Category winner...

A great sports car is very much like a Christmas present: there’s that same sense of anticipation every time you open the door to go for a drive as there is when you rip off the wrapping paper. Will I enjoy it? Is it going to be everything I imagined it to be? And of the nallists on this list, it’s the Porsche Cayman that best ful ls all the heady desires of a sports car buyer.

A great sports car is very much like a Christmas present: there’s that same sense of anticipation every time you open the door to go for a drive as there is when you rip off the wrapping paper. Will I enjoy it? Is it going to be everything I imagined it to be? And of the nallists on this list, it’s the Porsche Cayman that best fulfils all the heady desires of a sports car buyer.

The current 718 Cayman uses a rather flat-sounding four-cylinder engine, but this car has a classic six-cylinder unit that howls when you reach the upper echelons of its rev range, yet also gearing that allows you to enjoy yourself at sensible speeds. Meanwhile, the handling is poised and highly accurate, thanks to the Cayman’s balanced mid-engine layout and fantastically capable chassis.

The same could be said of the Audi R8, of course, but then it’s more than twice the price and will be far more expensive to run. The Mazda MX-5 is outstanding too, but it doesn’t have the drama of the brawnier Porsche.

We lamented the day this Cayman went off sale, but those in the used market don’t have to.

Read full review