Expand Ad
  • Brilliant steering, ride and handling; high-revving engine delivers strong performance when pressed; superbly built interior
  • Poorly packaged cabin only seats four; body is way too wide for suburbia; hefty weight hampers engine\'s spirit; expensive price tag and extensive options list

OUR RATING
7.5 / 10



Porsche Panamera Review : GTS
Porsche Panamera Review : GTS
Porsche Panamera Review : GTS

Purity isn’t a word to associate with a 1925kg, 1.9-metre-wide liftback, but the Porsche Panamera GTS is designed to put driver intimacy ahead of sheer speed or efficiency-focused technology.

Sharing in the first facelift since the Porsche Panamera range debuted in 2009, the GTS costs $318,300. Its styling tweaks include new headlights with four piercing LED bulbs, a fresh front bumper with LED daytime light ‘blades’, a flatter rear tailgate and rear indicators moved from the top to the bottom of the tail-lights.

There’s a frugal new hybrid, and turbo sixes replace the non-turbo V8s, but none of that matters here.

The GTS still utilises a 4.8-litre V8 that produces 324kW of power at 6700rpm, and 520Nm of torque at 3500rpm. A standard seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, called PDK by its maker, sends drive to all four wheels.

Unlike other models in the revised Panamera range, and most competitors including the almost identically-priced new Maserati Quattroporte, the GTS does not include a turbocharger to boost performance and lower emissions.

Indeed the GTS has the same torque figure as the rear-wheel-drive Panamera S that utilises a 3.0-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder, but that $31K-cheaper variant makes its peak from 1750rpm all the way to 5000rpm. The GTS is also 115kg heavier than the S, and claims 10.7L/100km combined consumption – 2L/100km thirstier than its sibling.

Porsche Panamera Review : GTS
Porsche Panamera Review : GTS
Porsche Panamera Review : GTS
Porsche Panamera Review : GTS

Even the 382kW/700Nm, 3.9sec 0-100km/h, $382,400 Panamera Turbo is thriftier than the GTS, claiming 10.2L/100km (although it is academic, since prospective buyers are unlikely to count the millilitres).

The GTS claims a 4.4-second 0-100km/h, only four-tenths faster than the 309kW S, yet in the 80-120km/h stakes, its claimed 3.1 seconds is 0.2 seconds slower.

On-paper, then, the Panamera GTS doesn’t appear like the smart choice, but the specification sheet doesn’t mention the 7100rpm redline of the non-turbo engine, and the soaring soundtrack that accompanies it, or the crisp throttle that is available only because there’s no turbocharger. And so the purity argument begins…

Standard on the GTS are 19-inch alloy wheels, shod with 255mm-wide 45-aspect front and 285mm-wide 40-aspect rear Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres. It gets its own variation of Porsche’s adaptive air suspension that firms damping and lowers the body by 15mm in Sport Plus mode.

In that latter mode, the shift speed of its PDK transmission is quicker than that in any other Panamera, and during an upshift the fire of selected cylinders is cut in order to enjoy a tasty engine blurt. A quad sports exhaust is also standard only on GTS, which in either Sport Plus or regular Sport mode is much louder than in the standard Comfort setting.

Those three buttons that adjust steering, throttle, suspension and exhaust are part of the Sport Chrono package optional in other Panameras, but still don’t offer the claimed shift speed and exhaust note of the GTS.

Porsche Panamera Review : GTS
Porsche Panamera Review : GTS
Porsche Panamera Review : GTS
Porsche Panamera Review : GTS

The upshot is a fantastic, burly V8 symphony teamed with that throttle response and beautifully damped suspension that is just a touch too jiggly in its firmer modes, but breathes nicely over chopped-up urban arterial roads in Comfort.

After sampling steering set-ups in rivals, the electro-mechanical system in the Panamera GTS shades all of them with the exception of the Aston Martin Rapide. It is so wonderfully mid-weighted and tactile that it could be a non-power steering system.

In corners the Panamera GTS shrinks around you. It is 1.93-metres wide (a Mercedes-Benz S-Class is 1.87 metres) and weighs almost two-tonnes, yet it has a keen front end and an all-wheel drive system that allows you to slide it on the throttle.

During fast changes of direction, the suspension’s ability to keep the bluff body flat is staggering, though its sheer weight is felt when the non-turbo V8 is asked for full throttle out of corners – for a $320K car, it struggles through the mid range and really needs revs to perform. The engine is a sweetheart, but it needs to be set free in a lighter car.

Passengers, meanwhile, may also feel like the Panamera GTS has shrunk around them. For such a large liftback, the interior is poorly packaged, with average rear legroom in the two back bucket seats. The versatility offered by lifting the rear glass with the bootlid, however, makes for easy loading ability not offered by sedan rivals, and the 445-litre volume extends to 1263L with the rear seats folded.

Porsche Panamera Review : GTS
Porsche Panamera Review : GTS
Porsche Panamera Review : GTS
Porsche Panamera Review : GTS

In tight city streets the broad dashboard is a reminder of the Panamera’s sheer width, too – of all the cars I’ve tested, only the Porsche shares with the Nissan Patrol the dubious honour of being too wide to squeeze between parked cars in one very tight street in Sydney’s inner west.

The dashboard design is feeling its five-year-old vintage, with a small seven-inch colour touchscreen lacking internet and ‘app’ connectivity options. There are plenty of options, too, many of which should be standard for a car of this price – keyless auto-entry ($2490), adaptive cruise control ($4990), lane departure warning ($1590) and four-zone climate control ($2750).

Auto-braking technology, standard on the $250K Mercedes-Benz E63 S AMG for example, is unavailable at any price.

Despite being billed as the ultimate driver-focused offering in the range, there are still hardware options on the Panamera GTS that include active anti-roll bars and torque vectoring ($10,990), and carbon ceramic brakes ($21,590).

For those who can’t afford both a 911 and a Cayenne, the facelifted Porsche Panamera is a fine halfway point. As fantastic as the GTS is to steer, throttle and corner in, however, it would work even better as a lighter rear-wheel-drive model with the expensive pricetag dragged down and enthusiast appeal pushed higher still. Currently it is too heavy to allow its engine to shine, and too pricey to hit a really high score.


  Submit an Owner Car Review

PORSCHE PANAMERA BREAKDOWN

Porsche Panamera Review : GTS
  • 7.5
  • 8.5
  • 7
  • 8.5
  • 6.5
  Submit an Owner Car Review


  • Peter

    Nice review but I cant understand the point about the width of the car. I’ve had 2 XFs (both just under 1.9m, but well over it with mirrors) and an XKR (slightly wider) and I’ve never had a problem with the width except when parking. Maybe long wheelbase plus width becomes a nuisance. But on the panamera, I always scoffed at them until a friend drove me around in one, they are really nice inside and drive really well. Makes you forgive the exterior. Kind of. Maybe not.

    • guest

      They are a great car. And my god, Caradvice is not wrong about the sound of the Panamera GTS. Blimey – good old fashioned rich V8 roar. Enough to put a huge smile on your face.

  • Lester

    “Its styling tweaks include new headlights with four piercing LED bulbs…..”
    This is incorrect; LED headlights are an (expensive) option, not standard equipment. The headlights in the photo car are not these.

    • O123

      I was gonna say the same thing. The LED headlights look really good.

    • Porschefile

      The Panamera (depending on model) now includes four LED daytime running lights in addition to xenon headlights, which may explain the confusion. The LED headlights don’t have the four point DRLs and instead rely on the led strips down below. If you get the 4 point LED DRLs the LED strip below the main light cluster is a ‘position’ light for night time driving, I believe. Glad I could clear this up ;)

      • Lester

        Correct. There’s no confusion though, as the report text refers to both the LED headlights and the 4 LED DRL’s in the same sentence – clearly implying (erroneously) that both the LED headlights and the LED DRL’s are standard equipment.

  • Golfmother

    Unique and innovative , in the way only a porsche can be , without resorting to gimmiks , absolute stunner .

    • Joe

      …..stunner!!????……..surely your guide dog is having a day off…..

      ……..this stands alone (Ssangyong included!) as the undisputed king of ugly, and $350k on-road makes it even more of a crime on humanity. Even If it was the greatest car in world you would still have to look at it every day and try to justify it to yourself as to…….”WHAT WAS I THINKING”……..when you could have a Quattroportte, Rapide, etc…

  • Get real

    What’s with all these funny cars on CA? Not to mention the ridiculous price marked. Please put more attention on the more relevant every day cars.

  • Tone

    I love how the first three letters on the rego plate spells COQ. Amusing enough on a Porsche, simply perfect on a Panamera.

  • tony

    Hmmm, if according to CA the Panamera is poorly packaged, how do they describe the Aston Rapide?!
    Barely enough room for kids in the back and a boot the size of a Sukuki Swift’s in a car 5m long…
    Ive sat in the back of a Panamera (4S) and at 6 foot tall behind a 6’2″ driver I didn’t feel overly cramped.

  • jav

    vw design cues on the front grill, think Golf R and Scirocco R.

Porsche Panamera Specs

GTS : 4.8L MULTI POINT F/INJ - 7 SP AUTO DUAL CLUTCH - PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL - 4D COUPE
Car Details
Make
PORSCHE
Model
PANAMERA
Variant
GTS
Series
970 MY14
Year
2014
Body Type
4D COUPE
Seats
4
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
4.8L
Cylinders
V8
Max. Torque
520Nm @  3500rpm
Max. Power
316kW @  6700rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
175.6W/kg
Bore & Stroke
89x96.4mm
Compression Ratio
12.5
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
7 SP AUTO DUAL CLUTCH
Drive Type
REAR WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
80
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
10.5L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1800
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1418mm
Length
4970mm
Width
1931mm
Ground Clearance
119mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:0  Unbrake:0
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
0
Front Rim Size
9x19
Rear Rim Size
10x19
Front Tyres
255/45 R19
Rear Tyres
285/40 R19
Wheel Base
2920
Front Track
1658
Rear Track
1662
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Standard Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Heated Front Seats, Power front seats, Power Sunroof
Control & Handling
Adaptive Drive, 19 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution
Driver
Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Multi Function Steering Wheel, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering
Exterior
Power Mirrors, Power Tailgate
Interior
Leather Trim, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags
Security
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft, Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Comfort
Air Con + Climate Control Multi Zone
Control & Handling
20 Inch Alloy Wheels
Driver
Cruise Control Intelligent/Active
Entertainment
CD with 6 CD Stacker
Exterior
Metallic Paint Special
Interior
Carbon Fibre Trim
Safety
Protective Glazing
Other
Service Interval
36 months /  60,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
8-G-21
Country of Origin
GERMANY