Ask the Best and Brightest: New Mazda RX8 or Used Porsche Cayman?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

A longtime member of our Best and Brightest is shopping for a new/used car. Yes, I know: shocking. But there you go. But ccd1 doesn’t know which way to jump. His query:

I am beginning to shop around for a car and have gotten the search down to two cars: RX-8 and a used Cayman. The top of the line RX-8 (Grand Touring or R3) is about the same money as a two-year-old Cayman. The upside of the RX-8 is that it has a back seat big enough for at least one normal sized adult. First year depreciation, however, is ugly ($7-8k). Depreciation would be better for the Cayman, but it lacks a back seat and maintenance on the Cayman would be far more costly than the Mazda. So the question is which one should I choose?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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4 of 113 comments
  • Rx8 Rx8 on May 07, 2009
    If an Accord breaks, it’s easy to find someone independent to fix it. If you live in the right parts of the country and if you can stomach the expense, it’s fairly easy to find someone to find someone who can fix a broken Porsche. Easy to repair ,yeah,really, what MY year Porsche and What MY year Accord are you talking about. I am talking about cars made in the last 5 years..current cars ,not crap that is over 10 years old.. Over and OUT!!
  • Lawrence9 Lawrence9 on Oct 22, 2009

    Go fot the RX-8. I own one personally and they are great on handling and speeding up through turns. Ride rather well. Body style is nice and the interior is great. Backseat is a good feature to have in the car compared to the cayman. Plus the price range on an RX-8 is 15-30k compared to the caymans 20-45k Mazda is great for everyday purposes in winter the rear wheel drive is easy to deal with all you have to do is put sand bags in the back. Good power and steering overall great car.

  • Ccd1 Ccd1 on Mar 07, 2010

    I am still pondering this choice. I feel more like a grown-up in the Porsche, but the storage in the rear is REALLY shallow. I am taking my clubs to the dealer to see if the rear passes the golf bag test. I am not optomistic about the Cayman passing the test. I'd be shocked if two cart bags would fit back there. I'm beginning to think that the ideal answer to my question is a RX-8 R3 for daily use and an Elise for warm sunny days. Both of these cars used would probably about equal the cost of a good used Cayman S. Together, the cars are more versatile and more fun

  • Ccd2 Ccd2 on Nov 29, 2010

    I thought I would provide a brief update. Still have not taken any action. The Cayman is the object of my desire, but I just choke on the price. Specifically, the best deal I've seen is around $45,000 for a '09 base Cayman with around 5,000 miles. I really do not want a Gen 1 Cayman due to IMS issues. By contrast, a 2011 RX-8 is $32,000 and I have seen the car for as little at $29,000 and change. A RX-8 of the same vintage as the aforementioned Cayman would be a little over $20,000. Do I prefer the Cayman? Yes. But do I think the Cayman is worth the $20,000 plus premium? So far, the answer is "no." Both of these cars received significant mechanical upgrades in MY '09 and I would not consider earlier models.