Porsche's luxurious hatchback sedan continues to hold to the company's traditional traits of fantastic driving performance, all-around civility and usability, and supreme materials quality and build integrity. It just does so in a fairly large, very accommodating package.
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2016 Porsche Panamera Overview
What's New for 2016
The Edition models are Porsche's take on a value package for the Panamera. A meaningful list of equipment that is optional on the base Panamera or Panamera 4 -- including PASM adjustable suspension, the Dynamic Light System, Park Assist, a lovely two-tone black and tan interior, 14-way power seats and seat heaters front and rear -- is made standard. Other Panamera models carry over unchanged.
Choosing Your Porsche Panamera
Find a comfortable chair.
There are currently fourteen varieties of the Panamera available on Porsche's menu. One of these, the Panamera S E-Hybrid, is different enough from the others to warrant separate consideration and its own post. One other, the Panamera Exclusive Series, was limited to a run of 100 individual cars which sold out 48 hours after being made available. No, we don't know why it's still listed either.
This leaves us with twelve distinct cars that answer to the Panamera name. They vary by engine type, number of driven wheels, and even body length; the Executive cars are stretched by 5.9 inches to open up even more room for the already-spacious rear seats, which are also now power-adjusted. In order from least to most powerful and by price (not including the $995 destination fee) within those groups:
- Panamera: 310-horsepower 3.6-liter, rear-wheel drive, $78,100.
- Panamera Edition: 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, rear-wheel drive, upgraded standard equipment, $80,000.
- Panamera 4: 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, all-wheel drive, $82,800.
- Panamera 4 Edition: 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, all-wheel drive, upgraded standard equipment, $84,300.
- Panamera S: 420-horsepower turbocharged 3-liter V6, all-wheel drive, PASM standard, $93,200.
- Panamera 4S: 420-horsepower turbocharged 3-liter V6, all-wheel drive, PASM standard, $98,300.
- Panamera 4S Executive: 420-horsepower turbocharged 3-liter V6, all-wheel drive, adaptive air suspension, increased length, 4-zone climate control, $125,600.
- Panamera GTS: 440-horsepower 4.8-liter V8, all-wheel drive, adaptive air suspension, 18-way seats, $113,400.
- Panamera Turbo: 520-horsepower turbocharged 4.8-liter V8, all-wheel drive, adaptive air suspension, keyless ignition, $141,300.
- Panamera Turbo Executive: 520-horsepower turbocharged 4.8-liter V8, all-wheel drive, adaptive air suspension, increased length, 4-zone climate control, $161,100.
- Panamera Turbo S: 570-horsepower turbocharged 4.8-liter V8, all-wheel drive, adaptive air suspension, PCCB ceramic brakes standard, upgraded interior, $180,300.
- Panamera Turbo S Executive: 570-horsepower turbocharged 4.8-liter V8, all-wheel drive, adaptive air suspension, PCCB ceramic brakes standard, increased length, upgraded interior, 4-zone climate control, $200,500.
(There will be a quiz in ten minutes.)
Various other equipment upgrades and trim changes are naturally included within this progression. Regardless of powerplant or driveline, all Panameras use Porsche's excellent 7-speed PDK semi-automatic transmission and contain an extensive amount of high-quality standard equipment including navigation and satellite radio.
After settling on a particular model the buyer must then face off against Porsche's overwhelming option list, which includes features ranging from PDCC active suspension ($5,000) to a monumentally powerful 16-speaker Burmester sound system ($5,890) to leather-trimmed climate control vents ($2,505). We strongly recommend spending serious time with Porsche's online configurator, which is among the best in the business and is invaluable in helping to sort through the dizzying array of choices.
Underlying this exercise in contemplative purchasing is one of the finest cars in the world, an individualistic and luxurious and extremely capable machine with an intriguing sense of character. Porsches have never totally conformed to mainstream guidelines even as they've become mainstream status symbols, and the Panamera's unique shape and endurance-racer genetic structure set it apart in the best way.
It may not pack the absolute thrust of the Turbo models and may be both slightly more expensive and slightly less efficient than the S, but get the GTS -- and its ripping, glorious naturally aspirated V8 -- while you can.
2016 Porsche Panamera Review
A four-door sports car no longer seems like an oxymoron thanks to the Porsche Panamera. Introduced in 2010, the four-seat Panamera extends the Porsche range much in the same way as the brand’s two SUVs do. Rear- and all-wheel drive choices as well as standard and extended wheelbase models are available.
Pricing and Equipment
The 2016 Porsche Panamera starts at $78,100 (plus a $995 destination charge) for the standard model. The Panamera is available in more than a dozen trims, including hybrid models, with the top-end Exclusive Series sedan priced at $263,900. Three engine sizes are available, including 3- and 3.6-liter V6s, and a 4.8-liter V-8. Rear-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available.
Standard equipment for the model tested included:
- Automatic bi-xenon headlights
- Adaptive headlights
- Quad-exhaust tips
- Power liftgate
- Adaptive suspension dampers
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Tilt and telescopic steering column
- Heated power-operated front seats
- Seven-inch touch screen with navigation
- Eleven-speaker audio system with satellite and HD radios
- Despite weighing more than two tons, the Porsche Panamera matches well with the 911 in the handling department.
- Move up to the S and Turbo models and you’ll experience the full-range of power and performance this sports sedan offers.
- The PDK is a seven-speed automated manual transmission and a fast shifting one at that.
Think "Porsche" and "speed" comes to mind. The 3.6-liter V6 is the slowest of the lot, moving this sedan from 0 to 60 mph in 6 seconds flat.
- Our testers lauded the Panamera’s roomy and limousine-like rear seat, offering space for two and a comfortable setting for both passenger positions.
- The stretched wheelbase models offer even more room for rear seating passengers and bring in such as amenities as heated and ventilated seats, eight-way power rear seats, and power sunshades for the back and rear windows.
- Access and egress for the rear seats is very good and excellent in stretched wheelbase models with its longer rear doors.
- Similarly priced luxury sedans offer a better selection of tech and comfort features than the Panamera. You won’t find such leading-edge technologies as active massage seats or night vision systems in this Porsche.
- The Porsche Panamera’s cabin isn’t as quiet at its rivals. At the same time, this is one demerit entirely expected in a four-door sports car.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
Engine stop-start is increasingly common across the automotive spectrum and the Porsche Panamera is no exception. Some also find it an annoyance, but happily it can be deactivated at the press of a button, except in the hybrid.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
Did someone say that the Panamera’s interior seems “busy?” Our testers said so, pointing out the copious number of buttons up front. Try keeping track of all of them.
The Bottom Line
There is really no other model like the Porsche Panamera. It is the ideal choice for people who must put aside their sports car as their families grow. But the trade off isn’t as steep as it is when choosing an SUV as this sedan advances exclusivity and maintains many of the same characteristics of the Cayman and 911, including its classic good looks up front.