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Looking at the list of best luxury cars, models from Genesis, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW are frequently on top. But mixed into those obvious choices is a car from a brand known for its sports cars rather than outright luxury. So everyone agrees that the Porsche Panamera is one of the best luxury cars right now, but why is nobody buying them? Competing models, a high price tag, and disappointing interior space may be factors.

An orange Porsche Panamera Turbo S is one of the best luxury cars of 2023
2023 Porsche Panamera Turbo S | Porsche

A small rear seat compared to other luxury cars

The Porsche Panamera is a handsome luxury car, without question. But when considering the price tag of this four-door sports car, the Panamera feels out of scale. With just over 33.3 inches of rear legroom, it’s down considerably when compared to similarly-priced competition.

The BMW 7 Series, for example, has over 43 inches of space for rear-seat occupants. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class offers nearly 44 inches between the front and rear seats. And for at least $20,000 less, even the Genesis G90 has the Porsche luxury car beat for legroom.

Rear shoulder room falls short as well, where the Panamera measures at just over 51 inches, according to iSeeCars. The BMW offers 56 inches across, the Genesis 58, and the S-Class 59 inches of shoulder room. For a car with a starting price well into six figures, the Panamera is limited on space, making it a hard choice for best luxury car.

The Porsche Macan exists

The Porsche Macan is part of why the Porsche Panamera isn't more popular, despite being one of the best luxury cars of 2023.
The Porsche Macan Crossover | Porsche

Truthfully, most drivers considering a Porsche Panamera will also take a spin in the Porsche Macan crossover. And while it pains us to say this, this is one instance where the crossover makes more sense than the luxury car.

The Macan has all the engaged handling and intoxicating performance of a Porsche sports car. However, the elevated ride height makes for easier entry and exit, and simple practicality makes the Macan more functional than the Panamera.

The crossover is shorter, so it’s easier to park in tight spaces, yet it has cargo space similar to the Panamera. The rear seat space is smaller but adequate and more importantly, in line with the $60,000 price tag.

Oh, and that’s the other thing – the Macan is considerably cheaper than the Panamera, even when fitted with the same turbocharged six-cylinder engine. In total, anyone comparing the Macan and Panamera won’t have a hard time choosing the crossover, which makes the lack of Panamera models easier to understand.

It’s just so expensive

Porsche Panamera
2023 Porsche Panamera | Porsche Global

If it wasn’t clear already, we’ll just come right out and say it. The Porsche Panamera is too damn expensive. That’s true of most Porsche models, but the Panamera feels uniquely out of scale even through that lens.

What makes the Panamera the best luxury car that nobody wants?

It’s excellent to drive, yes. And it has razor-sharp handling that no big luxury car can match, without a doubt. But at the end of the day, a four-door sedan is a tool in a way that a sports car is not. For that application, the size and price of the Panamera just don’t make sense together.

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