2012 Porsche Panamera Interior

$28,031 - $35,499

2012 Porsche Panamera Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Porsche Panamera was new.


Interior: 8.9

Inside the 2012 Porsche Panamera you’ll find a comfortable, roomy interior with plush, top-notch materials. Reviewers like the interior design, which strikes a balance between high-end luxury and performance styling cues. With supportive sport seats and a huge, centrally-located tachometer, the Panamera takes some styling cues from the iconic Porsche 911. It also 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 most super luxury cars seat 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.

  • "Interiors are richly appointed with fine materials and plenty of padded surfaces." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Beautiful cabin quality." -- 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 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, 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 unique among super luxury cars.

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, reviewers note that despite the comfortable seats, getting in and out of the Panamera can be a chore. Still, the Panamera’s controversial styling and hatchback design offer nearly identical front and rear headroom.

  • "The well-appointed cabin features four nicely sculpted, 911-style chairs, although it takes some flexibility to sit in the ones in back." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "There's plenty of room for adults on comfortable seats that can be equipped with heating and ventilation. But since the Panamera sits lower than most competitors, the seats are closer to the ground, which can make for difficult ingress and egress, particularly for taller folks." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The Panamera can only accommodate four passengers, though these passengers can be full-sized adults and will find a high level of comfort in any seat." -- Edmunds 
  • "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 – 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.

  • "We're still not sure about Porsche's approach to telematics: more than fifty center-console buttons collectively do the work of one BMW-style controller." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "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." -- 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." -- Edmunds


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. Fold the rear seats down, and cargo capacity expands to 44.6 cubic feet. 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.

  • "Those rear seats fold down to open up 44 cubic feet of cargo space -- more than three times what you'll find in a BMW 7-series." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "The hatch lid is powered and its opening height can be adjusted, handy for the very short or tall." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The hatch opening is a bit narrow, though, 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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