From £59,746
Only buy this if you absolutely must have a Panamera for your budget
8 October 2010

What is it?

This is the cheapest route there is to Porsche Panamera ownership: the two-wheel drive, 296bhp 3.6-litre stop-start V6.

We’ve already driven the four-wheel drive V6, on smooth German roads.

This is our first opportunity to sample a V6-powered Panamera of any description here in the UK.

See first drive pictures of the Porsche Panamera 3.6 V6 PDK

Devoid of options, the car will set you back £61,461; the version driven here came with Porsche’s PDK seven-speed dual-clutch auto ’box, which adds £2338 to the price and 30kg to the kerb weight, while reducing the 0-62mph time from 6.8sec to 6.3sec and improving the combined mpg and CO2 emissions from 25mpg and 265g/km to 30.4mpg and 218g/km respectively.

What’s it like?

It’s a mixed bag. As with all Panameras both the driving position and interior ambience are of the authentic Porsche variety, with excellent controls and a superbly well-finished cabin.

There is, however, no getting away from the car’s sheer size, which you notice it all the more in the V6-powered car.

The 296bhp, 295lb ft engine is hardly asthmatic, but the Panamera never feels that quick. It’s smooth and free revving, but the PDK ’box has to stay very busy keeping the motor on the boil when pressing on.

While the lack of four-wheel drive removes weight and complexity, it also denies an added security and stability that the Panamera really does benefit from.

However, in everyday driving, and at anything up to seven or eight-tenths, the rear-drive car has is as surefooted, and offers as much raw grip, as you could ask for.

Body control is excellent too, and the ride, albeit hampered by the optional 20-inch wheels fitted to our test car, is surprisingly good.

Yes, it’s firm, and the more severe impacts do find their way through the suspension and into the cabin, but for the most part it’s refined and exceptionally well controlled.


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Should I buy one?

If you’re buying on a budget, of sorts, and simply nothing but a Panamera will do, then yes, why not?

While the V6’s performance may be a touch muted and the drive itself suffers from the limitations imposed by the vehicle’s bulk, there’s still entertainment to be had at the wheel.

However, as we previously concluded having driven the four-wheel drive V6, greater financial outlay will secure you a more convincing performer in the shape of a V8-powered Panamera.

On the other hand, similar money will see you in a more conventional super-saloon such as an M5 or XFR, both of which provide significantly more driving pleasure and performance while also being better suited to carrying four adults in comfort when required.

Porsche Panamera 3.6 V6 PDK

Price: £63,799; Top speed: 161mph; 0-62mph: 6.3sec; Economy: 30.4mpg; CO2: 218g/km; Kerbweight: 1760kg; Engine: V6, 3605cc, petrol; Power: 296bhp at 6200rpm; Torque: 295lb ft at 4250rpm; Gearbox: 7-spd dual-clutch auto

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12 October 2010

I'd spend half that amount - get the 3.6 v6 in the Passat Estate and it's quicker, I can put my retriever in the back and at least the styling is bland rather than dreadful. You'd get the four wheel drive version for £32k as well. Would leave me £30k to spend on chew toys for my dog, a Defender, hair dye to stop the grey) and cosmetic surgery for my wife. All of those things are more attractive than having a porsche on my drive...

12 October 2010

[quote theonlydt]All of those things are more attractive than having a porsche on my drive...[/quote]

Substitute a for that and I would agree. The engine in the Passat is the same (I don't care if they 'tuned' the induction system etc, the engine is the same one!) and you have enough money to buy a decent Porsche as well (used 911, or recent Boxster S etc) .... the Panamera, like the Cayenne are monstrosities.

12 October 2010

[quote Cheltenhamshire]

.... the Panamera, like the Cayenne are monstrosities.


I've mentioned this on the other Porsche story today, I saw a Panamera on the road the other day, and I was surprised how awful it looked. I like to keep an open mind, as many cars look far better than in the pics, but not, in my opinion, the Panamera. It was just a heavy looking,big, ugly lump, not 'sporty' at all.

A few days later I saw an Aston Martin Rapide - what a contrast....

12 October 2010

Judging by road tests and first drives since its launch it appears that the Panamera is a rare example of Porsche taking its eye off the ball as the lack of driving pleasure, normally associated with the marque, is a cardinal sin and could only be classed as a failure. Its not every day you'd hear Autocar say a BMW or Jag is a more thrilling drive.

Anyway, it hardly matters when the Panamera is pig ugly and probably explains why i've seem more Aston Martin Rapides than the Porsche, even though the latter has been on sale for longer.

12 October 2010

I must admit that on seeing the Panamera within various websites when it first appeared, I was one of the 'Jesus, what have they done' brigade, but, and I'm about to play devils advocate here, I have seen a couple on the road and I must say, I do quite like them.

Of course a Rapide and Quattroporte are prettier machines, but the Porsche had presence and was quite imposing and I could not mistake it for anything else. I do believe that in darker hues and with the right wheel option, it's not that ugly at all.

If I was in that enviable position of being able to afford such a car, would I buy one? Not sure, but I would definitely give it a test drive

12 October 2010

Having driven the Panamera V6 PDK, I take the opposite view, and reckon it is the best of the Panameras. For less money you get the same imposing looks, quality, etc, but are not paying for a lot of power and fuel consumption that you cannot use in traffic strangled Britain anyway. And besides, at mid 6 sec to 60 it could hardly be called slow. And to be pedantic, it is not the same V6 that you get in other VAG cars, it is the Porsche V8 with two cylinders lopped off. Lovely engine.

12 October 2010

[quote McJohn]And to be pedantic, it is not the same V6 that you get in other VAG cars, it is the Porsche V8 with two cylinders lopped off. Lovely engine.[/quote]
Correct, it's a 90 degree block as opposed to the 15 degree (?) VR6.

12 October 2010

I don't think being right is being pedantic, I stand corrected ... and I also did not actually know that! For me it was logical for the same BHP and sized V6 that Porsche used for the Panamera to be the same as the one used in the Cayenne, how strange that they use 2 different engines of the same size and power in two related vehicles. How very VAG!!!

12 October 2010

[quote McJohn]imposing looks[/quote]

A car can be imposing, striking even yet still be ugly. The Panamera proves this point.

12 October 2010

This Porsche looks like a fantastic buy when compared to the projected price structure of the Aston Cygnet. A £63k 4 door porker or a £50k tarted up Toyota... that said, I'd have a Quatroporte or the new XJ myself, but the Skoda does me fine for now.


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