Practical people carriers rarely offer as much performance as when they come from Porsche. The Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo is the company's better-looking and more spacious alternative to the regular Panamera, but it still provides blistering performance as a result of its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 550 horsepower and 567 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel-drive keeps grip at a maximum while an eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic provides smooth and swift shifts. Altogether, this package makes for a luxury wagon that can get from 0-60 mph in as little as 3.4 seconds. With pricing starting at well over $150,000, however, some may wish to look elsewhere for a barnstorming German wagon, and in that case, the Audi RS6 is well worth considering.
Little has changed for the 2020 model, with just a pair of new colors on offer: Gentian Blue and Papaya. The rest of the car remains as it was in 2019.
See trim levels and configurations:
|Turbo Sport Turismo||
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
The "long roof" Panamera features the usual Porsche Turbo flairs of design, with a quad-exit exhaust system, red brake calipers behind 20-inch wheels, and a roof spoiler. LED headlights and taillights feature too, along with a panoramic sunroof. Should you wish to customize the looks, a SportDesign body kit is available, as are various designs of 21-inch wheels.
The Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo is the same length as the regular Panamera, measuring 198.8 inches. Width is identical too, at 76.3 inches, with height a little greater at 56.4 inches while the regular model measures 56.1 inches. The wheelbase is again the same at 116.1 inches, but curb weight is greater, starting at 4,639 pounds on the Sport Turismo versus 4,579 lbs on the regular version.
The Turbo is a standalone performance model of the Panamera Sport Turismo, and as such gets the company's range-topping 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, although a hybrid variant is also available. The Turbo ST produces 550 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque, all of which is directed through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. As you'd expect, performance is astonishing, with the turbos taking very little time to spool up and aid in propelling you down the road at an alarming rate. 60 mph comes up in just 3.6 seconds, or 3.4 if you spec the Sport Chrono package. As good as the initial throttle response is, the engine doesn't run out of puff if you keep pushing, and will pull hard until 188 mph. The transmission makes the experience all the more enjoyable, offering lightning-like shifts that are both predictive and silky smooth.
The Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo seems to offer all the right features on paper, with adaptive air suspension balancing a taut chassis with comfortable and supple ride quality. You can even opt for rear-wheel steering and carbon composite brakes if the excellent standard stoppers aren't enough for you. However, the electric steering system, although direct and sharp, is lacking in feel, making this model less of a large 911 and more of a lowered Cayenne. The handling is still excellent and the grip is all but limitless, but that proper sports car feel that you expect from a Porsche product is sadly missing. Fortunately, you can opt for Dynamic Chassis Control along with the Sport Chrono package, each of which heightens the abilities of the car and make it more responsive and agile in the bends.
The Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo boasts figures of 18/23/20 mpg on the EPA's city/highway/combined cycles. With a 23.7-gallon gas tank fitted, your average range with mixed driving will be around the 470-mile mark. The regular Panamera is marginally more economical, with official EPA figures of 18/25/21 mpg - whether you opt for the regular or long-wheelbase model. This gives it a greater range of almost 498 miles with mixed driving.
The Sport Turismo comes as standard with a 4+1 seating configuration, but adults will be squeezed in like sardines unless you opt for the individual rear seats. Keep that middle seat open or opt for the four-seater setup and even six-footers will be comfortable on long trips, with more legroom and headroom on offer than in the regular Panamera. Up front, both occupants get 14-way power-adjustable seats as standard, but 18-way adaptive front and eight-way rears are available too. Overall, the driving position can be tailored to suit you perfectly and the seats offer plenty of support and comfort, but visibility in the rear three-quarter area is hindered by large D-pillars.
The Sport Turismo offers more practicality and space for those who find a regular Panamera too small. In the regular car, you get 17.6 cubic feet of volume, while the Sport Turismo offers 18.3 cubes (enough for luggage for four). You can also fold the rear seats in a 40/20/40 split to open up 49 cubic feet of volume, but what most will appreciate is the larger and lower rear opening, which is accessed via a power hatch.
In the cabin, four cupholders take care of your beverages while various pockets and bins allow you to put the contents of your pockets safely away. A center armrest bin is well-sized and the glovebox isn't bad either.
As standard, the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo features adaptive air suspension, adaptive LED headlights, and an adaptive rear spoiler. You also get a panoramic roof, parking sensors front and rear, a rearview camera, rain-sensing wipers, heated and power-operated wing mirrors, and a power rear hatch. Dual-zone climate control, heated seats, keyless entry and ignition, and power front seats are standard too, while options include adaptive front seats, power rear seats, and massaging and ventilation for both rows too. Also available are features like a surround-view camera, lane change assist, LED Matrix headlights, rear-axle steering, launch control, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, a night vision camera, a head-up display, quad-zone climate control. Forward collision alert with autonomous emergency braking is also available, as are power rear sunblinds, a heated steering wheel, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The only major complaint we have with the interior of the Panamera Sport Turismo, and other Porsche products that share this system, is the infotainment setup. The 12.3-inch touchscreen is beautiful to look at, but suffers from confusing menus and a general failure to be easy to use. Standard features include a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and aux inputs, voice control, SiriusXM satellite radio, navigation, and Apple CarPlay, but Android Auto is not available. The standard 14-speaker Bose sound system is brilliant, but a 21-speaker Burmester setup is also available, as are a pair of ten-inch rear touchscreen displays with built-in storage and Bluetooth capability.
Thus far, both the current 2020 model and the 2019 Turbo Sport Turismo on which this is based have been free of any recalls.
Should anything go awry, Porsche provides a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty that also covers the paint, as well as a 12-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion package. Complimentary scheduled maintenance is also included for the first 10,000 miles or the first year, whichever comes first.
Cars in this price bracket are not generally crash-tested by the IIHS nor the NHTSA, but with numerous standard and available safety features, this vehicle should be capable of good performance. Eight airbags (dual frontal, side-impact, curtain, and dual front knee) are included as standard, along with a rearview camera, parking sensors, adaptive LED headlights, and rain-sensing wipers. Also available are a surround-view camera, LED Matrix headlights, lane change assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a head-up display, a night vision camera, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist.
The Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo may not be the most fun Porsche to drive, and its cargo-hauling abilities are only marginally improved over those of the regular Panamera, but if you can look past the annoying infotainment system, the astonishing performance and impeccable luxury on offer make this a brilliant all-round package that can both thrill and cosset in equal measure. Sure, it is pricey and you have to pay extra for a number of the advanced safety features on offer, as well as various convenience amenities, but the prestige and style of this better-looking Panamera are tough to refuse. That said, we would certainly consider looking at the recently-launched Audi RS6 - a vehicle that offers much more usable space, a wealth of features, and even greater performance. If you're obsessed with the Porsche brand, we won't hold your purchase against you, but some competitors are vastly better, and we'd rather have a car that does everything right if we are to part with over $150,000.
The Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo is a standalone model that starts at a base price of $157,000 before a $1,350 delivery fee. Fully loaded, that price can easily exceed $200,000.
If you are to purchase a Turbo Sport Turismo, we'd consider adding many of the available safety features, like adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera, a lane change assist, a head-up display, and maybe even the night vision camera. For ultimate luxury, we'd also consider the massaging and ventilation functions for the seats, while soft-close doors are a nice-to-have feature too. The standard adaptive air suspension system has proven good enough to allow you to spec bigger wheels too, so we'd opt for some racy 21-inch rims as well. All in, this well-rounded package would set you back a little over $180,000.
The normal Panamera Turbo starts at $153,000, four grand less than the Sport Turismo. The same engine with the same output and drivetrain features, and basically the same standard and available options. The key difference lies in space, with the Sport Turismo offering a little more cargo area along with better legroom and headroom for rear passengers. However, the regular Panamera Turbo also offers an Executive variant that boasts a longer wheelbase for supreme rear seat comfort. It can be specced with two individual rear seats as well, so the regular Panamera will be the better option for those who like being driven in comfort. For us, the better looks and improved practicality of the wagon-like Sport Turismo are just about worth the extra money, but either variant will satisfy the wealthy buyer who wants a sporty four-door.
For Audi, Avant means wagon, and the RS6 is as practical as a wagon can be, offering 59 cubic feet of volume with the seats down. Beyond that, there are plenty of other reasons to choose the so-called lesser German brand. The infotainment system is a joy to use and the interior is absolutely gorgeous. Hell, even the way the LED headlights and taillights animate on unlocking the car justifies its price. Speaking of price, the RS6 Avant is likely to cost around $100,000 - more than 30% cheaper than the Porsche. Even so, you get more bang for your buck, with 592 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque from a similar 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. If that's not enough, a performance variant will likely be gracing our shores in the near future. For its value, space, style, and performance, the Audi RS6 is a far better prospect than the Porsche.
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