2017 Porsche Panamera 4S: more Porsche but still practical

Porsche has introduced several different vehicles over the years to appeal to a wider audience, while staying true to the brand’s DNA. 

Back in 2009 it unveiled the Panamera at the Shanghai Motor Show, and a month later it started production. Going by feedback from the public the styling wasn’t particularly well received, but that didn’t stop the car from selling. 

Seven years later the second generation has finally been revealed – and even though this is still a Panamera, nearly every single component has been changed.

A complete makeover
We drove

2017 Porsche Panamera 4S

Engine: V6
Power output: 440bhp
Top speed: 289km/h
0-100 km/h: 4.2 seconds
Fuel efficiency: 8.7l/100km
Price: AED 483,700 (US$ 132,000)

The 2017 Panamera is wider by 6mm, taller by 5mm, and longer by 34mm. The tail lights and the bulging rear quarter panels now resemble the 911, while the signature Porsche flyline profile also echoes that of the 911, drawing you towards the front and highlighting the flared front arches. 

As you'd expect, LED headlights and taillights are standard, sitting on 21-inch turbo design wheels. The rear spoiler is extendable, while the Panamera Turbo version splits it in the middle to provide additional surface area and downforce. 

Goodbye buttons, hello massive touchscreen

Previous Porsche interiors resembled an aircraft cockpit with the sheer number of buttons and controls. That’s all done with. The Panamera blends executive class with sporty touches to make for a fantastic interior.

The cabin is very well isolated, and the seats are exceptionally comfortable while providing rear passengers with just as much support. The infotainment setup now consists of a gigantic 12.3-inch screen, paired with a 14-speaker Bose sound system that can be swapped out for the optional Burmester 20-speaker system.

The only gripe we have is the button on the gear selector – something you don’t consciously think about. We kept missing pushing down the button properly while actuating the lever, forcing us to release and start over. Given that this is electronically controlled, we’re hoping Porsche can release an update to address this.

2017 Porsche Panamera 4S gallery

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All-new engine

The Panamera 4S is powered by a 2.9-liter twin turbo V6 petrol engine generating 440hp and 550Nm of torque. It can clock 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds, which is impressive for a car weighing in at 1,870 kg.

What's most impressive is the fuel economy. During our time with the car we managed to achieve 8.7l/100km, which probably has a lot to do with the PDK transmission offered with the eight-speed gearbox.

As far as the drive is concerned, the steering feels light but provides plenty of driver feedback. The brakes also offer good feedback and sufficient stopping power. You do get the sense of a more luxurious presence on the road with very little road noise, and the suspension soaks up the drive while maintaining a mature composure.

Verdict

Ultimately, the 2017 Panamera is for those who require the practicality of a four-door sedan, yet appreciate what a Porsche has to offer. It embraces German luxury and high-tech features while delivering more than adequate performance.