Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo review
With powerful engines, a sublime chassis and a luxurious interior, the Panamera Sport Turismo could be the ultimate executive express
The Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo builds on the success of the standard Panamera and offers enhanced accommodation and arguably a more stylish exterior, too. But it’s likely the most compelling reason to buy a Sport Turismo is for the driving experience – just like the standard Panamera, it combines excellent all-wheel-drive traction with a level of precision and agility you wouldn’t have thought possible from such a large luxury car.
The Sport Turismo commands a small price premium – just over £2,000 in most cases – over the ‘regular’ Panamera, but we feel it’s worth paying for the extra space on offer.
It’s not often that a sports car manufacturer successfully moves into other market segments, but Porsche has now done it on several occasions. Its long-running rear-engined 911 model still sets the standards by which other sports cars are judged and its Cayenne and Macan are among the best offerings in the luxury SUV market.
Then there’s the Panamera, which has carved a niche for itself in the luxury sports saloon market. The Panamera ‘saloon’ (it’s actually a hatchback) has competitors in the shape of the Audi A7 Sportback and Mercedes CLS, but this version, the Panamera Sport Turismo, with its shooting brake styling, stands as a unique proposition in today’s market. It has very few direct rivals, if any at all, and is a very appealing prospect in its own right.
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The Sport Turismo is based on the standard Panamera rather than the extended-wheelbase version, but it’s still a very large car – more than two metres long and almost two metres wide. It does offer some space advantages over the regular Panamera, with slightly improved rear headroom and a marginally larger boot, plus it has what Porsche calls a ‘4+1’ seating arrangement; the Panamera saloon is a strict four-seater.
It’s likely that many buyers will opt for the Sport Turismo for its styling, though – the shooting brake design is rare these days, and the higher roofline and semi-estate profile endow the car with a more cohesive look than that of the normal Panamera.
Despite dropping diesel-engined models from its line-up, Porsche still offers plenty of choice under the bonnet of the Sport Turismo. The range comprises six models. The £75,000 Panamera 4 and the £96,000 4S feature turbocharged V6 engines, delivering 325bhp and 434bhp respectively, but the real performance powerhouses are the GTS and Turbo models, both of which use a 4.0-litre V8 for outputs of 454bhp and 542bhp.
There are also two plug-in hybrid variants: the £86,000 Panamera 4 E-Hybrid and the range-topping Turbo S E-Hybrid with a price tag of over £140,000. The main advantage these two models have is that, thanks to lower CO2 emissions, they are considerably more attractive as company cars, as well as offering better fuel economy. The downside is that they are less engaging to drive than other versions of the Panamera due to the extra weight of their electric motors and lithium-ion batteries.
This is a shame because the petrol-engined Sport Turismo models are as much fun as their saloon counterparts. No car of this size and weight has the right to be quite so agile and entertaining. Straight-line performance is exceptional, but the Porsche’s real party piece is the way it can hide its bulk when being driven enthusiastically. And if you specify air suspension (optional on the 4 and 4S, standard on the more expensive models), the ride quality is excellent, too; the Sport Turismo is comfortable when cruising but offers exceptional body control when pressing on.
As if the style and performance weren’t enough, this Panamera also offers a sublime interior, packed with the latest Porsche infotainment system and finished off with exceptional materials and excellent build quality. It all comes at a price, of course, but the Sport Turismo really is a quite exquisite machine.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingWith powerful engines, a sublime chassis and a luxurious interior, the Panamera Sport Turismo could be the ultimate executive express
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Sport Turismo’s depth of talent ranges from luxury cruiser to out-and-out sports car ability
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsHybrid models offer significantly better economy and Benefit-in-Kind tax breaks, but are less involving to drive
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Sport Turismo’s cockpit features cutting-edge yet usable technology wrapped up with sumptuous finishes
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceImproved rear headroom, more luggage space and occasional five-seat capability enhance the Panamera’s practicality
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Sport Turismo should be safe and reliable, but some driver assistance systems are hugely costly options