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2020 Porsche Panamera Review

Defying the critics who said a 4-door Porsche would never fly, the Porsche Panamera is not only a sales success, it’s driving other high-end manufacturers to create competitors of their own. Of course, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz are going to have to put in some overtime if they expect to match the wide variety of models and powertrains offered by the Panamera, whose lineup comprises 15 different cars, including a wagon variant and two hybrid models.

Despite the wide variations in powertrain and performance, one thing remains constant across the Panamera lineup: They all drive great. They also all possess Porsche’s superb interior quality and an immense list of options that allows you to outfit a Panamera to your exact liking. The cabin boasts numerous features, including a 12.3-in touchscreen interface complete with Apple CarPlay and an admittedly problematic collection of accompanying touch-sensitive controls. There’s also a broad collection of driving aids, including the semi-autonomous Porsche InnoDrive system for highways.

In short, the Panamera deserves a look from anyone considering the upper crust of luxury sedans and wagons. For those who prioritize the driving experience over limo-like space and comfort, it’s an absolute must-drive.

What’s New for 2020?

A new 10 Years Edition package is available commemorating a decade of the Panamera. See the 2020 Porsche Panamera models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Superb acceleration
  • Excellent handling
  • Surprisingly practical, especially the Sport Turismo wagon
  • High-quality cabin
  • Highly customizable

What We Don’t

  • Touch-sensitive controls and gloss black trim, which attracts fingerprints
  • Big price gap between models

How Much?

$87,200-$198,100

Fuel Economy

There are a wide variety of engines available, but all come with an 8-speed automated manual PDK transmission. Every 2020 Panamera except the base model comes standard with all-wheel drive.

The standard Panamera has a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 good for 330 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy estimates are 21 miles per gallon in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg in combined driving with rear-wheel drive. The AWD Panamera 4 has the same engine and essentially gets 1 mpg less.

Panamera 4S models have a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 good for 440 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque. It returns 21 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined.

The Panamera GTS upgrades to a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine making 453 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is rated at 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined.

The Panamera Turbo has an upgraded 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that pumps out 550 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque. It returns up to 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined.

The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid starts things off with the 4S engine and adds an electric motor for a combined output of 457 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. It’s a plug-in hybrid and has an all-electric range of 14 miles and a 51 MPGe rating in combined driving.

The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid pairs the Turbo engine with that same electric motor for a massive combined output of 677 hp and 626 lb-ft of torque. The Turbo S E-Hybrid models have the same electric range as the regular E-Hybrid but with an MPGe rating of 48.

Standard Features & Options

The 2020 Porsche Panamera is available in three body styles: a standard-wheelbase hatchback, a wagon based on the standard wheelbase (known as the Sport Turismo) and an extended-wheelbase hatchback called the Executive. The standard and Executive body styles seat four, while the Sport Turismo has seating for five. The Executive trims add more rear legroom, rear-wheel steering, an adaptive air suspension, soft-close doors, heated rear seats and an enhanced rear-center console.

There are also varying models based on engine, and any time you see the number 4 in the name of a Porsche, that means it has AWD.

The standard Panamera ($87,200) and AWD Panamera 4 ($91,800 standard; $98,000 Sport Turismo; $98,500 Executive) come standard with an adaptive suspension (PASM), a panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated 8-way power front seats, partial leather upholstery, the PCM touchscreen interface, Connect Plus (remote vehicle services, onboard internet, vehicle tracking), Apple CarPlay, three USB ports and a 10-speaker sound system.

The Panamera 4S ($105,000 standard; $111,200 Sport Turismo; $1116,300 Executive) adds a more powerful engine and different 19-in wheels.

The Panamera GTS ($129,300 standard; $135,500 Sport Turismo) is a more driver-oriented version of the Panamera that splits the difference between the 4S and the Turbo models. This is the entry-level V8 model which on top of the engine upgrade adds a sport exhaust, adaptive headlights, better brakes, and 20-inch wheels.

The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid ($103,800 standard; $107,800 Sport Turismo; $108,300 Executive) models have a plug-in hybrid powertrain, while the Turbo S E-Hybrid adds a more performance-oriented plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The Turbo ($153,000 standard; $157,000 Sport Turismo; $163,400 Executive) and Turbo S E-Hybrid ($187,700 standard; $191,700 Sport Turismo; $198,100 Executive) trims add a more powerful engine, air suspension, adaptive LED headlights, keyless entry and start, 10-way power front seats, driver memory functions, a full leather interior, heated rear seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, an Alcantara headliner and a 14-speaker Bose Surround Sound audio system. The Turbo Executive combines what you see above with 4-zone climate control.

A new 10 Years Edition is available to add to the base Panamera ($16,100), the Panamera 4 ($15,700), and the E-Hybrid ($13,100). This special edition adds an appearance package with "Panamera10" badging inside and out and special 21-in wheels in satin-gloss White Gold Metallic, air suspension with PASM and LED matrix headlights.

Apart from the engines, you can get any of the above equipment as options on any lower model.

The options list from there on is extensive, ranging from conventional items to customization features. Highlights include ceramic composite brakes, blind spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control (which includes forward-collision warning), an enhanced adaptive cruise control system with semi-autonomous functionality, a surround-view camera, night-vision assistance, 14-way adaptive seats, 8-way power rear seats, seat ventilation, massaging seats, a heated steering wheel, power rear sunshades, a rear-seat entertainment system and a 21-speaker Burmester premium audio system.

Safety

Every 2020 Panamera comes standard with an advanced stability control system and a generous amount of airbags. Optional equipment includes a blind spot monitoring system, a lane-keeping system, a forward-collision warning system and a night-vision assist camera/display.

As of this writing, the 2020 Porsche Panamera has not been crash-tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS.

Behind the Wheel

The Panamera is for those seeking a flagship luxury car that’s every bit as rewarding and thrilling to drive as a sports car. Although it’s quite large, its handling, steering, electronic aides and colossal power (regardless of engine) result in a car that should be better to drive than everything else in its segment. We’d recommend trying out a variety of models with a variety of specifications (noting the engine, suspension and steering) to make sure you get the Panamera that meets your preferences, but it’s safe to say there isn’t a snooze-inducer in the bunch.

You sit low in the Panamera, much as you would in a 911, enveloped by Porsche’s superbly comfortable, supportive and adjustable seats. That applies whether you’re in the driver’s seat or riding in the back. Space all around is excellent, although it obviously gets better with the long-wheelbase Executive model. The front cabin is dominated by a wide, rising center console covered in controls. Unlike the first-generation car, however, the second-gen Panamera has ditched physical buttons for touch-sensitive controls and a greater reliance on the new 12.3-in main touchscreen. We can’t say it’s an improvement — it might even be worse.

The Panamera has a hatchback design that grants it greater cargo versatility than the typical flagship luxury sedan. With the Sport Turismo wagon variant, you can increase that versatility even further with five seats and more cargo space. Rarely has practicality been so much fun. However, something to keep in mind is the fact that the hybrid models cut into the Panamera’s normally generous cargo space.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS — The Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class got a much-needed update in 2019 with a full redesign. This "4-door coupe" offers a supple ride, a lavish interior and tech that we think is more user-friendly than what the Panamera offers. The CLS-Class is more affordable than the Panamera, but if you have a 6-figure budget and a craving for supercarlike performance, consider upgrading to the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupe.

2020 Audi A7, S7 or RS 7 — This trio is close to the Panamera in concept, and in its range-topping RS 7 guise, it’s one of the few cars that can keep up with (and maybe even beat) the Panamera Turbo.

2020 Tesla Model S — Even if you’re not considering the E-Hybrid models, the flagship Tesla offers space and performance comparable to that of any Panamera. Yes, Tesla’s electric powertrains offer great appeal, but its reliability, build quality, and dealer network pale in comparison to Porsche’s.

Used Porsche Panamera — We know Porsche pricing can get eye-watering, so consider a used model from 2017 or newer if you want a second-generation Panamera at a discount. Porsche has one of the best certified pre-owned programs in the business, which makes CPO models worth serious consideration.

Autotrader’s Advice

When it comes to any Porsche, make sure to sample as many models, engines and performance option combinations as possible. It may take longer at the dealer, but you’ll know you’re getting the right version for you. Otherwise, it’s hard to imagine being unhappy with any of these cars, as even the base car offers compelling performance and has the same standard and optional feature content as the pricier 4S. Find a Porsche Panamera for sale

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