The 718 Sounds awful

Like an old beetle, or a suburu!

Pulling the trigger on a 718 was tough. I kept second guessing myself, wondering if I should take the safer option of a used 981 or even consider the Jag F-Type. I had test driven them all, and the 718 ticked every box - it just felt right. It looked incredible, it had the low end torque and new technology that the 981 lacked - and had the prestige the F-Type couldn't match.

So what was holding me back? YouTube.

More than the videos themselves, it was the comments section. It was and still is riddled with unflattering comments of how terrible the 718 sounds, and how Porsche have ruined the Cayman/Boxsters. There was no arguing in these comments that the 718 was better in every conceivable way, however the sound was so bad that Porsche would not sell any and the 981 would increase dramatically in value as a result.

I test drove everything again. In my heart I knew that the 981 sounded better, there was no denying it. The 718 just sounded, well, different. But it didn't sound bad, in fact whenever I would mash the throttle the sound was reminiscent to me of what I imagine an old racing car would sound like. It was raw, aggressive, loud and raucous - and the pop's and bangs on the overrun where addictive. I was inspired and again confident that I had made the right decision, where do I sign?

Back to watching videos on YouTube. God, have I made the right decision?! Is my deposit refundable?? It was a vicious circle. Having weighed up all the options, and realising what a terrible deal a used car is on finance (another article on this), I decided to stick it out and hope for the best. I could always just turn the radio up I guess. Last minute addition of the sports exhaust as a precaution, and I wait anxiously for collection day.

Collection day arrives, and I get given the keys. Why am I so obsessed with the sound? It looks incredible, I know it will drive exceptionally, but I'm still anxious. I get in the car still sat in the showroom and turn the key (door open, sports exhaust on). Jesus, pops and bangs on startup?? This sounds awesome. I take a beautifully scenic drive through the Cotswolds back home, I know I need to run the engine in but I can't help myself - sports mode on, floor the throttle. It sounds demonic, and I love it.

Each day I drive it, the sounds grows on me even more. It's not refined, it doesn't have a flat 6 howl - and yes perhaps it doesn't sound as good but one thing I know for sure is that I don't care. It still sounds great to me, my friends who own 718's, and to 981 owners experiencing it for the first time. It suits the personality of the new generation Cayman/Boxster, and if anything set's it apart from the other Porsches.

I know other 718 buyers have been in the same predicament, or are anxiously trying to make a decision. My personal advice is not to concern yourself with what others say (who most likely have not driven one) and experience it for yourself. The videos DO NOT do it justice. You may love it or may hate it, but decide for yourself. Personally, I've never looked back.

Next weekend I will be doing a back to back drive with a friend who owns a 981 Cayman S, swopping cars and discussing the differences in performance and sound - so watch this space.

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Comments (16)

  • Great article! Thanks for posting and dispelling some of the FUD. Like you say, the YouTube videos have people wearing ear protection because the sound is apparently terrible. I went to a Porsche dealership to listen for myself and I thought it sounded fine to me. It's different, but not in a bad way.

      3 years ago
  • Been considering a Cayman T for next year to replace my 981 and the sound issue has been bugging me. Everyone on the internet tells me it sounds bad but to me it sounds like a very very old skool Porsche race car.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the sound of my 981 but they Cayman T (0-60 in 4.7 with a PDK, PASM and Sports+ as standard!) is such an amazing car and it's good to know I'm not the only one who thinks it sounds different but totally fine.

      1 year ago
  • I just must say that after testning 718s and the 981 THE Choice is so easy. The 718 sounds ok but that is when you push it to the max revs. I want to enjoy My Porsche on Evert Day drives in city when i cant rev it like hell.

    My feeling was that the 4 cylinder completly removed the Cayman soul. And that can never be substituted with more power and excellent handling.

    So happy with My 981s choice. Never 718.

      2 years ago
  • Porsche started with 4 cylinder engines and technically if one was a true 'Purist' wouldn't they then consider the 718 as it should be?? I have a 718S on order and won't regret it at all.

      3 years ago
  • Hey man. This is the kind of post I hoped to find on DTRB. I'm in the same spot where YT is putting me off. I almost considered ebaying both of my kidneys just to afford the bigger sister's six pot. Now i have to just go to the local dealership (which is kinda sucky) and see (hear) it for myself.

    Thanks for sharing the story!

      3 years ago
    • No problem, glad I could help! Make sure that when you do hear it for yourself, you have it in Sport and you take it to the redline. You wont be disappointed I can assure you. And if it's any consolation, this last Sunday I took out a friend who has a...

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        3 years ago