2010 Porsche Panamera S

The Panamera S is not as fun to drive as Porsche's other cars (I said "cars," not "vehicles," Cayenne-haters), but keep in mind that the Boxster/Cayman and 911 families are right near the very top of automobiledom's current Fun Spectrum.

The Panamera S offers TONS of power and very impressive handling for such a heavy vehicle. Nonetheless, Porsche's swoopy sedan can feel large and ponderous at times, especially in traffic and at slower speeds. Open it up on a curvy back road or a racetrack, though, and it's plainly clear that Porsche genes are fully intact in this car. When Porsche finally drops the silly, counterintuitive steering-wheel shifters that have "+" and "-" on both sides of the wheel in favor of more traditional paddle shifters with downshift on the left and upshift on the right, I might even enjoy manually shifting a PDK-equipped Porsche like the Panamera.

Despite my complaints, I'd give just about anything for the chance to take a Panamera on a long road trip with three friends and a radar detector. The Panamera's exterior is an acquired taste that few will likely acquire, but the interior is incredibly opulent, with particularly beautiful wood trim that has textured grain. It's too bad that the cabin also contains more buttons than a computer keyboard.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

New Car Research

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