2011 Porsche Panamera Consumer Review: Mixed review...want to love it

2011 Porsche Panamera - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

9 Total Reviews

4 Sedan (3.6L V6 AWD 7-speed Automated Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
Mixed review...want to love it
By breynolds1957 on


2011 Porsche Panamera 4 4dr Sedan AWD (3.6L 6cyl 7AM)


First Porsche.
Overall this car is an exciting car to drive.
The interior is reminicent of a jet cockpit.
There are many "hard buttons" to access features which may seem daunting at first. However, everything is logically placed and easily learned, and makes feature selection much easier than drilling down through computer menus.

I have a mixed review on performance. Once the car is rolling, it is superb.
However, there is a big catch in my opinion.
When pulling away from a standing stop there is a sort of stall/lunge sequence that almost throws you forward then back in the seat. My dealer tells me this is a known issue and likely not resolvable. If so, this is a deal killer.

Best Features

Interior design and comfort. Back seating is as good as the front. Four seating in a sexy profile. The sound of the engine. Steering controls and gauge placement.

Worst Features

If the transmission cannot roll forward smoothly from a standing stop and is a known issue as the dealer states, this is a major issue. Driving it would be like fingernails on a chaulkboard upon leaving every stop sign. If anyone knows a fix, please spread the word.
Recommend (13) (0)

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Comments (3) Post a Comment
By cphollis3
on 04/24/11 20:31 PM (PDT)

Hi -- I have the same car (now with 5,000 miles), and I don't have that problem, or -- at the very least -- I don't have it to the degree you're describing. As I understand it, the PDK transmission uses two manual clutches to do its magic. On my car, when cold, these can slip a bit before engaging, making creeping around in a crowded parking lot a bit dicey. No problem when warm, or when I simply dump on the gas. That being said, it's no longer an issue as I've become familiar with that peculiarity. All in all, I love the car -- and the drivetrain. Your car might be experiencing something different, though ...

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By jjr10
on 05/22/11 17:46 PM (PDT)

I got a Panamera v6 about 3 weeks ago. If you are expecting automatic transmission performance in all circumstances, this is not the car for you. This transmission's sweetspot is definitely in the performance arena and stop and go traffic. Even given that it is not a deal killer for me. I tend to agree with cphollis3. To me the hold function, which engages on hills and when I pull slowly into my garage, is a little clunky. This is when I most notice the lack of smoothness compared to a normal automatic tranny. Overall, I like the car. The handling, build quality, and vehicle uniqueness are top notch. Also, the sport mode increases the performance mapping of this car quick nicely too. Wish I could keep it in sport mode all the time but I guess I don't want to visit the gas station all the time.

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By breynolds1957
on 05/13/11 09:16 AM (PDT)

Just an update to my original posting. I have now test driven multiple versions of the Panamera including the 8 cylinder. The problem I describe is in every car I've driven. It is acknowledged as a known characteristic by multiple Porsche mechanics from different dealerships and even the Porsche regional manager. This is not a little thing in my opinion, especially if you're going to drive the car in a Chicago-type stop and go traffic. 100% of the time, there is a stall when accelerating while the clutch "winds up". The feel is very akin to revving up a snowmobile engine and waiting for the clutch to engage. Regarding the double clutch referral, I'm told the Volkswagon GTI has a double clutch that does NOT have this low-end transmission issue. I'm haven't had a chance to drive one yet, but have heard this from multiple gear-head type friends. If this is correct it is disheartening to see it in a car which should clearly be superior. The slipping transmission you describe when it is cold is definitely something I experience as well in both forward and reverse, though I experience it more in reverse. About 10% of the time in the winter when I'm reversing the car, I need to put the car back in park and re-engage reverse for it to catch. Overall the fit and finish is second to none in my opinion. The transmission is a major sore spot once you get past the honeymoon period regarding the overall feel of the car. BOTTOM LINE: Test drive this car and drive it around in bumper to bumper traffic for more than just a few minutes before laying down this kind of money.

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