Vehicle Type: Luxury Performance Sedan
History/Description: Porsche launched their first production four-door car model for 2010, and have been selling the Panamera strongly ever since. Designed to be a four-seat, four-door sports car ready for any road or weather, it flaunts a one-of-a-kind cabin with a strong dual-cockpit design, exceptional performance across the model range, and a laundry list of top-line features. Look for climate controlled seats, xenon lights, voice-command, navigation, Bluetooth, a full driver computer and plenty more. Panamera offers a decent trunk and room for four adults to travel in comfort.
Engines / Trim: Most used Panamera models will offer a strong 3.6L V6, a 4.8L V8 in various states of tune, and a twin-turbo version of that V8, also in various states of tune. Turbo and Turbo S models got the turbocharged V8 engines, while Panamera S models got the free-breathing V8, replaced for the 2014 model year by a 3.0L twin-turbo V6 that later made its way into the Macan crossover. In fact, the new turbo-six turns in over 380 lb-ft from just 1,750 rpm. That’s a slight increase in torque, but available from nearly 2,000 rpm earlier than the V8 it replaces.
Standard Panamera models got a naturally aspirated V6. Note that a 4 in the model designation indicates the presence of all-wheel drive (AWD), which is standard on Turbo and GTS model grades. Look for a 7-speed PDK transmission with paddle shift for fully automatic operation and lightning-fast manual-mode shifting.
A Panamera Hybrid was also available.
What Owners Like: Not surprisingly, Panamera owners tend to rave about exclusivity, performance, handling, acceleration and the brand’s heritage. A rich, beautifully assembled interior is also noted. Panamera should prove comfortable for four adults on a road trip, and AWD-equipped models have plenty of traction for slippery roads. In all, here’s a car that demonstrates plenty of attention to detail and premium trimmings, which work towards its lofty price tag. The premium stereo options are powerful and vivid, and should appeal to audiophiles.
What Owners Dislike: Common complaints centre around the model’s controversial looks and high cost of purchase and options. Some owners wish for a little less clutter of controls on the centre console, too. Rearward visibility is also noted to be fairly poor.
Here’s a look some owner reviews on autoTRADER.ca.
And some more.
The Test Drive: Note that the data below is derived from a limited amount of online owner discussion and review—and that the majority of owners seem to report few if any issues from a used Panamera. Though buying a Panamera from a Certified Pre Owned (CPO) program at a Porsche dealer is ideal for maximum confidence, a few checks should still be considered before your purchase, CPO or not.
For extra peace of mind: Porsche Certified Pre Owned (CPO) Program
As a performance model, an up-front check of the used Panamera should include tire condition, all fluids, and brake pad life. If the model you’re considering has the available ceramic brakes, carefully inspect the (very expensive) rotors for signs of cracking, which will require replacement rotors at approximately the cost of a new Kia.
Ensure the Panamera you’re considering isn’t suffering from a coolant leak, possibly from a cracked thermostat housing or leaky water pump, and more likely on early copies of the model with the V8 engine. Typically, a coolant leak can be detected via a puddle beneath the vehicle, a careful look for coloured fluid down the front of the engine (with the engine’s snap-on cover removed, if applicable), or some warning message in the instrument cluster. Have a mechanic take a look if you’re unsure how. Low coolant, or a sudden coolant loss, could result in engine damage. Here’s some more reading.