Porsche Panamera

Posted: October 6, 2009 by The Car Spy in Porsche
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Porsche Panamera

Finally got to drive the PP at last. We’ve just bought three of them for a corporate customer of our’s and our local friendly dealer let us have a blast in a 4S and a Turbo for the afternoon. The black one in the picture above shows what they look like before the PDI.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. The car is not pretty but it doesn’t offend the senses. Sometimes it looks all cute and cuddly then suddenly you walk around the back end and go whoa! But let us not pre-judge because every review of the car so far has raved on about how well the Panamera drives and drive well it does.

First up was the 4S in black (which makes the car look smaller) with so many toys that it takes you several minutes to take it all in just like a small child in Hamleys. The interior is comfortable. Supremely comfortable. Four bucket seats and plenty of headroom. Enough said. Sitting in the back there was no sense of claustrophobia and the side and front views would keep any car-sick prone individuals from spoiling the carpets.

Depending on the driver’s penchant for ‘comfort’, ‘sport’ or ‘sport plus’ it is pretty conclusive how the rear passengers are likely to feel during the nip down to Sainsbury’s. The Panamera is predictable for a big car and will go wherever you point it and whatever the ride setting it is mightily impressive. It is a car that will flatter the most inept of drivers.

Sitting at the wheel the layout is easy to understand with little or no confusing ‘electronic’ interference such as i-Drive et al. A nice touch is the ‘window’ to the farthest right in the instrument pod which is able to provide a variety of useful status displays including the satnav screen. 

There is a stunning array of good old-fashoined buttons that do what they say is written on them. Refreshingly simple. The build-quality is exemplary and beyond any criticism. The 4S felt quick until we stepped into the ‘Yachting Blue’  Turbo.

They told us at the launch that the car was almost as quick as a 430 round the ‘Ring and it is easy to believe. The acceleration is instant and in yer face. An easy license points accumulator so beware. Strangely the Turbo did not come with the ‘Sports Exhaust’ button as featured on the 4S which emits such a nice angry snarl that it is hard to think why you would not have it on all of the time – so why have a button?

Talking of buttons the ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport Plus’ are badly positioned. Only a small criticism but it would have been so much more convenient  (and safer) to be able to change the setting from the multifunction steering wheel. Taking your eyes of the road to search for the right button was sometimes a bit tedious and highly distracting.

So there you have it. The forthcoming Rapide will win all of the beauty contests when it arrives in town but the Panamera (here’s a guess) will have it licked on interior comfort. The PP is definitely a car that is better from the inside looking out.

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