From £59,746
Most affordable Panamera yet struggles to justify badge and hefty price tag

Our Verdict

Porsche Panamera

Can the four-door Porsche Panamera still do what’s expected of a Porsche?

What is it?

No matter how challenging the concept of a four-door Porsche powered by a V6 powerplant, this entree into the Panamera range will be the global best-seller.

Half of all Panamera output will exit Zuffenhausen equipped with a 300bhp 3.6-litre six, effectively two cylinders lopped off the Panamera’s V8.

In the UK the V6 will make up a third of sales, largely because it lowers the entry-point into the Panamera range by £12k.

There are technical advantages, too. The lighter-weight V6 reduces the load over the Panamera’s nose by 30kg and shifts the engine’s C of G backwards, marginally-improving weight distribution to 52:48 front:rear.

The 300bhp output of the V6 is impressive, placing it above similarly-engined rivals, whose V6s tend to make between 240 – 270bhp. As a result the Panamera V6 records impressive-looking performance on paper.

What's it like?

The four-wheel drive Panamera 4, fitted with a seven-speed PDK ‘box as standard, holds the upper hand over the £5k cheaper, manual-as-standard two-wheel drive Panamera thanks to better steering and cornering stability. It also crosses white lines marginally better, although both our test cars were surprisingly unsettled by this everyday manouvre.

The iron body control - also a strong point of V8 Panameras - continues to impress on the optional air suspension, particularly in the transition between tight corners.

At all costs avoid the optional 20in wheels/tyres, which improve the aesthetics, but tramline very badly.

Despite the handful of good points, there’s no escaping the judgement that the Panamera V6 lacks the verve that its badge and hefty price tag demand.

The V6 isn’t as charismatic as Porsche’s flat-sixes, the steering wants for the scalpel-like precision of the company’s two-seaters and its bulk refuses to shrink as you thread it down a back road.

Above all else, the price is where the Panamera V6 really struggles. The £66k price tag pitches it against more powerful V8 and V10 competitors, particularly the 503bhp Jag XFR and 500bhp BMW M5, which offer considerably more performance and driving pleasure for similar money.

Should I buy one?

The most affordable Panamera yet struggles to justify its badge and hefty price tag thanks to the unexciting performance and driving manners and artificial steering.

Fact is, there’s much better value to be had higher-up the Panamera range, although that’s not much comfort if your budget isn’t north of £80k.

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Join the debate

Comments
18

20 May 2010

Is this Porsche's own V6 and related to their own V8, as suggested in the article, or is it really VW's and namely the VR6 unit, possibly the same one used in the Passat R36?

20 May 2010

'two cylinders taken off the V8' you say - is it not the VW / Audi V6 sourced but modified engine found in the Cayenne and several Audi and VW's?

20 May 2010

All pananeras are dreadfull so why would this be any different?

Porsche please stick to sportscars

20 May 2010

yes I agree except I did see a Panamera Turbo in Black with the Spyder wheels last week and it looked reasonable

20 May 2010

This is the ultimate interpretation of badge snobbery - thousands of people all over the world will cough up and scramble onto the bottom rung of the Porsche Panamera ladder just for the pretty badge on the bonnet...

20 May 2010

[quote Roger Frost]'two cylinders taken off the V8' you say - is it not the VW / Audi V6 sourced but modified engine found in the Cayenne and several Audi and VW's? [/quote]

No. The Audi 3.6 V6 is actually a VR6(10.6 deg. separation between 'banks'), but called 'V6' by Audi.

The V6 here is a 90 deg., made by Porsche at Zuffenhausen, and almost certainly is a 2 cyl reduced version of their 4.8 V8.

20 May 2010

[quote Lanehogger]Is this Porsche's own V6 and related to their own V8, as suggested in the article[/quote]

yes.

[quote Lanehogger]or is it really VW's and namely the VR6 unit, possibly the same one used in the Passat R36?[/quote]

no.

20 May 2010

Total wannabe/poseur model; undepowered (for its mass and girth) to merit the hallowed sports car badge and, worse still, outperformed even by middleweight sedans such as a 535, A6 TFSi or an E350 with the new 305hp V6.

Frankly, I wouldn't even blink into choosing a V8 5-series/E-class (with the new turbo V8, please), XF or, better yet, a pre-owned, low-mileage M5, E63 or RS6.

20 May 2010

"The V6 isn’t as charismatic as Porsche’s flat-sixes, the steering wants for the scalpel-like precision of the company’s two-seaters and its bulk refuses to shrink as you thread it down a back road."

No matter... Wait for the true Porsche Panamera : the Diesel. It will be the best selling.

Why to be interested in the gasoline versions?

20 May 2010

So a bit pricey for Autocar. Still it's only just a tad more expensive than an Aston Martin 1.0 Cygnet and you can get the Panamera and £80,000 change against a AM Rapide - Autocar think they are ok for price. Funny isn't it?

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