Porsche Panamera hatchback - Interior & comfort
The Porsche Panamera has a beautiful and well-appointed interior, but be careful with the options list
Step down (and we mean down – it’s quite a low car) into the Porsche Panamera and you’ll find comfortable seats, a logical layout and a timeless design. Comfort receives a welcome lift over the previous car, and there's quite a bit of space for rear-seat passengers to stretch out in luxury, but little has changed for the most recent facelift.
Porsche Panamera dashboard
Porsche has deliberately made the Panamera’s rev counter analogue as a nod to tradition, but it sits between a pair of high-resolution digital dials. These can be configured in a variety of ways to show sat-nav directions, cruise control information or efficiency readings, for example. If you choose the four-zone automatic climate control (a £1,150 option) the rear-seat passengers get a sleek touchscreen display between their seats, which they can use to adjust the temperature to their liking.
However, some of the Panamera’s controls aren’t the simplest to operate and some seem needlessly fiddly. For example, the central air vent’s direction can only be adjusted by a menu system, which is tricky to do on the move without taking your attention off the road.
The infotainment system has been given an enlarged widescreen format as part of the most recent updates, with a similar feel to the Porsche Taycan. It features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. The Panamera generally feels as up-to-date as you'd hope, especially with the optional full-colour head up display.
All Panameras come with leather seats (power-operated in the front), sat nav, 19-inch alloy wheels, all-round parking sensors, LED headlights and keyless go. There are no trim levels as such – although the Turbo model gets a bit more kit – you just add the options and packages you want.
There are a few additional features that set the GTS aside, including its distinctive 'sport design package' that brings gloss black exterior accents that match its quad-exit exhaust and 20-inch alloy wheels. There are GTS logos on the rev counter, sill kick plates and headrests, and a larger retractable rear spoiler to increase downforce at speed.
One of the most popular options with the Panamera is likely to be the Sport Chrono package. For about £1,400, this adds a stopwatch, a launch-control system and a steering-wheel-mounted dial; this switches the driving mode between Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual, with the latter allowing you to configure the engine, gearbox and suspension as you wish. Other options include a sports exhaust system for £2,300, upgraded seats for either £1,400 or £2,450 and super-effective ceramic brakes, for an eye-watering £6,700.
You can also add extra leather, wood, carbon or aluminium to almost every conceivable surface inside the Panamera, and upgrade the stereo to a fancy Burmester setup, for a cool £5,000. As you might be able to tell by now, adding tens of thousands of pounds to the Panamera’s price is incredibly easy.
The Porsche Panamera is brimming with impressively state-of-the-art technology, although much of this is optional. Panamera and Panamera 4 customers are forced to shell out just over £1,600 for an adjustable air suspension system, but it’s standard on the GTS model and up. In fairness, most buyers are expected to choose this option anyway, as it allows you to modify the stiffness of the car’s suspension system depending on the road and your mood, and also gives a smoother ride on the motorway.
LED headlights (which turn as you corner) are a shade over £500, while LED ‘Matrix’ headlights, (complete with auto-dimming and a navigation-based feature that automatically lights up junctions brighter) are about twice that. A 360-degree bird’s-eye parking camera is near enough £1,000, while soft-close doors (these electronically ‘pull’ the door shut, removing the need to slam them when closing) are £500 or so.
Extra cornering ability can be yours if you spend £1,500 or so on the rear-wheel steering feature, while the night-vision system comes in at a shade under £1,700.