The classic ‘grand tourer’ might once have been identifiable by the combination of an elegant but surprisingly accommodating coupé bodystyle, a long-striding powertrain, a sporty but compliant suspension tune and an exotic nameplate.
Today, though, we apply that ‘GT’ initialism more widely, to cars as different as four-seater convertibles, mid-engined sports cars, fast hatchbacks and powerful estates.
This top 10 chart, then, is populated by the cars in which we’d most like to drive a long way. Most are fairly exotic, luxurious and desirable; many are at least partly defined by sporting ambition. Most, too, are four-seaters (although not quite all), with plenty of luggage space for a weekend away included.
So what are best four-wheeled, ‘￡100,000-and-under’ options on sale right now in which to while away miles in style, at pace, in some luxury – and with a broad smile on your face?
The concept of a four-door Porsche saloon was controversial when the first-generation Panamera launched in 2009. While vulnerable to criticism for its awkward styling, this was a spectacularly well-engineered, true driver’s car and an effortless continent cruiser.
And now freed from some of that initial controversy and much improved for its design, the second-generation Panamera feels like it’s finally cemented its place in Porsche’s model catalogue. We road-tested this car in 2017, powered by a remarkable V8 turbodiesel engine producing 416bhp and 627lb ft of torque that was, in many ways, ideally suited to the car’s long-legged brief. Porsche would later remove the Panamera Diesel from sale when it abandoned diesel engine technology in 2018, however, but left a fairly wide choice of engines in the showroom range.