Porsche’s lineup includes some well-regarded sports and luxury vehicles. However, even the most affordable ones aren’t exactly cheap. That includes its sole sedan, the Porsche Panamera, which is arguably closer to a station wagon. However, although a new one can easily go for $150k, as Doug Demuro explains, used Porsche Panameras can be had for way less.
Some used Porsche Panameras are surprisingly affordable
When the Porsche Panamera debuted in 2010, it was only available in two trims, the 400-hp S and the 500-hp Turbo. Both used a 4.8-liter V8, although the Turbo was, naturally, turbocharged. At the time, Car and Driver reports the S retailed at just under $91k, while the Turbo’s base price was $133,575.
However, after a year, Porsche added a base model. It used a 3.6-liter V6, which developed 295 hp. This, Motor Trend reports, was the automaker’s first in-house V6, which was basically the V8 with 2 cylinders chopped off. But even though it was down on power compared to the other two, it still had a 0-60 of 6.3 seconds, which dropped to 5.9 with the addition of all-wheel drive and Porsche’s Sports Crono package, which added launch control. And it was more affordable, starting at about $75,000.
But, as with many luxury vehicles, the Porsche Panamera depreciated. iSeeCars reports that the Panamera is the #9 most-depreciating luxury car, losing 59.9% of its value over 5 years. This is typical of the segment, as most well-heeled clients tend to only want the newest version of their chosen luxury wheels. The Panamera also struggled to win buyers over with its looks, which attempted to merge a sedan’s lines with that of the 911.
Luckily, all this is actually a boon for used buyers. As with the Mercedes G-Class, an older Panamera still looks much the same as a newer one. Meaning, you get the street cred, without having to pay $150,000-$200,000. And, in many ways, a used Porsche Panamera is just as good as a new one.
A used Porsche Panamera’s luxury features
The Panamera actually helped introduce a few things into Porsche’s lineup.
One was the interior layout and design, with all the buttons resembling an airliner cockpit. As a result, a 2012 Panamera’s dashboard looks fairly modern. And apart from some plastic on the steering wheel, everything feels luxurious and high-end. Demuro remarks that every button and switch feel as solid as the day it came out of the factory. The only trouble is that some buttons may be blank if that particular option wasn’t selected. But even after 10 years, the touchscreen infotainment still responds quickly.
The other is Porsche’s dual-clutch PDK transmission, which Demuro reports goes a long way to helping the car still feel relatively quick. The Panamera was one of the first Porsches to receive the PDK, and not only is it reliable and robust, but it can also drift.
And overall, a used Porsche Panamera is still a very good daily-driver. It’s not quite as comfortable as a Mercedes S-Class, but it’s faster than it or the equivalent BMW 7-Series. And Demuro, MT, and Car and Driver all report the Panamera handles and steers like you’d expect a Porsche would. Only this car is more usable day-to-day than a 911 or Cayman.
The Panamera’s design may be a bit awkward, but that’s because it allows for some very practical features. Porsche’s CEO at the time was roughly 6’3”, and he required that he be able to sit comfortably in the Panamera’s rear bucket seats. As a result, there’s plenty of headroom.
In addition, the Panamera technically has a hatchback trunk. The lid opens high, and the rear seats can fold flat, which eases loading and unloading.
Reliability and issues to look out for
In Car Magazine’s long-term test, the only issues were a spoiler that failed due to heavy snow-fall and a tendency for V8 models to consume oil fairly quickly. Autotrader reports the latter isn’t uncommon.
In addition, older Panameras can develop electrical issues, especially if their batteries aren’t fully charged. The ignition coil packs in older models can also fail, which is also a problem in several other VW and Audi models. However, if you notice problems shifting, that’s a computer issue, not a transmission one.
CarComplaints has relatively few reports of Panamera issues. The most prevalent is a problem with 2011 models’ camshaft bolts shearing and coming off. The Porsche Club of America reports this was rectified in a Porsche recall. Just check to see if a used model you’re interested in has had it.
The PCOA also noted a few other areas of concern for used Panameras. The car’s upper coolant pipes can pop out over time, causing coolant leaks. In addition, the Panamera’s front upper control arm bushings also wear out over time, which isn’t uncommon even in other cars. However, these are relatively inexpensive parts.
More expensive, though, is replacing a failed fuel pump, although the PCOA reports this rarely occurs. Some Porsche Panameras also came with carbon-ceramic brakes, which are more expensive to replace than iron or steel ones.
And there’s one more reason why a V6 Panamera is a better investment than a V8 one. The Turbo, Turbo S, and GTS all came exclusively with air suspension, and if it fails, it’s $3000 just for the parts, which are getting harder to find.
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