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Porsche Panamera buying guide review (2009-present)

Porsche Panamera buying guide review (2009-present) Classic and Performance Car
Porsche Panamera Turbo Porsche Panamera Turbo Porsche Panamera Turbo Porsche Panamera Turbo interior Porsche Panamera Turbo engine
Porsche purists were barely over the shock of the Cayenne when Stuttgart unleashed its next affront to their sensibilities: a Porsche saloon (or, strictly speaking, a five-door hatch). If they’d known that two years later there’d be a diesel version, some may never have recovered.
 
The Panamera went on sale in September 2009, initially exclusively with V8 power (the Cayenne’s 4.8-litre unit). The line-up was the rear-drive, 394bhp S, a four-wheel-drive 4S, and the 493bhp, four-wheel-drive Turbo. The S came with the choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch PDK, the latter a £2289 option. The 4S and Turbo were only available with PDK. 
 
The four-wheel-drive systems on the 4S and Turbo used a multi-plate clutch and Porsche Traction Management (PTM) to apportion torque front-to-rear, and all models came with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and an impressive array of luxury goodies, from full leather to touchscreen satnav, plus a Sport button to sharpen the throttle, suspension and PDK (if fitted). Additional standard kit on the Turbo included air suspension (optional on the S) with active ride-height adjustment and a Bose hi-fi. Optional on all were ceramic brake discs (PCCB). So it was a technical tour de force. It was also a genuine four-seater with decent luggage space. 
 
February 2010 saw the introduction of a 296bhp 3.2-litre V6; the 247bhp 3-litre V6 diesel was added in August 2011. Both have merits if you do high mileages, as does the Hybrid, which combines a supercharged V6 with an electric motor.
 
But it’s the full-fat V8s we’re focusing on here. From 2010, Turbo buyers could specify an £11,118 Powerkit that featured new turbos with titanium-alloy turbine bearings, lifting peak power by 39bhp to 532bhp. Other options introduced at the same time were Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus and the roll-stabilising Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC). In March 2011 came the Turbo S with a mighty 542bhp. The purest driving choice, though, was the four-wheel-drive GTS. Introduced in 2012, it hiked the naturally aspirated V8 by 30bhp to 424bhp and sharpened the handling. All models got a facelift in July 2013.
 
If you don’t mind the looks, the V8 Panameras are quick, capable and are also proving pleasingly robust. 
 
Performance and specs
 
Porsche Panamera Turbo S
Engine V8, 4806cc twin-turbo
Power 493bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 516lb ft @ 2250-4500rpm 
Gearbox Seven-speed PDK, four-wheel drive
Consumption 24.7mpg (combined)
Insurance group 50
0-62mph 4.2sec (claimed)
Top speed 188mph (claimed)

Dimensions and weight


Wheelbase 2920mm
Length 4970mm
Width 1931mm
Height 1418mm
Weight 1970kg

Common problems
 
• The good news is that compared to the early V8s in the Cayenne, the Panamera’s 4.8-litre engine is proving robust and relatively trouble-free. The Cayenne has suffered lots of problems with bore scoring, which is extremely unusual in the Panamera.  

• There are also no known issues with turbochargers, with many cars racking up over 125,000miles without issues. 

• Porsche specifies service intervals of 20,000 miles or two years, but most specialists recommend annual servicing to maintain the protective qualities of the oil additives. 

• Part of any service should be clearing debris from the air ducts to the radiators in the nose to prevent corrosion. This area is also well worth a visual check when you’re viewing a car.

• Transmissions, including the PDK gearbox, are proving similarly resilient so far but check underneath for oil leaks. If the gearbox sump is leaking you have to buy a replacement cover, which is at least £300.

• The main issue with the Panamera, and the one that could land you with a sizeable bill, is the air suspension. 

• A leaking air spring is hard to detect unless a car is left standing and you actually notice it sagging. You have to replace the units in pairs and you could easily be looking at a £2000 bill to do so, even from a specialist. 

• The front units tend to be more susceptible to failure, due to the weight of the V8 engine. That same weight also accelerates wear to the lower arms and drop links, so listen for any knocks or clonks.

• Pads for the carbon-ceramic brakes are up to 50 per cent more expensive than for the regular cast-iron items, but the discs themselves aren’t an issue. 

• There are no issues with corrosion as yet, so you’re chiefly checking for signs of accident damage: variable body panel gaps, paint mismatching, overspray, etc. 

• The Panamera’s excellent interior is also proving very durable, so be suspicious of excessive wear on the seats or dashboard, on cars showing low miles on the odometer. 

• Unlike in the Cayenne, there are so far no particular recurring issues with the many sophisticated electronic systems, but nevertheless it’s advisable to check everything works.

• If you want peace of mind, an independent specialist will check through any recorded fault codes for around £100 or carry out a full inspection for £420.
 
Model history
 
April 2009: Production ready Panamera unveiled at the Shanghai motor show, and shortly after launched around the world in V8 Petrol S, 4S and Turbo forms
2010: More basic Panamera and Panamera 4 models launched, powered by 3.6-litre V6 engine
2011: New Panamera S Hybrid added to the range, along with diesel versions. More Powerful Turbo S also introduces, along with the GTS
2013: Porsche introduces the facelifted Panamera model, with updated engines and minor cosmetic revisions. Plug-in E-Hybrid model also introduced.
 
Websites and clubs
 
- porscheclubgb.com forums, advice, events
- porsche.com dealer network, approved cars
- porschebuyersguide.co.uk detailed model guide
- charlesivey.com independent specialist
- 911sbd.com independent specialist
 
Summary and prices
 
Plenty of V6 and diesel examples can be found for sale at between £35,000 and £40,000, and the first V8s also start to appear towards the upper threshold of that budget. 
 
Be patient and you should be able to find a good Panamera S or 4S for around £40,000. Turbos start near £50,000 but £60,000+ gives you a wide choice of well-cared-for cars with watertight service histories and big specs (many of these cars would have been more than £100,000 new). The highly rated GTS starts at around £65k.

Words: Peter Tomalin/evo Magazine
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Last updated: 24th Sep 2015
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  • PORSCHE PANAMERA 3.0 [300] V6 Diesel 4dr Tiptronic S

    £39,901 £39,901

    Type: Used Year: 2014 Make: PORSCHE Model: PANAMERA Trim: 3.0 [300] V6 Diesel 4dr Tiptronic S Body: Sedan Trans: Semi Automatic Mileage: 59754 Engine Size: 2967 Ext Color: GT Silver Metallic

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    • Engine size: 2967
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    01623549390 View contact number
  • Porsche Panamera

    £42,995 £42,995

    Variant name:Diesel Saloon ,Variant: 3.0 [300] V6 Diesel 4dr Tiptronic S Here we have an extremely nice 2015 Porsche Panamera Diesel. This vehicle is presented in Gloss Black with Red Leather Interior. The specification is as followed, Automatic Xenon Projector Headlights, Front & Rear Parking Sensors, Fully Electric Front Seats, Heated Seats, Cooled Seats, Dual Climate Control, Air Conditioning, Satellite Navigation, Cruise Control, Multi Functional Leather Steering Wheel, Trip Computer, Electric Folding and Adjusting Mirrors, Electric Mirrors, Bose Surround Sound System, PASM, Sport Mode, Auto Stop Start, Reverse Parking Camera. To discuss this fantastic Panamera in further detail please don't hesitate to give a call on the number as shown above.

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 30000 mi
    • Engine size: 3
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