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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
First time post; previously reading articles and gaining from everyone's input. After much research I believe the best sports car I can buy is the Cayman, fortunately a test drive confirmed my research and now I am heading down the rabbit hole. I have been searching like a mad man over the past few months for my perfect combination of desired features at a "justifiably fair price." I have driven the 718 Base with PDK, the 718 CS manual, 2007 CS manual, 2015 CS PDK. I currently believe myself to be searching for a 2014/2015 CS in manual with ventilated seats, preferred in Agate Gray or black w parking sensors or backup camera. However, looking at numbers it seems the CS 2012-16 981 series is about the same as the newer base 718 (torque, HP, 0-60). Given the limited features I'm looking for the price between a stripped down new base 718 isn't far more expensive than a used CS. Have others had this dilemma and what did you pick and why?

I know I could get a better deal with an older series but I live in Arizona and I think ventilated seats will make a huge quality of life difference and make the purchase slightly more "justifiable" over my current vehicle; plus the 981 and 718 visually appeal to me more with a slight edge to the 718. The 718 will also depreciate more over the next few years and the NA 981 is the last of its kind which makes me think the 981 is the smarter choice; although the way the 718 drives keeps me second guessing myself.

It seems everyone's got an opinion when it might mean money in their pocket: Ive been told that "the 718 is a clearly superior car", that "no one can sell the 718 due to being turbo charged and the 981 is the last real Porsche", "cold seats don't make much difference on these cars", "cold seats are a necessity in Arizona", "nanotint will do just as much for the car as cold seat," "you can make a base model just as fast as an S with few upgrades and insurance will be way less", "making a base as fast as an S costs a lot of money and is harder on the engine." Obviously many of these statements by knowledgeable people are quite opposite. Any advise?

I know the CS is not the fastest car out there, and I'm not planning to race every car I see, but if I'm going to spend this much on a sports car, it better feel like a sports car! With the 718S I felt this way. The 2008 manual CS, and PDK 2015 CS were fast but they didn't push me back into my seat and make me think, "damn, this is a sports car!" I don't plan to race this car on the track, but it is eventually possible i suppose given that I do go to track days on my sportbike.

More questions: where are the best places to shop/how do you find the best deals out there? I look on autotrader, cargurus, cars.com, craigslist, porscheusa, and random dealership websites daily and even this forum's classifieds. Am I missing somewhere?
There seems to be a very limited supply of CS in Arizona, so I will likely be being online and shipping after a PPI.
Has anyone directly compared a manual 981 CS to a manual base 718? Iver heard the clutch is much improved on the 718.
Im still waiting to find a 2014/2015 CS manual to test drive, perhaps once I find one I will have a clear answer to my research.
Any other recommendations, warnings/considerations you wish you knew before your purchase?

Thanks and I hope not too much of this is duplicated in other posts,
Jeremy
 

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Wow, about 50 questions asked in this post let me give you my perspective

1. i own a loaded 2016 Cayman GTS so I am biased. i ordered mine and did get the seat ventilation and i love it. i would think living in Arizona it would be a requirement. My " boys" thank me on hot days every time ! Tinting will not have the same effect

2. i am over 60 and have had manual transmissions before and love my PDK. this is amazing technology

3. If funds are unlimited i would go with a new 2017 Cayman S. If not unlimited i would try to find a CPO car from a dealer. Next would come a private buy from an individual which would require that you get a PPI PRIOR to buy. These options would be from 90k on down....what is your budget ? Obviously a new car will depreciate immediately when you drive it of the show room.

4. If your heart is set on a specific color your options will be limited

5. i love the way my car sounds but frankly the new 718 does not sound bad

My recommendation is to try to narrow down your must haves in terms of options some more, drive some more cars as you go thru this process, but do not settle you are spending alot of money be happy with whatever you buy

good luck
 
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You will have to decide which car is better for you - the 981 or the 718. I'm not going there. However, I will tell you that ventilated seats make a huge difference to me . . . even in North Carolina. My 981 has ventilated seats and I LOVE THEM! I turn on the ventilation as soon as I sit down in the car.
 

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Porsche does have a search engine that works pretty well - told me about cars that often the dealers didn't even know they had. I also used autotrader, cargurus, but I went with a CPO for piece of mind - 3 months so far it hasn't been needed but I sleep better - paid extra for it though. Because of the CPO, I had to buy from a Porsche dealer so I trolled the various inventories.

Not specifically related to Porsche's MT, I used to drive a Nissan 6M and now the Porsche PDK, most of the time, especially in traffic I love the PDK, however sometimes when I am driving aggressively I seem to fight the PDK but I think its just a learning curve.

Other suggestions:
- Will second the ventilated seats and I live in CA.
- I would favor a backup camera over the sensors (which I have in my 14BS).
- I didn't see any insurance difference for a base vs. S, only the GTS or Spyder's warranted higher insurance.
- The 718 PCM supports Apple Carplay if that matters to you - would have liked it but I'm fine with the PCM Connection that I have with my car.
- In highsight I wish I had gotten Sport Plus and Vectoring but I might have balked at the increased cost.
- Someone posted a checklist for when you do buy the car - I believe its on the sales forum.
 

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I also live a hot clime and would go for ventilated seats again (I have the 14 way ventilated seats in my .2 S) - however, I also have Alcantara in my GTS - and this fabric works well for me as well.

In terms of 981 Vs 718 - drive them both and see which best suits your style and need. I'm a great fan of the 718S - its a very honed machine, superb handling, great brakes and it takes off like the proverbial stabbed rat. The engine and noise polarise opinion, however the old Mark Twain adage may apply - "Its not the size of the dog in the fight but rather the size of the fight in the dog"

It is worth noting that Porsche has won 2.5 times as many awards for its turbo charged engines relative to NA engines :) I happen to like both for different reasons.

Another point worth considering - if you buy new, you can configure the car exactly to your needs and wants - I find this delivers that "special" feeling each time you go for a drive.
 

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First of all, you need to determine which very different engine you want. To me, a 4 is a deal-breaker on a sports car, as well as a turbo (power delivery), so a 718 would be a double deal-breaker right there. And then, there's the sound, which many of us consider an integral part of the sports car experience, so a triple deal-breaker so far. You get the picture? You might be the opposite, and much prefer a 718 for the opposite reasons I don't. Once you determine which engine makes you happier, then you can proceed to choose a model, and go from there. I personally find non-GTS very 'bland', and the new 718 even more, so when the GTS came out, I knew it was my ticket to a Porsche;). I'm also a lifelong manual guy, but due to not having a taller 6th (or a 7th), ended up with a PDK, and don't regret it one bit. On the contrary. I've become really fond of it, but drive it in manual mode 100% of the time. In auto, don't think I'd be that impressed, since it seems to shift very lazily even in sport, but at redline in sport+ (sport should have been somewhere in the middle IMO). Pricewise, for the price of even a discounted base 718, you could swing a GTS, which comes with most of the goodies any enthusiast wants, especially with that engine. And they should hold their value a bit better IMO, although their predicted lesser depreciation due to being the last NA and all of that, didn't seem to have materialized. So you can take advantage of the pricing. And finally, I can also vouch for ventilated seats. Liked how the GTS package looked, but couldn't swing Alcantara on the steering wheel, shifter, and seat, and lack of ventilation, so went for all leather with ventilation. Good luck in whatever you decide, but make it YOUR decision, not ours. You need to drive the cars, since they're vastly different in power delivery alone, and sound as well. On the interior, other than the goofy vents and ugly 'wart' chrono (another deal-breaker for me;)), it's basically the same, but the new model with a better PCM, which few of us care for. Depends on your priorities. Good luck.
 

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Exactly. You’ll experience the engine all the time so pick that first.


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My thoughts.

1. I own a 2014 Cayman and absolutely love it. Vented seats are a real plus in a hot climate and in my opinion, the 6MT is the way to go for the ultimate interactive driving experience. I knew I would be purchasing a new Cayman in 2018 and when an uninsured motorist hit my BMW, I searched nation-wide for a Cayman (Black on Black, 6MT, CPO) figuring “why not buy one now to be certain it works for us before we go all-out on a new one?” I found it on cars.com.
2. I did not get the S and am fine with that but do need to drive accordingly. The 718 has considerably more torque. I also found the clutch to be easier in the 718 although the clutch in the 2014 is not at all bad, even in city traffic.
3. My spouse and I have driven multiple configurations of the 718 (C, CS, B, BS with 6MT and PDK). The 718 is clearly a superior car. While the flat six in our Cayman is a superb-sounding engine, we have no problems with the turbo, the four-cylinder engine, or the sound of the 718.
4. Ordering a new car should ensure you get every option you want. Downside: more expensive. Search for a CPO if you do purchase a pre-owned Cayman.
5. Drive, drive, drive and then decide. And then enjoy your Cayman!
 

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Would this be a daily driver? That might tilt towards PDK. You didn't mention warranty, which to me would rule out any Cayman S before 2016 unless it was CPO. That would be a deal breaker. Long term, I think S models will hold value better than base; in any event they are more fun to drive. Buying at a distance is no problem: My 2014 CS was shipped 2000 miles.

My advice would be (1) have more patience than I have and keep looking for a used CS (or a used 718S) that meets enough of your wants, or (2) spend the money and get a 718S specced exactly as you wish.
 

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Would this be a daily driver? That might tilt towards PDK. You didn't mention warranty, which to me would rule out any Cayman S before 2016 unless it was CPO. That would be a deal breaker. Long term, I think S models will hold value better than base; in any event they are more fun to drive. Buying at a distance is no problem: My 2014 CS was shipped 2000 miles.

My advice would be (1) have more patience than I have and keep looking for a used CS (or a used 718S) that meets enough of your wants, or (2) spend the money and get a 718S specced exactly as you wish.
Generally agree here. If you're going to buy "new", make sure you can get all the options on your "must have" list or you will have regrets. I love having vented seats, PTV, sport exhaust, and 6MT on my 981 S. I daily drive it in the SF Bay Area. It can be painful to work the clutch some days but I bear it because i love it when I can get a clear road.

Only thing bothering me is the "should I have waited and paid a bit more for the GTS?" But I do like the styling on the S better so am not overly compelled to change and lose all my custom options.

As for 718 vs 981, you need to go drive both extensively. Rent one through Hertz's high end car program (which will be PDK too) before buying. You'll be able to test drive it for a whole day instead of 30 minutes.

The money to be sure it scratches your itch before laying down all that cash (or payments) is WELL worth it.
 
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I know the CS is not the fastest car out there, and I'm not planning to race every car I see, but if I'm going to spend this much on a sports car, it better feel like a sports car! With the 718S I felt this way. The 2008 manual CS, and PDK 2015 CS were fast but they didn't push me back into my seat
Don't you think you answered your own question? You test drove a 718S, loved the acceleration, and didn't have anything negative to report about the exhaust sound.
 

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Indeed. If 981S with PDK was not fast enough for the push into seat feeling that you like, you may want to consider something even faster than a 718S like a Corvette. Nothing wrong with those cars imo unless you're set on the mid engine platform (which would mean you value turning feel over acceleration by a lot).
 

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The comments about the GTS and ventilated seats are interesting to me. I too want ventilated seats and I find it increasingly more difficult to find a used GTS on the market that has the leather seats with ventilation. But they’re out there…


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Would this be a daily driver? That might tilt towards PDK. You didn't mention warranty, which to me would rule out any Cayman S before 2016 unless it was CPO. That would be a deal breaker. Long term, I think S models will hold value better than base; in any event they are more fun to drive. Buying at a distance is no problem: My 2014 CS was shipped 2000 miles.

My advice would be (1) have more patience than I have and keep looking for a used CS (or a used 718S) that meets enough of your wants, or (2) spend the money and get a 718S specced exactly as you wish.
Wow this is really not an accurate statement at all. You can most certainly buy a Fidelity extended warranty (from Mossy Motors for example) for cars within a 10 year range. The lower the mileage - the cheaper the warranty. My 2013 Boxster had low miles on it when I purchased it recently, and 5yr/60k mile warranty cost me $1700-$2000 depending on the deductible. Purchased the warranty over text message. The main downside with non cpo will be tires/brakes and you'll have to be very careful checking the vehicle background/ppi/history reports. When my PPI came back from Porsche (private seller car) the dealer confidently stated that if it was their car, they would have CPO'd it.

I do agree that PDK for daily. I don't have a traditional 9-5 so I drive my car to lunch, shopping, and errands - but no daily bumper to bumper. Nice thing about boxsters/caymans - very common to find private seller cars with low miles. Mine had 7,000.
 

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Been there done that! lol I looked for a 981 CS for about a year before finding one. I test drove a 718 Boxster standard with manual transmission and loved it, but waited for the 718 CS to come out. I decided that I would order but not till I had test drove the car. Unlike you I preference the 981 over the 718 in spite of the lower torque primarily due to that sweet 6. Anyway, while waiting I stumbled on a car located in Tucson AZ, I live in Sun City West AZ. It was a 2014 CS in Agate Grey on Black leather with every option I ever wanted and some I didn't. $95K new for sale at $64K, less than 3400 miles and with CPO. So after looking at the car it was a no brainer. The car was like new, warrantee out till 2020, and $30K depreciation that the other guy paid for. Also don't forget that in AZ a car that sells from individual to individual, as opposed to dealer, does not get taxed. i.e. +$5K savings! Bottom line, don't give up yet. The 718 is a great car but you can save money and get a incredible car just keep looking!
 

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Ventilated seats are the one option I regret NOT choosing for 981 BGTS, and I'm at a much more northern latitude compared to you. Get them.

As to the 981 vs 718 debate: don't listen to what anyone else tells you. Also, try not to think about it rationally. These are sports cars, so treat the purchase of one as such. Go with your gut. If you prefer the looks and steering and power delivery of the 718, go with that. If you prefer looks and noise and engine heritage of the 981, go with that. There is no wrong choice if you make it based on how you feel about them.

Good luck with your purchase. It's a first world problem for sure ("which Porsche do I get?") and it's a great time to have it. Keep us updated and don't forget to post pictures of your final choice.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
First of all, you need to determine which very different engine you want. To me, a 4 is a deal-breaker on a sports car, as well as a turbo (power delivery), so a 718 would be a double deal-breaker right there. And then, there's the sound, which many of us consider an integral part of the sports car experience, so a triple deal-breaker so far. You get the picture? You might be the opposite, and much prefer a 718 for the opposite reasons I don't. Once you determine which engine makes you happier, then you can proceed to choose a model, and go from there. I personally find non-GTS very 'bland', and the new 718 even more, so when the GTS came out, I knew it was my ticket to a Porsche;)
Thank you for your input. When you say the non-gts is bland are your referring mostly to interior? Performance wise the CS and GTS seem so similar its hard to justify the added expense. The Alcantara is quite nice; but I think the S interior would make me happy enough. I've only driven the 718S manual and the 708 base PDK for <30minutes each so maybe I need a longer test drive to see/hear, but I thought the 718 sounded quite good, and although I never thought a sports care would have a 4 cylinder engine, if you thru me in the 718 and told me it was a 6 cylinder I would have believed it: that thing is fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Would this be a daily driver? That might tilt towards PDK. You didn't mention warranty, which to me would rule out any Cayman S before 2016 unless it was CPO. That would be a deal breaker. Long term, I think S models will hold value better than base; in any event they are more fun to drive. Buying at a distance is no problem: My 2014 CS was shipped 2000 miles.

My advice would be (1) have more patience than I have and keep looking for a used CS (or a used 718S) that meets enough of your wants, or (2) spend the money and get a 718S specced exactly as you wish.

Yes it would be a daily driver but I'm fortunate to have a rather stress free commute to work. If i lived in La or Miami I would not even consider manual. However, that little boy inside me still screams for MT as a visceral experience and the epitome of sports car interaction. I think I would likely have a PDK car in the future but my 1st proper sports ca needs to be manual.

Are you saying not having a warranty, on say a 2014 S, would be a deal breaker? I have been looking at CPO and private sale with remaining warranty. Most have about 13,000-17.000 miles on them and I would plan to do a PPI. I assume most people think a warranty despite a PPI and low miles would still be a must?

More patience! lol, yes that is the goal, tho a very hard one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Indeed. If 981S with PDK was not fast enough for the push into seat feeling that you like, you may want to consider something even faster than a 718S like a Corvette. Nothing wrong with those cars imo unless you're set on the mid engine platform (which would mean you value turning feel over acceleration by a lot).
The 2015 981 Cayman S I drove had the the 1 up 1 down, no paddle shifters or sport chrono. It was at carmax and my test drive was less than steller conditions. I keep thinking maybe I did not give it a fair chance or that perhaps the manual might feel faster (tho really not). I also test drove this car not longer after the 718 which probably also made it feel less impressive. I have looked into corvette due to looking good on paper but at the end of the day I love the Cayman feel more.

BTW, I never considered blue exterior as much until i saw your avatar--absolutely stunning.
 
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