Porsche fixed the biggest problem with the Panamera sedan and now it's simply amazing
- The 2018 Porsche Panamera is Business Insider's 2017 Car of the Year.
- The Panamera has always been amazing to drive, but people hated the looks.
- Porsche restyled the second-generation Panamera, fixing the one thing that prevented the original from reaching greatness.
- The base Panamera starts at $85,000 while our loaded Turbo test car cost $180,000.
From the beginning, the Porsche Panamera has been one of the best sports sedans on the market. But the Panamera's odd styling kept it out of the car geek hall of fame.
What I'm referring to is the weird rear hatch that's too tall to be a fastback or a coupe, but too low-slung to be a wagon.The Panamera's ungainly looks can be attributed to the need for all Porsches to look, well, like a Porsche. In plain terms, all cars bearing the company's brand need to be instantly recognizable. That means they've all got to look like a 911. It's both a blessing and a curse.
Instant brand recognition is worth its weight in gold for a car company. However, for Porsche, that need for conformity has resulted in some truly odd looking cars. Another example would be the original Cayenne SUV, which the former hosts of "Top Gear" described as a Porsche that backed into a shed and got stuck.
Looks aside, the first generation Panamera was generally regarded as one of the finest performance sedans money can buy. The last first-gen Panamera GTS Business Insider tested blew us away with its luxurious cabin, pin-point-precise handling, and gutsy V8 engine.
In November 2016, Business Insider became the first journalists to drive the second generation Panamera in North America, after getting behind the wheel of a Panamera Turbo in New York.
Recently, Porsche dropped off another Panamera Turbo for us to take an extended look at its new high-performance luxury sedan. Here's what it's like to drive.
The new Porsche Panamera Turbo starts at $150,000 while our option-laden test car came out to about $180,000. The base Panamera starts at a more affordable $85,000.