Planet-9 Porsche Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I've done a fair bit of reading on my own about the 981 Boxster/Cayman but I wanted to ask some questions myself and maybe get some more up to date responses as some of those threads have aged. I'll be looking in the near future for a Boxster/Cayman and had a few questions that have been nagging at me.

  • If I had to choose between a Boxster S and a base Cayman, which would be the better choice?
    • I'm hoping to get a get a chance to drive both before making the final decision, but I figured I might be able to get someone to chime in that might have had previous experience with both. I definitely enjoy the look of the Cayman more than the Boxster, but have driven vehicles like 911 Cabs in the past and thoroughly enjoyed them with the top down - so I honestly wouldn't be opposed to a Boxster.
  • I've read that the 981 is surprisingly reliable, especially when compared to the previous generation 987s, but was looking to get some more recent feedback from people with higher mileage ones and the issues they might have encountered.
    • e.g. I found a 2016 Cayman with 81k miles on the clock; is there anything that would be overly concerning about buying one with mileage like that if I plan to keep the car for at least a few more years?
  • Going off of my last question about higher mileage offerings, how mandatory is something like an aftermarket warranty (I'd most likely be looking to buy the car private party)? Any specific ones you'd recommend?
    • For reference, I live in the Southern California area.
  • Anything I should know about earlier year offerings compared to later year offerings? Or anything that would significantly steer me away from earlier year models compared to the later ones? I read about some headlight delamination and windshield laminiation issues, were those common only in early year models or throughout the 981 generation?
  • How is reliability if I decide to get a tune on a base model Boxster/Cayman? Although the numbers a tune add wouldn't reflect the difference between the power outputs between the base and the S models, is it a good compromise or does it feel lacking? Which tuners should I be keeping an eye on?
  • I've looked over some spec/option PDFs and have picked out some options that I know I'd like to have (things like the SportDesign steering wheel, PDLS, sport exhaust, PCM, Sport Chrono), but as an owner, what options do you think are must haves (and vice versa, which ones aren't as big a deal as they seem to be)?
  • I really like the SportDesign steering wheel, but if I were to get one without it, how hard would it be to get that wheel fitted into the car after? Is it completely ridiculous and cost prohibitive?
    • If you do get the SportDesign wheel retrofitted, how do you control the display in the gauge cluster?
  • I noticed three audio options (Sound Package Plus, Bose, Burmester) - how large is the difference between them?
Some other minor details:
  • I'm fairly sure I'd be going PDK, not manual.
I realize that a lot of these questions look like they can be answered by Google searches - and I have done my fair share of searching. Despite that, I still feel that there's nothing like getting direct up to date answers and hope I'm not stepping on anyone's toes too much. Any other details that I might not know about the ownership experience would also be appreciated :) Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
I've owned two Caymans, a 2008 987.1 base and now a 2015 981 base. Here are my responses to your questions:
1) Base or S - My 981 base is great but there are times when I'd like more torque. Some of that may be related to the throttle lag inherent on this model though. I think the S is more for bragging rights but by the same token I would have bought an S if I could have found one with the right combination of options I was looking for. There is about a 10mph difference in top end (165mph vs 175mph), so if 165 isn't fast enough you need the S.
2) My 2015 only has around 31K miles and so far no issues besides normal maintenance. My 987.1 with 50K was also very reliable with no issues.
3) Aftermarket warranty - I bought a two year aftermarket warranty from the selling dealer for my 987.1 for around $2500 because it was my first Porsche and didn't know what to expect. Never used it. You really need to read the fine print because there seems to be a clause for anything expensive and it seems difficult to make claims. Now that I have owned two Caymans I would not recommend it because they seem so reliable.
4) 987.1s have IMS bearings but you never hear about them failing. Some 981 owners report the headliner material drooping and warped interior door panels. I think some of that could be related to the climate the car is in or how well it is taken care of.
5) No experieince with tuning, yet.
6) My must have options were: Manual transmission, heated seats, 14-way seats, Infotainment upgraded audio with PCM. I added PSE later at the dealer for a reasonable cost. The one option I wish it had was PSM since I feel the suspension has a little to much bounce when cornering compared to my earlier 987. I'm considering adding X73 to fix that. PDLS is a nice option too.
7) Sport design steering wheel - They look nice. Mine has the multifunction heated steering wheel. I really like the PCM controls on the steering wheel and surprisingly like the heated steering wheel once in a while when its cold.
8) I think all the sound options are good. Mine has Bose and navigation. Bose can sound pretty muddled sometimes compared to the sound package plus I had in the 987. I would say PCM is a must though for the bluetooth functionality and other features.
9) PDK vs Manual - Depends if you want to ride or drive, haha. I love shifting and sometimes driving in a lower gear at high RPMs to listen to the beautiful flat-6 sound. Yes you can do that with paddles but not the same to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
If I had to choose between a Boxster S and a base Cayman, which would be the better choice?

... I'm fairly sure I'd be going PDK, not manual.
I drove both manual and PDK, base Cayman and Boxster S, and chose the Boxster S PDK. S+PDK just fit right. I bought it for a Daily Driver in North Texas, so plenty of top-down weather. Also planned to do moderate track use (2-4 weekends a year). The base just seemed very sluggish to me, whereas the S wanted to go. For a DD, you can put a set of golf clubs horizontally in the trunk, but they don't fit as well in a Cayman. I don't regret my choice for a minute.

...looking to get some more recent feedback from people with higher mileage ones and the issues they might have encountered.
Just rolled over 75K miles a few weeks ago. Probably 4K of those are on the race track. No major issues. Everything is minor, and if you are mechanically inclined, most can be DIYed.
Here are the issues I've experienced. The first 3 are extremely common.

  • Ignition coils (esp 5 & 6) prone to failure due to proximity to exhaust. Newer design less likely to fail, but I installed the 911 heat shields to further prevent the issue.
  • Door panel warping - super glue every year or so. Daily driver in Texas heat doesn't help.
  • Washer tube broke - this is not an if, but a when.
  • Coolant pipe leak - probably due to track use. I've seen a couple reports of this same issue.
  • Header weld crack at the catalytic converter - also probably due to track use. I've seen a couple reports of this as well.
  • Alternator bearing failure - not seen anyone else have this one. Was really difficult to diagnose, and had I been able to figure it out, I would have DIYed it.
Honestly, a 981 that has a few miles on it may be a more reliable vehicle. Extremely low mileage cars have a tendency to have more long-term reliability issues due to deterioration of rubber and seals from lack-of-use.

..aftermarket warranty..
Personally, I don't believe in them. Some of those things may have been fixed, but I think the total amount I've spent on repairs is < $1000 in 4 years. Like another person said, I've seen too many horror stories about these warranty companies finding reasons to not pay up if something major happens.

How is reliability if I decide to get a tune
I run a Cobb Stage 1 on my Boxster S. I bought the Cobb AccessPort/tune used for about half of new from a guy who got rid of his Cayman. This is a fairly conservative tune. Reliability has been excellent. Gives you back the 10 HP of Cayman S (that was detuned by Porsche for the Boxster), plus an additional moderate boost across the curve. I can keep up with a GT4 on the track , depending on who is driving it - though if a good driver were driving both, they would definitely be faster in a GT4.

..options..
I have all on your list, except the PSE. Sometimes I wish I had it, but the adrenaline is still great in this car as-is and I don't piss off the neighbors.

Most worthless option IMHO - voice control. I've maybe used it a half-dozen times in 4 years.

SD steering wheel uses stalks to control everything. It takes a little getting used to, as do what seems like an inordinate number of buttons, but you can do just about everything except control the volume on the radio. Without the stalks, you would have difficulty. There are some posts on the site about retrofitting the 718-style wheel that doesn't take too much effort. I think they start with the standard wheel as opposed to the SD.

I think Bose is minimum requirement. SPP is not great. You don't see many 981's equipped with Burmester because of the huge cost differential.

The sound system is tightly coupled with the PCM, so aftermarket isn't a great option.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
34,216 Posts
I've read the feedback you have already received and I completely agree with all of it (that apply to me, having never had a 987 I cannot comment there). Things I would add in no priority order:
Cayman vs Boxster
  • I had always assumed a 911 was my car until I got a Cayman as a rental in San Diego. Understand that I had already driven a few 911's so it wasn't a confusion on my part. The 981 was my car, no question. After having bought one I have come to realize how much this car was my car.
  • While I thoroughly enjoy my BS my track experience is tainted a little as many track drivers do not consider a convertible a serious track car. I don't see many 981 B or BS but I do see a few. Having never owned a convertible I definitely love the drive with the top down and I feel its more true to the original racing experience. But I definitely understand the concerns as I have seen a couple (2) cases where a car flipped - never happened to me in 3 years of track driving.
  • keeping in the same vein, I worry about the PDK. I drove a MT car previously and I do feel that the PDK does not do what I would do. That being said, a PDK is a much easier way to get on to and drive a track. You can hone your skills by manual shifting (something I still have not done - so shame on me). I have no evidence of a problem with the PDK. And I do see that the cost of a used PDK is not quite the astronomical cost it was a few years ago
Reliability
  • Everything ledbetter said, I have personally experienced the first three
  • Headlights can end up having crazing at the top - does not affect their function but is annoying to the eye. Porsche will say its normal.
  • I have had the #5 (or some have #6) coil failure problem which ended up costing me entire track weekend. I have since then installed the 991 heat shields but that makes it that much harder to do the whole 40k/4yr replacement. Prior to purchase you want to make sure the coils were changed - if not, I would argue a discount of at least $500 (slightly more than the cost of a new set of coils) is warranted.
  • I regularly track my car and was foolish enough not to listen to the wisdom of this group and replace my caliper bolts with studs. Cost me a new front knuckle. Swapping pads adds to the wear-n-tear. I should have known better when PMNA sells caliper studs for their track cars.
  • I have about 48k miles now and the only major annoyances are:
1) never, never, never, try to check the coolant level when the car is even mildly hot. you will be forced to buy a new coolant cap ($32)
2) whenever adding oil, add it in 100ml increments and wait for the car to tell you if it needs more
3) the oil drain plug needs to be replaced every time - do not chince out here as they strip easily
Warranty
- I personally bought a CPO car and it expires later this year. It has paid off in that they:
- replaced my front hood struts (not a huge cost but assume at least $100)
- replaced all my door panels (don't even want to think of the cost here)
- replaced my bad #5 coil (which still cost me money but they did it for free)
- replaced one crazed headlight but said they should not have - points for them - points against a warranty
Tuning
  • honestly what do you expect to get here other than bragging rights? The infinitesimal increase in torque could easily be avoided (in my case) by going on a diet.
  • If you like to play this game, understand its just your fun and nothing wrong with that
Steering wheel/PSE
- I prefer a multi-function steering wheel, mine is not heated which is disappointing because all SIM games use paddles. I have seen some people post about installing the 718 MF with paddles but I have not opted to drop $2k just for this function. Entirely your choice
- PSE will cost you at some tracks. Laguna Seca regularly sets a 92dB rule which PSE will not pass at WOT. I never have to lift off at T6 like other drivers.
Sound
- You definitely do not want a convertible if sound is important. Even with a hardtop, quality sound is difficult. No disrespect - just an observation.
MT vs PDK
- I like the PDK. I think it doesn't quite like me and I fault me. There is nothing stopping me from manual on track. I'm lazy. But I did have them install the 3rd radiator on my BS just to help cool the PDK, and I do pay to have the fluids changed regularly. It would be much cheaper with an MT but much harder.

Finished here. Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Hi all,
-------
Hey nice to see you're going for a 981. I'll add my 2 cents. You'll be happy in either a base or an S. It is, the best that porsche made in a long time, better than the old cayman and not as generic feeling as the 718 with its 4cyl. Its still small and feels more like an old 911 than new 911s do. Again great choice of car just look at the reviews of it on youtube, its a near perfect car.

I think reality is, the S especially on the used market is a bit better bang for buck but I have a well specd base and totally happy with it. If power matters to you (and you're talking tuning already) get yourself that S: even with future tunes and things like that you'll be able to squeeze a bit more out of it.

Mine is cobb tuned, with a capristo exhaust and I can tell you the car runs perfectly no issues, just stronger and fuller powerband, you need better than stock tires on this car, go michelin pilot sport or cups.

If the car has more km thats a good thing, reduce the price haggle it down and then dont feel bad about putting your own milage on the car. Its a perfect win win. The car will be reliable, but like any car get yourself a good local mechanic (non dealer, dont pay $600 for an oil change --- yes thats a real number ive seen a reciept)

Lastly: this is a cayman, I'd say be slower and buy a manual you'll be missing out on a significant reason why this car is considered by many to be the most underappreciated modern porsche ever made.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
If power matters to you (and you're talking tuning already) get yourself that S: even with future tunes and things like that you'll be able to squeeze a bit more out of it.
This was my thought process too but the more I look the more I think I'll go base over S - I've seen some clean base models for around $30k but S models seem closer to $40k. And if I was spending that, I feel like I'd rather save for a bit longer and get a base 991 911, which are starting to be found in the mid to high $40s now.

Lastly: this is a cayman, I'd say be slower and buy a manual you'll be missing out on a significant reason why this car is considered by many to be the most underappreciated modern porsche ever made.
As much as I've loved driving stick cars in the past, I think I'll be going PDK. Sorry, haha
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
When the news about 4cylinders broke out, decided to get a P car :)

did extensive in person research, including several long term rentals to find the perfect P car (various 991s and 981s) and decided on a 2.7 with PDK and PSE.

all 9A1 engines sound great but the 2.7 sounds the best (it is at a higher state of tune than the detuned 3.4). You will never want to leave the 4K-7K band.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
all 9A1 engines sound great but the 2.7 sounds the best (it is at a higher state of tune than the detuned 3.4). You will never want to leave the 4K-7K band.
This was my experience when I test drove a base Boxster. The car really loved being up high in the rev range. As I continue to look I'm still debating on whether I'll end up going Boxster S or base Cayman - it might come down to whatever I can find that's best optioned in my price range when I'm ready to pull the trigger.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top