The cheapest Panameras on offer are the leggiest examples of the 3.0-litre diesel V6, which is frugal and torquey but sorely wanting when it comes to outright power and dynamic intent.
You can pay as little as £16,500 for one of these oil-burners, but for just a few grand more you could nab a much more exciting 4S, with a stonking great naturally aspirated 4.8-litre petrol V8 that sends 395bhp to all four wheels and makes a nice enough noise while doing so.
It goes without saying that this is a particularly thirsty powerplant: expect to achieve average economy of around 25mpg on long jaunts and substantially less than that in traffic.
What it lacks in efficiency, however, it more than makes up in raw, accessible grunt. At its 2009 launch, critics of the Panamera (and indeed the Cayenne SUV), saw the introduction of big, heavy cars as a dilution of the Porsche brand – and these as cars that certainly couldn’t redeem themselves by virtue of their universally pleasing designs. But they were soon silenced by this V8 super-saloon’s 911-aping qualities.
The 0-62mph sprint could be dispatched in just 5.0sec (or even quicker if it was equipped with the Sport Chrono package) and top speed was a claimed 175mph. But arguably more impressive was this near-two tonne behemoth’s poise and agility away from the autobahn.
“It suddenly feels like a proper sports car,” we remarked on our first drive, hailing its pure steering response, competent four-wheel drive system and snappy acceleration as its most impressive qualities. Prices for the Panamera 4S originally started at around £84,000, which, accounting for inflation, is equivalent to nearly £109,000 today. It’s all the more jaw-dropping, then, that the 11-year-old example we found asks less than £20,000.
With 83,000 miles on the clock, it has hardly been driven to death, and its unmarked interior and rash-free alloys suggest that previous owners have been of the careful variety.
Prices for the Mk1 Panamera are unlikely to surge any time soon, but the cachet attached to its Porsche badge should keep values from plummeting much further. Our advice? Take advantage of that fearsome depreciation and experience a grumbling atmo V8 while you still can.
Subaru BRZ, £28,000: The BRZ has been taken off sale and the new version won’t be coming to this country, so this is as new an example as you will now find. An ex-demonstrator, it has done just 1000 miles and comes equipped with all the bells and whistles you could want.