2017 Porsche Panamera Review
Pros & Cons
- Authoritative acceleration from either the V6 or V8 engine
- Sports-car-like handling around turns
- Sleek, futuristic interior with the latest technology
- Hatchback design provides more cargo-carrying versatility than traditional executive sedans
- Only two rear seats (in case you prefer a middle seat)
Edmunds' Expert Review
The reinvented second-generation 2017 Porsche Panamera addresses the one issue that stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb. The original car, as you might be aware, came in for some harsh criticism for its rather bulbous styling. That was a shame because otherwise the first-gen Panamera was an astonishingly well-executed automobile, providing executive-class luxury and world-class performance in equal measure. Happily, the 2017 Panamera gets a sleek, head-turning shape that finally does its immense capabilities justice.
Of course, when Porsche redesigns a model these days, the styling is just the beginning. In this case, the platform is all-new, too, dubbed MSB and set to be shared with other premium Volkswagen Group products. (Porsche is now a subsidiary of VW.) The new interior features a new wide-screen, smartphone-like infotainment interface that rivals the best systems out there, plus many other high-tech flourishes. And on the performance front, the new Panamera launches with three new engines and a hybrid powerplant — a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 (330 horsepower), a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 (440 hp), the same engine paired with an electric motor in plug-in hybrid form (462 hp), and a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 (550 hp) — along with available features such as an adaptive air suspension and rear-wheel steering.
The Panamera's genre-bending talents mean that it competes with a lot of different cars. Although it's still technically a hatchback, it stacks up well against traditional executive sedans such as the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It's also a higher-priced alternative to stylish sport-luxury models including the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, and the Audi S7 and RS 7. We'd even throw in the Tesla Model S as a similarly capable and desirable car, albeit one that runs on batteries instead of gasoline. But if you're looking for the best all-around combination of performance, luxury and, yes, style, you've likely found it in the 2017 Porsche Panamera.
The 2017 Panamera comes standard with front knee airbags, front and rear side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. As expected, numerous advanced safety technologies are offered, including night-vision assist, a blind-spot monitor with lane change assist, lane departure warning and intervention, adaptive cruise control, and a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection.
2017 Porsche Panamera models
The four-passenger 2017 Porsche Panamera is offered in a myriad of configurations. There's the rear-wheel-drive Panamera, all-wheel-drive Panamera 4, the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, the Panamera 4S and Panamera Turbo. If you want a Panamera with more rear legroom, Porsche also offers the Panamera 4 Executive, Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Executive, Panamera 4S Executive and Panamera Turbo Executive.
The Panamera starts with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, 19-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension (with conventional springs), LED headlights and taillights, automatic wipers, a panoramic sunroof, continuously adjustable door hinges, a power hatchback trunklid, power-folding, heated auto-dimming side mirrors, a two-way adaptive rear spoiler, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, keyless ignition (without keyless entry), partial leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats with heating, driver memory settings, dual-zone automatic climate control, a manually adjustable steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, Bluetooth, a wide-view touchscreen infotainment system (including a navigation system, Apple CarPlay and a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot), and a 10-speaker audio system with satellite and HD radio and USB and auxiliary audio inputs.
The Panamera 4 utilizes the same single-turbo 3.0-liter V6 as the standard model but adds all-wheel drive. The Panamera 4S keeps the all-wheel-drive powertrain, but it swaps the engine to a 440-hp, twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 and adds a circular-tipped dual exhaust system. The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid model supplements the 2.9-liter engine with an electric motor and a 14-kWh lithium-ion battery for a combined 462 hp and approximately 30 miles of battery-only driving. To support the extra weight of the battery pack, air suspension is standard on the hybrid models. And if you need nearly 6 more inches of rear legroom, both variants can be had in a Panamera 4 Executive, Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Executive and Panamera 4S Executive version.
The Panamera Turbo adds 20-inch wheels, adaptive headlights, upgraded brakes, an adaptive air suspension, a four-way adaptive rear spoiler, quad tailpipes, keyless entry and ignition, a power-adjustable steering wheel, dark walnut wood trim, synthetic suede (Alcantara) roofliner and pillar trim, full leather upholstery, 10-way power front seats with memory settings, heated rear seats and a 14-speaker Bose audio system. The Panamera Turbo Executive increases wheelbase and rear legroom accordingly.
Options are exceptionally plentiful, as Porsche's philosophy holds that owners should be able to customize their cars to personal taste. The 4 and 4S can be optionally outfitted with most of the Turbo's standard kit, including the air suspension, while additional highlights include various wheel, paint, interior trim and leather specifications (with multiple two-tone interior treatments on offer), rear-wheel steering, speed-sensitive steering assist, ceramic composite brakes, a sport exhaust, power-closing doors, a heated steering wheel, a 21-speaker Burmester audio system, 14-way adaptive sport seats, eight-way power rear seats with memory, cooled front and rear seats, massaging front and rear seats, four-zone climate control, a rear touchscreen interface, power rear sunshades and a dual-screen rear entertainment system.
A few optional packages also bundle desirable features together. The Sport Chrono package adds launch control, a dash-mounted stopwatch, an Individual driving mode for a custom feel, a dedicated Sport button and performance-oriented displays. Meanwhile, the Sport, Premium and Premium Plus packages include various combinations of the features listed above.
You might as well go big in the second-gen Panamera's first year. The Turbo model promises face-flattening V8 acceleration and the very best in Porsche luxury and technology.
All 2017 Panameras use an eight-speed automatic transmission and, aside from the standard Panamera model, all-wheel drive. The Panamera, Panamera 4 and Panamera 4 Executive are equipped with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 (330 hp, 331 lb-ft). The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid and Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Executive are equipped with a turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 and electric motor (462 hp, 435 lb-ft). The Panamera 4S and Panamera 4S Executive come with a turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 engine (440 horsepower, 405 lb-ft), while the Turbo and Turbo Executive step up to a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 (550 hp, 567 lb-ft).
According to Porsche, the Panamera will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, or 5.2 seconds with launch control. By the time you get to the Turbo, you're looking at an estimated zero-to-60-mph time of 3.4 seconds (3.2 seconds with launch control). Of course, the Hybrid is more about fuel economy. Expect to be able to drive about 30 miles on pure electric power before it switches over to normal gas-electric hybrid operation.
The 2017 Panamera's dashboard is an inviting combination of old and new. Porsche's classic five circular gauges of 911 fame are arrayed in front of the driver, including a sporty, center-mounted tachometer. But the tach is the only analog gauge; the others are high-resolution digital affairs that are also highly configurable. In the middle of the dash is a stunning "glass-look" 12-inch touchscreen, and below that the center vents and climate controls flow gracefully into a prominent console that bisects the entire passenger cabin, all the way through the rear seat.
Despite the lower roofline for this generation (slinky styling has its costs), Porsche says rear headroom remains about the same, which means even taller adults should be plenty pleased with the two-seat accommodations, though three-across seating continues to be unavailable. There's no doubt rear passengers will love the optional rear entertainment system, which includes twin 10-inch displays, 32 gigabytes of dedicated storage space, micro-SD and micro-USB connectivity, Bluetooth (with wireless headphones) and compatibility with the mobile Wi-Fi setup.
In terms of cargo space, the Panamera offers 17.4 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks in place — a competitive figure relative to executive-sedan rivals — and a handy 46 cubes with those seatbacks folded down.