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As a car guy, one of my hobbies is playing the car game. You know the one: if I had to buy a new car today, what would I pick? In the sea of used cars on the market, it seems like there’s one that stands out as a used bargain: the first-generation Porsche Panamera.

Is a used Porsche Panamera a good idea?

Just look at the Panamera. It’s a great-looking car, it has a top-notch interior, most were sold with awesome V8s, and some even came with a six-speed manual. Sure, it’s as opulent as an S Class, not as practical as a Cayenne, not as fast as a 911, maybe not as pretty as an Alfa Romeo Giulia, and not as cool as a Hellcat Dodge. But, especially in all-wheel drive trim with a powerful V8, the Porsche Panamera starts to make a lot of sense.

The first generation was sold from 2009 to 2016 and had a variety of engines. They’re quirky, and not for everyone. Most have a smooth V8, and most likely came with a quick seven-speed automatic. The rear hatchback even makes it practical. Today, these four-seaters (the back seat has two deep buckets) are selling for less than $30,000 and they make an amazing used car. 

Is the Porsche Panamera a reliable car?

A used Porsche Panamera like this 204 model could be a used bargain.
A 2014 first-generation Porsche Panamera | Porsche

Porsche has long prided itself on engineering. Sure, the company has made a couple of goofs over the years (IMS bearing anyone?), and the Panamera was no different. The company did recall the cars for an engine fire risk and a camshaft adjustor issue, but since those were a factory recall, they all should have been fixed. Other issues that owners report include sticky spoilers that don’t pop up, water pump issues and more.

At J.D. Power, the cars have an average quality and reliability rating. However, RepairPal says that the cars’ reliability is poor. It’s key to keep an eye on Panameras because small problems can quickly become big issues. We’d recommend paying the difference for a pre-purchase inspection at a local shop to make sure there are no hidden expensive problems.

How much is the cheapest Porsche Panamera?

Interior of a Porsche Panamera in brown
A used Porsche Panamera could come with this special edition interior | Porsche

There’s an old adage in the sports car world: the cheapest Porsche is likely the most expensive. Sure, you can buy a clapped-out Panamera for $15,000. But, you probably shouldn’t. These are $100,000 cars, and though you can get parts, they’re still parts for a $100,000 car. One example is the optional the carbon ceramic brakes that are magic but cost $20,000 to repair if you chip a rotor.  

There are dozens of Panameras for sale, even if they are rare sedans, on sites like AutoTrader for less than $30,000 with less than 100,000 miles that look to be in good nick. For that kind of money, it’s hard to turn down a used Porsche that will not just move your family, it might just move your soul. And, because Porsche’s design philosophy relies on subtly updating the car, a first-generation $30,000 car doesn’t look too different from a new $170,000 version of the car.


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