MSRP
$87,200
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Porsche Panamera Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 9.6

The 2020 Porsche Panamera strikes an excellent balance between comfort and sportiness. It’s agile and entertaining to fling around turns, but it’s still cushy and composed on rough pavement. It’s also offered with a range of V6, V8, and hybrid engines, all of which are powerful.

  • "Despite the wide variations in powertrain and performance, one thing remains constant across the Panamera lineup: They all drive great." -- Autotrader (2019)
  • "Porsche’s 4D Chassis Control literally keeps track of the car’s driving conditions in three spatial dimensions. Running the data through the system’s computer, 4D perfectly integrates the electronic chassis and suspension systems, tuning them for the optimal blend of ride comfort and performance handling." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "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 (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The Porsche Panamera has six engine options, and each can blast the car up to speed quickly and confidently. We suggest sticking with either the base or E-Hybrid models, given their lower prices and better fuel economy. Both offer impressive and exhilarating acceleration.

All models are equipped with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which fires off quick and seamless gear changes.

The base model Panamera has a turbocharged V6 engine with 330 horsepower and rear-wheel drive. It gets an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Opting for all-wheel drive lowers the highway rating by 1 mpg. All-wheel drive is standard on all other models.

The Panamera 4S has a twin-turbocharged V6 with 440 horsepower. It’s rated at 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The Panamera GTS and Turbo models have twin-turbo V8s with 453 and 550 horsepower, respectively. Gas mileage for these V8s range from 16/23 mpg for the GTS to 18/25 mpg for the Turbo.

There are two plug-in-hybrid models. The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid has a turbo V6 and an electric motor that produce a combined 457 horsepower. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid has a turbo V8 and an electric motor with a total of 677 horsepower. Both models can drive 14 miles on electricity alone. Once the battery pack is depleted, the gas engines kick in to provide assistance. The E-Hybrid is rated at 23 mpg and 51 MPG-equivalent in combined city/highway driving, while the Turbo S E-Hybrid is rated at 20 mpg and 51 MPGe combined.

It takes about 12 hours to recharge the battery pack using a 120-volt household-style power outlet. Quicker charging of 2½ hours is possible with a 240-volt outlet and an optional 7.2-kW charger.

  • "Power can be routed to either the rear wheels or all four, the former the choice of most purists, the latter a better option for novice drivers and those regularly dealing with snow. Gear changes are left to Porsche's excellent PDK twin-clutch 8-speed automatic, while horsepower ranges anywhere from 330 ponies on the base Panamera to a mind-numbing 680 horsepower generated by the Turbo S E-Hybrid's 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8-and-electric-motor setup." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "The base Panamera 4's 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 is impressive, putting out 330 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. It starts with a surprisingly loud bark, eventually settling into a pleasant grumble that only really stands out at high revs. The new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is smooth in every mode, knocking off shifts almost imperceptibly." -- CNET (2018)
  • "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.” -- Motor Trend (2017)

Handling and Braking

The Panamera is the best-driving car in its class, hands down. The steering is quick and nicely weighted, the brakes provide strong stopping power, and the adaptive suspension keeps the car planted around turns while still absorbing bumps and dips comfortably. For an even cushier ride and sharper handling, upgrade to the optional air suspension and four-wheel steering systems.

  • "It might stretch the credulity of anyone who hasn’t driven a Porsche Panamera when the driving experience is described as similar to a 911 (one of the truly great driver’s machines), only in a large luxury car. But that’s essentially how it pans out. Even the entry-level model has an active suspension and drive modes, bringing comfort when it’s needed and sportiness when it’s wanted. The adaptive air suspension in the higher trims is even better. Despite its length, the Panamera is wonderfully maneuverable, the steering is remarkably precise and the car corners like a champ." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Make no mistake, the Panamera 4 Sport Turismo drives like a sports car, albeit one that's been softened up a smidge for family duty. My Sport Turismo tester's standard air suspension has two sport settings that stiffen the ride and lower the car, making for some properly flat handling. Throw the Panamera into Comfort and it does a decent job of soaking up the bad parts of the road, even with my tester's optional 20-inch wheels." -- CNET (2018)
  • "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. … 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 (2017)
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2020 Porsche Panamera

MSRP: $87,200 - $198,100

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