To drive a Porsche Boxster or Cayman is to experience the pinnacle of connectedness between driver, car, and road. It is to feel a level of confidence behind the wheel that few cars can impart. It is to know how pleasurable and engaging the sheer act of driving can be. Year after year, Porsche has refined these mid-engine two-seaters, and in one form or another, they’ve now earned 22 10Best wins since 1998.
Consider just some of the praise we heaped upon them in the past two years. We called the 300-hp Cayman T the perfect starter Porsche and declared: “For some people, it might be the perfect Porsche, period . . . In a digital world, the T feels and drives like an analog machine.” We also called its steering “perfectly weighted and incredibly precise” and said the Cayman and Boxster achieve “massive cornering speeds with great control.” Of the 394-hp GTS 4.0, we wrote: “It would be easy to fill pages with moon-eyed poetry praising the intoxicating zing of the new 718 GTS’s 4.0-liter flat-six engine. Oh, the noises it makes hunting down the glory of 7800 rpm, all the while electrifying scalps, tingling spines, and purpling prose.” And we summed up our feelings about Porsche’s 718 lineup this way: “If there’s an automotive engineer active today developing anything—anything, any model, any type of vehicle—who hasn’t driven a 718, then that person doesn’t really understand what good is.”
Full disclosure: That last statement was inspired by our drive of the lineup’s hottest track star, the Cayman GT4, which is ineligible for 10Best because its $101,550 base ask crests above our price cap. But every Cayman and Boxster shares that same genetic makeup, that same joyous driving character, that same feeling of being alive in your hands.
They also share Porsche’s rich pricing, complicating which models make this year’s 10Best list. On the Cayman side, it’s the base coupe, T, S, and GTS 4.0. For the more expensive Boxster range, the base roadster, T, and S qualify. The Boxster GTS 4.0 stickers $250 too high to be 10Best eligible. But you know how we feel about it.
Those prices might make it difficult for you to find a spot for a Boxster or Cayman in your garage. But every enthusiast owes it to himself or herself to finagle a way to get behind the wheel of one these brilliant sports cars, if only for a short drive. Just so that you, too, can really understand what good is.