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Porsche's high-performance Panamera luxury sedan won the Motorist Choice Award in the "Head Turner" category, one of 15 categories with names like "Youthful" and "Fun to Drive" that relate to consumers' lifestyles. Winning vehicles exhibit a combination of high consumer satisfaction and low cost of ownership. This is the Panamera's first win.

The Panamera, which features styling inspired by Porsche's iconic 911 sports car, debuted in 2009. This long, wide 4-door features a rich interior to rival Porsche's luxury segment competitors like Mercedes while delivering a driving experience typical of the company's sportier models. The $74,000 base model is equipped with an ample 300-hp V6, while two V8 options - the 400-hp Panamera S and the 500-hp Turbo - offer more grunt. A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

Backed by Porsche's motorsports credentials, the Panamera offers drivers a rare blend of luxury and performance. Comfortable seating for four adults along with the convenience and technology drivers expect in a premium vehicle complement the Panamera's sports car agility. While styling is a key factor in the "Head Turner" category, the Porsche's overall value helped earn this unique sedan the top prize.

Motorist Choice Awards are based on AutoPacific's annual survey of new car owners and cost of ownership data compiled by IntelliChoice. AutoPacific says the awards speak to "both the hearts and wallets of consumers," highlighting vehicles that receive accolades from consumers and have low costs of ownership over five years, relative to competitors.

This year, AutoPacific surveyed a record 72,000 motorists to determine consumers' top picks in each category. IntelliChoice's cost of ownership data determines the rest of the winning equation. The two automotive industry research firms have honored outstanding vehicles with the Motorist Choice Awards for six years. Porsche's Cayenne SUV took the top spot last year in the "Active Lifestyle" category.

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Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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