What Car? says...
Why should you have to compromise in life? Yes, you need four seats and have the funds to demand a level of luxury, but does that really mean you have to forget those beloved sports cars of your halcyon days? Not necessarily; have you considered a Porsche Panamera?
Underneath the sharp suit is a very familiar skeleton. Like its predecessor, the Panamera offers a choice of V6 or V8 petrol engines that power the rear or all four wheels. Plug-in hybrid models are also available, should you want to reduce your fuel consumption, go very quickly or indeed both.
There’s no such thing as a tardy Panamera. Even the slowest version does 0-62mph in the mid-five second range, but it’s possible to knock a couple of seconds off that with the right engine. Of course, being a Porsche, the Panamera isn’t all about straight-line pace; it’s also one of the most agile large luxury cars around.
That agility can be boosted by a huge range of options, including adaptive air suspension with active anti-roll bars, four-wheel steering and carbon ceramic brakes. Naturally, all this doesn’t come cheap. Spending a five-figure sum on options for the Panamera is very easily done, even before you’ve considered special paint finishes, bigger wheels or a more luxurious interior.
There’s a wide range of cars that you could call rivals. At the bottom end are four and five-door coupés, such as the Audi A7 Sportback and Mercedes-Benz CLS, while the long-wheelbase Panamera Executive models could even be considered as sporty alternatives to the Audi A8 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. If you move up to the Turbo and Turbo S E-Hybrid, it’s the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupé and Aston Martin Rapide S that sit firmly in its sights.
Over the next few pages, we'll look at what the Panamera is like to drive, what its tech-laden interior is like to use and how much it will cost you to buy and run. Should you be ready to buy, have a nose at our New Car Buying service for savings on hundreds of new cars.