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after reading your post I personally think you should jump on a Cayman ASAP as you said you had your wife warmed up the idea of a new sports car.

You stared you test drove a base as well as a GTS - what were your thoughts compared to your Z.

I‘ve had my 2016 CGTS for 3 great years and only use it for spirited drives and road trips. 32,500 miles of pure fun and not a single issue. Here’s a what my service has cost me in 3 years. *Note at the end of the driving season here I’ll do the 3 year service and put my car away for winter and it will be fresh and ready for spring.
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Discussion Starter #22
after reading your post I personally think you should jump on a Cayman ASAP as you said you had your wife warmed up the idea of a new sports car.

You stared you test drove a base as well as a GTS - what were your thoughts compared to your Z.
Re: wife—:):D:):D:D:):):D

Re: Z—that’s the thing, I’m not sure. The GTS definitely had amazing handling, much tighter than the Z. They both didn’t feel slow to me at the low end, in comparison, but I’m still not sure on that—need to drive them more to really be able to answer that question.

I guess the big thing is that I wasn’t blown away (for lack of more colorful language) in comparison; and if I’m going to be making this purchase, especially a first Porsche, especially when upgrading from a Nissan Z, shouldn’t I be blown away?!?

That maintenance doesn’t seem terrible at all The way everyone is talking I expected oil changes to be in the $5-600 range. What’s included in that first annual service? I’m guessing an oil change plus ...? Is that an annual service or is dictated by certain mileage? Is your 3 yr service going to be similar?
 

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Very helpful, thanks. I would love to do more stuff on a car, time permitting.
I've done countless brake jobs before. Is your parking break electric (push/pull button) on the 981? The 982 I noticed has an electric parking break, and at least to adjust that I know you need a special machine/computer, not sure if that effect changing the rear breaks on their own.
I never do oil changes myself b/c it's not worth the time and money, but seeing how the Cayman seems to require an oil change only every 10k miles, and given that I understand they're far from inexpensive, I could totally consider doing myself.

On that note, since everyone is "scaring" me on the maintenance costs, I'd love to hear what you guys pay / have paid for maintenance from your experience??? Thanks!
Independent shop just did the 60K service (oil change and drive belt) for $400 and I spent about $650 on rotors/pads DIY. A 987.2 or newer Boxster with manual transmission isn't going to have a lot of maintenance unless you put a lot of miles on it....now tires you might need every 12-15K depending on your driving style and run around $1K.

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I think you’ll be blown away when you go the PCNA Experience at the track that your dealer invited you too. Ive done 2 of the track experiences, my advice is to focus on the handling, seating position and other elements that add to the driving experience of a Cayman. Save the tech / feature questions for the dealer.

The 1st annual service IIRC is an oil change, top off coolant, a fuel cleaner, clean out all drains, and a bunch of other checks like tires, wiper blades etc. The 1st service was done at the dealer all the other services were done at a trusted Indy shop.

The 3 year service is similar to the 1st year.

Here’s what to expect at the PCNA Experience - see post # 5

 

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Is your parking break electric (push/pull button) on the 981?
Yes. Electric parking brake. However, you don't really ever need to put the parking brake into service mode on the 981 unless you do something stupid and wear out the parking brake shoes (these are drum brakes inside the rear rotors).

I track my car, so I change my pads about a dozen times a year as I swap them out for track pads. I have changed the rotors a couple times too. The rear pads are drop-in, and literally, it takes me longer to remove the rear wheels than to replace the rear pads. The fronts are a little more difficult, but I can do all 4 wheels in about 70 min.

I did the whole 40K maintenance myself. Nothing on that list needed a computer to perform. Plenty of sites where you can get OEM parts, and quite a few videos online.

If you're really interested in the guts of the 981, this guy does a great job of removing all the access panels and showing you where everything is.

 

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Discussion Starter #26
@ledbette Thank you. That was truly a great intro to the inside build of the car. Question, was the whole point of that video just to show how to get to the top of engine—jeez!
 

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Just to show you where everything is and what actually resides under all those panels. It's good to know where the coolant lines route and how to get to the various engine accessories.
 

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I ordered my 981 and have had it for nearly 7 years now (42000 fun miles). Thus far I've spent $8200 on the upkeep, which is far more than any other car I've owned. This includes all the maintenance (I've followed the manual precisely, even with my lowish mileage), an extra break-in oil change, 8 tires, and one small repair (blower control unit). All of the in-warranty services were done at a dealer, but I am now using an independent since I'm not under warranty anymore and frankly more than a bit fed-up with the local dealer. I love my 981. I've looked and I simply can't find anything to replace it. It may be my first keeper in my 19 cars thus far.
 

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A minority opinion for sure:

”Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Reading your description of your Z, I’d strongly consider keeping it and foregoing a Cayman for the better part of $100K, especially the 718s which are still criticized robustly for the 4 (FOUR!) cylinder experience and have sold poorly. There is a reason 6 cylinders are making a comeback in future production.

Pricing is ever more outrageous despite the flagging euro and reminds me of Porsche overpricing in the early 1990s when they almost went broke, as I recall.

Are they great cars? Yes. Did they change my life? No. Would I do it again? Probably not, at my age. I’ve had a 2007 987 and have a 2014 981. I hate getting hosed for service, even though I can afford it, and even the independents get their teeth into you for whatever the market will bear.

If you must have a new one, avoid threatened tariffs, remember poor sales for 4 cylinders and drive a hard bargain.

If I were you and committed to a Cayman, I would look for a clean 981 6 cylinder, preferably CPO, and save some $$$. DIY service helps, as does shopping for parts on line - discounts by dealers or occasionally on Ebay (new window power motor for $70 from new Cayman stripped for racing; dealer wanted $500).

Just my 2 cents; no offense intended. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Very helpful. Thank you! Still on the fence here but very slowly leaning away from getting one.

Went to test drive some more Caymans over the weekend. Drove a ‘16 Cayman. Man, that engine sounds like god himself singing and I’m not even that religious. The car still looks great too, although the 718 I think edges it out for me on the pure looks department, but just barely. Don’t like that the 981 has an older interior, im a techy guy, my Z is pretty bare bones when it comes to tech, well it’s also 10+ yrs old, so I’ve been looking forward to some tech stuff in the car—honestly all I want is Apple CarPlay.

The 718 is also faster, more powerful, and really better in most ways than the 981 (which is still a great great car, and if I had one I wouldn’t even think of “upgrading” to the 718 from a 981); it really does look like the engine: (classic 6cyl), and the sound (majestic) is where the 981 excels over type 718.

Anyways, Dealer got me doing a Porsche Experience event on a track, that’s tomorrow, so let’s see how I feel after tomorrow. I’ll report back either way.


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I was in a similar situation as you a few months ago. I ultimately bought a 2014 Cayman S for $48k (original sticker was $98,750).

Has this been the most financially responsible thing I’ve ever done? Nope!
Am I glad I did it? YES! The car is an absolute blast!

The mainanence costs are high. Easily double! This is why part of your research should be to find an independent shop trusted by local Porsche owners. If there isn’t one that you could go to it will make ownership less enjoyable because every time you go to the dealer you’ll feel...abused. I found a local shop and it’s saving me big already (car needed plugs and coils shortly after purchase and the Porsche dealership quoted $1,660 despite the fact I just bought the car from them! Independent shop did the job with OEM parts for $800. Oil change is about $300 vs $100 and they’re using the same oil and filter!).

A couple things I didn’t think I wanted or would care much about but now I can’t imagine the car without them:

- PDK, yup the automatic with paddles is tons of fun, is faster, and comes in handy when traffic sucks

- Sport exhaust, having heard Caymans with and without Sport exhaust from inside and outside of the car and on the track I just can’t stand the thought of ripping around without it

- Sport Chrono Package, this gives you the cool gauge and software and gives you Sport Plus which means stiffer suspension and higher and faster shifts and glorious sounding downshifts, also gives you launch control (did not know that when I bought it because I couldn’t find accurate info, but Sport Plus gets you LC)

- Carbon ceramic brakes, ok, I was opposed to this and almost didn’t buy the car because I was afraid of cost, but I learned a few things. This insanely expensive option is actually a cost saver because from what I could tell the option doesn’t factor into used Cayman prices much if at all and you’re getting brakes that will last much much longer than normal AND when it’s time to replace you can swap them with OEM steels. If you track the car (I have) that will wear them out faster, but makes your experience at the track more fun and reliable (a couple guys we’re having to park their WRXs and Mustangs due to brake issues) and that’s what these cars are about so I say carbon ceramics all day if buying used. As an option if buying new? That’s a big NO!

- Bose audio, don’t care as much as I thought because the car sounds so so good I rarely have music on

- 18-way power seats, these are really nice. I can pair one key with one setting optimized for DD, and the other key is paired with a seat/steer ring position for track. So I have a “track” key and a “daily” key and these automatically adjust the seats when I start the car. Not a must-have, but now that I have it I wouldn’t want it any other way :)

- Alcantera wheel, car came with this option. Felt the others when shopping around and I really like the alcantera. Would option this if buying new

Oh, and this all assumes you’re committed to a Porsche. I looked at a bunch of cars like the Z and others and firing up a Porsche for the first time is just special and still is. I’m sure I would have been bored with an everyday sports car if I went that route, glad I didn’t.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
@jordanfb some great advice. Thank you!
I actually agree on a lot of stuff you said. Not sure about the 18 way seats, but the two keys idea is brilliant. I hope you have race key in red or yellow :)

Wasn’t conserving carbon brakes unless and or only for the track. How much are they of buying yourself online?


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So the question you’re asking is “should-I-buy-a-Porsche”? And you’ve come to a den of P-car junkies for validation?

You’ve written at great length and in solid detail about all sorts of minutiae... Exhausts and seats and naturally aspirated vs turbocharged. These are all good questions. These are all good points worth hours and days of internal debate.

Realize that I offer my opinion and it’s worth exactly what you’ve paid for it... ;-)

I have 14-15k track miles in a 987.2 Cayman R, 5k-ish in a 981 GT4, and a set of slicks worth of time in a 718 / 982 GT4 Clubsport. I am a track addict. I am also a trackday instructor with a number of years under my belt. I have spent lots of time in lots of Porsches (and non-Porsches for that matter).

While I’m a Porsche guy for sure, I am a car guy first and foremost.

To me, a sports car is a visceral thing whether you’re in traffic or on a race track. Every car builder has its own style and grace, and Porsche is no exception. If you’re not “blown away” by the Cayman experience, then feel free to look elsewhere - another car builder’s vibe may better suit you. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.). If the Cayman isn’t the car, then it isn’t the car. If it don’t feel right, it ain’t right!!!

That you’re considering 718 vs 981, turbo 4 vs NA 6, keep the following in mind: over the years, Porsches tend to 1) get physically larger, 2) get more powerful, 3) get get easier to comfortably approach the limits, and 4) get less and less connected feeling.

There is a cliche to keep in mind here - it is far more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. There are few things worse than having a gazillion horsepower and no way to use it!

Drive ‘em all. See what speaks to you - Porsche or otherwise.

And realize that the track experience may significantly alter your feelings on the subject.

I doubt that I’ve helped here... but good luck nonetheless!

sean
 

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@jordanfb some great advice. Thank you!
I actually agree on a lot of stuff you said. Not sure about the 18 way seats, but the two keys idea is brilliant. I hope you have race key in red or yellow :)

Wasn’t conserving carbon brakes unless and or only for the track. How much are they of buying yourself online?


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All four carbon rotors are like $22k. No, not a typo! That’s two two comma zero zero zero. And that’s just the parts. Only Satan knows how much the dealership would charge to install them lol

It’s stupid and I’ll downgrade if I ever wear these out.
 

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I came from a 2014 370Z to a 982 Cayman S. If you aren't going to track the car, or if you just don't want to own a porsche then don't do it. They're similar horsepower, and the interior plus other options honestly feel the same. I bought one because I can sling this thing around the track and having the engine behind you really helps you out. The traction control and power options are great, it feels so much stiffer than my Z ever did. But, if you're not going to do that, the cost isn't worth it.
 

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All four carbon rotors are like $22k. No, not a typo! That’s two two comma zero zero zero. And that’s just the parts. Only Satan knows how much the dealership would charge to install them lol

It’s stupid and I’ll downgrade if I ever wear these out.
I don't know if you saw the results of my research, although not 'free' you can refurbish PCCB brakes for a lot less than $22K See this post/thread.

 

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Most of what's been said is fairly pragmatic, though I'll add my few cents, and reiterate a few things:
  1. Keep the Z. A helluva luxury is having a fairly reliable sports car as your runabout. You've had it this long, so you obviously like it. VQs are known quantities, running costs you're familiar with, and some of the cooling bugbears for track use are solved by the aftermarket. On public roads, you can't "use" much more power than that anyways without getting into trouble. Keep the Z in the family like a pet, except unlike pets cars can last as long as you want.

  2. Write down why you wanted a Porsche. Write down why what you've driven so far doesn't make you scream, "Of course I should buy this!", because it's obviously not what's on your list. Revise your list. Repeat, until you clearly understand everything you want. Don't buy anything that doesn't cover everything on the list. Also don't buy things other people tell you that you should, unless you already feel that you want those things.

    The result may (very likely) be more expensive. You can either A) Wait and save more money and/or B) Wait for things to depreciate. On the used market, power train, paint and interior are the most expensive things to change, so don't ever compromise on those things. After that, you could always address it in post. Adding some options your car didn't have originally sometimes will be expensive to do, but if it's a forever car, you can eventually do it.

    If you're patient, savings and depreciation will solve all cost problems in time.

  3. If at this point you still want to buy a Porsche, shop independent mechanics in your area, and understand your costs. There is actually a LOT you can do yourself (I would know!), but there will be things you need some help on, and some things that are daunting and you will almost always pay for (anything involving dropping the rear subframe). Budget. Make sure the spouse (if applicable) is OK. Buy when ready, if you choose to buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Thank you all for your input. I posted this question on a few different forums, and largely forgotten about this one, until I got a notification about your response yesterday.

Anyways, to bring everyone up to speed. Around Thanksgiving I ended up purchasing a 2018 CGTS, it's a CPO car with 7,500 miles on it, car still has almost 5 years of warranty with unlim miles. It's a 6 speed manual, it's Graphite Blue Metallic / Leather Graphite Blue/Chalk with Sport-Tex Sport Seats Plus (so it has the full leather interior (dash, doors, etc) with Alcantara optioned out -- SportTex seats and no Alcantara was actually my first choice), seat heating, heated multi-functioning GT steering wheel, Navi/Connect+/CarPlay, high gloss black tear wing & door handles, and 20" Carrera S Black Wheels.

Overall, once I've gotten over the "fear" of driving it, I'm loving the car, although there are a few things that I am still adjusting to -- German cars are very different from the Japanese cars that I'm used to. I've very very very reluctantly put the Z up for sale. Very reluctantly! I am/have considered keeping it, but just can't figure out what I would do with two very similar, admittedly less than super practical, two seat sports cars.

Anyways, I wanted to thank everyone who've taken the time to comment and offer their opinions.
 

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I've had many Porsches 7; some BMW's 3, Vettes 2, Nissans 4
As I believe you have found or are finding out Porsche sweats the details. Everything falls to hand and while your Z is fast I bet the GTS is a lot easier to drive that fast. You made an excellent choice and don't need the Z anymore. Trying to keep 2 loves never works out whether it's cars or gals. Let the Z lose. If you need a DD get a 2006 $5k BMW 325 for room, versatility with German flair & engineering or a Mazda 3 for the Japanese in you.
 
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