If only Porsche had just made the Panamera a conventional sport sedan. There's no shame in being a sport sedan, and the Panamera would have had the advantage of being a very good one. As Joe DeMatio noted, even this midlevel model is a dynamic masterpiece. Its acceleration, braking, and most of all, the immediate, communicative steering are everything you'd expect from a Porsche, albeit an overweight one. Likewise, the interior execution is spot on, the overall impression being that of a 911 that's been stretched in all the right places. The myriad buttons on the center console are a bit intimidating, but I actually prefer them to a multifunction controller and have no doubt that an owner could quickly acclimate to them.
It's unfortunate then, that Porsche decided it couldn't make a sport sedan (even though it already sells a full-size SUV) and instead had to follow the "hatchback coupe" route. No, it isn't ugly, but would "pretty" have been too much to ask for $100,000?
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor