2016 Porsche Panamera Performance

$48,003 - $158,350

2016 Porsche Panamera Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Porsche Panamera was new.


Performance: 9.2

The 2016 Porsche Panamera is one of the highest-performing luxury sedans on the market, critics say, with sports car-caliber handling and powerful engine options. They also praise its smooth ride.

  • "The way this big sedan takes corners, accelerates, and delivers precise feedback to the driver is beyond reproach among other sedans." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Fast, focused and exceptionally well-mannered, the 2015 Porsche Panamera continues to be the driver's choice among full-size luxury cars." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Here's the plus-size German rocket sled absolutely intended for your favorite canyon." -- Motor Trend (2013 GTS)

Acceleration and Power

The base 2016 Porsche Panamera comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 310 horsepower. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is standard. According to the EPA, the base Panamera gets 18/28 mpg city/highway, which is on par for the class.

The Panamera S has a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that produces 420 horsepower. The Panamera GTS is powered by a 4.8-liter V8 engine that makes 440 horsepower. The Panamera Turbo has a twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 that generates 520 horsepower. The Panamera Turbo S has a twin-turbo 4.8-liter V8 that produces 570 horsepower. According to Porsche, the Turbo S can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 192 mph.

Reviewers say the base V6 feels strong and the dual-clutch transmission changes gears seamlessly. They note that the twin-turbo V6 in the S is a solid upgrade. However, some critics feel that if you're going to upgrade from the base model, it's hard to resist skipping the S and going for one of the V8 models, which are more potent and sound better.

  • "Although the base V6 engine is quite strong by the numbers, the chassis can handle so much more power that we'd be sorely tempted to upgrade. But to what? The turbo V6 is certainly a nice piece, but if you've got the bankroll, the Panamera just feels better with one of the effortlessly powerful V8s under the hood." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "The V-6 turbo has ample low- and midrange torque, although acceleration feels perhaps a half-second slower to 60 as the otherwise responsive turbos need a moment to spool. Not that nouveau riche execs reclining in business class will notice, but the turbo V-6 lacks some of the delicious rumble, crackle, and pop of the 4.8-liter V-8, replacing them with a slightly shrill whine at higher revs that implies rented Taurus more than purchased Porsche." -- Car and Driver (2014)
  • "The Turbo is monstrously fast and sounds wicked in Sport or [Sport] Plus mode, when baffles open to let flutters, burbles, and barks erupt from the quad exhausts." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)
  • "We drove four Panameras during a short intro program in Munich and liked the Panamera S and its all-new 420-hp 3.0-liter V6 twin turbo best. So sue us. The S is within 20 hp of the V8-powered GTS and felt just about as strong when tromped upon. You'll only notice the miniscule turbo lag if you drive it back-to-back against its eight-cylinder sibling." -- AutoWeek (2014)
  • "The V6 engine pulls strongly and the PDK transmission is wonderfully smooth." -- Consumer Guide (2011)

Hybrid Trim

The 2016 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and an electric motor that together produce 416 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. According to the EPA, the Panamera S E-Hybrid gets 51 mpg-equivalent (explained here) in combined city/highway driving while running on gasoline and electricity, and 25 mpg combined city/highway on gas alone. The EPA reports that the 2016 Panamera Hybrid can travel up to 15 miles on electricity alone, and Porsche says it has an electric-only top speed of 83 mph. According to Porsche, it takes about 2.5 hours to charge the Panamera S E-Hybrid's battery with a 240-volt connection.

Auto writers agree that the Panamera S E-Hybrid is quick, and they say it transitions seamlessly between gas and electric power. However, some note that its steering and brakes aren't as responsive as those in non-hybrid Panamera models.

  • "The only model where our praise is tempered somewhat is the S E-Hybrid, which doesn't have quite the positive steering and brake feel as the rest of the Panamera lineup. That said, when you lay on the Hybrid's throttle, hold on, because this car is seriously quick." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Power is surprisingly good and the interaction between electric motor and combustion engine is so smooth that you almost need to keep an eye on the tachometer to know when the combustion engine is engaging." -- Motor Trend (2014)

Handling and Braking

The 2016 Porsche Panamera comes standard with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is standard on 4 and Turbo models.

Test drivers say the Panamera is more nimble than most other performance sedans and can keep pace with many sports cars when the road gets twisty. They also commend the Panamera's strong brakes. The ride, critics write, is firm but smooth on uneven pavement.

  • "On a winding road, the Panamera can match just about any sports car. Most drivers will exercise restraint, but the Panamera still delights at saner speeds with its precise steering and flat cornering." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Sure, the nearly 2-ton Panamera isn't as fleet-of-foot as a 911 or Cayman, but this big sedan's ability to round corners and deliver direct and constant feedback to the driver is simply better than in any other high-output performance sedan of its size." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "On all Panamera models, the ride is composed but firm in the Teutonic tradition. Most bumps are well absorbed with very good body control." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "We've never been disappointed by Porsche brakes, and the Panamera lineup continues the impressive trend." -- Autoblog (2010)

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