2021 Porsche Panamera review: A great case for going base

The Panamera is certainly a looker.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The Porsche Panamera is obtainable in a minimum of 21 totally different fashions with beginning costs that attain above $190,000. But you need not go large to get a great automobile. For this review I’ve bought the $88,550 (together with $1,350 for vacation spot) base Panamera with rear-wheel drive. And actually, even this entry-level Panamera packs a ton of punch.


  • Practical but highly effective
  • Great driving dynamics
  • It’s a looker

Don’t Like

  • Tech might be irritating to make use of
  • Lack of normal driver-assistance options
  • No Android Auto

The total Panamera vary will get a couple of enhancements for 2021. The sharp SportDesign entrance fascia is now customary throughout the board, however if you wish to spend extra money, you possibly can possibility it with carbon fiber. The Panamera nonetheless has the cool four-pod headlights, however round again, the taillights have a extra pronounced connecting gentle bar. The Panamera additionally will get new wheel designs and two new colours, Cherry Metallic and Truffle Brown Metallic.

One factor is for positive, you will not be dissatisfied by the base Panamera’s driving expertise. The 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 would not present holy-crap ranges of energy, however 325 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque are nonetheless lots. If you are wanting for a automobile through which to get pleasure from a full of life drive on the occasional again street, you ought to be greater than happy. I like that the facility comes on rapidly, and if I want an additional enhance, there’s a video game-like Sport Response button that gives 20 seconds of full-on energy and torque. It’s great for once I need to go away the automobile in Normal mode however have a brief distance to make a move. I do not use Sport Response all that always — this automobile accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in simply over 5 seconds — nevertheless it’s good to know it is there.

What actually makes the Panamera enjoyable is the usual Porsche Active Suspension Management system, which may rapidly react to altering street circumstances for a clean trip. When I put the Panamera into Sport Plus mode, the dampers actually bust a transfer, conserving the 4,222-pound automobile flat within the corners with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport 4S tires sustaining all of the grip I want. My tester is provided with the elective rear-axle steering which, at excessive speeds, turns the again wheels in the identical path because the entrance. At decrease speeds they flip in the other way, leading to a tighter turning radius. It’s a $1,650 possibility that in all probability is not crucial for a variety of base Panamera consumers, however I recognize it nonetheless.

Porsche’s eight-speed PDK automated transmission is an actual dream, shifting easily and rapidly. There are steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters however I do not really feel like they make the driving expertise any extra pleasing. Similarly, the brakes present clean and powerful stopping energy. At the tip of my week with the Panamera, the onboard pc says I’ve averaged 24.5 mpg. That’s method higher than the EPA score of 20 mpg mixed and, frankly, I’m astonished I’ve executed so properly contemplating I’ve bought a fairly heavy proper foot.

The inside is splendidly appointed. 

Emme Hall/Roadshow

As a lot as I really like driving the Panamera, I want extra driver-assistance options have been included for the value. Sure, this automobile has lane-keeping help and visitors signal recognition customary, nevertheless it must also include issues like adaptive cruise management, a 360-degree digicam system and blind-spot monitoring. Porsche continues to nickel-and-dime prospects on security options which are customary on many financial system automobiles.

Moving inside, Porsche’s infotainment system is housed on a 12.3-inch touchscreen. It’s appropriate with Apple CarPlay — wirelessly, in truth — however Android customers are nonetheless out of luck (for now). The touchscreen might be operated by a collection of flat buttons on the middle console, just under the display. This is the precise place I need to relaxation my hand for stability when utilizing the touchscreen and the buttons are so delicate that I swap up the display once I do not imply to. It takes me without end to determine why I’m immediately taking a look at local weather management when all I need to do is choose a podcast.

Speaking of local weather management, the one option to manipulate the 2 heart vents is thru the touchscreen. This is sort of presumably essentially the most distracting characteristic I’ve ever skilled in a automobile. There isn’t any cause I ought to must faucet a number of icons to open these vents. The facet vents have bodily controls, why do not the central ones?

Apple CarPlay is supported however Android Auto remains to be a no-go.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

As for charging, the base Panamera has one USB-C and a 12-volt outlet within the armrest, and one other 12-volt within the cargo space. The rear seats haven’t any charging choices. There is a wi-fi charger within the armrest however I discover it to be hit and miss. I usually have to slip my telephone forwards and backwards to get it to begin charging and it will get so sizzling my telephone overheats greater than as soon as.

Thankfully, the Panamera’s inside is critically luxurious, with loads of leather-based, heated seats entrance and rear and elective ventilated entrance chairs. A two-pane sunroof brightens up the cavin and it is the one sunroof I’ve been capable of tolerate having open whereas driving, because of buffeting that is stored to a minimal.

Rear seat passengers are handled to a really spacious seating space. I’m 5 ft, 9 inches tall, and have not less than 8 inches between my knees and the driving force’s seat in entrance of me. If you need much more, go for a Panamera Executive mannequin that has a 6-inch longer wheelbase. Even with the sloping roofline my head would not come near touching the ceiling and I do not really feel claustrophobic in any respect.

Even this most simple Panamera is a great time.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

There is not a ton of storage for little objects — the door pockets and heart arm relaxation are fairly shallow — however I’ve bought to provide it to the Panamera for it is cargo house. Behind the rear seats are 17.4 cubic ft of house, increasing to 47.1 cubes when folded down. After shifting the passenger seat ahead I’m able to slide in a slim, 6-foot-tall bookcase with no drawback. In reality, that is what’s great in regards to the Panamera. It has all of the on-road verve of a sports activities automobile with the practicality of a small crossover.

The Panamera is not the one sport on the town, although. The Mercedes-AMG GT43 presents extra energy and torque and a greater infotainment system. The Audi S7 makes use of the identical 2.9-liter engine because the Porsche however has extra energy for roughly the identical value. Both of these opponents are hatchbacks just like the Panamera, they usually have extra customary security tools, too.

But none of them drive like a Porsche. The Panamera wows with its on-road manners, and with its intriguing stability of efficiency and practicality, even the base mannequin has lots to supply.

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