Jump to content

Help me convince my friend a 3.4 Cayman gen 2 is a better decision than a Z4. Any takers?


Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

My good pal Ash (on this forum) is having a real debate with himself over whether he should thing with his head (Z4, cheaper, daily territory and still fun) or his heart – a Porsche Cayman 3.4 S.

 

Key questions are:

 

Is it a relatively safe investment? 
 

Anyone who also owned a Z4…main takeaways? 
 

Is it worth stretching to a 3.4 S over a 2.9 or gen 1 2.7? 
 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

Edited by Matt_Chaps
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Z4 3.0si coupe, assuming?

 

Underrated car in many ways. Built in low numbers, still fairly cheap. As far as any mainstream ICE car goes, I would say a safe investment. Dirt cheap to run as these things go.

 

The Gen 2 Cayman is comfortably the better driver's car, it has better primary controls including steering and pedals particularly. And it handles better. The 3.4 is also a fair bit quicker than the Z (assuming not Z4M). But you really have to be into driving for that stuff to be a major differentiator.

 

Unless you are really into the finer points of driving dynamics, the Z is better value.

 

As for 2.9 versus 3.4, well, the 2.9 on average is going to be less problematic over the long term. The high pressure fuel system in the 3.4 (the 2.9 is not DFI) is beginning to become problematical and that will only become more true over time. High pressure fuel pump failures, rail sensor issues, coked up inlets etc. The 2.9 will have none of these problems and is about as solid as this kind of car comes in terms of major failure points.

 

Not that the 3.4 is a disaster, it's just the DFI fuelling system will be more costly to maintain as the cars age. As for 3.4versus 2.9 for driving, well, that's subjective. Depends on preferences and previous experience. Coming from a 2.5 Boxster, the 2.9 will feel pretty quick. Coming from something with a lot of power, it will feel a bit light on performance.

 

IIRC, the Z4 3.0si never got the DFI update to the N52 lump (the N53) and is generally pretty reliable. Certainly, parts for the Z will generally be a lot cheaper.

 

If you're really into the finer detail of how the Cayman drives down a great B road, go for it. If you want a fun sports coupe with a nice engine that handles pretty well on occasion but you're not super anal about control weights and feedback quality, get the Z.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All great points, but the BMW looks horrid inmo. Do looks come into the evaluation process?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, andygo said:

All great points, but the BMW looks horrid inmo. Do looks come into the evaluation process?

 

Each to their own but I would say so yes. The BMW looks like it was designed by a kid with a box of crayons whom was asked to design a sporty car for pensioners. If it had a wheel chair ramp it would make more sense as a car in my opinion. 

I don't read much in the way of praise of the Z4 from a looks POV. 

 

If you watch the Pinky Lai videos on how he designed the 987 you'll see how much thought went into the design and its synergies with the Porsche heritage/DNA. 

 

 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, andygo said:

All great points, but the BMW looks horrid inmo. Do looks come into the evaluation process?

Why buy a sports car if not as much for the way it looks as well as it how it handles… 🤷‍♂️😯

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, MartinF6 said:

 

As for 2.9 versus 3.4, well, the 2.9 on average is going to be less problematic over the long term. The high pressure fuel system in the 3.4 (the 2.9 is not DFI) is beginning to become problematical and that will only become more true over time. High pressure fuel pump failures, rail sensor issues, coked up inlets etc. The 2.9 will have none of these problems and is about as solid as this kind of car comes in terms of major failure points.

 

Not that the 3.4 is a disaster, it's just the DFI fuelling system will be more costly to maintain as the cars age.


where are you getting this intel from Martin?  I’m not seeing feedback through this forum, nor the PCGB cayman forum pages about any trend of (existing or) increased incidence of gen-2 3.4 DFI fueling issues. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Windymiller said:


where are you getting this intel from Martin?  I’m not seeing feedback through this forum, nor the PCGB cayman forum pages about any trend of (existing or) increased incidence of gen-2 3.4 DFI fueling issues. 

 

 

High pressure fuel pump failure is reasonably common. In fact, the early version of the pump was a recall item in the US it's that unreliable. Sadly, in Europe / the UK car companies are less proactive with that kind of thing. I have myself had the high pressure fuel pump replaced on a 987.2. It's fairly expensive.

 

As for other examples, PH fleet car had its high pressure pump replaced:

 

https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=23&t=1802459

 

Here's another:

 

https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=231&t=1860329

 

Several of the cars I've looked at recently have had pump changes. It's absolutely, 100% a thing. Speak to anyone with experience working on these cars and they will tell you the high pressure fuel system is going to become ever more problematical.

 

As for the inlet coking up which is also a consequence of the fuel system, if you understand how DFIO works, you will understand that it's a universal issue for all pure DFI engines. They all coke up with use and will eventually need de-coking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Said friend is here on the forum: FYI @hopz121 😎

 

@Julian987 @Windymiller @Andyoz I seem to remember all of you being really helpful when I was looking for my 3.4 S. Ash is open to finding a decent 2.9 example I believe (that’s been really well looked after). If you hear of anything, please let us know as you did for me! He is a proper petrolhead and knows his onions so will probs slap me for dragging him into a thread but I saw one of his other threads got buried so worth the debate here.

 

I know he is also going to use whatever he buys as a daily. Even though the Z does represent value I still think a Cayman adds that indescribable element of specialness too, as well as handling, looks, etc. 

 

I didn’t know that about the DFI engine though, that doesn’t sound great - but news to me too. @MartinF6 I did meet a mechanic at an Indy up in York who talked of the same problem but that OPC refused to recognise it as a trend. Out of interest, what were your symptoms for having the fuel pump replaced? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The DFI issues are not at all catastrophic, nothing like the scoring on the old M97 3.4, but they will become more tricky over time. Talk to any decent indy and they will know all about it.

 

They actually ran out of the pumps last year so there were a fair few cars sitting at indys waiting for a new batch to come in. 20 years down the road, the DFI issues will probably be a real pain. Price of the pumps, if you can get them at all, will be astronomical, very likely. They're not cheap now.

 

Early symptoms will typically be slow starting, maybe a check engine light and then pull the codes and you get a high pressure pump or fuel pressure error.

 

2.9 is the safer long term bet if you are ok with the reduced performance. Hard to find a 2.9 with decent spec, though. They're nearly all poverty spec.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having driven a Z4 3.0si Coupe and owning a 987.2 2.9 Cayman I can probably provide some useful opinions here.

 

Engine: Both nat asp 6 cyls of roughly equal size and the same official power figures. The Z4's N52 feels torquier in the mid range but doesn't have the top end scream towards the red line that the Cayman's 9A1 unit has. That ref line is decently higher in the Cayman too. Both pull hard but in different ways.

 

Looks: Very subjective, but I am really surprised to hear the opinions some hold on here re the Z4. I think it looks brilliant and has aged timelessly. To my eyes, pretty much all of Bangle's 'flame surfacing' cars look modern to this day and have generally been a design success in the long term (yes, even the original E65 7 Series). The 987.2 is also pretty timeless to my eyes, especially the front end already looking like a distinctly 'Porsche' classic. I think the tail lights of the .2 are more sympathetic to the 987's innate curviness than the .1's too. Engine placement informs the looks most of all with the Z4's long bonnet giving it more of a 'muscle car' flavour than the Cayman's classic mid engined sports car dimensions.

 

Handling: I drove the Z4 a while ago and didn't throw it around a lot. That being said there was something that was immediately obvious to me and that was the COMPLETE lack of feedback from the steering wheel. It used an early EPAS system and the one I drove had a relatively thick rim. The ride was harsh too, definitely firmer than my non-PASM Cayman. The Cayman is a known entity here, handling is fantastic, and steering feel is night and day better than the BMW.

 

I like both, the BMW is great value for money and good fun, but there's a reason the Cayman is more expensive, and it's where my money went. I don't regret it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Hi Guys,

 

So I am the newbie trying to find my next new daily. The only real criteria I have are fun and safe-ish place to put cash in a car which isn’t going to be worthless any time soon.

 

A bit of backstory, I own and run an E46 M3 which is mint and my weekend toy and I currently run a BMW E90 330i as a daily. I am parking on a side street in Greater London most days and the E90 is just that little bit too big sometimes and it’s a bit boring.

 

This has led me to think about buying something else, the current contenders are 987.1 Base, Z4 Coupe & GT86.
 

I have never owned a Porsche and would like to own a GT4 one day (can’t afford it currently) but thought maybe a cayman would be a good introduction to Porsche ownership. My dad has owned a 987.2 S & currently owns a 718 GTS which I am fortunate to be able to drive from time to time. 

 

The car will be used for commuting 50 miles a day on mainly A roads, I like caymans but they are considerable more expensive than the equivalent Z4 Coupe and much more expensive to maintain. I am also looking at the lower end of the market which seems full of rubbish examples which will need a decent chunk of money on them to sort the normal cayman issues out! As I’ll be using one daily it would be nice to have a few options as well which seems very hard to come by in base spec caymans.

 

I still think bang for buck and general daily running costs the Z4 & GT86 are better alternatives. If the right cayman which has been looked after pops up maybe it’s a goer but they seen very hard to come by. 

 

I welcome your thoughts 

Edited by hopz121
Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, hopz121 said:

Hi Guys,

 

So I am the newbie trying to find my next new daily. The only real criteria I have are fun and safe-ish place to put cash in a car which isn’t going to be worthless any time soon.

 

A bit of backstory, I own and run an E46 M3 which is mint and my weekend toy and I currently run a BMW E90 330i as a daily. I am parking on a side street in Greater London most days and the E90 is just that little bit too big sometimes and it’s a bit boring.

 

This has led me to think about buying something else, the current contenders are 987.1 Base, Z4 Coupe & GT86.
 

I have never owned a Porsche and would like to own a GT4 one day (can’t afford it currently) but thought maybe a cayman would be a good introduction to Porsche ownership. My dad has owned a 987.2 S & currently owns a 718 GTS which I am fortunate to be able to drive from time to time. 

 

The car will be used for commuting 50 miles a day on mainly A roads, I like caymans but they are considerable more expensive than the equivalent Z4 Coupe and much more expensive to maintain. I am also looking at the lower end of the market which seems full of rubbish examples which will need a decent chunk of money on them to sort the normal cayman issues out! As I’ll be using one daily it would be nice to have a few options as well which seems very hard to come by in base spec caymans.

 

I still think bang for buck and general daily running costs the Z4 & GT86 are better alternatives. If the right cayman which has been looked after pops up maybe it’s a goer but they seen very hard to come by. 

 

I welcome your thoughts 


Thanks for the extra info Hopz, and welcome!

 

987.1 base should be relatively free of big problems with IMS and bore score issues being far less of a concern than with the 3.4l M97 unit. As far as running costs go, yes I would expect these to be higher than for a GT86 or Z4, but if you're willing to do the work yourself these can be kept in check fairly well, particularly if you don't intend to track it.

 

Would draw your attention to Harris in this video if you haven't seen it already:

It's a 3.4 but should provide some reference for chassis comparison at least.

 

Would encourage you to try a 987.1 base if you can, the mid engined layout makes it behave quite differently to an FR car.

 

Good luck with your choice, no bad options there, but support on this forum will probably be weighted towards one of them :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you have a budget in mind? and manual or PDK? any preference in colour? I'll then keep an eye out based on your spec requirements. Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife bought an 05 Z new ,she loved it ....i hated it [road like a piece of plywood with wheels . I have a base 987.2 which rides much smoother . Both cars are sadly woefully under-powered and expensive if they need something more than maintenance [po dealer basic bare bones service is 500.00 us] . The po handles and brakes so much better but i only went with porsche because after 30 years of crazy corvette driving it was time to slow down ....i got my wish 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Julian987 said:

Do you have a budget in mind? and manual or PDK? any preference in colour? I'll then keep an eye out based on your spec requirements. Thanks!

 

Hi, thanks for the reply. 

 

There isn't really a budget to be honest but for arguments sake lets say around the £12,000 mark give or take a bit.

 

I think a gen 1 2.7 is realistically all I am willing to spend though and it would have to be a manual.

 

Ideally I'd like a high mileage one which has had some maintenance over the years and not needing loads of work done to it. 

 

Not worried if the bodywork is a bit ropey it just needs to be mechanically sound and a fair price, I wont be paying over the odd's for one as its not really going to be a toy.

 

Thanks

 

Ash

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The car works perfectly well as a daily but it's not something I would use it for (having done so previously in my R).  It is a car to be driven and enjoyed, not commuted in.  The 2.7 gen 1 is a pretty rubbish car as a daily.  It's great if you like to hoon the whole commute (I used to do this in my S2K and it was the best), but that's not its purpose based on your statement "it's not really going to be a toy".

 

I would get something more practical as a daily, personally.  None of the cars listed would fall into a true daily category for me, but that's me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Aaron said:

The car works perfectly well as a daily but it's not something I would use it for (having done so previously in my R).  It is a car to be driven and enjoyed, not commuted in.  The 2.7 gen 1 is a pretty rubbish car as a daily.  It's great if you like to hoon the whole commute (I used to do this in my S2K and it was the best), but that's not its purpose based on your statement "it's not really going to be a toy".

 

I would get something more practical as a daily, personally.  None of the cars listed would fall into a true daily category for me, but that's me.


I don’t need practical I just want it to be sporty, reliable, safe ish investment and small.
 

I enjoy driving so I am looking for something that ticks that box. 
 

I have a practical ish car currently as a daily and no one ever really sits in it and it’s just a bit boring to be honest. 
 

Not many other cars fall into the criteria to be honest hence trying to narrow it down a bit 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, MartinF6 said:

I think the Z is a better car for the remit.

 

Running a 987 as a daily doing 12k-plus miles a year as you intend is very different to what most owners will have experienced. Most of these cars do a few thousand miles a year and don't rely on the car as primary transport. It's a totally different proposition.

 

Obviously it can be done with a 987. I have done it myself since 2014 and will continue to do so. But the cost are high as is the inconvenience level. Just stuff like getting the car booked into a specialist is a pain, most of the good Porsche specialists have long lead times, you rarely can just book the car in for that week to get a fault fixed. I once had the car off the road for five weeks with a minor fault waiting for a busy specialist to attend to it. I suppose I could have had it trailered elsewhere, but it all gets a bit complicated. Not a disaster if it's a weekend car. Real pain if only car.

 

With a Z4, would be easier to take it to just about any competent outfit to get work done and most of the parts are miles, miles cheaper. I've also had generalist garages refuse work on my Porsches. They didn't want to get involved in case something unexpected breaks and they are unsure of their liabilities. Porsches are not ultra exotic, but they are exotic enough to make daily driving and maintaining that bit trickier and more expensive than a non-M BMW.

 

Again, it's all doable. But the Cayman will likely be harder work and more expensive for this remit and I'd caution against over optimistic views from owners who only do relatively low miles. These cars are far from disasters, but dailying one and doing really serious miles in one is equally a fair old commitment. Good luck!


My head is saying Z4 or GT86 but I do have the itch to scratch with a Porsche but maybe I need to wait for a GT4 for that.

 

Thanks for the informative post it was very helpful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.