2020 Porsche Panamera

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2020 Porsche Panamera Review: Long Live The Sedan King

The antidote to becoming irrelevant and struggling to survive is, apparently, to break your own rules and lightly slap your most loyal fans in the face. For ten years now, the Porsche Panamera has been one of the brand's most successful competitors and money makers and with the full-size luxury sedan/hatchback now being on floors for a decade, Stuttgart has released a special edition to commemorate the milestone that purists thought would never be achieved. Various types of the Panamera are available, with the most common powertrain being a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 with 330 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed dual-clutch automatic is standard fare across the range, with most models sending power to all four wheels and the lower trims turning the rears exclusively. A 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 is available with 440 hp and 405 lb-ft, as well as a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with 453 horses and 457 lb-ft of torque. These are fitted to S and GTS Panameras respectively, but no rear-wheel-drive variant is available in conjunction with the 400+ hp models.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 10 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2020 Porsche Panamera Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 Panamera?

As touched on above, a new model is added to the Panamera lineup to celebrate 10 years of the model's existence. The Panamera 10 Years Edition and its Panamera 4 10 Years Edition sibling get adaptive air suspension as standard, along with 21-inch wheels painted in Satin White Gold Metallic. That Satin White Gold theme continues onto the door logos and interior trim logos, with White Gold contrast stitching on the upholstery too. A ski bag, an upgraded sound system from Bose, quad-zone climate control, soft-close doors, and some driver aids are added to this model as standard. The regular Panamera models only get a slight change with the addition of two new metallic colors: Papaya and Gentian Blue.

Pros and Cons

  • Impressive performance on all models, with top variants exceptional
  • Numerous configurations to suit various needs
  • Plenty of standard features
  • Comfortable ride
  • Useful cargo area
  • Still looks weird
  • Ridiculously expensive when you get carried away
  • Infotainment system could be better

Best Deals on 2020 Porsche Panamera

2020 Porsche Panamera Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Base
3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$87,200
4
3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$91,800
4 Executive
3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$98,500
10 Years Edition
3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$103,300
4S
2.9L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$105,000
See All 2020 Porsche Panamera Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

If you're buying a luxury vehicle, you expect comfort. If you're buying one from Germany, and particularly if it bears a Porsche badge, you expect exceptional handling too. With the Panamera, your expectations are met, and the greatest test of its drive is how well it performs in spirited driving conditions. As standard, the Panamera is equipped with adaptive dampers, otherwise known as Porsche Active Suspension Management. This allows for both a supple ride and excellent control of the body when you're pushing the car. Also available is an adaptive air suspension system that further enhances the contrast between various modes, allowing for a plush ride when you're cruising or need to drive over less than perfect surface.

In sportier settings, the suspension stiffens up to minimize body roll and keep the car flat. The adaptive air suspension package that is standard on the GTS is typically a little firmer than what is available elsewhere in the range, but it's not unbearable in the least and the benefits in the corners are astonishing. In terms of steering, you'll find that although the Panamera can never mirror the 911 for delicacy and ease of sudden direction changes, this big sedan can still turn in as sharply and as fluidly as the best of the competition. This is especially true if you opt for the rear-axle steering system that turns in the same direction as the front wheels when you're at higher speeds, thus increasing stability. In low-speed corners, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction for even sharper agility.

When it's time to stop, you can opt for carbon-ceramic brakes that minimize brake fade after consecutive hard stops, but even the standard setup is more than beefy enough to bring this hefty machine to a sudden stop. In traffic, the pedal is just as good too, allowing for easy modulation without excessive travel nor bite.

Verdict: Is the 2020 Porsche Panamera A Good car?

The 2020 Panamera is an outstanding car. It stands out for its price, the length of the options list, and the ridiculous things that you can change about it - those leather-wrapped air vents come to mind here. Even so, few will take issue with its foibles because it's brilliant in so many other respects. The handling is astounding for a vehicle of this size and makes the Panamera debatably worthy of the Porsche crest on its hood. The interior is finished to the highest standard with plenty of premium materials and expert design flourishes. Furthermore, even the base model is an impressive performer. Whatever you want to achieve with your Panamera, there's a model for you. Just need a family car with good handling and decent performance? There's an entry-level model for that. Wanna stretch out like a foreign dignitary in the back? The Executive has you covered. Wanna embarrass the kid in his Camaro next to you at the lights? The GTS will make him sell it. Truly, the Panamera has come of age, and despite being in relative infancy in comparison to some other nameplates, this vehicle is worthy of respect. Even if Porsche didn't respect the wishes of traditionalists who helped keep the brand alive in the past.

2020 Porsche Panamera Comparisons

Audi A7 Sportback Audi
Porsche 911 Carrera Porsche

2020 Porsche Panamera vs Audi A7 Sportback

The Audi A7 is another member of the VAG stable that offers impressive cargo and interior space, but this one is considerably more affordable, undercutting the cheapest Porsche Panamera's price by over $18,000, despite coming with all-wheel-drive as standard. Powered by the same 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine as the entry-level Panamera, the Audi A7 produces a little more power, offering 335 hp and an impressive jump in torque to 369 lb-ft. Interestingly, even more advanced tech is available on the A7, which offers HD Matrix LED lighting with Audi laser light. In addition, the A7 features a large 10.1-inch configurable driver display as standard, and its infotainment system features two screens, both of which are arguably child's play to operate when compared to that of the Porsche. If you're a family head looking to be perceived as discerning, the Audi A7 is the smart buy here.

See Audi A7 Sportback Review

2020 Porsche Panamera vs Porsche 911 Carrera

While the Panamera is offered with various performance-enhancing features and even comes in GTS flavor with 453 hp, a real Porsche key - to purists anyway - goes in the pocket of a 911 owner. With a base price of $97,400, the 911 Carrera is not just an entry-level sports car, it's a doorway to phenomenal driving pleasure and handling balance. It comes with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six as standard and sends 379 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. Thanks to a redesigned interior and wider rear arches as standard, the 911 looks better and feels more right than a Panamera, although it didn't need any updates to achieve that. If you're willing to spend on an S variant, you can even opt for a manual gearbox at no extra cost. Unless you need the space, the 911 is the better performance car in every way, and we wouldn't hesitate to sacrifice practicality in the pursuit of driving nirvana.

See Porsche 911 Carrera Review
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