Porsche Panamera 2.9 V6 5 seats 5dr PDK

  • Automatic
  • Petrol
  • 5 door hatchback
  • 5.3 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 353 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

Named after the Carrera Panamerican road race, Porsche's Panamera is the brand's offering to Luxury segment buyers wanting spacious rear seat accommodation and a properly sporting Gran Turismo driving experience. This model could have ended up being a four-door version of the company's 911 coupe or a low-slung interpretation of the marque's Cayenne luxury SUV. In the event, it's very much its own car, a long, low five-door hatch that still offers something very different in its sector. This revitalised MK3 model not only looks a little smarter but also offers an improved V8 PHEV option - and an extremely clever 'Active Ride' suspension option. Whatever your preference, for boardroom buyers who yearn for Brands Hatch, this car promises to be a tempting proposition.

Background

So there is still to be a place in Porsche's model line for this car, the Panamera. When the similarly sized and shaped all-electric Taycan was launched by the brand in 2020, it did seem as if the Panamera's days might be numbered. Instead, Porsche has produced this third generation model, a subtly evolved version of the second generation design that was first launched in 2017, then updated three years later. Like all Panameras made to date, starting with the MK1 incarnation back in 2009, Porsche sees this as a 'Gran Turismo', the kind of car that allows two rear seat passengers to recline in comfort while the driver enjoys himself. Forget Audi A8s and BMW 7 Series models. Think instead, faster versions of the Audi A7 or Mercedes CLS, perhaps a Maserati Quattroporte or even the old Aston Martin Rapide. In other words, a four-door luxury conveyance to really get the pulses racing. This car won't be chauffeur-driven. It shouldn't be anyway. It would, after all, be such a shame to ignore all of this Panamera's dynamic attributes and merely treat it as a limo. Mind you, if need be this MK3 version can function that way more easily thanks to its greater rear seat space and larger boot. There's also a more digitalised cabin and a clever new suspension system. Lots to talk about then. But does the Panamera still have a credible role to play in a Porsche line-up increasingly focused towards full-electric models? Time to find out.

Driving Experience

The engine range for this MK3 Panamera has a familiar look to it, though Porsche insists that it's significantly different. The entry-level 2.9-litre V6 petrol unit (offered with rear or four-wheel drive) has been completely revised, with changes to fuel injection flow rate, ignition timing and boost pressure. Together, these enhancements have increased power output by 23bhp - to 348bhp. 62mph from rest takes 4.8s en route to 167mph. The 2.9-litre V6 is also used in two six cylinder Plug-in Hybrid variants; the E-Hybrid version (with 470PS) which has a 59 mile EV range. And in the 4S E-Hybrid (with 544PS) which has a 56 mile EV range. The V8 petrol 4.0-litre twin turbo version (which only comes as a Plug-in Hybrid) is even more fundamentally altered, with everything different in the engine except the block. The E-motor now produces 188bhp and is now integrated into the housing of the heavily revised PDK auto gearbox, which will improve energy recuperation performance. That motor is now powered by a bigger 25.9kWh battery pack offering an EV range of up to 56 miles (up from 39 miles before). The combination of the V8 and E-motor produces 671bhp in the Turbo E-Hybrid model, allowing 62mph to flash by in just 3.2s on the way to 196mph. Should that somehow be insufficient, you can ask your Porsche Centre about an even more powerful Turbo S E-Hybrid flagship model. Other than engines, the big choice for Panamera customers lies with suspension. There's a 'PDCC Sport' two chamber air suspension system with two-valve dampers and a semi-active anti-roll bar. Or, for E-Hybrid models, an even more advanced set-up called 'Active Ride'. This uses a single chamber air suspension set-up and a two-valve damper connected to an electrohydraulic pump and allows the system to react proactively to changes in the tarmac surface and the way the driver is driving. The suspension can tilt the car into bends - and combat hard acceleration, either by braking or adding extra pressure to the front or rear wheels to level the car out. Very clever. Porsche calls it a 'game changer' and says it's 'the best chassis system on the market'.

Design and Build

You won't need us to tell you that this third generation Panamera design is very much a case of evolution over revolution. You might even mistake this for a further facelifted version of the old MK2 model. But no, Porsche insists the design is completely different and it all sits on a heavily updated version of the Modular Sport Toolkit platform introduced with the previous model that the brand developed with Bentley. Get up close and you'll start to appreciate the visual changes and stretched proportions that make this the sleekest Panamera yet. There's only now this five-door Gran Turismo-style body shape, the old Sport Turismo estate having been dropped. Perhaps the most obvious outside change lies at the more athletic-looking front end with its redesigned headlights; the front grille is also different, as are the wheels. As before there's a probing bonnet, a shallow glasshouse and an angled liftback, plus that tailgate's now frameless and the bodywork has tauter surfacing. Turbo models are set apart this time round, benefiting from a more aggressive body kit and a triple panel fold-out rear wing. If you specify the optional 'Active Ride' suspension system, the car lifts by 5.5cm when the doors open to make it easy to get in. Inside upfront, again initial familiarity with the 'Porsche Driver Experience Control' layout gives way after closer inspection to appreciation of considerable change. There's an even more digital experience: the centre touchscreen, the digital instruments and the steering wheel are all new and there's a driving mode toggle and a dash-mounted gear selector from the Porsche Taycan. Media connectivity takes another step forward too. As before, there's a high centre console and there's still the option of a passenger display inset into the dashboard. Access to the rear has been improved with larger door apertures. And once inside at the back, there's more legroom. Boot space is enhanced too - to 494-litres; the trunk now has space for two golf bags, following a direct request from Panamera project leader Thomas Friemuth. Or the V6 version does anyway; the Turbo S E-Hybrid PHEV variant's boot capacity falls to 421-litres. Seats-down capacity varies from 1,328-litres with the standard models to 1,255-litres for the Turbo E-Hybrid.

Market and Model

Prices start at around £80,000, which gets you the standard 2.9-litre V6 rear-driven Panamera. You'll need just over £82,000 for the AWD Panamera 4 with the same engine. It's around £90,000 for the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid; and around £102,000 forr the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid. From there it's a big jump to around £141,000 for the Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid PHEV. An even faster Turbo S E-Hybrid model will follow and Porsche may well introduce a GTS mid-range version too. As we've said elsewhere in this review, it's no longer possible to get the old Sport Turismo estate body style. The key option, 'Active ride', is only available with the Turbo versions, which get a bit more visual differentiation with this MK3 model. This includes a new 'Turbonite' bronze colour scheme and satin grey colouring for various bits of the bodywork and interior; plus for this top model, Porsche has coloured its crest in 'Turbonite'. Turbo models also feature special centre-lock wheels too. Across the range, there are new colours available - the brand is trying to persuade customers away from the usual dour blacks, greys and silvers. For the inside, there are any number of trimming inlay and upholstery choices. And you might want to add an extra display to the passenger side of the front fascia.

Cost of Ownership

The efficiency readings for the more affordable 2.9-litre V6-engined Panamera and Panamera 4 models don't differ very much from their direct predecessors. For the base rear-driven Panamera, that means a combined fuel figure of 29.4mpg and a best possible CO2 return of 219g/km. For the Panamera 4, you're looking at up to 28.0mpg and up to 230g/km. Obviously the V6 Hybrids do much better; the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid returns up to 282.5mpg on the combined cycle and up to 22g/km of CO2. For the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid, the figures are up to 256.8mpg and up to 24g/km of CO2. These PHEV models always start in the purely electric E-Power mode. Once the state of charge of the battery is under a certain minimum value, the system automatically switches to Hybrid Auto mode, which adapts the operating strategy to the current driving situation. In E-Hold mode, the current state of charge of the battery is preserved. In E-Charge mode, on the other hand, the combustion engine charges the battery to up to 80 per cent out of town and above 34mph, while the Panamera utilises the efficiency benefits of the hybrid drive in city traffic. What about the V8 PHEV version? Well now that Porsche has its all-electric Taycan model also competing in this market space, the Plug-in Hybrid Panamera, the Turbo E-Hybrid, has had to up its electrified game. That's why the relatively small 17.9kWh lithium-ion battery used in the previous Panamera PHEV (which itself replaced an even smaller 14.1kWh battery used in the original Panamera Hybrid) has been replaced by a gutsier 25.9kWh item for this MK3 model. As a result, the WLTP-rated all-electric driving range has increased significantly - now WLTP-rated at between 47 to 56 miles (up from a best of 33 miles before). As for the official efficiency stats, the Turbo E-Hybrid is WLTP rated at 166.2-235.4mpg on the combined cycle and 26-38g/km of CO2. Because the bigger battery's 300kg weight is only 22kg heavier than before and it's supported by an 11kW on-board AC charger (a replacement for the old 3.6kW unit), charging times are significantly faster than before.

Summary

The market has always offered very fast, very luxurious full-sized Luxury saloons. Rarely though, have they been very rewarding to drive. The Panamera has always been different, very much in a class of its own for boardroom buyers who don't spend all their lives wafting up and down autobahns. In its earlier forms, it was so nearly a truly great car. So nearly the impressively complete contender this third generation model now is. We approve of the enhancements to digital cabin technology, engine efficiency, boot space and rear seat room. And the optional 'Active Ride' system is industry-leading. Of course, we're not blind to this car's failings. Prices have risen substantially, something that would be easier to stomach had Porsche not been so mean with some aspects of the standard spec and consigned so many important features to the options list. Some still struggle with the styling too and will prefer the kind of conventional luxury saloon that will give you a bigger, deeper boot. Limo-like models of that sort though, wouldn't see which way this car went on a twisty road. Nor are they as practical for leisure use. So the Panamera has come good then - but maybe too late to save itself as a credible long term model line. For some, the introduction of Porsche's full-EV Taycan model has confirmed this car's dinosaur status. But others, who maybe aren't quite ready to have their lives ruled by a still somewhat flaky public charging infrastructure, will find in the now much improved PHEV segments of the Panamera range perhaps an ideal combination of old-school combustion involvement and futuristic electrified technology. In summary, if you still enjoy driving and like the way that this contender looks, you'll love the way it rewards you at the wheel. The Panamera's unconventional. It's unique. But best of all, it's a proper Porsche.

  • Auto start/stop function and coasting
  • Powered tailgate
  • DAB Digital radio
  • Smartphone compartment with wireless charging upto 15W
  • Door handles painted in exterior colour
  • Fuel/charging cover
  • Rear diffusor in louvered design
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Deletion of turbo S logo embossed on headrests
  • Leather door panel and central armrests
  • PDK gear lever
  • Pedals and footrest in black
  • SPORT button
  • Two integrated cup holders in the front centre console
  • 2x3 point front seatbelts with pre-tensioners
  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • Active bonnet
  • Curtain airbags along entire roof frame and side windows from the A pillar to the C pillar left and right
  • Driver and front passenger knee airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Full size driver and front passenger airbags
  • Manual child lock in rear doors
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Alcohol interlock preparation
  • Anti-theft wheel bolts
  • Comfort access system
  • Dashcam prep
  • Engine immobiliser with remote central locking and alarm system with radar based interior surveillance
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 239
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 219
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - TEH: 218
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - TEL: 197
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - TEH: 205
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - TEL: 187
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - TEH: 365
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - TEL: 346
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - TEH: 245
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - TEL: 223
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 2894
  • Cylinder Layout: V6
  • Cylinders: 6
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 84.5
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 86
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Fuel Delivery: TWIN TURBO
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 24
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 10.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 9.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEH: 9.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEL: 8.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEH: 9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEL: 8.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEH: 16.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEL: 15.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEH: 10.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEL: 9.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEH: 26.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEL: 29.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEH: 29.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEL: 32.5
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEH: 31.4
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEL: 34
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEH: 17.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEL: 18.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEH: 26.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEL: 28.8
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.9
  • Badge Power: 353
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: V6
  • Coin Series: 5 Seats
  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 50E
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
  • Service Interval Mileage: 20000
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: 999999
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 5.3
  • Engine Power - BHP: 353
  • Engine Power - KW: 260
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5400
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 369
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 51
  • Engine Torque - NM: 500
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1900
  • Top Speed: 169
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 265/45 R19
  • Tyre Size Rear: 295/40 R19
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: PANAMERA
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY
  • Height: 1423
  • Length: 5052
  • Wheelbase: 2950
  • Width: 1937
  • Width (including mirrors): 2165
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 90
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2505
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1328
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 494
  • Max. Loading Weight: 620
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1885
  • No. of Seats: 5