Porsche Panamera (2009 – 2017) At A Glance
For years Porsche's model range was limited to the iconic 911. A great car but it meant the German firm could never expand beyond the realms of expensive two-seater performance machines. The more affordable Boxster changed that followed by the Cayman and in recent years the large Cayenne - now Porsche's most popular model - showed that Porsche wasn't confined to just sports cars.
The news that Porsche was to build a four-door luxury saloon was still a surprise to many though, especially when it's going to be in a market that includes the Audi A8, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the Jaguar XJ. The Panamera doesn't disappoint though - it still feels like a Porsche and offers something different from other luxury saloons.
For starters there are the looks - not to everyone taste - and quite sensitive to different colours and wheel sizes, but it's fair to say that it's unlike any other four-door of its size and makes alternatives like the BMW 7 Series look bulky and cumbersome. Then there's the way it drives. It's obviously larger and heavier than the 911 but it still has a Porsche 'feel' to it with great steering, sharp handling and sublime performance from all the engines.
It's still a luxury car though with a forgiving ride and a purposeful cabin that's very different from what the competition offers plus it has huge amounts of space for rear passengers. And it's not short on performance either with V6 and V8 petrol engines providing thunderous pace along with a suitably sport noise. In 2011 Porsche added a hybrid model to the line-up along with - crucially - a diesel. The 3.0-litre V6 diesel is also used by the Audi A8 and means the Panamera can average a claimed 43.5mpg giving it far more appeal.
Porsche Panamera 2009 Road Test
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Real MPG average for a Porsche Panamera (2009 – 2017)
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Reviews for Porsche Panamera (2009 – 2017)'s top 3 rivals
Ask Honest John
Are Mercedes-Benz starting to soften on the GLC steering issue?
"Please see excerpt below from review of Mercedes-Benz E43 AMG Estate by pistonheads.com. Seems to be in line with the GLC, GLC Coupe 4-Matic full-lock steering issues. Note the final sentence.
"As in the C-Class (C43 4Matic Estate) though there seems to be some clunkiness in the application of the (4Matic torque split) system. In the C43 we noticed some low-speed chuntering on full lock and at low speeds, such as pulling out of parking spaces. In the E43 it's arguably even more noticeable, the front wheels 'skipping' as if there's some transmission wind or a locked diff somewhere in the system. Interestingly the Porsche Panamera 4 S we've got in at the moment does the same thing, albeit to a lesser extent and Mercedes is promising to get back to us since raising the issue.""
That's helpful. Many thanks. I've had the same thing anecdotally from a pal at Parkers who has a GLC on long-term test. Caused a bit of a stink at the SMMT after my last news announcement on HJUK, so I think the 'Motor Ombudsman' is now paying attention too. The problem comes in the way MB Germany expects MB UK to handle the PR over this sort of thing, especially when it seems to be a RHD only issue. Let's hope it now gets resolved sensibly, even though the 'solution' might be to put lock stops on the steering that gives the cars a supertanker turning circle, like Volvo 4WD estates.
What's the typical tyre life on a Porsche Panamera?
"I've a pal at the golf club who owns a new Porsche Panamera, but he is only getting about 3000 miles out of the front tyres. The tyres appear to be wearing out on the outer edge. He's been to the dealer and is getting nowhere."
A Panamera will have different sized tyres front and rear, and there will be a big variation in wheel and tyres sizes. I guess this guy is on something like 21-inch wheels with 35 or 30 profile tyres and they might have been a dealer fit without re-aligning and re-setting the steering angle sensor.
He needs a proper pitted laser alignment, and if there aren't any in the area, at the very leas an alignment on Hunter equipment by a branch of http://www.alignmycar.co.uk
"You helped me before and we took your advice which turned out well. My son having now sold his business has around £55k to spend on a luxury saloon/estate. He has a 3.0D Jaguar XF-S which you advised and he loves.
He needs room for two adults + two eight-year-olds plus a fair amount of luggage and he drives 18,000 miles per annum.
He is looking at Panamera (diesel) and CLS or E-Class AMG about 18m old but is tempted by Bentley coupe - this would be older so is this sensible or not worth it and any other ones to suggest?"
So he's not worried about fuel economy, or is he? Porsche now does a Cayenne diesel turbo S that I drove on Thursday, but was restricted to 55mph so found out absolutely nothing about it.
I love the hand built Mercedes '63' 6.2 litre naturally aspirited V8, but you can only get that now in a C Class and in the SLS. E-Class, CLS, etc., now run a more fuel efficient 5.5 litre twin turbo V8. BMW does a hugely torquey triple turbo 3.0 litre diesel, but an X6 fitted with it feels clumsy. I did like the XJ L 3.0V6 diesel - looks better with the longer wheelbase. Not too stuck on a Bentley Continental.
Where can I find out how many of each model of car were sold in the UK last year?
"A couple of weeks ago you published in 'The Saturday Telegraph Motoring' a URL to find out how many models of car had been sold in the UK the previous year. I didn't get a chance to note the URL before her indoors put it in the recycling. I am particularly interested in the sales of Porsche Panameras last year."
http://howmanyleft.co.uk/ - total Panameras registered in 2011: 1,256.