Someone asked me if I had to drive just one car for the rest of my life, what would it be? Of course, your gut instinct is to name something crazy like a Bugatti Veyron or a gold-plated Hummer. But that’s like thinking about only being with one woman for the rest of your life and picking a crazy stripper with lots of plastic surgery. Sure, that’s fun for a weekend. Maybe several dozen of them. But we’re talking about the long haul here.
And you can’t just pick your favorite car, either. As far as I’m concerned, the Lamborghini Miura is the best-looking car ever made. But it’s hardly practical for driving the kids to Legloand, much less driving across town in L.A. traffic.
No, you have to find the sweet spot between fun to drive and a reasonable level of practicality for the next 40+ years of your life. When you think about it in terms of the long view, the field gets narrowed pretty quickly. Anything with less than four doors is out.
I’ve driven my wife’s Audi A7 around and I like the feel of it. The size is generous without being a land yacht. The interior is well-appointed. The coachwork is pretty timeless. And with the supercharged V-6, it makes about as much horsepower as you’re going to need. Then again, my Jaguar XFR is as roomy and luxurious as they come. But the mileage of that car might wear thin over the course of a couple of decades.
A hatchback would be really useful, so if you like sitting up high, maybe a Range Rover or a Cayenne? Those are upscale and sporty while still being functional. Plus, my hip is going to go out at some point and it’d be a lot easier getting in and out of an SUV than some low-slung spyder when that happens.
Well, at least for now, I like sitting low more than I like sitting high, so I’m going to say that if I had to drive only one car for the rest of my life, I’d pick the Porsche Panamera. Since it’s a touring sedan, it’d handle a commute as well as the open road. And it’s got that hybrid hatchback/trunk with the fold-down rear seats, so you could put a bunch of junk in the back if you need to. Different versions of the Panamera offer you between 310 and 520 hp, so you can pick the one with the right amount of giddy up.
Unfortunately, Porsches aren’t cheap to fix, so the only potential downside of this choice is maintenance cost. But a lot of guys that race Porsches say they’re actually cheaper to run because they hardly ever break. Hell, my brother in law just bought a ‘77 911 with 272,000 miles on it. Unless you’re the world’s fastest traveling salesman, I have no idea how he put that many miles on a Porsche. And you’d be nuts to buy an American car with that many miles on it. But a mechanic checked it out and said everything was fine. So, who knows, maybe if you take care of a Panamera, it’ll rack up that kind of mileage, too.
So, that’s my pick–the Porsche Panamera. If the fine folks at Porsche see this and want to give me a 40-year loaner to see if I can get 272,000 miles out of it, I’ll be happy to put your Panamera through its paces for you.
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