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Video | Here's a Tour of the 2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

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author photo by Doug DeMuro May 2018

I recently had the chance to drive a 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo, which is the most expensive production station wagon ever. The sticker price on the one I drove was something like $183,000, which is a lot of money for any vehicle, but especially for a family truckster. Naturally, being a fan of station wagons, I loved it.

Before I cover the car itself, let's discuss a little of the back story: Yes, it's true — Porsche is making a station wagon. And not just any station wagon, but an unusually large station wagon. It's based on the full-size Panamera sedan, so this is a full-size wagon, in the vein of the Buick Roadmaster from the olden days. This thing is a full size larger than the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon and the Buick Regal TourX.

And, of course, being a Porsche, it isn't cheap. The base-level Panamera Sport Turismo, which comes standard with all-wheel drive and 330 horsepower, starts at around $97,500. Things go up from there, all the way to the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo, which starts at $190,000. I drove a "lesser" model, just a standard gas-powered Turbo, with about 550 hp and that $183,000 sticker price.

Regarding the vehicle itself, it's first important to note that the Panamera Sport Turismo has surprisingly little extra cargo space than the standard Panamera. It's got an extra cubic foot with the seats up and a few extra cu ft. with the seats down. The load floor is lower, as the Sport Turismo's license plate moves to the hatchback. And then there's the other benefit: The Sport Turismo has five seats, though there's a center console spanning the length of the vehicle, meaning a rear seat middle passenger will need to straddle it in order to sit in back. Not comfortable, but better than the standard Panamera's four seats.

The other difference from the standard Panamera is the styling. While the regular Panamera has that steeply-raked, coupe-back look, the Sport Turismo looks like the wagon it is, with a flatter roof and more traditional proportions. It's still not a full squared-off rear end like Volvo wagon models from the 1980s and 1990s, but it's closer to that, which is what adds the extra cargo space. The result is more room to move large items, like televisions or furniture, which is undoubtedly a consideration for people buying a $180,000-plus turbocharged Porsche.

Regardless of whether the additional practicality is actually a consideration, though, the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo seems to do a lot of things really well. It's fast, almost like a sports car; 550 hp and a dual clutch sends it from zero to 60 in 3-point-something seconds. It also handles well -- better than the Mercedes-AMG E63S Wagon, largely due to the Panamera's wider stance and lower center of gravity. Additionally, it's luxurious: The interior is handsome and tremendously well-made, and it's full of an enormous amount of high-tech goodies and features. I've demonstrated some of them in the video above, and they include moving the center climate vents with the touchscreen and using the screen to receive information about incoming aircraft to local airports.

The other thing the Sport Turismo is, though, is practical. Although the cargo capacity isn't dramatically more than that of the regular Panamera, it is indeed larger inside -- and given that the regular Panamera is already larger than a typical sedan, the Sport Turismo is surprisingly capable of carrying stuff. The result is that you have a fast-accelerating, sharp-handling, well-appointed, highly practical vehicle. It's basically everything you need!

The only issue I have is the price. No, the Mercedes-AMG E63S Wagon isn't quite as exciting to drive as the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo -- but you can get a nice E63S Wagon for $120,000. Paying $60,000 more for the Panamera -- which has less horsepower -- seems like a hard sell, which is likely why Porsche won't shift too many of these. But I can't wait to pick one up in eight years when it costs forty grand on the used market.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Video | Here's a Tour of the 2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo - Autotrader