2017 Porsche Panamera

Performance


$85,000 - $160,000

2017 Porsche Panamera Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Porsche Panamera was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 9.4

Porsche deftly improved the Panamera's performance for its 2017 redesign. The sedan launches into its new generation with even crisper handling and a wealth of power at the ready from any of its four powertrains. All-wheel drive is standard in all but the base trim.

  • "Where the previous Panamera demonstrated good performance, ride and handling characteristics, the new 2017 Panamera Turbo makes the old car seem like a relic." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The steering is accurate and well-weighted and uncorrupted by the drive through the front wheels, though the 275-pound lighter 4S' helm feels marginally more communicative than the Turbo's through the twisties. The real revelation, however, is how … plush, quiet, and composed the big Porsche is when driven with the suspension, transmission, and engine in their normal settings. Porsche engineers might be sports car guys, but with this Panamera they've built a genuine luxury limousine." -- Motor Trend
  • "Some would say the sky-falling doom of fog, hail and rain that followed us throughout our escape from Manhattan would have made for a terrible drive and a wasted couple of hours behind the wheel. Quite the opposite, actually, as the Panamera proved to be confident, powerful and sticky even on the slickest of roads - mist-heavy views and falling foliage be damned." -- New York Daily News

Acceleration and Power

Porsche offers three gasoline-only powertrains for the 2017 Panamera. The base engine (which also comes in the Panamera 4 trim) is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with 330 horsepower and a top speed of 164 mph. Powering Panamera 4S models is a 2.9-liter V6 engine with twin-turbochargers, 440 horsepower, and a top speed of 179 mph. For maximum power, pick one of the Panamera Turbo trims. These come with a 4.0-liter V8 engine that cranks out 550 horsepower and can reach 190 mph.

All three Panamera engines offer more than enough power, with no hesitation whatsoever. These are mated to a fast-shifting eight-speed transmission (no other transmission options are available), and paddle shifters on the steering wheel are included in every model. Fuel economy estimates are not yet available for the 2017 Panamera.

  • "Remarkably smooth and responsive, its exhaust note a muted, oily snarl, the Panamera 4S' engine might just be the best V-6 in the world—so good, in fact, it's difficult to see why you wouldn't just spec a 4S up to Turbo equipment levels and save yourself a ton of money. But the new Porsche V-8 makes its case with more bite at the top end of the rev band, and it's eerily quiet even while cruising, as we did on the autobahn, at 130 to 150 mph." -- Motor Trend
  • "In both its sports cars and its four-doors, Porsche's PDK gearboxes are the gold standard in automatic shifting, and this new transmission lives up to its predecessor with quick yet graceful gearchanges. We did, however, experience one pulse-raising moment in the Turbo when one of the clutches hesitated to fully engage during a left-hand turn from a stop as oncoming traffic barreled toward us." -- Car and Driver
  • "New as part of the optional Sport Chrono package is a knob on the lower-right of the steering wheel for selecting any of four driving modes: Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual (Porsche first introduced a similar control on the 918). The two sport modes offer increasingly sharp throttle, transmission, and steering response while also firming-up the suspension; Individual mode allows the driver to mix and match settings to his or her taste." -- Automobile Magazine

Hybrid Trim

The 2017 Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid. It comes with a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 engine, an electric motor, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and a 14 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. This replaces the previous generation's S E-Hybrid. No range or fuel economy estimates are available yet.  

Handling and Braking

Rear-wheel drive is standard in the base Panamera, and all other trims come with all-wheel drive. The Panamera uses an electronic damper control system – dubbed Porsche Active Suspension Management – that quickly adjusts to even minute changes in the road surface. This gives the Panamera agile handling, along with a comfortable ride. An adaptive air suspension system is also available.

  • "The steering is crisp and precise … aided by a host of electronic upgrades in the optional Sport package that includes rear-wheel steering and launch control. Helping the Panamera round corners like any good Porsche is an air suspension and active torque vectoring." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Perhaps the new Panamera 4S's greatest asset is its remarkable versatility. It's an electrifying machine to run hard: the car handles brilliantly, with tons of poise and grip; optional carbon-ceramic brakes haul you down easily from prodigious velocities; and the new biturbo V-6 is a beauty – smooth, strong, and easily capable of producing hair-raising speeds (albeit with the aid of considerable turbo boost). It makes an exciting whine near redline, yet the engine note is never strained or loud, never tires you out with raging decibels. Add to that refined power a chassis that, in Comfort mode, rides with amazing cushiness, and you also have an extremely relaxed cruiser. In fact, Comfort mode acquits itself well when driving aggressively, too – never does the car feel sloppy or under-damped, so I found myself using Comfort most of the time." -- Automobile Magazine
  • Coil springs and adaptive dampers are standard on the 4S, while the Turbo rides on air springs that now have a third chamber for a greater range of adjustability. Optional chassis technology borrowed from the 911 includes rear-wheel steering and the active anti-roll bars of Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control. The loaded Turbo we drove felt stable and planted when pushed and was contentedly comfortable at slower paces, at least on Germany's well-maintained roads. Cornering comes naturally, with minimal roll and relatively high grip from Pirelli P Zero rubber on optional 21-inch wheels." -- Car and Driver

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