Porsche Panamera S

Is controversial saloon a hit on British roads?

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

There can be no doubting the Panamera’s Porsche credentials. Shut your eyes, and you could be in a 911, or even a Cayenne, because the driving experience is so familiar. The cabin is a delight, and in the flesh the styling really works. On top of this, we were impressed by the car’s grip and cornering poise. Porsche fans have another reason to love the brand.

It’s the high-performance four-door that’s divided all Porsche fans... So, should the world’s most famous sports car firm be building a luxury saloon?

The jury is still out. But much of the answer will depend on just how good the all-new Panamera is to drive. We were left impressed by our first taste of the car on the European launch. Now it has arrived in the UK, will we be as keen?

It certainly turns heads. Our S-badged model looked really smart, with optional 19-inch alloys and dark metallic paint.

The attention-grabbing styling doesn’t come cheap, however, with this variant tipping the scales at nearly £80,000 on the road.

Yet as you settle in behind the wheel, it soon becomes clear exactly where the money has been spent. The interior is a luxurious masterpiece, providing breathtaking comfort and refinement.

The Panamera has four individual seats, but no matter which one you’re occupying, there is masses of room.

And the generous glass area only serves to enhance the sense of space inside. Yet what impresses more than this is how the car behaves on the road – and the best way to describe the driving experience is to compare it to a 911.

The Panamera carries over that car’s precise steering and reassuring mid-corner balance.

It also has the same incredible grip. But all this is blended with what seems like endless power from the 400bhp V8, as well as seamless gearshifts from the seven-speed semi-auto box.

With 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds and a 175mph top speed, the S is fast, while it’s responsive, too. So it’s definitely worthy of the Porsche badge, and a great addition to the range.

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