Is the first gen Porsche Panamera a good buy?
It received a lot of hatred when it came out in 2009, maybe it is not all that bad even 10 years later.
Every now and then, I try to give you fine people a good read about consumer advices. I am not an expert, but I am here to gather some bits of information I have heard, here and there, about second hand cars and today I am going to focus on the first generation Porsche Panamera. Yes, some say it is hideous and that it looks like a fat otter but I tend to think like the other ones. I quite like it.
In my opinion, it doesn't look that bad. Yes, it is a gigantic car but for me it makes more sense in the Porsche range than a Macan or Cayenne. When the car was released, it immediately divided judgements. The new Panamera is, again in my opinion, very beautiful but I truly understand why some people might find the first generation model to be beyond repulsive.
It all started in 2009, when Porsche decided to enter the full-size luxury vehicle segment. The idea was to offer a car that had the classiness and technologies of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class associated to the dynamics of a 911. On this side, the Panamera was a huge success. Early reviews of the car showed that it hid really well its massive weight of 1'935 kg (For the 4S) and behaved rather well on the road. When it launched, the top-of-the-line was the Turbo that was equipped with a 4.8-litres V8 that made 500 horsepower. Later, Porsche introduced the flagship Turbo S, the sportier GTS and the more sensible Panamera and Panamera 4. Porsche also had the guts to launch a Diesel engine. But let's not talk about that. The car we drove for this review is a 2010 4S with 156'000 Km. Like the Turbo, it has a 4.8-litres V8 and is priced at approximately £20K. That's not a lot, considering an initial retail price that was probably 7 times more expensive. But, with the asking price in mind, is the Panamera a good buy? Is it reliable? Is it good value for money? Should you buy one?
Always fancied a 911 but you've got the partner and kids to drag along on weekends? The Panamera is probably the closest family car to a 911 you can get. While being roomy, practical and very comfortable, this four-seater saloon can transform in a very balanced sports car that will behave beautifully on windy roads. The only issue about that would be its size. It's large, long and inappropriate if you want to thrash it up a narrow mountain pass. Then you have the image. Even though the Panamera's reputation is not as negative as the Macan's and the Cayenne's, most Porsche purists don't think the Panamera is eligible to wear the same badge as the 911. You will probably have a hard time to get into a Porsche owners club, but if you can go beyond that, you will be fine anyway. Then, you need to look at the engines. There is a large range of those and the Panamera goes from the perfect daily to the more focused GTS. Choose wisely, but if you are looking for the ideal Autobahn destroyer, go with a Turbo or a Turbo S. If you are looking for something rarer, go with the GTS.
Early cars equipped with the 4.8-litres V8 suffer from bore wear issues, so watch out for that. The turbos risked to catch fire, but thanks to a recall all cars should be OK by now. Also, be aware that 4.8-litres V8 Panameras need a lot of attention over engine oil. Concerning the gearbox, you could opt for both a six-speed manual or a PDK depending on which model. The PDK is the more tricky one, so make sure the transmission fluids get changed every 40'000 miles. About the brakes and tyres, the car is heavy so expect some accelerated wear and check if the brake discs are carbon ceramics, because these can be very pricey to replace. Lastly, the first owner had the option to fit the car with air suspensions, and if the car is equipped with those, just ensure that it rises correctly when the car starts.
All in all, we had great fun with the Porsche Panamera 4S. It runs smoothly, it is mindblowingly fast and it will comfortably seat four people. It may not be the prettiest car that ever came out of Zuffenhausen, but it feels like a real Porsche, even though purists may not agree. The interior is nice, luxurious, spacious and still feels quite modern in regards to modern standards. The Panamera is like the 928's righteous descendent and just for that it gets a thumbs up. It ticks all the boxes but like every second-hand luxury cars there are things to look out for and these usually come at an expensive price.
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I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Perego Cars, situated in Switzerland, for giving me the opportunity to review and shoot this car. Website: www.peregocars.com/en Facebook: www.facebook.com/peregocars/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/peregocars/
Porsche Panamera 4S