As Goblin points out, this is one of the advantages of a turreted AFV against a non-turreted AFV. The non-turreted AFV must turn fully to face its target, but the turreted AFV can angle the hull separately and only the turret need face its target fully. In practice, I almost always choose turreted instead of non-turreted AFVs if I have a choice.
Anyway, the Panther has good front protection. Flank and rear not so much. If you are tactically proficient, then point for point the Panther gives good value all around (speed, hitting power, protection, ammo load).