2011 Porsche Panamera Interior

$24,370 - $35,330

2011 Porsche Panamera Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2011 Porsche Panamera was new.


Interior: 9.4

Inside the 2011 Porsche Panamera you’ll find a comfortable, roomy interior with plush, top notch materials. Reviewers like the balance that it strikes, offering a high level of luxury and a high-performance design. With supportive sport seats and huge centrally-located tachometer, the Panamera takes some styling cues from the iconic Porsche 911. It offers posh seating for four, with rear seat space that rivals some large SUVs.

Despite these attributes, the Panamera’s interior does have a few quirks. Reviewers say that its low-slung design makes it difficult for taller passengers to get in and out, and many are quick to point out that super luxury cars like the BMW 7-Series and the Audi A8 offer seating for five while the Panamera only seats four. Additionally, the Panamera’s button-heavy dash may not be liked by shoppers who are used to a single-knob controlled interface such as BMW’s iDrive or Audi’s MMI.

  • "As with other Panameras, we love the stylish interior, the amount of legroom in the back, and the practicality of the hatchback cargo area." -- Car and Driver 
  • "Interiors are richly appointed with fine materials and plenty of padded surfaces. An Alcantara headliner and wood trim are standard on the Turbo and optional otherwise. Also offered are aluminum and carbon-fiber trim. All look expensive, and are." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The Panamera can accommodate four full-sized adults with exceptional comfort, as its interior space, materials and design give passengers the feeling that they're traveling in a private jet rather than touring the interstate." -- Edmunds 


The Panamera seats four and its accommodations are impressive regardless of where you sit. There’s very little difference in comfort between the front and rear seats, likely because Porsche took a different approach; developing a supportive seat for the car and then mounting the same model in all four positions. This makes the Panamera fairly unique among super luxury cars. Even four-seat Grand Touring Cars, such as the Maserati Quattroporte, use different designs for front and rear occupants.

The rear seats of most cars are mounted slightly higher than those in the front, but in the Panamera all four are mounted fairly low. As a result, one reviewer notes that despite the comfortable interior, getting into and out of the Panamera can be a chore for taller drivers. Still, the Panamera’s controversial styling and hatchback design offer nearly identical front and rear headroom.

Back seat passengers can also increase comfort with options like four-zone climate control, as well as heated and ventilated seats. Additionally, Panamera shoppers can opt for 14-way power seats or adaptive sport seats, the latter of which will electrically adjust bolstering for front seat occupants.

  • "Headroom and legroom are adequate for adults, but foot space can get tight if the seat in front is lowered. Ingress and egress are hindered by the low seating position and an intrusive wheelwell arch" -- Consumer Guide 
  • "All four seats are similar in appearance and comfort. These well-formed seats provide excellent levels of support when cornering as well as plenty of comfort to enable long-distance touring. The rear quarters afford enough room for even taller adults, and the seats can be fitted with options to make them not just power-adjustable but also heated and cooled." -- Edmunds 
  • "Inside the cabin, however, it feels as roomy as its competitors. The bucket-style rear seats are spacious and comfortable, even for passengers over 6 ft. tall. The downside is that the Panamera seats a maximum of four people, vs. five for its BMW and Mercedes competitors." -- BusinessWeek 
  • "Though the backseat accommodates just two, how many cars' backseats truly hold three in comfort? The Panamera commits to its two rear passengers with a substantial center console and plenty of legroom." -- Cars.com 
  • "This luxurious hatch has two bucket seats in the second row, so don’t get any ideas about carpooling with this car." -- Mother Proof 

Interior Features

With roomy seating for four, the Panamera surrounds its passengers with first-rate materials that accentuate the Porsche’s high-performance design. Soft touch materials are present throughout – you can even wrap the rearview mirror in leather for an additional $675 – but some reviewers comment that the Panamera’s button-heavy dash can be intimidating, and that it requires time to master.

Most super luxury cars use a single interface to control all vehicle climate and entertainment functions, such as BMW’s iDrive or Audi’s MMI. Porsche decided to take the Panamera’s controls in a different direction, using separate buttons to control functions independently. Despite the intimidating look, most reviews comment that after some time is spent at the helm of the Panamera, the controls become more intuitive.

The Panamera comes well-equipped, with standard interior features that include a power liftgate, rain-sensing wipers, rear park assist, cruise control, four power outlets, eight-way power heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and navigation. Notable options include ventilated front and rear seats, Bluetooth, a Burmester Surround Sound stereo and four-zone climate control.

  • "Whereas most cars in this segment have adopted joystick controllers linked to a dashboard screen to perform the myriad adjustments now common in luxury cars, Porsche went with individual buttons and a touch screen display. There are a lot of buttons, but in most ways, they are far quicker to actuate. However, they're not always logically grouped, and some audio functions aren't intuitive. Straight ahead of the driver is a large tachometer, but the speedometer is rather small and mounted to the left side of the instrument panel, out of direct line of sight." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The Panamera lacks a centralized control system like BMW's iDrive, and as a result, there are more than 80 buttons and knobs littering the cockpit. Fortunately, these buttons are logically grouped and placed, and after time, operation becomes intuitive. Some might even find the multitude of controls preferred to shuffling through onscreen menus." -- Edmunds 
  • "The standard cabin is sumptuous, with leather upholstery and flawless fit and finish. The layout seems a bit retro at first, with most functions performed via old-fashioned knobs and controls, rather than a central knob that enters commands on a screen. However, I found the controls intuitive and easy to master." -- BusinessWeek 


The Panamera’s hatchback design makes it unique among super luxury cars. It also provides the Porsche with above-average utility. The trunk offers 15.7 cubic feet of space, and folding the rear seats will expand cargo capacity to 44.6 cubes. Reviewers generally like the hatch, which is power-activated and can be adjusted to open at different heights, however, one reviewer notes that the cargo bed’s height and narrow opening can make it difficult to load bulky items.

  • "The hatchback, which is unique in this class, offers a tall, wide opening, but the sloped roof steals some cargo space at the rear. The hatch lid is powered and its opening height can be adjusted, handy for the very short or tall. The seat backs fold easily but not entirely flat. The interior features a fair number of storage bins and cubbies, but none are very large." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The trunk can hold an impressive 15.7 cubic feet (15.2 cubic feet with the Turbo) and 44.6 cubes with the rear seats folded flat. The hatch opening is a bit narrow and the cargo bed is high, complicating the loading of bulkier items." -- Edmunds 
  • "The Panamera has a sizeable 15.7 cu. ft. trunk. Luggage capacity rises to 44.6 cu. ft. with the rear seats down and there's a pass-through between the rear seats to accommodate skis and other long cargo." -- BusinessWeek 
  • "The hatchback lends more versatility than you'll find in the average full-size luxury sedan, and the seats fold down, too." -- Cars.com 

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