Home / Auto / Porsche Panamera 4S Diesel review – The big, quick and quirky saloon

Porsche Panamera 4S Diesel review – The big, quick and quirky saloon


While the German firm’s heritage isn’t in doubt, its huge success with the likes of the Cayenne and Macan 4x4s and this Panamera saloon is hard to ignore.

In fact, this second generation Panamera only cements that argument.

Since 2009, Porsche has sold more than 150,000 of them worldwide and with a long-wheelbase and Sport Turismo estate model on their way, the Panamera has probably entered the mainstream more than ever before.

After all, for all its pace and performance, this is still a four-door saloon powered by a diesel engine.


With a clear road it only takes a flex of your right foot to have the Panamera leaping up the road


There’s no disguising its size, either. Longer, wider and taller than before, the new Panamera struggles to hide its length when parked and the reduced headroom above the rear seat passengers only exacerbates that.

There’s a new turbo-diesel engine in this version too, Porsche’s most powerful diesel yet.

The new 4.0-litre V8 produces 422bhp with four-wheel drive and an impressive 0 to 60mph time of 4.5 seconds along with a 177mph top speed.

Porsche PanameraPORSCHE

Porsche Panamera will cost you £91,788

Porsche PanameraPORSCHE

Porsche Panamera has a fuel economy of 42.2mpg

Those are some eyebrow-raisingly good numbers for a car that tips the scales at over two tonnes.

There’s also 42.2mpg average fuel economy and 178g/km emissions, both highly respectable given that turn of pace.

So how does it feel on the road? From inside the cabin you’d be hard-pressed to tell it’s a diesel engine but as those acceleration figures suggest, it’s no slouch.

With a clear road it only takes a flex of your right foot to have the Panamera leaping up the road.

The only problem is that even with the eight-speed, twin-clutch, semi-automatic gearbox it’s not always the smoothest transition.

While it clearly has the outright pace of a sports car in a straight line, the Panamera’s size means it doesn’t always feel the sharpesthandling saloon around.

Despite all that raw speed it feels wide and slightly unwieldy at times, especially on narrow country lanes and even when parking.

Ironically, it’s that sense of size that’s more likely to hinder your progress than the car’s actual grip and talent.

Having said that, the Porsche is unquestionably a sportier drive than the likes of the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series or Mercedes S-Class.

Porsche PanameraPORSCHE

Porsche Panamera’s comes with a Turbo-diesel, 4.0-litre

The Panamera boasts less body roll through corners and is more of an enthusiast’s choice as opposed to more conventional saloons, which are in turn probably more comfortable to drive on a long journey than this Porsche rival.

Ultimately your choice will depend on where your priorities lie and the type of driving that you do the most.

Which, ironically, is also the case for the Panamera’s interior. We’re not keen on Porsche’s design ethos of late of flooding the transmission tunnel with buttons.

Others may like the aircraft-cockpit inspiration, but we feel it’s overly fussy. The good news is that that has gone with this Panamera, replaced by an entirely flat touch-screen panel.

So the same controls are still there but just entirely flat.

The result is that it looks a lot cleaner from a design perspective but, ironically, makes it even worse to operate on the move, forcing you to take your eyes off the road for even relatively simple tasks.

We’re not big fans of it, that’s for sure. In solving one problem, it’s as if they’ve merely introduced a different one.

Porsche PanameraPORSCHE

Porsche Panamera can do 0 to 60mph in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 177mph

Likewise, the main touch-screen is easy to operate but not that intuitive for simple tasks like changing albums on an MP3 player.

That said, the car does score well for practicality, with decent space in the front and rear seats – the latter not entirely expected given that new, curvier, roofline.

At 495 litres boot space is OK rather than outstanding; it feels slightly shallow. If you’d like more there’s always the new Sport Turismo estate, though.

Overall, your view will be affected by what you want from a sports saloon. If you like quick and involving (to a certain extent), this is the car for you.

If you want something more comfortable and practical and you’re willing to sacrifice some sportiness, then a rival saloon might be better.

Either way, this second generation of Panamera cements Porsche’s position into the mainstream more than ever.

Logbook Lowdown 

Price: £91,788 

Engine: Turbo-diesel – 4.0-litre, V8 

Power: 0 to 60mph in 4.5 seconds, 177mph top speed 

Fuel economy: 42.2mpg 

CO2 emissions: 178g/km 

Rivals: BMW 7-Series, Mercedes S-Class 

Rating: 8/10



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