The 2013 Porsche Panamera's blend of handling, power, luxury, and comfort makes it one of the best large luxury sedans on the market today--despite coming up a bit short in advanced technology.
From the base 300-horsepower V-6 Panamera to the turbocharged V-8 550-horsepower Turbo S, all Panameras offer a rewarding performance driving experience. At 3.6 seconds to 60 mph and with 190 mph top speed, the Turbo S flirts with supercar territory, without giving up the luxury of a large back seat or the utility of ample cargo space.
The Panamera S Hybrid is also remarkable in its way, managing 30 mph highway while also delivering 380 horsepower and rear-wheel drive. The combination results in a sporty, fun-to-drive hybrid that won't break the bank on the commute.
Rear-wheel drive is standard in Panamera, Panamera S, and Panamera S Hybrid, while the Panamera 4, 4S, Turbo, Turbo S, and GTS all offer standard all-wheel drive. All Panamera models except the hybrid use a dual-clutch PDK seven-speed transmission; the S Hybrid gets an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic.
Inside the Panamera's cabin, the front seat feels like a somewhat relaxed sports car cockpit; the controls are driver-centric, and the low position feels connected to the road. The back seats are a contrast, with and open, airy sense that feels more executive limo than sports sedan. And for those that like to travel with plenty of gear, or just need space for getting the family around, the Panamera's cargo area is surprisingly roomy--and even more so with the rear seats folded flat.
On the equipment front, you won't find some of the advanced collision avoidance systems like those offered in the Mercedes-Benz S Class or BMW 7-Series, but you will find adaptive cruise control, advanced traction and stability controls, and Porsche's performance-oriented electronics systems, including Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). Navigation, Bluetooth, four-zone automatic climate control, and more are also available.
As with most of Porsche's lineup, you'll also be able to choose from a wide range of interior and exterior color schemes, upholstery materials, wheel options, and trim types. Combined with the broad range of powertrain and equipment options, there's a Panamera for almost every buyer. Just beware: ticking too many options boxes can quickly push the price up.
For more details, read the 2013 Porsche Panamera full review
at The Car Connection.