So you need a new rig for summer vacation and for family travels. Ads for Dodge Grand Caravans for less than $20,000 fill the pages of the local daily newspaper.
Pound for pound, feature for feature, the Grand Caravan has to be one of the best deals out there in family transportation. Look at the space. Look at the seating. But … it’s a minivan and that’s just not for everyone, no matter how practical it is.
Over the years, Porsche has undertaken a strategy to put its cars in the hands of more people — and not just the usual Porsche drivers. Spending $100,000 or more on a limited-purpose three-season sports car is one thing when you’re single, but what happens when you eventually settle down with a family?
Well, actually, you don’t settle down, you just bring them along for the ride in something like this Porsche Panamera Turbo S.
While this is the best car in the Panamera line at about $200,00, the base four-passenger model sells for about $87,500, which is actually about $6,000 less than a two-passenger Porsche 911.
That’s still pretty far out in left field when compared to a Grand Caravan, but the Panamera Turbo S is quite possibly the perfect family car.
With a 550-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.8-litre V8, big wheels and a paddle-shift seven-speed manual transmission with automatic mode, it’s certainly a far more exciting way to gobble up steamy asphalt.
Passengers are treated to fine chocolate-brown leather heated-and-cool seats and enormous stretch-out room in the rear with individual DVD monitors affixed to the headrests. It’s the equivalent of riding in a personal jet.
And with a top speed of 306 km/h (zero-to-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds) it sort of feels that way, especially when the multi-piece rear spoiler sets itself up as you rocket through 100 km/h with nose-up attitude.
It’s a flat-out sports car where being a family man or woman doesn’t mean you have to settle down.