The best used Porsches to buy in 2021…

…which aren't a secondhand 911

By PH Staff / Wednesday, August 25, 2021 / Loading comments

Though much of Porsche’s heritage and projected image is inevitably 911 focused, the sports car with a flat-six in the wrong place hasn’t been the biggest seller for decades. Indeed, so favourable reception has the reception been to the non-911 models that it can be easy to forget how long they’ve been around. The Boxster marks 25 years this year, the Cayman badge has been around for 15, the Panamera is comfortably into its second decade and the Cayenne will celebrate 20 years of production in 2022.

There’s an awful lot more to Porsche than just 911s, then – however good and revered they might be. Handily, too, they’ve not all appreciated to stratospheric levels in recent years, even if plenty aren’t as affordable as they once were. Anyone disillusioned by £200k 964s and £500k 997s should find some solace here.

In fact, such has been the breadth of the Porsche offering over the decades that this entire top 10, from £10,000 to lottery win, doesn’t feature a single car with the engine over the back axle. There’s everything else, however: petrol, diesel and electric, coupe, saloon, and SUV, four, six, and eight cylinders. So, without further ado, the best used Porsches to buy in 2021, without the used Porsche you’re expecting…


Up to £10,000…

  • Boxster (986)

After all that, the 986 is perhaps the most predictable choice of all. Choosing a Boxster as the cheap Porsche option looks as original as a summer holiday in Spain, but there’s a reason – actually, a lot of reasons – why it’s recommended so often. Nothing else offers so many of the great Porsche traits for so little cash. Think about it: rasping flat-six, great manual gearbox and finely honed mid-engined dynamics, for £10,000. There isn’t a great old Porsche that’ll be cheap to run, and the 986 hasn’t been without its well documented issues, but the value for money in a Boxster still looks hard to ignore.

That’s even allowing for some recent appreciation, as buyers have come to realise what the 986 offers – and as the 25th birthday loomed, too. Once upon a time good cars were £5k, but the Boxsters at that money now look a little tired; better to up the budget and hopefully avoid as much heartache. At £10,000 some really good 986s are available, including this Arctic Silver S, and a few higher mileage 987s as well. Those after an even more traditional Porsche experience might want to consider a 924 or 944 at this money, both of which have enjoyed an even steeper climb in values than the Boxster. Though they inevitably come with the caveat of being much older cars, and nothing will eat into any appreciation like a repair bill. For a six-cylinder Porsche experience for supermini money, there’s still nothing to touch the Boxster. How long for remains to be seen…

Up to £15,000…

  • Cayman S (987)

Where once a 996 might have just crept into this price point, so the first-generation Cayman comfortably occupies the £15k slot. Inevitably there are a lot of parallels to be drawn with the Boxster given what’s shared, with greater torsional rigidity and more boot space thrown into the bargain. And the engine maladies, too.

Power is the most significant gain over those older, cheaper Boxsters, though. At launch the 987 Cayman was offered as a 2.7-litre car with 245hp, or a 295hp, 3.4-litre S. As has been the case for a while now, there are seemingly decent examples of the latter available for less than £15,000. See this one; it had an engine rebuild last month after evidence of bore scoring (you knew it was coming at some point) yet is still for sale at £15,750. There hasn’t been much better to drive in the 15 years since its launch than a well sorted Cayman, and that includes what Porsche has itself come up with. There’s arguably never been a better time to find out why that’s true.

Up to £20,000…

  • 928

The past few years have been kind to the 928. Not before time, some might say. As recently as 2012, this sort of money would have bought the very best 928 out there, a late, manual GTS with the 5.4-litre engine. Now, thanks to a realisation of the 928’s myriad talents – plus, presumably, a dwindling supply – there’s not a GTS out there for less than £40k.

Still, plenty of what made the 928 brilliant – a V8, great balance thanks to the transaxle, stunning design, and the pop-up lights – is available for more modest outlay. The days of truly cheap ones are gone, but this one boasts plenty of recent work (cambelt and water pump, new Michelins, Cup wheels) as well as a comprehensive history, for its £19,750 asking price. Which will seem a lot given the not-so-distant past, but with the 928’s status now seemingly assured, values don’t seem likely to plummet again. How could they when this looks so good?

Up to £30,000…

  • 968 Club Sport

Noticing a theme here? Anyone who got in on a cheap 968 Club Sport did well, given current values. But it says much of the experience on offer – and the appetite of buyers – that £30k Club Sports are selling. And there are plenty for sale at more than that…

It can be easy to forget how undesirable the track focused Porsches once were, seen by many has too harsh and uncompromising for regular use. Sales and values reflected that, with cars like the 964 RS and 968 CS left languishing (or taken only to be gutted for track) while buyers opted for more luxurious cars.

Now, as even new Porsches inevitably must detach the driver a little from their workings, so the demand has increased for the raw, unfiltered classics. As the stripped out 911s became coveted, so the circuit ready versions of everything else were hauled up as well. Right now, this £30k purple car is as cheap as a CS gets, perhaps owing to its relatively high owner count. But it looks superb, wind-up windows and all. Much like the 928, it doesn’t seem like the 968 is in any danger of being underappreciated again, if that helps as a sweetener on the asking price. Not every car Porsche makes is considered its very best handling one, after all.

Up to £40,000…

  • Cayenne V8 Diesel S

Yes, a diesel SUV in a best Porsches list. But hold on a second, because the Cayenne Diesel V8 S isn’t any old oil burning 4×4. It’s a Porsche Cayenne, first off, which makes it one of the best driving SUVs out there. Second of all, it’s powered by one of the finest diesel engines ever made.

Though the Cayenne diesel went without the electric compressor technology that eventually made it to a few Panameras, its version of the 4.2-litre twin-turbo V8 still made the same 627lb ft. You just had to wait until a peaky 2,000rpm instead (the later version produced that figure from an absurd 1,000rpm). You can guess the rest: emphatic yet effortless performance, decent economy (with a great range) and enough of the Cayenne’s adept handling intact to make diesel seem the logical choice.

The V8’s suitability for just about everything can be seen in the used examples. There are loads around, put simply, because nothing could match it for performance, frugality, and refinement. The past few years haven’t been kind to oil burners, but the Cayenne V8 remains a mightily impressive car. This one is £500 under budget with 40,000 miles; there remains little better for big distances with very little fuss.

Up to £50,000…

  • Boxster Spyder (987)

With the third generation of Boxster Spyder having been on sale for a couple of years, it’s an established (and popular) part of the line-up. But when it first appeared back in 2009, nobody knew quite what to expect. ‘Spyder’ is an illustrious badge for Porsche, yet tacking it onto the RS60 a year prior hadn’t helped the cause. Was the Spyder going to be an authentically focused Porsche, or another cash in on the heritage?

Nobody should have worried, as the 987 Spyder was undoubtedly the real deal. Weight was cut by a substantial 80kg, a fiendishly fiddly roof made it look more exotic and the driving experience was off-the-scale brilliant. The Spyder didn’t get the GT fairy dust sprinkled on it that the current car now does, but that didn’t stop it from being a superb sports car.

With everyday usability restricted a little thanks to that roof, the Spyder can now come into its own as a high days and holidays roadster. Little will be more enjoyable in the sunshine for less than £50k, with an exceptional chassis and powertrain; the deal will seem even sweeter if the Spyder continues holding its value so incredibly well.

Up to £75,000…

  • Cayman GT4 (981)

Talking of strong residuals… As if the original Cayman GT4 wasn’t desirable enough in 2015, here we are half a dozen years later without a single car on PH available for less than its £65k launch price. Incredible. Some are still on offer at more than £80,000.

Should GT4s retain their limpet-like grip on values – and plenty would suggest they will – there’s little better for the money, Porsche or otherwise. The Cayman we never thought would happen was every bit as good as we had hoped, upping outright ability and speed but also proving even better to drive than a standard 981. There seemed to be no penalty for the GT4’s added edge, the car being just as usable as any other Cayman. With a manual gearbox, too, back when the GT3 was still PDK-only, the Cayman had appeal to every kind of buyer.

As it still does, in fact, given the 718 GT4 hasn’t drastically moved the goalposts. Perhaps those after an everyday Cayman might struggle to justify this money for a car from 2016, but for those who know there haven’t been many better driver’s cars since, it’ll be a price worth paying. Especially given they’re seemingly depreciation proof…

Up to £100,000…

  • Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo

It’s hard to remember now, with cars like the Sport Turismo around, when the Panamera was the ugly duckling of the Porsche range. Because estate cars really don’t come any more handsome than the Sport Turismo; the second-gen Panamera was already a nice bit of design, which the ST only improved upon.

Porsche ensured buyers paid for the privilege, however, with a premium over the hatch for the wagon. It’s possible to pay £150k for a Turbo S hybrid, which makes this regular Turbo for little more than half that especially intriguing. Because it still looks excellent (even if black with black wheels doesn’t show that off) it’s still plenty fast enough with 550hp, and you’ll be doing well to find a better driving two-tonne estate car. Unlike a few cars on this list, the Panamera ST is sufficiently new and common to continue depreciating for a little while yet, but no bother – that only makes it more tempting for the next owner…

Up to £125,000…

  • Taycan Turbo

The Porsche EV doubters were swiftly silenced with the Taycan. Given all the limitations faced by electric vehicles from the perspective of an enthusiast, that the Taycan emerged feeling like a Porsche is an enormous achievement. It seems buyers agree, too: 19,822 were sold globally in the first half of 2021. For perspective it sold 13,633 Panameras and 20,611 911s in the same time. It drives like a Porsche and it’s selling like one, too…

Spend any time with the Taycan and it isn’t hard to see why, given the way it combines Porsche prowess with the instant nature of EV performance. And although the Turbo S shows that off better than any other, such is demand that none are currently available for less than £125,000 – it seems the Taycan can retain its value like a Porsche, too. Still, a 670hp Turbo ought to suffice, this one on offer for £117,000 after 7,000 miles of use. Perhaps the charging network is still catching up, but electric cars themselves are already tremendous – nothing proves what’s possible better than a Taycan.

Sky’s the limit…

  • 918 Spyder

This could be a Carrera GT, of course, or a 959, but enough has been written about those cars in the past. There’s been rather a lot less said about the 918 Spyder. Obviously, some of that is due to its relative newness, but might also be owed to the fact it was the most common and least powerful of the hybrid hypercar ‘holy trinity’ that included the LaFerrari and McLaren P1 as well. Numbers matter when it comes to exotica, or so it seems, and the Porsche’s were outgunned.

But what an achievement the 918 Spyder was when beyond spec sheet bragging. Nobody was very optimistic about a heavy, hybrid hypercar, but Porsche proved the doubters wrong once again, the 918 being as deft and rewarding to drive as sports cars hundreds of kilos lighter. Who can forget that incredible Nurburgring lap, either? There were certain stats that counted in the Spyder’s favour, too; its RS Spyder-derived V8 revved to 9,000rpm and weighed just 135kg, it had 12 miles of electric range (more than the other two combined) and the official CO2 was just 70g/km. Not bad for almost 900hp.

So, although it can seem like the 918 didn’t hog the headlines like the McLaren and Ferrari, it was very much a hypercar hero from the start. Prices now reflect that; in the UK you won’t pay less than seven figures, but what a car you’ll get in return. This one contrasts Basalt Black with Acid Green and looks fantastic for it; number 575 of 918 made is a UK car and has covered 2,000 miles since 2015, most recently with Jay Kay of all people. £1.1m buys it…


  • Porsche Cayman GT4 (981) vs. 718 Cayman GT4
  • Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio vs. Porsche Taycan 4S

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