Audi A7 vs Porsche Panamera

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - January 20, 2015

For decades, Porsche scoffed at the notion of a four-door sports car. But somewhere along the line, they got religion, as evidenced by the stunningly capable Panamera. Competing automakers soon introduced their own couple-styled sedans, the Audi A7 among them.

See a side-by-side comparison of the A7 & Panamera >>

Both cars offer legitimate comfort for four passengers while holding fast to performance and style. Which comes closer to quasi-sports car perfection in our view?

Where the A7 Impresses

From the front doors forward, the A7 looks nearly identical to the midsize A6 sedan on which it's based. Things take a dramatic turn in the rear half of the car, where the roof slopes all the way down to the bumper, giving the appearance of a hatchback. The unbroken lines give the A7 an exciting profile -- not to mention cargo space -- that no regular sedan can match.

To prove it's not just about style, the A7 carries standard all-wheel drive and a turbocharged 3-liter V6 with 310 horsepower. Drivers can select one of four driving modes to calibrate the car's performance to their tastes. You also get a sumptuous and roomy interior for four that's loaded with tech features, although the fastback design reduces rear headroom a bit.

Where the Panamera Impresses

The Panamera is based on an actual sports car, which shows in its low-slung, curvaceous body and racy cockpit. The hatchback-style trunk provides surprising capacity for a vehicle with such sexy lines. The full-width console and rear sport seats leave little doubt that the Panamera is, above all, faithful to the Porsche legacy -- which also means you get endless opportunities for customization. Available upgrades run the gamut from ceramic composite brakes to a refrigerated box that houses a pair of etched drinking glasses.

Engine choices are equally generous, ranging from a 310-horsepower twin-turbo V6 all the way up to a 520-horsepower twin-turbo V8. There's even a hybrid in the mix. All-wheel drive is standard with the top engine and available everywhere else. All non-hybrids carry a performance-tuned dual-clutch automated manual with seven speeds.

What's the Difference?

The sleek A7 is an engaging alternative to conventional luxury sedans that's dedicated equally to performance and passenger comfort. The Panamera is the inverse -- a sports car at heart that serves up obsessive luxury on the side.

Our Verdict: Porsche Panamera

Exhilarating to drive and behold, the Panamera leaves a lasting impression on all who encounter it.

Take a closer look at the Audi A7 >>

Take a closer look at the Porsche Panamera >>

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage.