Nearly new buying guide: Porsche Panamera

In 2010, Panamera launched its first-generation Panamera. However, the magazine was not entirely convinced by this new arrival. It matured well over its six-year tenure, but it took its successor, now the second-generation Panamera, to make a difference in people’s hearts.

How? It’s much more appealing for a start. There is definitely a hint that stretched 911 is going on. It’s now longer, wider, and lower than it was before. Although it’s still a 4-seater, the rear cabin is quite special. Although it is spacious enough for adults of average height, it can feel cramped for those who are six feet tall. You can choose to get the Executive version, which is slightly longer, or the Sport Turismo shooting brake (which will be covered in a future Guide).

The engines are now more powerful, refined, and revved easily. The entry-level 330bhp 3.0-litre engine is the best value. The 434bhp, 2.9-litre twin turbo V6 is next. There’s also the 456bhp V6 E-Hybrid, which is available for purchase starting at PS48,000 (regularly 54,000 miles), and the 453bhp V8 GTS with twin-turbo. The Panamera’s last model was launched in 2019. It’s too stiff for luxury cars and doesn’t fully exploit its strengths. The 543bhp, 4.0-litre V8 Turbo is the most powerful and popular model.

Only diesel is the 416bhp, twin-turbo 4.0 litre unit in 4S Diesel. At launch, it was the fastest diesel production car in the world. Autocar gave it five stars because it was so impressed. The popularity of hybrids has made diesel obsolete and only a handful are available for purchase in 2018. For a 2017-reg diesel with 70,000 mile, you’ll need to pay around PS55,000

There are many engines to choose from. It’s even more difficult because the Panamera was redesigned in 2021 and all the engines, both regular and hybrid, were uprated.

The model name Panamera 4 includes the number 4 in its model name. This means that it has four-wheel drive. This gives the Panamera 4 extra safety in slippery conditions. The system is standard on some versions, like the Turbo or GTS.

All Panameras come with an automatic transmission, climate control, leather seats and LED headlights. However, Porsche buyers don’t stop there. When looking at the classifieds, make sure to understand what extras are available and avoid paying more for personalised options such as custom finishes or colour schemes. The Panamera is large, so make sure you choose the right colour. A few extras that are really worth looking at include the Sport Chrono package, which reduces the time from 0 to 62 mph slightly. But the best of all is the complete Porsche service history. You shouldn’t buy a Panamera without it.

BUYER BEWARE

Transmission Make sure you are comfortable with the somewhat clunky shifting quality at low speeds. A software update might fix it. Some owners are dissatisfied with the eight-speed system. Make sure you have it working at all speeds and under all conditions. Although it is supposed to adapt to your driving style, software issues can cause it not. It can be checked by a Porsche dealer.

Brakes Brake Squeal is quite common, according to owners.

Tyres Make sure they last a long time, as some owners complain about rapid tire wear and costly replacements.

Body If you have a hybrid vehicle, make sure the charger flap opens and closes smoothly. For all cars, make sure the fuel flap opens and closes the same way. Make sure that the rear spoiler raises and falls when you press the button.

Interior Several owners have reported rattles and creaks from their cars, so be sure to listen for them during your test drive.

You need to be familiar with

You have the option of four-wheel steering. It can be difficult to use the touchscreen infotainment while on the move. Additional road tax is required for panameras that were registered after 2017. This is a large car so make sure to inspect the wheels and body for any urban scrapes. The back seat is for two people. The boot holds 495 litres with the seats up, but when they are folded down it can hold 1304 litres. The steep roof makes it impossible to carry heavy loads. The hybrid 2.9 and 4.0 petrols promise electric-only running. You should look out for cars with the optional Burmester sound system PS4869.

Our choice

Panamera V6 2.9 4S PDK This engine generates 434bhp, and is combined with four-wheel drive to make it the most powerful Panamera. For a 2017-reg model with 30,000 miles, prices start at PS55k.

Wildcard

Panamera turbo S: This variant is a little different from the rest, but it’s still a great car to drive. It’s not naughty in pure GT terms – it’s just too mature for that. But, it’s very nice.