Porsche Panamera: an unflappable family saloon
The latest incarnation of the Porsche Panamera couples fun with practicality. Jasper Spires reports
The new Porsche Panamera couples a “fun-to-drive attitude with a four-door body and a premium cabin to create a more balanced option for those who need space for kids and cargo”, say Drew Dorian and Scott Oldham on Car and Driver. Trading high-speed shenanigans for a household-friendly roadster was a choice that even the most diehard petrolhead would have to face eventually; but no longer. The Panamera is as suave as you’d expect from the brand but also has rear seats so you can share the thrills with all the family.
There are more than 24 models in the range, from the more economic and eco-friendly E-Hybrid model to the rip-roaring 4S. “In terms of outright speed, the car surpasses most benchmarks set by like-for-like grand tourers and can be considered alongside the quickest super-saloons you might buy for the thick end of £100,000,” says Autocar. The 4S will shoot from rest to 62mph in a hair-raising 4.3 seconds, and tops out at 180mph. But it’s not a handful to drive. “Unflappable grip and poise rule every Panamera,” says Martin Padgett for Car Connection. Spending extra on a rear-end steering system will make the car even more manoeuvrable at low speeds too.
As you’d expect from Porsche, the Panamera is also pleasing to look at. “Among the competition, the Panamera looks more exotic and retains its sporty identity,” says Nathan Dyer for Car HP. With a sharp front-end adorned by characteristic Porsche LED headlamps, and the sides lavished with aerodynamic grooves and eye-catching alloy wheels, the Panamera really is a beauty to behold.
The interior is just as artful. “The whole cabin is almost wrapped in leather, including the three-spoke steering wheel that feels premium to hold,” and a central control panel is designed to give tactical feedback when scrolling through options. The dash holds “a beautifully placed 12.3-inch touchscreen display, which is a delight to use”, equipped with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and comes with the option to be linked to a rear-seat entertainment rig, alongside Bose and Burmester sound systems. The plush seats are highly adaptable and heated and can be fitted with ventilation and massage functions too. Expect to pay from £88,196 to £131,152, with the particularly speedy 4S coming in at £98,095.