It has the look and the performance of a Porsche, but the 2021 Panamera has four doors and a roomy trunk, which help make its case as a daily driver. Its practicality doesn’t tarnish its sporting character, though. It’s nearly as agile and communicative as the brand’s sports cars. Porsche offers the Panamera with a plethora of powertrain options, including a hybrid setup and a twin-turbo V-8. Cargo space is plentiful under the fastback’s rear hatch, and the interior will accommodate four adults comfortably, especially the long-wheelbase Executive models. If you’re interested in looking at the entire lineup of Panameras, note that we the top-of-the-line models bearing the iconic Turbo badge separately, same with the Sport Turismo station-wagon versions.
What’s New for 2021?
Porsche has given the Panamera a light styling refresh for 2021, incorporating the previously optional SportDesign front fascia as standard across the lineup. The rear end gains an LED strip that runs the entire width of the car, and a new diffuser between the car’s dual exhaust outlets provides a sportier appearance. Inside, all Panameras receive an updated steering wheel design with integrated shift paddles. Porsche says it tweaked the chassis slightly to improve ride quality and sharpen handling. New wheel designs and colors—Cherry Red Metallic and Truffle Brown Metallic—are also now offered. Also, lane-keeping assist and traffic-sign recognition can now be found on the standard-equipment list.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Porsche offers the 2021 Panamera in such a wide range of models and prices, your budget and needs should dictate which is best for you. There isn’t a dud in the pack, including the base model, which churns out 325 horsepower and starts below $100,000. We’re also huge fans of the Executive models, which feature a longer wheelbase and offer considerably more rear-seat legroom than the standard body. For our part, we feel the Panamera 4S strikes the best balance between performance and value, with its 440-hp twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-6 and standard all-wheel-drive system. Porsche also offers an endless selection of options, but don’t skip the adaptive air suspension, which improves the hatchback’s ride and handling, or the Sport Chrono package. The latter adds a Sport Plus setting with launch control and dials up the response and performance of the Panamera’s engine, transmission, and chassis.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
With agile handling and a smooth ride, especially when equipped with the optional adjustable air suspension, the 2021 Panamera is a thrill to drive. It also provides the comfort and luxury expected of such an expensive four-door hatchback. Every Panamera comes with a boosted engine, but only some wear the Turbo badge. We review those models separately. The base rear-wheel-drive Panamera and all-wheel-drive Panamera 4 feature a 325-hp turbocharged 2.6-liter V-6. Under the hood of the considerably quicker 4S model—60 mph in 3.6 seconds—is a 440-hp twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-6. Upgrading to the GTS gives you a 473-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8. It’s the best performing of the non-Turbo line; however, its suspension sacrifices some ride quality in the name of handling. Porsche also offers plug-in Panameras, with a 455-hp powertrain in the 4 E-Hybrid and a 552-hp setup in the 4S E-Hybrid. Buyers looking for an all-electric Porsche should check out the new Taycan.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA has not released fuel-economy estimates for the 2021 Panamera line, but we don’t expect the numbers to change from what the 2020 models put up. And none of them are particularly fuel efficient. The 4 E-Hybrid is perhaps the best of the Panameras in this area, as it offers a limited all-electric driving range before needing to fire up its gasoline engine. When we get a chance to test the 2021 Panamera models on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route, we’ll update this story with the results.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Porsche’s Panamera boasts a driver-focused cabin that looks and feels every bit as luxurious as its steep price would have you believe. The list of standard features is long and appropriate for the class, but as with any Porsche, the options list is also quite extensive and pricey. Upgrades include everything from massaging seats to leather-covered climate-control vents to a fire extinguisher. More common options include ventilated seats, soft-close doors, four-zone automatic climate control, and a power-operated rear sunshade. We especially like the sport seats with 18-way adjustability. You sit low in the Panamera, which gives this sedan-like hatchback a sports-car feel. Plus, it’s spacious inside, even for tall drivers. Executive models offer limo-like legroom in the back. The center console looks high tech as it’s littered with touch-sensitive controls for functions such as the climate control. Unfortunately, we find this all-touch system to be fussy and difficult to use while driving, but you get used to it quickly. The Panamera also provides a good amount of storage room, with 18 cubic feet of cargo space.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Sitting in the center of the Panamera’s dash is a large and attractive 12.3-inch touchscreen; unfortunately, the infotainment system isn’t as easy to use as it should be. Although its has desirable features such as Apple CarPlay integration, navigation, and a Wi-Fi hotspot, the menus are complicated, and many of its functions could be more intuitive. As it is, the system can be distracting to operate while driving. Strangely, Android Auto capability and wireless phone charging aren’t unavailable.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2021 Panamera has not been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, Porsches have a very good reputation for safety and crash performance, and the Panamera is available with numerous driver-assistance features. Porsche now provides some things, like lane-keeping assist, as standard equipment, but many of the tech-based driver aids (like the night-vision feature) and active safety systems require more coin. Key safety features include:
- Available forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
At four years or 50,000 miles, both Porsche’s limited warranty and its powertrain warranty are competitive in this class, and its 24-hour roadside-assistance program spans the same amount of time. Porsche also includes complimentary scheduled maintenance for a short period, but BMW’s program is considerably longer.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for one year or 10,000 miles
More Features and Specs