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Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.
The standard features of the Porsche Panamera 2 include 3.6L V-6 310hp engine, 7-speed auto-shift manual transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), integrated navigation system, side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, rear side-impact airbag, driver and passenger knee airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, automatic air conditioning, 18" aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control.
Starting at: $78,100
|2 Search New||$78,100||310-hp 3.6L 6-cyl||7-spd auto with auto-shift||18 / 28|
|Edition Search New||$80,000||310-hp 3.6L 6-cyl||7-spd auto with auto-shift||18 / 28|
|4 Search New||$82,800||310-hp 3.6L 6-cyl||7-spd auto with auto-shift||18 / 27|
|4 Edition Search New||$84,300||310-hp 3.6L 6-cyl||7-spd auto with auto-shift||18 / 27|
|S Search New||$93,200||420-hp 3.0L 6-cyl||7-spd auto with auto-shift||18 / 26|
|4S Search New||$98,300||420-hp 3.0L 6-cyl||7-spd auto with auto-shift||18 / 26|
|GTS Search New||$113,400||440-hp 4.8L 8-cyl||7-spd auto with auto-shift||16 / 24|
|4S Executive Search New||$125,600||420-hp 3.0L 6-cyl||7-spd auto with auto-shift||17 / 26|
|Turbo Search New||$141,300||520-hp 4.8L 8-cyl||7-spd auto with auto-shift||15 / 24|
|Turbo Executive Search New||$161,100||520-hp 4.8L 8-cyl||7-spd auto with auto-shift||15 / 24|
|Turbo S Search New||$180,300||570-hp 4.8L 8-cyl||7-spd auto with auto-shift||15 / 24|
|Turbo S Executive Search New||$200,500||570-hp 4.8L 8-cyl||7-spd auto with auto-shift||15 / 24|
|Exclusive Series Search New||$263,900||570-hp 4.8L 8-cyl||7-spd auto with auto-shift||15 / 24|
We’ll jump straight to the GTS, because that’s the Panamera we like most, because it’s the model that feels most like a Porsche. It’s not the fastest, only the second-fastest after the Turbo. It’s a normally aspirated V8, with 440 hp and 384 lb-ft, and it’s the best sounding, while being faster than the 3.0-liter V6 turbo that’s in the Panamera S, which, with two-wheel-drive and without the Sport Chrono package, takes 4.9 seconds to get to 60 mph. The GTS can do it in 4.2 seconds, so there. Who needs turbos when you have a big honkin’ V8?
Of course, if you want to bolt twin turbos onto that V8, you get the 520-hp Panamera Turbo which can hit sixty in 3.9 seconds. But that doesn’t make it the best Panamera to own. Its driving dynamics aren’t as pure as those of the GTS, which handles more sharply and precisely. The GTS is solid and connected to the road, while most of the rest of the Panameras feel floaty, with overboosted steering. We observed this in back-to-back comparisons. We have also driven them at Road America, and the V6 models offer the more enjoyable handling than the heavier Turbo versions.
Longest and least agile are the Executive versions.
If it’s technology you’re after, the S E-Hybrid is your model, with its supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and electric motor with plug-in charging of its 9.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It’s rated at 416 combined horsepower, counting the 95-horsepower electric motor, and with an extra 550 pounds of weight it isn’t as fast as the others, but speed is not its game. But it’s not slow, hitting 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, quick in anyone’s league.
And even with that weight, it handles well thanks to special suspension tuning. As for its ability as an all-electric car, it can go for 22 miles, says Porsche; and hit 83 mph, although it won’t go for 22 miles at 83 mph.
The bold Panamera looks inspire strong responses, pro and con. From head-on, it looks like a Porsche 911,with big intakes, domed hood and crisp details; but from the rear it looks big and bulbous.
It has a long roofline that binds an unsettling configuration of curves and drops toward the tail in a bubbled arch. It creates great room for the passengers in the rear seat, which is what the car is all about, but gives up elegance in the styling. The rear end is simple and clean, but the large roof and glass make it suffer.
There’s less debate in the cabin, which is stylish and high tech. With straight lines and flat surfaces, it’s not warm and organic like some luxury cars. It also uses real buttons and switchgear, not touchscreen menus like some luxury cars. The fit and finish is excellent, and materials of a high quality, although it isn’t as quiet in the cabin as a luxury sedan.
In the back, with ample room and features, it does feel like an executive limo, especially the Executive model with long rear doors. Behind the seats, under the glass hatch, there’s a ton of room; Porsche says two bicycles will fit back there.
The Panamera is unique, being a high-performance Porsche sports car with the feel of a luxury sedan and looks of a fastback hatchback. It’s also extremely expensive, and because it’s replacement is on the way, we recommend looking for deals, waiting for the new one, or checking out the competition.
Driving impressions by The Car Connection. Words by Sam Moses. Mitch McCullough contributed to this report.
The 2016 Porsche Panamera lineup includes Panamera ($78,100), Panamera Edition ($80,000), Panamera 4 ($82,800), Panamera 4 Edition ($84,300), Panamera S ($93,200), Panamera S E-Hybrid ($93,200), Panamera 4s ($98,300), Panamera 4S Executive ($125,600), Panamera GTS ($113,400), Panamera Turbo ($141,300), Panamera Turbo Executive ($161,100), Panamera Turbo S ($180,300), Panamera Turbo S Executive ($200,500), Panamera Exclusive Series ($263,900). (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charges.)