4. 2016 Porsche Boxster and Cayman
Base price range: $53,095-$83,095 Boxster, $53,595-$85,595 Cayman
Unless you’ve well over eighty grand to spend on the rarified Boxster Spyder or Cayman GT4, model-year 2016 is your final opportunity to experience this family of midengine wonders in classic, naturally aspirated form. Bowing to realities of emissions and mileage mandates, Porsche is poised to replace the 2.7-liter flat six in the base Boxster and Cayman and the 3.4-boxer six in the S and GTS versions with turbocharged horizontally opposed four-cylinders. On tap is a 2.0-liter of 240 horsepower for base models and a 2.5 with 300 in S versions and 370 in GTSs. Early reports are optimistic about the turbos’ performance. But to ensure the linear power delivery and distinctive sound core to the Porsche experience, act now. You will not be disappointed.
Convertible Boxster or coupe Cayman, these are pound-for-pound, dollar-for-dollar the world’s most involving, well-balanced, and rewardingly engineered two-seaters. With 265 and 275 horsepower, respectively, base Boxsters and Caymans are mid-5-second 0-60 machines. But their magic lies in steering, handling, and overall control that makes average drivers feel great and accomplished drivers glad to be alive. S and GTS offer greater grip, additional luxury, and 315-340 horsepower, dropping 0-60 times as low as 4.3 seconds. With a 3.8-liter six, the Spyder and GT4 encroach on Porsche 911 turf, at 375 and 385 horsepower, respectively. They come only with a six-speed manual; the other models are available with a seven-speed automated manual. All weigh under 3,000 pounds and actually have luggage space for a couples’ long weekend.