2018 Porsche Panamera Expert Review

Editor's Overview

While critics may deride the idea of a Porsche sedan, the 2018 Porsche Panamera certainly has its admirers. Porsche expands the lineup this year with the addition of the Sport Turismo wagon featuring a longer roof and more attractive rear-end styling. Also new is the Turbo S E-Hybrid that brings a whole lot of mean to the hybrid’s green.

You'll Like The 2018 Porsche Panamera If...

If you’re looking for a high-end performance sedan with a bit of an edge in both the styling and powertrain departments, one of the many Panamera models will likely pique your interest. The Panamera’s rear seat can comfortably fit two adults, while the Sport Turismo offers station-wagon-like accommodations.

You May Not Like The 2018 Porsche Panamera If...

Looks are important, so if the Panamera’s elongated 911 silhouette doesn’t float your boat, no amount of performance bragging rights is likely to make you fall in love. If you need room for five and a secure trunk, an Audi RS 7 or Mercedes-Benz AMG S63 would be our pick.

What's New

Porsche’s 2018 Panamera performance sedan gains two new models: the wagon-like Sport Turismo and the Turbo S E-Hybrid, a plug-in hybrid that pushes engine output to a staggering 680 horsepower.

Interior Features

The 2018 Porsche Panamera features a handsome interior filled with pleasing shapes and rich accents. The seats are amazingly comfortable, with multiple adjustments to help almost any driver find a comfortable position. The Sport Turismo adds more headroom in back where two 6-foot occupants can still find ample legroom. High-tech features abound, but the most noticeable is a massive navigation screen so clear it puts some HD TVs to shame. A large center tachometer is flanked by a configurable screen that can be optioned to include all manner of functions, from displaying road maps to an infrared image of the road ahead.

Exterior Features

Porsche’s Panamera sports sedan for 2018 shares not a single panel with the original car, yet it is immediately recognizable. The hood and front fascia are squared up a bit, with stronger character lines to make the Panamera a bit more menacing. The familiar curved hatchback rear end is still in place, but the rear fenders are wider, as is the car itself. The 2018 Panamera is only about an inch longer than the first-gen car, but it looks bigger and more substantial. Familiar features like the LED headlights are here, as are new toys such as the 4-position adaptive rear spoiler.

Driving Impressions

Compared to the first-generation Panamera, the 2018 car is superior in every area that matters. The steering is remarkably precise, made even better when one tacks on options such as the Sport package that brings launch control and rear-wheel steering. Despite its length, the Panamera takes corners like a champ, aided again by a host of electronic upgrades including Porsche’s Torque Vectoring technology and an adaptive air suspension. 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.

Pricing Notes

The 2018 Porsche Panamera 4-door performance sedan has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $86,000 including destination charges. The Panamera 4 starts around $90,650 while the new 4 Sport Turismo jumps to $97,250. The 4S starts closer to $104,050, while the Turbo pushes the price closer to $151,000. E-Hybrid pricing starts around $100,650 with the S E-Hybrid at nearly $185,500. Adding numerous option packages and add-ons can push the price well past the $200,000 mark. An Audi S7 or a BMW 6 Series Gran Sport starts a few thousand less than the Panamera, while the Turbo’s pricing is well above the starting price for the Audi RS 7, BMW M6 Gran Sport and Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG 4Matic. On the flip side, an Aston Martin Rapide S starts around $200,000 and goes up from there. Check KBB's Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid for their 2018 Porsche Panamera, and note that residual values are lower than Lexus, about the same as BMW, Audi and Mercedes, and much better than Jaguar.

Notable Equipment

For the price, one would expect the Porsche Panamera 4S to come well equipped, and one would be correct. There’s a panoramic glass moonroof plus front and rear parking sensors, 19-inch wheels, 8-way power-adjustable and heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, navigation and a 10-speaker premium audio system. The Turbo model adds LED headlights, 20-inch wheels, an adaptive air suspension, 14-speaker Bose audio, full leather interior, power-adjustable steering column, Alcantara roof lining, 14-way-power front seats and heated rear seats. Performance equipment includes Porsche Stability Management System (PSM) and the integrated 4D Chassis Control unit.

Notable Options

The list of possible option combinations is nearly limitless. Among the more notable upgrades are a 21-speaker Burmester audio system, rear-seat center-console touch screen, adaptive cruise control, adaptive LED headlights, Sport Package (air suspension, Sport Chrono package, rear-axle steering and sport exhaust), ceramic-composite brakes, a heated steering wheel, 18-way-adaptive sport seats, ventilated front and rear seats, infrared night-vision camera, Lane Change Assist, Lane Keep Assist, massaging seats and 4-zone automatic climate control with separate air-temperature, blower-intensity and air-distribution adjustments for each seat. Porsche will also customize the Panamera’s interior to any color you like.

Favorite Features

BURMESTER AUDIO

Easily one of the world’s finest automotive audio systems, the Burmester 3D High End Surround Sound system was developed exclusively for use in Porsche automobiles. A touch-screen controller handles commands governing output to the system’s 21 speakers. You can even direct sound to the seat of your choice.


4D CHASSIS CONTROL

Porsche’s 4D Chassis Control monitors the car’s driving dynamics in all three spatial dimensions, allowing the Panamera’s computer brain to synchronize the car’s suspension and chassis systems for the optimal mix of handling and ride comfort.



Under the Hood

For 2018, there are 15 Panamera trims and five engine choices. The 2018 Panamera (4, 4 Sport Turismo and 4 Executive) is powered by a 3.0-liter turbo V6 good for 330 horsepower. The 4S models are powered by a 440-horsepower twin-turbocharged direct-injection 2.9-liter V6, while the Panamera Turbo receives a 550-horsepower twin-turbocharged direct-injection 4.0-liter V8 with cylinder deactivation. The E-Hybrid uses the same 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 paired with an electric motor for a combined output of 462 horsepower, while the Turbo S E-Hybrid pairs the 4.0-liter V8 with an electric motor producing 680 horsepower. All five engines send power to either the rear wheels (RWD) or all four (AWD) via a PDK 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.


3.0-liter turbocharged V6 (Panamera)

330 horsepower @ 5,400-6,400 rpm

331 lb-ft of torque @ 1,340 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg (RWD), 21/27 mpg (AWD)


2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (4S)

440 horsepower @ 5,650-6,600 rpm

405 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg


4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (Turbo)

550 horsepower @ 5,750-6,000 rpm

567 lb-ft of torque @ 1,960-4,500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg


2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 + electric motor (E-Hybrid)

462 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (peak output w/gasoline and electric combined)

516 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22 mpg combined, 46 MPGe combined

<span style="letter-spacing: 0px;">Pure electric range on a full charge: Up to 16 miles<span style="letter-spacing: 0px;">4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 + electric motor (S E-Hybrid)

680 horsepower @ 5,750-6,000 rpm (peak output w/gasoline and electric combined)

626 lb-ft of torque @ 1,950-4,500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy:&nbsp;21 mpg combined, 49 MPGe combined

Pure electric range on a full charge: Up to 14 miles


Editors' Notes

Despite numerous naysayers, the 2018 Porsche Panamera continues to win over converts, while simultaneously pushing the competition to produce similar 4-door supercars. Porsche expands an already abundant lineup with the new Panamera Sport Turismo wagon featuring a longer roof and more attractive rear-end styling. Also new is the Turbo S E-Hybrid, a plug-in hybrid that brings a whole lot of mean to the hybrid’s green. With power ranging from 330 to 680 horsepower, the 2018 Panamera is easily the equal of cars like the BMW M6 Gran Coupe, Mercedes-Benz CLS and Audi RS 7, none of which yet offers a hybrid powertrain option. Couple this big sedan with decades of Porsche racing and performance innovations, and you get one very desirable 4-door.

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