For me, the Porsche Panamera creates a lot of parallels with the Nissan GT-R. They're two very different cars-one is regarded is a bargain supercar the other has a pricey sport sedan-yet they feel quite similar from behind the wheel. These cars taunt the driver into devil-may-care antics with unbelievable capability and confidence-inspiring grip. However, they also bury the purity and connectedness of driving joy in their portly weights and active controls. To make two tons behave like one ton, engineers have employed constantly varying dampers, micro-managed throttles, and computer-monitored traction with the side effect of filtering out that intangible called "fun."
My disappointment with the Panamera also has to do with the backseat. The deep buckets are comfortable and sporty, but the rear passengers are hardly given the true luxury experience. Lowering yourself into the chairs can be a bit awkward and there's not much of an outward view from the dark confines. I'm sure those Porsche owners who haven't disowned this car will be quite pleased with it, but to me it doesn't quite make sense. In fact, it makes the Cayenne look like a smart choice.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor