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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After admiring from afar for many years, I recently decided to start looking for my first Porsche. Initially, I had planned on buying a 997 Carrera, but I took one out for a drive a few weeks back and I just wasn't a huge fan of how the car drove. I had never driven one before, so I realize I would need to get used to the feeling of a rear engine car. The car also felt a bit more sluggish than I had expected, despite having 325 horsepower. I am currently leasing a 335i sedan, and while the torque is nice, I'm just not a huge fan of the car.

I have always loved the way Caymans look, but based on some accounts I read on various Porsche forums, I was nervous about whether the power would feel sufficient. I had the opportunity to drive a 2007 Cayman S yesterday, fitted with a 6 speed manual transmission, and I can happily say the car felt AWESOME. The driving dynamics felt much more aligned with what I was expecting from a Porsche compared to the 997. The power felt great, the balance of the car was confident, and the I loved the sound of the engine roaring right behind me. Needless to say, I realized the Cayman S is the Porsche I am looking for.

I am still trying to figure out the following specifics regarding what I want to look for:

Budget - I am ok spending $30,000 to $40,000, but would prefer to keep it as low as possible while still getting a well cared for car.

Year - The car I drove yesterday was a 2007 with 40,000 miles (and was priced at $30,000 at Carmax) and it felt fantastic. That said, is it worthwhile to spend more to get a 2009+ Cayman S that doesn't have the risk for IMS issues? From what I've read, the risk on the 987.1 models seems to be a bit overblown and I don't intend to track the car. That said, the peace of mind and additional 25 horsepower would be nice if I can afford it.

Transmission - My last two cars have been automatics (the S4 had the dual-clutch and the 335i has a sport auto). I live in Los Angeles, but my current commute doesn't really involve sitting in significant traffic. I really enjoyed shifting the 6 speed transmission in the car I drove yesterday, so I would be willing to get a manual if I find the right car. I haven't driven the PDK in the 2009+ Cayman S yet, but that would be a compelling option too if it drives as well as I've heard it does. I love the efficiency and intelligence behind dual clutch transmissions, but I worry that they would get a little boring after a while.

Options - I haven't really thought much about the various options available yet. Some of the 2007-2008 Cayman S models I've seen have a very simple center console without nav. I assume this was an option, but I haven't seen it on many cars between this year range. I liked the center console of the 2009+ models a bit better and enjoy having navigation in my current car. Again, not sure that would be a deal breaker not to have it, though.

Miles - I'm not sure what is a reasonable mileage count for a 2007-2010 Cayman S. The 2007 I drove yesterday had approximately 40,000 on the odometer. I would prefer to buy one with fewer than 50,000 miles, and based on what I've seen in the listings, this should be doable.

Repairs and Maintenance - Chances are the car I get will not be CPO and will not have a warranty. Provided I get a well-cared for vehicle (and a PPI) for the year ranges I have provided above, is the Cayman S pretty dependable? I will have a budget for repairs, but would prefer not to bleed cash keeping the car on the road. From what I have read, these cars seem fairly bulletproof.

A big driver in this decision is going to be cost. Is my $30,000 - $40,000 budget reasonable to find a nice Cayman S without a ton of miles?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I just ran a search using that link you provided. The inventory was quite a bit more limited than the other used car listings sites.
 

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When I bought my 2007 CS in Sept. 2013 it had 29+K miles and was a CPO for $35,750. It has a fair amount of options too. It took me awhile to find as it had to be white this time around. It had to be less then 40,000 miles. Also like that it is a California car. Didn't need the options but when buying used you either accept them or not. I had a 2006 previously and I bought a private warranty and it paid for itself when the water pump failed. Other then that the car was very reliable for the 2 years I owned it. So far the 2007 has had only the TPMS replaced under CPO. I found the 2007 on Cars.com
 

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I say go above 2009, if not get a CPO at least. I am sure you will have a lot of fun :)
cheers
 
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image.jpg I've been looking at trading my 2008 CS for a new Boxster. I love my CS but have never had a soft top. It might be a car that you might be interested in. 44,500 miles, TipTronicS, Slate gray w/ Sand Beige interior. Nicely optioned.
 

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This time last year I, too, started my search in earnest. My budget was the same as yours. I ended up with a 2007 CS with 39,800 miles for just under $35k. It is loaded with, among other things, 6MT, PASM, sports chrono, heated seats, bi-xenons, clear bra, etc. My parameters included mileage near or under 40,000. I couldn't find an '09 CS for under $40k, though I tried. But, I had a specific list of "must haves" that pushed the price up. CPO was not one of them.

What I found helpful, and kept me focused, was to have a list of options I had to have. Once I'd established that list, it was easy to search for, and keep track of, cars as they came up for sale. I searched carmax, cars.com, the Porsche link listed above, every day. Finally located and bought mine in May 2014. Fortunately, the car was located up in Portland, so it was easy to go see and test drive it. But, I was prepared to go anywhere in the country if the right one came along.

Your budget should be just fine. But, give some thought to the options, and, if it's a big deal to you, the color combo, because those are the variables that will be important to you and that will influence the purchase price.

Good luck! The search was a lot of fun; hope it is for you too.
 

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sent you a PM. I need a car with a back seat, I'm tired of driving my truck as a baby hauler.
 

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Hi there! from a fellow SoCal Porsche nut. Welcome to the swamp!

I found my 2007 CS about a year ago. It was (is!) in great condition, decently optioned, 6 speed, had 42K miles and the price was about $31K from a non-Porsche dealer. This is in the normal range, and the prices seem to be fairly consistent.

The 987.1 cars are essentially identical, so for these pay more attention to mileage, condition, options, color, etc.

The 987.2 cars do have a superior engine, but expect to pay $6-10K more (might be out of your budget).

If properly cared for, though, the earlier cars are very robust. I and many others have had zero problems. The two biggest things seem to be clutches that wear out too soon and shift cables breaking. If you are an experienced wrench like many of us, these are DIY jobs. If you are not, budget some money for these.

Also note that the first-generation cars have a tiptronic if you don't want a manual tranny. This is basically a normal automatic transmission. The second-generation cars have the amazing PDK, which many drivers prefer. I for one insist on a manual, but that's a personal preference.

Good luck and let us know what you find! :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for the helpful responses, everybody. It sounds like the 987.2 might be out of my price range. If the 2007-2008 are fairly bulletproof, I certainly wouldn't mind saving an additional $6-$10k. Assuming both cars are fitted with manual transmissions, is there a performance difference?
 

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If patience is one of your virtues, a 987.2 CS is in your price range. Not long ago, I posted a '10 CS with 20,000 and nicely optioned (73 grand MSRP) for 40 grand. It originally was on pca.org. Join. Money well spent.

The odds of a major problem with a 987.1 are small, but if you like to sleep well at night, go with a 987.2. If you will ever track your CS, go with a 987.2.

Also, both 987.1/2 have shifter cable issues so going with a PDK eliminates that "feature." Early in my search I was convinced my Cayman had to be manual (driving them for 40 years and coming from a Miata), then I did some research on the PDK, the aforementioned shifter cable issues and realized I could get all the convenience of a slush box and all the performance of a manual and decided for me, PDK was the way to go. I could not be happier. An added PDK bonus is my wife can drive the Cayman if needed. Not possible if it was a manual.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Eddie
 

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If you are planning on tracking it wait for a 2009 ( in your range) and buy that, otherwise get a pre nine for much less money!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't plan on tracking this car, so no concerns there. Out of curiosity, what about the track driving dynamics make the issue rear its ugly head?
 

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I don't plan on tracking this car, so no concerns there. Out of curiosity, what about the track driving dynamics make the issue rear its ugly head?
Im no expert, so please take that into consideration... When I first bought a 987.1, my intent was a 100 percent track car, so please keep that in mind. Then I started my research and found that the M97 motor has some reliability issues when tracked. The issues I became aware of, primarily via research on this forum, talking to engine builders out here were related to oil pressure, power steering fluid overheating and a few others. Basically those issues seem to be related due to high cornering forces and sustained high rpm operation ( power steering fluid overheating).

However no track use the m97 motor appears to be fine.
 

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Is the CS you test drove the red one in Torrance? If so I test drove it too. A few weeks later I found and bought a similar car but with less than half the miles and in much better shape for a thousand or so more than what Carmax was asking at the time (not sure if they have lowered or if this is the same car).

IMS--simply wouldn't worry about it since you're not going to be tracking.

Manual/automatic--personal preference. I've driven manual transmissions for most of my life but find them to get tiresome in LA. Made an exception for the Porsche. Personally don't care for tiptronic and would actively avoid it, but look forward to trying PDK.

Console--I didn't see many with nav but I'm actually glad. Nav system is like a computer. If you buy a 2007 that computer will be 8 yrs old soon. In computer years that's past middle age coming up on retirement. I would personally (and did) get an aftermarket solution. Then again I'm a tech guy... On this note I'm not happy with the aftermarket solution I did get, but that's another story.

Mileage--For me 40 to 50k max was the target, and the CS I bought had 18k. Would it have mattered if it had more? Yes and no. I had a PPI done and as long as you do this you're probably relatively safe mechanically. However where the low mileage helped was on wear. The interior of the low mileage car I bought felt brand new, despite being 7 yrs old. The Carmax one had a little over twice the miles but felt four times more used. Bottom line is 1) get a PPI and 2) find a car that's been well cared for which is often correlated with low mileage, but not necessarily.

CPO--dealer I bought from said my car wasn't eligible. Didn't care. I'm more of a self-insuring type. I think if you take care of the car with regular maintenance, it will take care of you.

Budget--totally reasonable for a 2007. I paid 33.5 for a car in immaculate shape, with less than 20k, and most of the options I wanted. Looked at 09s in this price range but was hard pressed to find something in as good of condition with relatively low miles and having all of the options I wanted. The way I decided to look at it is that it gives me something to look forward to when I upgrade a few years down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Taco,

Congratulations on the recent purchase! The 2007 CS I drove was actually in Roseville, CA. While it seemed to drive well, the exterior and interior were not in quite the condition I would want to see on the car I ultimately end up with. I realize certain aspects of the paint condition (swirls, etc.) can be alleviated through a good detail, but I'm turned off by an excessively worn interior. Many of the cars I've looked at on car listing sites have shown excessive wear on the seats, wear around the center console, etc.

Where did you ultimately find your car and how long was your search?
 

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Thank you!

Personally I think it's worth it to keep searching until you find something that looks like new. A good detailing may fix (some) poorly maintained exteriors, but not a poorly maintained interior and engine.

I had been looking around for an AMG CS with low mileage for a half year or so, but only half seriously. A few hours trolling classifieds each month. Came across a few that looked good, but nothing that I was super excited about and matching my specs close by. I wasn't in a hurry. Decided to keep looking while also familiarizing myself with fair price ranges given various options.

When I did get serious, however, I was lucky that a car I was interested in came up at a dealer in Santa Barbara within about 2 or 3 weeks. Rode the train up, and drove it back to LA.

More detail than you asked for but here was my experience in buying:

Before going up I negotiated a price over the phone, subject to my satisfaction with the car. Since I had taken time, I felt I knew what a fair price was. Rather than stress over getting the best deal, I just offered them what I felt was the fair price. It was $1500 less than their list price, and the dealer accepted. I also had them take it to a local shop for a PPI. The mechanic said it was sound, but noted a few little things such as curb rash on one of the tires. Based on this information I was able to get the price down another $300 (which more than paid for the PPI), and the dealer fixed the issues so it was definitely worth more than just the peace of mind.

The dealer, by the way, was Santa Barbara Auto Group. They were great about facilitating the transaction remotely. They even picked me up at the train station and gave me a demo of the Macan with PDK. Also, when I arrived they just handed me the Cayman keys and let my girlfriend and I take it for spin without any hassle whatsoever (i.e. copy of license, insurance, etc).

By the way I'm not sure if it's still there but Porsche San Diego had a stunning looking 2007 CS with low mileage. I know the CEO of the company that owns the dealership, and normally would have bought from them, but it wasn't the color I wanted. Other than that definitely with looking at if they still have it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the added detail. I checked the Porsche of San Diego site and that 2007 CS seems to be out of their inventory. They have a nice 2010 CS, but at $50k, it's out of my range.
 

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I was in your shoes a few months ago. Very long story--and search--short, I ended up with a 2012 Cayman with PDK (and CPO). I, too, thought I needed an "S", but then I realized that a 987.2 with PDK is basically as quick as a 987.1 with a stick. Sure, having a 987.2 with PDK would have been nice, but I feel I got 95% of that car without real sacrifice. The base Cayman is plenty quick and a hoot to drive.

edit: if you're not planning to track the car, the difference shrinks even more.
 

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What don't you like about the tiptronic? I've been considering an Audi Allroad wagon that has tiptronic. I there anything about it I should avoid or is it just that the shifting isn't as smooth as the PDK on my CS?
 
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