Porsche is either the dumbest smart company in the world or the smartest dumb company in the world. They made cars like this cheap Porsche Cayman better than their 911 in almost every single way, and they still call it their entry level car. It’s a great thing we’re smarter than they are.
This 2007 Porsche Cayman is the mid-engined sports car that ticks all the right boxes if you’re into box-ticking. Although this isn’t the uprated S version, the 245 horsepower flat-6 boxer engine has more than enough power to get out of its own way, not to mention that it’s a great platform if you enjoy a bit of modification in your sports car recipe. With it being so close in looks with the flagship Porsche 997 but having none of the inherent scariness and snap oversteer of the 997, I’m not sure why you would choose anything else for a weekend canyon thrasher.
This one looks to be in amazing condition and is listed for about the same price as a brand new Mazda Miata in barebone base trim. I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I know which one I’d pick.
This accident free, clean title, 70,000 mile car isn’t the most feature-rich example you could get for the money, but when you consider that the pool for mid-engined cars is quite shallow at such a price point, you gain some perspective into how good this car truly is. The tan leather interior can be a turn-off for some, but I think it looks quite charming and inviting, if I’m honest. It’s also contemporary enough that you won’t have the immediate buyer’s remorse like you would with, say, a first generation Porsche Boxster. Runny egg headlights aren’t anyone’s friend.
Having said that, the only reason this car is a must-buy is the fact that it has a manual transmission and can out-handle anything in its price bracket by miles. It’s Porsche’s hidden gem that will appreciate once the market really understands that these cars aren’t throwaway coupes with van engines (like some other entry level Porsches of old), but proper sports cars for enthusiastic drivers.
The market won’t go much lower, so get the pedal down while the iron is hot. That sounded better in my head.
Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes and makes videos about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world’s cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he’s the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn’t feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.