2020 Porsche 718 Cayman vs. 2020 Ford Mustang

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/06

The 718 Cayman has standard ParkAssist to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Mustang doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the 718 Cayman and the Mustang have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

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The 718 Cayman comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Mustang’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The 718 Cayman’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Mustang’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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The battery on the 718 Cayman is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 718 Cayman’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Mustang’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the 718 Cayman’s reliability 30 points higher than the Mustang.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Porsche fourth in reliability. Ford is ranked 16th.

Engine

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As tested in Car and Driver the 718 Cayman S is faster than the Ford Mustang (manual transmissions tested):

718 Cayman

Mustang GT

Mustang BULLITT

Zero to 60 MPH

4.1 sec

4.3 sec

4.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.3 sec

9.7 sec

9.8 sec

Quarter Mile

12.4 sec

12.6 sec

12.8 sec

Top Speed

177 MPH

155 MPH

163 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Porsche 718 Cayman 2.0 is faster than the Ford Mustang EcoBoost (automatics tested):

718 Cayman

Mustang

Zero to 60 MPH

4.1 sec

5.3 sec

Quarter Mile

12.5 sec

13.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

111.2 MPH

97.2 MPH

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 718 Cayman lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The Mustang doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the 718 Cayman gets better fuel mileage than the Mustang Coupe:

MPG

718 Cayman

Manual

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

S 2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

Auto

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

S 2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

Mustang Coupe

Manual

PP 2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

5.0 DOHC V8

15 city/24 hwy

BULLITT 5.0 DOHC V8

14 city/23 hwy

Auto

PP 2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/28 hwy

5.0 DOHC V8

16 city/25 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the 718 Cayman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Mustang doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 718 Cayman’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Mustang doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The 718 Cayman’s optional fuel tank has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the Mustang GT’s standard fuel tank (16.9 vs. 16 gallons).

Transmission

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The 718 Cayman offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Mustang doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 718 Cayman’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Mustang:

Cayman

Cayman opt.

Cayman GT4

GT4 opt.

Mustang

Mustang GT

Mustang V8 PP

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

15 inches

16.1 inches

12.6 inches

13.9 inches

15 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13.8 inches

15 inches

15.4 inches

12.6 inches

13 inches

13 inches

The 718 Cayman offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The Mustang doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The 718 Cayman stops much shorter than the Mustang:

718 Cayman

Mustang

70 to 0 MPH

141 feet

165 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

97 feet

111 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction and acceleration, the 718 Cayman has larger standard rear tires than the Mustang (265/45R18 vs. 235/55R17).

The 718 Cayman’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mustang’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 718 Cayman has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Mustang.

Suspension and Handling

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The 718 Cayman handles at 1.06 G’s, while the Mustang GT Premium Fastback pulls only .96 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 718 Cayman S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Mustang EcoBoost Premium Fastback (23.7 seconds @ .89 average G’s vs. 25.1 seconds @ .75 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 718 Cayman GT4’s turning circle is 4.2 feet tighter than the Mustang GT Fastback Performance Pack 2’s (37.5 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

Chassis

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The Porsche 718 Cayman may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 700 pounds less than the Ford Mustang.

The 718 Cayman is 1 foot, 4.1 inches shorter than the Mustang, making the 718 Cayman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the 718 Cayman is quieter than the Mustang GT Fastback (84 vs. 88 dB).

Cargo Capacity

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The 718 Cayman has a much larger trunk than the Mustang Fastback (15 vs. 13.5 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just holding your hand near the emblem on the trunk can open the 718 Cayman’s available trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The Mustang doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The 718 Cayman uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Mustang uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in service department satisfaction. With an 82% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

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The 718 Cayman’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch. The Mustang has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The 718 Cayman has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Mustang doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the 718 Cayman offers an optional rear wiper. The Mustang doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 718 Cayman offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Mustang doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the 718 Cayman offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Mustang doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The 718 Cayman’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the Mustang Premium.

When the 718 Cayman with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Mustang’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 718 Cayman’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Mustang has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Economic Advantages

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The 718 Cayman will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 718 Cayman will retain 59.69% to 60.13% of its original price after five years, while the Mustang only retains 41.34% to 54.88%.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/06

The Cayman was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 14 of the last 15 years. The Mustang GT/Bullitt hasn’t been picked since 2019.

The 718 Cayman was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 3 of the last 7 years. The Mustang has never been an “All Star.”

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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