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      12-06-2011, 05:35 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by VVG View Post
Cayman S has the advantage in the following areas:

1. Steering responsiveness (but not by much)
2. Chassis responsiveness
3. Shifter
4. Interior fit and finish when properly optioned (which we know can cost a bundle with Porsche)

M3 has the advantage in the follwoing areas:

1. Engine. Simply one of the finest subjective motors on the planet
2. Ride-handling balance. Not as precise as the Cayman, but you gain a lot in comfort for the small sacrifice in handling
3. Practicality
4. More bang for the buck

The shifter in the M3 sucks. I actually like the clutch a lot. I find it very light and easy to fire off fast shifts. You do get used to the shifter and after a while it doesn't feel rubbery. Again, the lightness helps you fire off fast shifts, but it is definitely the weak point of the car, especially in comaprison to the Cayman.

I was really torn between a cayman S and the M3. In the end I bought the M3 because I would be severely limited without back seats and because a similarly equipped Cayman was over $90k. The M3 proved to be the better value, and the engine is simply marvelous. It is more of a GT cruiser than the Cayman S, which is arguably one of the most balanced sports cars on the planet, so in that sense, it has a bit of a different purpose. I have driven a Cayman S for over 300 miles, and a similar trip in an M3 is much more pleasurable.

Get the competition package. It adds an adjustible suspension which is slightly lowered, a remapped stability program that allows for more slip and spin before intervening, and really hot looking (IMO) wheels.

My previous car was an Audi RS4, and I feel like the M3 is what one would get as the offspring if the RS4 and a Cayman S had sex.

I don't think you will be disappointed overall.

Hope this helps.
2 things...cayman S' steering is in a different league than anything BMW (not even close) and the same really goes for the handling. The Cayman may be the best handling car in the world whereas the M3 shouldnt be mentioned in the same breath as the cayman S. So you do give up a lot in handling compared to a cayman for the body roll (and its quite a lot in comparo) and littie bit of comfort you pick up.
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      12-06-2011, 06:32 PM   #46
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get the m3. the cayman s was fun but time to "upgrade"
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      12-06-2011, 06:57 PM   #47
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2 things...cayman S' steering is in a different league than anything BMW (not even close) and the same really goes for the handling. The Cayman may be the best handling car in the world whereas the M3 shouldnt be mentioned in the same breath as the cayman S. So you do give up a lot in handling compared to a cayman for the body roll (and its quite a lot in comparo) and littie bit of comfort you pick up.
Well, having never taken a Cayman S to the track, I really can't comment on the differences in this environment. You may be right that at the limits, the Cayman may be that much superior in terms of steering and handling. Not as much of an issue on the street, however. Not trying to dis the Cayman in any way. It is a spectacular car.
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      12-12-2011, 02:30 AM   #48
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get the m3. the cayman s was fun but time to "upgrade"
Very interesting, can you expound on that?

Especially since you have both cars for a little bit?


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      12-12-2011, 02:31 PM   #49
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Very interesting, can you expound on that?

Especially since you have both cars for a little bit?
Sure, the Cayman S is a solid ride. I've had a lot of fun carving mountains. My biggest beef with the Cayman S is where Porsche has positioned the vehicle between the Carerra and the Boxter. There are no real power kits for this car besides TPC single bolt on turbo and a Sharkwerks RS350 power kit. With lack of options, I'm always trying to squeeze as much as I can. Short of buying a used Porsche 996 turbo, the Cayman is good at what it was designed to do. I regularly get smoked by 996s and other faster rides. I enjoy mountain carving but the thrill of the straight line gets me the most amped up. Say what you will of modern domestics but there's a lot of fun burning rubber at each signal light provided you don't get caught by the hardworking men and women of your local police station.

My biggest beef with the P-Car is the lack of quality in the build. There are lot of interior panels with noticeable gaps and the hand crafted precision is severely lacking. Everything feels super cheap and boring in the cockpit of a racing machine. Also, I'm a big guy and the bucket seats are not fun with lumbar support past a 2 hour drive. A lot of Cayman owners actually trade up to GT3 seats to overcome this problem at $800 a pop. My Cayman S also has no LSD which was before the 2009 conversion. The recent development of the Cayman R has spruced things up a bit but the fact that the car is limited and can never exceed the performance of a 911 is like letting a kid in the candy shop and he can't eat anything.

My other beef with the cayman S is that it attracts too much attention. I've made the mistake of driving my cayman S to clubs in San Francisco and I've had everything from little asian gangsters kicking my side mirror to getting keyed. Plus, being a young 29 year old man, I get nothing but Cougar/Milfs hitting on me everyday. In the 3 years of ownership, 100% of the women that come up to me are over 40. Hahaha. A fact that my now girlfriend finds hilarious for some reason.

I'm looking forward to the realistic cost for modding my M3 to make it my own. I'm also looking forward to the abundant supercharger kits. There's way more options to mod. I also like the fact that I can put two people in the back seat and pick up more than one person from the airport. It's more practical. The M3 can be a beast and a DD. And that's what I need.

If you asked me if I'll get a P-Car again in the future, then I'd say yes. Great car designed for the track. For everything else, there's the M3. I tried to get a GTR but have met really shady Nissan salesmen that have made me lose interest completely.

Just my 2 cents. To each their own.
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      12-12-2011, 11:45 PM   #50
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Thanks for the post. Interesting perspective.

Admittedly, I am more of a corner vs. straight line guy myself. That is after owning a big HP Supra Turbo, C5 Z06, C6, etc. and going to a Lotus Elise, and then the Cayman S. I'll take handling over power most of the time, and live in a region where there are very few truly straight roads - especially when it comes to backroads.

Secondly, that's not the first I've heard in this thread regarding the build quality. I guess I have a different perspective on that too. I have full leather which I realize helps A LOT. But as far as fit and finish, I couldn't be happier with my Cayman S and I think it's a huge step up in quality compared to my E90 sedan. Everything feels more solid and better put together. No gaps, perfect fit. None of the creaking over bumps. I have the sport seats too, which I love. As mentioned before, the only thing I don't like is the plastic used on certain interior parts that chips/scratches way too easily.

As far as attention, my car definitely gets a lot - but it's usually in the form of an enthusiastic thumbs up, compliment at a gas station, someone yelling "awesome!" out the window. Happens surprisingly often. Never bad attention. I think the fact that it's red with black wheels helps it stand out compared to other Caymans. No real attention from women though, either young or old. They don't seem to care in these parts. I've had a few younger girls yell stuff out the window, semi-dirty stuff - but that's about it. They might be jaded around here as there's a lot of money in this area and Porsches are fairly common. I'm 28 FWIW. Then again I have a girlfriend, so I'm not using it as a magnet at the moment.

But I always tell my friends, "you can't wear your car into a bar". It can only really help if you're already 90% there and need to seal the deal. Amirite?

I've actually heard a lot of mixed things about the GTR. I'd like to test drive one, but from descriptions it sounds like a car I wouldn't like.
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      12-13-2011, 07:17 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by mkiv808 View Post
I am considering consolidating down to one car. Mostly due to a lack of free time and boring commute, and less so to save more money. I currently have an E90 325i and a Cayman S.
Me too, not enough time for both cars and too much traffic
Going from Cayman S and 135i to M3.
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      12-13-2011, 02:02 PM   #52
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Sure, the Cayman S is a solid ride. I've had a lot of fun carving mountains. My biggest beef with the Cayman S is where Porsche has positioned the vehicle between the Carerra and the Boxter. There are no real power kits for this car besides TPC single bolt on turbo and a Sharkwerks RS350 power kit. With lack of options, I'm always trying to squeeze as much as I can. Short of buying a used Porsche 996 turbo, the Cayman is good at what it was designed to do. I regularly get smoked by 996s and other faster rides. I enjoy mountain carving but the thrill of the straight line gets me the most amped up. Say what you will of modern domestics but there's a lot of fun burning rubber at each signal light provided you don't get caught by the hardworking men and women of your local police station.

My biggest beef with the P-Car is the lack of quality in the build. There are lot of interior panels with noticeable gaps and the hand crafted precision is severely lacking. Everything feels super cheap and boring in the cockpit of a racing machine. Also, I'm a big guy and the bucket seats are not fun with lumbar support past a 2 hour drive. A lot of Cayman owners actually trade up to GT3 seats to overcome this problem at $800 a pop. My Cayman S also has no LSD which was before the 2009 conversion. The recent development of the Cayman R has spruced things up a bit but the fact that the car is limited and can never exceed the performance of a 911 is like letting a kid in the candy shop and he can't eat anything.

My other beef with the cayman S is that it attracts too much attention. I've made the mistake of driving my cayman S to clubs in San Francisco and I've had everything from little asian gangsters kicking my side mirror to getting keyed. Plus, being a young 29 year old man, I get nothing but Cougar/Milfs hitting on me everyday. In the 3 years of ownership, 100% of the women that come up to me are over 40. Hahaha. A fact that my now girlfriend finds hilarious for some reason.

I'm looking forward to the realistic cost for modding my M3 to make it my own. I'm also looking forward to the abundant supercharger kits. There's way more options to mod. I also like the fact that I can put two people in the back seat and pick up more than one person from the airport. It's more practical. The M3 can be a beast and a DD. And that's what I need.

If you asked me if I'll get a P-Car again in the future, then I'd say yes. Great car designed for the track. For everything else, there's the M3. I tried to get a GTR but have met really shady Nissan salesmen that have made me lose interest completely.

Just my 2 cents. To each their own.
If youre more into straght line speed, a cayman S or even the M3 probably isnt the right car for you.
That said, I too, as above cant substaniate quality claims as the cayman S in my experience has better quality as well as fit and finish than the m3. The m3 is decent but there are far too many gaps (inside and panel gaps outside; see all the threads!) and creaks and rattles for a car as heavy as this is, with as much sound insulation, and the fact that the suspension is soft compared to the stiffer cayman S. I have several friends who have done the m3 to cayman or the reverse and noticed the same.
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      12-13-2011, 02:15 PM   #53
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No worries. I wrestled with keeping the cayman for a while. But that big horsepower draw is an addicting factor. I also like the fact that I can see the engine... haha.

And my m3 will see a supercharger kit in the future for that straight line performance. =)
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      12-13-2011, 02:49 PM   #54
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No worries. I wrestled with keeping the cayman for a while. But that big horsepower draw is an addicting factor. I also like the fact that I can see the engine... haha.

And my m3 will see a supercharger kit in the future for that straight line performance. =)
I was also going to say a SC would do just the trick!
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      12-13-2011, 05:37 PM   #55
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With all due respect, you know little of which you speak.

This attitude is held by snobs, Porsche owners included, who have never driven a 987 and never will. The 987 chassis is bar none the best chassis in the Porsche line up. Some foolish marketing decisions/hang-ups, most originating in Germany and afraid of the aforementioned snobs, long held back development of the product line. That has (started to) change with the Boxster Spyder/Cayman R.

My wife's daily is a 0 option non-s 987 Boxster. I wanted every possible performance/tech upgrade before we bought it. After a few days of driving it, it became (and remains) my favorite sports car I've ever driven. The suspension, steering, clutch..just everything about it is, to me, distilled perfection that rivals the near telepathic connection you usually find in the sportsbike world.

I just bought my second E90 m3 yesterday, but it's the practical car, I'll still take the Boxster when I want to head out for a sporty drive.

Like MKIV I've driven many modern Porsches, pretty much everything save the CGT, and could afford many of them. Money no object I'd still pick the 987, even at 911 Turbo prices. (To be fair, the 991 might change that as the packaging/wheelbase changes have made it much closer to MR vs RR then it's ever been before).
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      12-13-2011, 05:50 PM   #56
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With all due respect, you know little of which you speak.

This attitude is held by snobs, Porsche owners included, who have never driven a 987 and never will. The 987 chassis is bar none the best chassis in the Porsche line up. Some foolish marketing decisions/hang-ups, most originating in Germany and afraid of the aforementioned snobs, long held back development of the product line. That has (started to) change with the Boxster Spyder/Cayman R.

My wife's daily is a 0 option non-s 987 Boxster. I wanted every possible performance/tech upgrade before we bought it. After a few days of driving it, it became (and remains) my favorite sports car I've ever driven. The suspension, steering, clutch..just everything about it is, to me, distilled perfection that rivals the near telepathic connection you usually find in the sportsbike world.

I just bought my second E90 m3 yesterday, but it's the practical car, I'll still take the Boxster when I want to head out for a sporty drive.

Like MKIV I've driven many modern Porsches, pretty much everything save the CGT, and could afford many of them. Money no object I'd still pick the 987, even at 911 Turbo prices. (To be fair, the 991 might change that as the packaging/wheelbase changes have made it much closer to MR vs RR then it's ever been before).
+1.

Too many idiots posting in this thread about it have never even driven one. The chasis alone is far superior to any chasis bmw has ever made...not to mention the many other level it far outdoes anything bmw in (handling, steering, balance, etc, etc, etc).
The 991 is on a different level though. The 991 has stepped the game to another level as the benchmark sports car/exotic.
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      12-13-2011, 08:02 PM   #57
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I am considering consolidating down to one car. Mostly due to a lack of free time and boring commute, and less so to save more money. I currently have an E90 325i and a Cayman S.

Overall driving impressions were good. It's not to the level of the Cayman S in overall driving experience, obviously, but it is more practical and still fun. It's also more nondescript, which is both good and bad. Unwanted attention is bad, but most people just see it as a 3-series. Call me shallow, but I do like the raves and looks the CS gets.

This car was pretty stripped down. It only had premium and EDC. I kept it on the stiffest setting to get the most of the handling. Felt pretty good. I actually thought the ride quality was a bit better than my 325i, or at least less harsh. I'm sure with non-runflats it would be pretty comfortable for daily driving. At least by my standards.

My questions are as follows:

1. I understand that the tech option allows you to adjust steering feel? Can you tell me a little more about this? I like some weight in my steering, and felt that the steering was a little light for my tastes on this car. Would the adjustable steering give me more weight than in the car I drove?

2. The only thing I hated was the clutch and shifter feel. Especially the shifter, it was IMO abysmal. I've owned a lot of sports cars and that's, by far, the worst I've ever used. Long shifts, loose and felt like rubber. The clutch engagement was a little strange, but I feel like I could get used to it. And besides, I believe the spring mod helps with clutch feel? But I've seen mixed reviews on short shifters. I'm not sure if it's the shifter's fault or the user's? I know some people don't like the feel that a short shifter is all about and prefer a "smoother" shift. I like a really tight, short throw with the feeling of gated metal. The best shifters I've ever used were a Callaway shifter on my C6 Corvette, and the OEM short shifter for the Cayman. Will I be able to find something like that? I would do the ZCP knob too.

3. I posted this question in the deals thread in the buying section, but no one bit. Am I unrealistic to think I can get a CPO 2009 E92 with at least the tech package and EDC and low miles for under 50k? My only other requirements are white exterior and carbon fiber roof (I'd go for the stormtrooper look with black wheels and black spoiler), so it might take some time to find the right car - and I'm fine with that. But I want to keep it in the high 40's or I'll just keep the cars I have for the time being.


Blah, get the m3 if you want but you will sacrifice a more things than you gain... Also, get the DCT and not the EDC
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      12-14-2011, 10:59 PM   #58
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It is better to drive in every way except for power: driving position, steering feel, handling, turn-in, brake feel, clutch/shifter feel, etc. It's also better built, and I can say that because I own both an E9X and the Cayman. The interior materials and quality is just plain better on the Cayman. It's been more reliable than my E90, but I do have a first-year, so that might have something to do with it.

I guess the only negatives are that it's a 2 seater, doesn't have the power (but the power/weight ratio is close), and limited utility. Believe me, I strongly considered just getting a newer Cayman and using it as my only car, but then I would have to give up hobbies like skiing and biking (unless I wanted a hideous roof rack), would be limited in cargo capacity for bigger Lowes/Ikea-style runs, and could only take one person at a time.
I owned a 2007 Cayman S until this past summer when I UPGRADED to a new M3 Cabriolet. The M3 is a far superior overall car. Yes, the Cayman more agile and may handle slightly better, but overall there is no comparison. Gen 1 Caymans lack any modern technology...terrible gps, no bluetooth, dated dash, sluggish acceleration... M3 is perfectly balanced between comfort and performance.
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      12-16-2011, 07:33 PM   #59
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I've driven a boxter on a track and like the M3 much better. I hate the shifter and steering feel of the boxter and the interior feels really cheap. Obviously it is subjective, but I'd rather drive the M3 on the track. My 2 cents...

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      12-16-2011, 08:00 PM   #60
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I hate the shifter and steering feel of the boxter and the interior feels really cheap.
Wow, unless that's a late 90's first gen Boxster - I'm pretty amazed you felt that way.

As for the thread, I've decided to keep the Cayman, at least until around summer time - at which time I'll reevaluate and see where used 2009 M3's prices are. I feel like they're a little high at the moment and am curious to see where they go when they start coming off lease en masse.
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      12-17-2011, 11:03 AM   #61
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I think it was a 2006 boxter, but I've been in others, as well. I just don't like the skinney steering wheel and the steering feel and ride. It lacks a certain "fluidity" I don't know how to describe it will, and its been several years since I drove it, but I felt like it was too "twitchy"
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      12-17-2011, 12:21 PM   #62
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I also agree with you.
I have always looked at Boxters/Caymans as poor man's 911, IMHO.
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I hate to admit this but most people think this way including myself. Anytime I have seen a coxster I think its someone who couldn't afford a 911 and had to settle for the bottom end porsche (whether its true or not and I know not always trued)

Something about my personal preference that I like to buy a product that is absolutely fully tuned and at the top of a manufactureres game such as the m3. Engine is tuned almost to the max, its the BEST engine M could actually produce at that time dedicated for this car. Its the best M had to offer in suspension, aero etc. Its basically their best efforts in a car.

The cox is porsches dialed back car. The engine is not allowed to make what it could, its dialed back due to not wanting to approach the 911's. Its in the bottom rung of porsches offerings. Its the "poor mans" porsche. Whereas the m3 is the top rung of the M division in the small sport coupe's.

Just my .02 but the engine in the m3 is just so much more potent and IMO better.
"Poor Man's Car"??? Really ... a car that has been around for over 30 years and the highest in demand out there Porsche produced over 50 models of the 911 and they sell very well. Further the Porsche 911 has the longest history of any of the Porsches on the road today.

You may as well say the M3 is the poor mans car when compared with other BMW high end models offered ... Come on now fellows ... we drive the M3 because we like it and it is by far not a poor mans car ... the other Porsche models are simply higher end Porsches like the higher end BMW's

the statement "Poor Man's Car" is an understatement if I ever heard one ...
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      12-17-2011, 01:05 PM   #63
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I think it was a 2006 boxter, but I've been in others, as well. I just don't like the skinney steering wheel and the steering feel and ride. It lacks a certain "fluidity" I don't know how to describe it will, and its been several years since I drove it, but I felt like it was too "twitchy"
That's odd. My Cayman has far better steering/pedal/shifter feel than the M3 I test drove. And there's a fat sports steering wheel that's a factory option, or you can buy it after the fact. You can even put the GT3 RS steering wheel on a Boxster/Cayman if you want. All interchangeable.
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      12-17-2011, 01:30 PM   #64
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That's odd. My Cayman has far better steering/pedal/shifter feel than the M3 I test drove. And there's a fat sports steering wheel that's a factory option, or you can buy it after the fact. You can even put the GT3 RS steering wheel on a Boxster/Cayman if you want. All interchangeable.
Yeah, I got the "fat" steering wheel on my 911. I think we measured it as 2mm larger in diameter. I paid $250 per mm!
Yikes!!
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      12-17-2011, 02:17 PM   #65
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I owned a 2007 Cayman S until this past summer when I UPGRADED to a new M3 Cabriolet. The M3 is a far superior overall car. Yes, the Cayman more agile and may handle slightly better, but overall there is no comparison. Gen 1 Caymans lack any modern technology...terrible gps, no bluetooth, dated dash, sluggish acceleration... M3 is perfectly balanced between comfort and performance.
I agree with you on the 2007 Cayman S. I was looking at them along with a 09 M3. Test drove both and the Cayman S was just not for me. Interior felt cheap, car was not that fast coming from a modified Z4MC and the overall experience was a 7/10. Z4MC was a solid 8/10 and the M3 was a 8.5/10.

I did see a new all blacked out Cayman R and it was like $80k. After being disappointed by the 2007 Cayman S I opted not to even look at the 2012 Cayman R. For that price you are getting into the 2005, 2006-2007 Lamborghini Gallardo range which I would gladly take over ANY Cayman.

So now having said that I bought the M3 and in OEM form the exterior needs a lot of work. Interior is done. On the Porsche Cayman S the exterior was awesome but the interior needed a lot of work.

So for me these cars boil down to preference really... You can't say anything negative about the OVERALL package of both.

And honestly the Cayman S or Cayman R is the rival of the BMW E86M (Z4MC or Z4MR) in reality, not the E92 M3.
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      12-17-2011, 03:52 PM   #66
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Yeah, I got the "fat" steering wheel on my 911. I think we measured it as 2mm larger in diameter. I paid $250 per mm!
Yikes!!
a lot of men would pay more
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