come with Sport/ Paddle shifter.... but the overall car condition and price win me over. )
The car is in mint condition.

I never drove 987, so I might be partial to 981. But to me, the look and tech spec seems pointing that direction.

The PDK is a big plus in my opinion... and your prospect 981 still has factory warranty on it.... That's even BIG BIG plus isn't it ?

Good luck !
 
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