Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo 4S with bike

Hooniverse Asks: Which one vehicle fits surprisingly well into your life?

I didn’t know I need a Porsche. I don’t, really. But I didn’t know that I might. I’m spending a week with a Panamera Sport Turismo 4S. It’s an expensive machine. Far more expensive than my current budget would allow for… multiples of my budget, even. The as-tested price here is $128,000. That’s on the low end for a well-equipped or higher-trim example. These can touch and blow past $200k if you spec out the Turbo S E-Hybrid version. That one makes 680 horsepower. The one above? It makes do with just 440, and I’m completely in love with it.

Were I suddenly to come into large piles of cash, I always assumed my working daily driver would be an E63 wagon. I’ve been a Benz fan for awhile, love wagons, and enjoy powerful yet unassuming machines. This Porsche is not unassuming simply because it’s a Porsche. But it looks fantastic. It seats my entire family comfortably. My mountain bike looks good on the roof. The stance is excellent. And it’s a car that drives far better than you think it would. Which I assume you think it drives pretty damn good… but it’s better than that.

Sliding the seat to its fully lowered position, I find myself in a place of perfectly crafted contentment. The seat is comfortable, supportive, and quickly adjusted to a position that suits my in-car desire. Run your hands over the wheel and you’ll find it’s thinner than expected but placed damn near perfectly for where you want your hands to rest. This is clearly a wagon born from people who also happen to produce some of the finest sports cars on the planet.

I’m always quick to say that I’m no Porsche lover. The cars are fine, but I don’t obsess over them like others might. Then I get the chance to drive one, and I get it. I get it right away. My only two experiences with a modern Porsche involve putting many miles on a 911 Carrera S convertible and this time spent with the Panamera Sport Turismo.

Twist the faux key fob to the left of the steering wheel. The engine barks to life. The horizon stretches out ahead of you. And the desire to keep on driving flares up inside. This is one hell of a machine and, were I in the market for a car like this, it would be hard to choose the Merc instead. This vehicle here fits far too well into my life as I live it now (money not being part of that equation, of course).

What one vehicle fits your life surprisingly well? You can play with fake money here or choose one that actually fits within your monetary confines.

Have at it…

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34 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: Which one vehicle fits surprisingly well into your life?”

      1. nanoop Avatar

        “Yellow,” he thought and stomped on to the bedroom. He stood and thought. The pub, he thought. O dear, the pub.

        1. onrails Avatar

          I’m game… we’ll see who rusts first.

      2. theskitter Avatar

        I went to London, rode on the top of a double-decker bus.
        I didn’t like it because… there’s was no one up there driving.
        – H Johnson, WABE Jazz Classics, Saturdays 8PM

        1. crank_case Avatar

          What’s going on downstairs wouldn’t do too much to ease his anxiety in fairness.

        2. crank_case Avatar

          What’s going on downstairs wouldn’t do too much to ease his anxiety in fairness.

      3. crank_case Avatar

        Funny thing is back in the 70s, the Irish state bus company had such a falling out with Leyland that they set up a company with the involvement of US company GAC and Canadian Bombardier, purely to build buses just for them.


      4. Maymar Avatar

        $28 grand for that? I assume that’s the BC housing bubble at work.

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          Yeah, but that’s in Canadian dollars. In US dollars it’s a much more reasonable way too much.

  1. P161911 Avatar

    I have been pleasantly surprised with our Volt. I originally figured that it would be just a car for my wife to run around town and take my daughter to school with. Turns out it has been our primary family car for 2 years now. My extended cab Silverado has been regulated purely to commuter duty for me and weekend chores. My wife, who on past family vacations has managed to fill the entire 6-1/2′ bed and half the back seat of my truck, has been able to pack light enough to take it on a couple of beach vacations for the 3 of us (wife, daughter, and me.). A side advantage of taking the Volt on vacation is that there is no room left for any shopping. It gets packed really full, but holds a lot with half the back seat folded. Although, I am pushing to take my truck on our upcoming spring break trip to Disney World. It is nice to be able to pack the car and not feel like you are playing a game of Tetris.

    With an unlimited budget, I’m sure that a CTS-V 6-speed wagon would work great as a all around family car.

    1. onrails Avatar

      Our Volt has worked out really well, too. We’ve always been pretty light packers (though the kids are starting to challenge that) so that part wasn’t a problem. I am surprised how much I use it as our ‘haul stuff’ vehicle. Big hatch and rear seats that drop down makes it easy to carry what I need to carry. And hardly putting gas in it most of the summer doesn’t hurt either.

      Overall though, we’re a pretty adaptive people when we want to be. I don’t recall any car I’ve had that I haven’t made adjustments to make it work for what I needed it to do. The SUV/CUV thing for me seems to be just taking away whatever compromises people used to be willing to just deal with or work around. Comfort and convenience wins over driving fun or efficiency for most people. For me, give me a hot hatch or a fun wagon if I have to only do one car. Otherwise, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and keep my fun cars and rent a truck once or twice a year when I need one.

      1. theskitter Avatar

        Thirded on the Volt.
        Chevrolet and Toyota nailed plug-in vehicle packaging.
        Hyundai and Honda are now wisely copying them.
        The big hatch and folding seats in mine have carried a 3m wide area rug and a 2m long Craigslist entertainment center.
        2″ hitch receiver means I can carry 4 adults and 4 bicycles.
        If it was any more of a truck, it would be an El-Camino, or my old E-350.

        The house needs grounding and a service upgrade, but plugging in at work only, it’s big and comfy and gets 55mpg over a 100 mile commute.
        The tiny and horribly compromised OG Insight only got 45mpg.
        This at Atlanta high-subsonic cruising speeds.
        Plus an HOV plate to make it truly the fastest truck in the city.

        1. P161911 Avatar

          Don’t worry about the house, go ahead and charge. For the two years that I had a Leaf I charged it on Level 1 with a 100′ drop cord running from my front porch to the garage, to avoid popping the circuit breakers on the garage.. Didn’t burn the house down or have any other issues. Currently charge the Volt on a 220V dryer plug that I had installed on the garage with a $200 Amazon charger, it has worked for over 2 years. My house is over 40 years old. Unless you have a house so old that it doesn’t have circuit breakers, don’t sweat it.

          1. theskitter Avatar

            I used a 75′ monster 240V/50A cord at work.
            Everything is Nema 14-50 so it’s RV and Tesla compliant.

            Problem is, both of my 120V chargers blink angry red lights on all the house outlets.
            And I don’t have any 240V plugs accessible.

            Know a good electrician?

            Edit: Thanks to you, I found exactly 1x GFCI plug from an old kitchen remodel.

  2. 0A5599 Avatar

    Make the most of whatever car(d)s you are dealt. Some of the most fun has occurred with “Take this car, free, because I need it gone” cars.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      My 2000 Civic Si ws that way

  3. Zentropy Avatar

    Our minivan fits remarkably well into my life, which is the problem. It pretty much shoots down any argument I might make for something that’s more fun to drive.

    1. salguod Avatar

      A minivan does more things well than any other vehicle type. The only thing it truly fails at is stroking the owner’s ego, which turns out to be a fatal flaw for many. I loved our Odyssey and though the SUV that replaced it towed our camper better, it did almost everything else worse.

      1. Zentropy Avatar

        Honestly, it’s not the ego thing that bothers me. I’m a pretty humble person, and I like understated looks, brands, and colors in my cars, and I fully appreciate the practicality of a minivan. I’d be perfectly happy with ours if it were rear-drive and had a manual transmission. Unfortunately, I simply hate the feel of FWD, and automatics completely take all the fun out of driving. The combination turns something I enjoy into a mundane task.

        1. salguod Avatar

          Sorry, I didn’t mean to say that the image thing was your problem, just that is what keeps most from owning a minivan when it is objectively the best vehicle for their needs.

          I agree with you on the manual transmission and slightly less on the RWD. I’ve had a number of fun FWD cars.

          A RWD manual van is even more of a unicorn than a RWD, brown, manual wagon, though. My grandfather had a 5 speed, SWB, base model Aerostar in the 90s. It was perhaps more interesting than your van, but it wasn’t exactly fun.

          1. Zentropy Avatar

            No worries– I didn’t take offense. I was just trying to establish that, from the perspective of someone who completely embraces the goodness that is the family minivan, it still doesn’t satisfy. I’m more of a station-wagon kind of person, regardless.

            Of the 25 or so vehicles I’ve owned, only 3 have been FWD. One was a Ford Contour SVT, which had a brilliant V6 and nimble handling, but I despised the steering feel, torque steer, and understeer. I didn’t keep that car very long. Basically, I think having dedicated motivation and steering in the same pair of wheels is bad engineering. AWD is ok, especially when biased to the rear.

            Of note, my mom had an Aerostar when I was a kid, though it had an automatic (I recall driving it to junior prom). Calling it “not exactly fun” would have been a compliment. Acceleration was weak and it handled horribly.

  4. E34less Avatar

    My old XC70 was a way better fit than any car I’ve had after it. But I just can’t quit these hot hatches and old BMWs.

  5. FastPatrick Avatar

    I live in Manhattan and my job is three miles away.

    My vehicle of choice, weather permitting (and I’m good down to about 28 degrees), is a Linus Roadster 8.

    Comfy, parks easy, racks are useful, looks good.

  6. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    Our Mazda5 did a great job of hauling everything and going everywhere while being fun to drive, until it was totaled. The Mazda CX-5 replacement is not as comfortable or as capacious but it gets the job done.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      My wife’s CX-5 is at the shop right this second getting a basic service and fresh tires, haha.

    2. crank_case Avatar

      Anyone I know who’s had a 5 has had nothing but good things to say about them. I’m thinking at some point MPVs/Minivans will make a comeback post peak SUV and some canny marketing type re-invents them as a “lifestyle van” or something for hip people in bands and stuff.

    3. Zentropy Avatar

      I tried to talk my wife into a Mazda5 instead of a “full-sized” minivan, but she said our kids were too numerous, and too big. I desperately wanted a manual transmission in our kid hauler.

      1. max stein Avatar
        max stein

        My soon to buy used Black with Black/Red interior 2016 Mercedes G63 BRABUS with 7k miles will be my daily!! Cant Wait to drive the Beast!!

    4. Sjalabais Avatar

      That’s a bit funny to read, seeing how the CX-5 is so much more in line with fashion and, at a first glance, bigger. +1 from another van man here.

      1. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

        Crossover versus minivan, I would have gladly bought another 5 but with no working car, no used Mazda5’s within 100 miles and not much cash the CX-5 lease was the best option.

  7. outback_ute Avatar

    Surely you should be able to fit a bike inside a station wagon. Maybe with the Benz.

    My current irresponsible-spending target would be a BMW M140i hatch, ~350hp rwd, what could possibly go wrong? I think they are theoretically available with a manual, otherwise it is the ZF 8-speed. The AUD$60k price tag makes it fairly easy to resist.

  8. salguod Avatar

    Our Prius was, to my surprise and disappointment, very well suited to our almost post children lives. Excellent MPG, hatchback versatility and the pinnacle of Toyota reliability more than made up for its, well, Prius-ness. I want to hate it, but I can’t. It’s simply too good at what it does to hate it for what it doesn’t.

    The Accord Hybrid that replaced it it superior in all ways but one. As a hybridized gas powered sedan, the battery placement means not even a fold down back seat, let alone the Prius’ cavernous rear hatch. My 325Ci is a more versatile hauler than the Accord.

    Since owning it, a Prius has become my standard recommendation for folks who ask me for car buying advice, as long as they don’t enjoy driving. As a tool for moving people and things, and not something to be enjoyed, there is nothing better.

    1. Zentropy Avatar

      A good friend of mine shares the very same sentiment about his Prius, which he “inherited” from his in-laws. As a guy who is simultaneously saving up for his daughter’s college tuition and a new Porsche 911, he was fully prepared to hate the car. He seems almost embarrassed to say he likes it, but admits that it is a very dependable commuter that does everything adequately well, with no glaring faults.

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