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2012 Porsche Panamera

Overview
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2012 Porsche Panamera Review

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The 2012 Porsche Panamera line includes seven variations, from the "base" model with rear-drive and a 300-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, to the Turbo S with a 550-horsepower twin-turbo 4.8-liter V8 and not so much a performance envelope as a performance shipping crate. Prices range from around $75K to well over twice that. In a way, there is no direct, clear market competition, as the 4-door Panamera defines the perhaps-paradoxical notion of a 4-door sports car and doesn't really fit the description of "sports sedan." Price, performance and image-wise there are the usual suspects from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, but the truth is, the Porsche Panamera is very much in a class by itself.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you absolutely, positively must have the performance, prestige and panache of a Porsche and the undeniable audacity of it being a 4-door sedan, there is probably no substitute for the 2012 Panamera. There are lots of really good high-end cars available, but only one Panamera.

You May Not Like This Car If...

To those not familiar with Porsche window stickers, even the lowest-priced 2012 Panamera will be an eye-opener. Getting in and out can be awkward. Close parking spaces can be problematical. If these things are issues, try something from Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, BMW or Audi. Did we say it's expensive?

What's New for 2012

In addition to the inclusion of the Turbo S and S Hybrid into the model line, the 2012 Porsche Panamera has only minor changes, mostly options, like Lane Change Assistant and some Porsche Exclusive options, including bi-xenon headlight surrounds in black, Sports Exhaust Tailpipes and new leather packages.

Driving the Panamera

Driving Impressions Describing the 2012 Porsche Panamera driving experience can quickly suck a lot of superlatives out of the dictionary, and its limits are for exploration by only the most skilled drivers....

Even the base model, with the 300-horsepower V6, delivers impressive performance, and the increasingly more-powerful versions go all the way to incredibly awesome. It's not a lightweight, at two tons or more, so it lacks the quick, sweet nimbleness you would expect from, say, a 911. But it combines athletic steering response with resolute down-the-road stability. The sophisticated suspension deals with anything the pavement serves up, the brakes set the standard for stopping performance and the sum is an overall competence that makes ordinary drivers feel like heroes and any owner. This praise is not extended to the S Hybrid which dulls the steering and braking edge – the big reasons for buying a Porsche in the first place.

EXTERIOR STYLING
On a highway, at track day, or pulling up to the valet at an overpriced restaurant, the 2012 Panamera makes a visual statement that is unmistakable as to its overall purpose in life. This thing has stage presence.

OVERALL PERFORMANCE
Until you've driven a Porsche Panamera, it's difficult to imagine the overall level of competence and authority it has on the road – any road. On Interstates it's an impeccable long-distance, long-hours road warrior, on city streets it's smooth and luxurious, and on devilish curves its capabilities are beyond reproach.

2012 Porsche Panamera Details
2012 Porsche Panamera photo Interior

In the 2012 Porsche Panamera the seats are low, and the doors low and long. Getting in or out can take patience – and room, so you don't bang the door into the car in the next spot. The interior is a statement to Porsche luxury and technology, and fit and finish is impeccable. Seating is terrific for those in front, with plenty of space even for taller folks, but less so for those in the rear, where the low seats, high sills and front-seat headrests severely limit the outward view. Expectedly, the sound system is magnificent and there is enough technology to suit the most committed early-adopter, but we counted about 75 control functions that are reachable from the driver's seat.

Exterior
2012 Porsche Panamera photo

While Porsche's reputation was built on the racetracks of the world and that competition heritage is certainly the single-most significant aspect of the marketing message, the unmistakable "Porsche-ness" of the exterior shapes of all the company's products ties them together like pictures on a family greeting card. Even with four doors, there is no confusing that the 2012 Panamera is a Porsche. The smoothly-rounded shape, the almost genetically-linked front end, the side-window outline, the big tires filling out the fenders and the taillight treatment leave no doubt of the Panamera's relationship to other Porsches.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Standard equipment on the 2012 Porsche Panamera base version, besides all the usual luxury items appropriate for the price range, includes a slide/tilt moonroof, electronically-controlled shock absorbers, Porsche Stability Management, hard-drive-based navigation, an automatic liftgate, ParkAssist, Bluetooth, 8-way power front seats, and a host of additional luxury, convenience and safety features.

Optional Equipment

With a vehicle that offers paint and leather upholstery to match provided samples, you would be correct in guessing the list of available options is lengthy. Those options include sound systems from Burmester and Bose, Porsche Rear-Seat Entertainment with swiveling 7-inch screens, Lane Change Assist, adaptive cruise control, thermally and noise-insulated glass, and 4-zone automatic climate control – which allows separate adjustment of air temperature, blower intensity and air distribution for each seat.

Under the Hood

The base 2012 Porsche Panamera and Panamera 4 – "4" is Porsche shorthand for all-wheel drive – are powered by a 300-horsepower 3.6-liter all-aluminum V6. The other models (except the S Hybrid) have various versions of a 4.8-liter all-aluminum V8 which varies from 400 horsepower in the Panamera S and 4S models all the way up to 550 hp in the Turbo S. All Panamera models, except the S Hybrid, have a 7-speed automatic transmission with manual control. No manual transmission is offered. The Panamera S Hybrid has a 3.0-liter V6 with an 8-speed automatic, and the total system output is 380 horsepower. It is difficult to pick a favorite Porsche Panamera, as even the 3.6-liter V6 delivers sparkling performance and response.

Panamera, Panamera 4
3.6-liter V6
300 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 3,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 mpg (Panamera), 18/26 mpg (Panamera 4)

Panamera S, Panamera 4S
4.8-liter V8
400 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
369 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 mpg

Panamera Turbo
4.8-liter V8, twin turbocharged
500 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 2,250-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23 mpg

Panamera Turbo S
4.8-liter V8, twin turbocharged
550 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
553 lb-ft of torque @ 2,250-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23 mpg

Panamera S Hybrid
3.0-liter V6 with hybrid electric motor
380 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm (total system)
428 lb-ft of torque @ 1,000 rpm (total system)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2012 Porsche Panamera Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.7
Out of 10

Based on 22 Ratings for the 2010 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.4/10
    Quality
    9.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.8/10
    Performance
    9.6/10
  • Comfort
    10.0/10
    Styling
    9.9/10

Best sports car for a tall guy ever made!

By on Sunday, July 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Price a bit high but you pay for quality"

Cons: "It has all you need based on options-"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Luv the car. Great performance and style-If it was a convertible it would be awesome. Few small recalls but Porsche was outstanding taking care of all the cars needs. It a real looker and head turner."

Beyond expectations!

By on Sunday, June 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great balance of fun to drive and practical luxury"

Cons: "Expensive to purchase."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My first Porsche and I could not be more impressed. This was my first Porsche and the Panamera is a car that brings a smile to my face every day. It's the perfect blend of luxury and class with sportiness and fun. I truly believe that only Porsche could have pulled this feat off. It's not an Audi or a BMW and I love it that way."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Unmatched combo of luxury & high power sports car

By on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "High power, handling luxury inside,sport exterior"

Cons: "pricey, but worth it"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Not only is the Turbo Executive a fast and agile car that you would expect from a Porsche, but the inside of the car is what sold me. It is truly the definition of luxury with all the bells and whistles. Additionally, the leg room in the car quite honestly is shockingly great. Absolutely worth the investment and once you test drive you will see why."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

The most fun car I've ever driven

By on Monday, September 23, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Just about everything!"

Cons: "Visability"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Love this car! I've had MB, BMW 7, Lexus SC but this beats them all. I had to get used to the length because it is considerably longer than my MB CLK (which was a great car too...owned it for 10 years), but it's not a problem now. I ordered the car to get exactally what I wanted (premium plus package) 20" Spyder wheels, leather, wood trim, wood/heated steering wheel, insulated windows (which I'm not sure was worth it), rear AC, keyless entry, backup camera & sensors. I purchased the car and plan to keep it a long time, so I wanted the interior to look and feel luxurous."

14 people out of 20 found this review helpful

"Dem good car"

By on Saturday, July 13, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Has more toys than I know how to work."

Cons: "I haven't had it long enough to see a negative."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

What a vehicle!

"I have never been interested in a car like this. My husband was the one that wanted it. I was very impressed that actual adults can fit in the back seats. My husband is very tall and fits comfortably in this car. Then I drove it too, during the test drive period. I'm a convert."

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

What a vehicle!

this is what grown ups drive

By on Sunday, March 03, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything"

Cons: "Its not cheap"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

brand new baby

"This is hands down no hesitation the BEST vehicle that I have been fortunate enough to be able to afford. I have had a 3,5,6 coupe, and 7 series BMW as well as two E classes (the first being the 96 iconic 4 headlight model that would be second to this in coolness). The quality, lack of quirk and sheer disclipline of what this thing does leaves you looking for a reason to go to the corner store....in the next town! I am a self admitted car freak for as long as I can remember..have been to performance driveing school, love big cars cause i have a large frame so this is made for me.. I have a hatchback, sportscar and station wagon all in one vehicle. I was concerned about V6 power cause I was trading a sweet 2011 5 series but this thing embarrasses that. Better transmission, Better susupension, Better power, Better interior, SUPERIOR styling welcome to the new world!"

29 people out of 31 found this review helpful

brand new baby

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