Monday 25th March 2013


PORSCHE PANAMERA DIESEL: PH FLEET

Haters gonna hate, but Chris bids a sincerely fond farewell to his diesel Porsche Panamera


I wouldn’t normally allow eight months in a car to be summarised by such sterile things as numbers, but the picture above does tell a pretty compelling story. For the final 6,213 miles it spent with me the Panamera was driven, often in an excitable fashion, at all times of day and in all weather conditions. In that time it returned an average of 38.2mpg. Driven the same way, and over a similar distance my E61 535d wouldn’t manage an average of 26mpg.

Panamera Diesel a fantastic all-rounder
Panamera Diesel a fantastic all-rounder
Many people are of the opinion that Pistonheads isn’t the place to publicly celebrate the fuel meanness of a car made by Porsche, but as much as idealism can be a great thing in the world of the car obsessive, in this case I can’t agree with that sentiment. Whichever way I looked at it, the Panamera Diesel, when judged on merit as a driving machine and somewhere to spend endless hours, was a great car. For the way I used it, I wouldn’t have swapped it for any other petrol variant. Well, maybe a Turbo S, if someone else had been paying for fuel.

Or maybe not even a Turbo S? I’m not scared of wasting money on dino juice, but modern, everyday motoring according to the law of diminishing returns would probably keep me in the diesel. That really says as much about the brilliant ZF eight-speed auto as it does my appreciation for a range that will manage Stuttgart to the West Country at speed. There’s no doubt petrol Panameras would be more pleasant if they used this transmission.

Bolster wear? Not a whit
Bolster wear? Not a whit
I have little more to say about this car. You already know how I feel about its performance, handling and overall serenity. It is built to a quality that cannot be compared to many other supposedly prestige brands. After 23,000 miles of people leaping in and out of it wearing abrasive coats on photoshoots, the side bolsters on the front seats aren’t showing the faintest patina of wear.

Depreciation is hard to judge accurately, but similar age, similar mileage cars are advertised for around £53,000, which means a trade bid of mid-40s. It was £66,000 new back in December 2011, so that’s not a bad hit compared to rival cars. Yes, it’s a lot of money to lose by ordinary standards, but people that buy these cars know there’s a cost in depreciation, and I think this one is better than the market average.

Panamera has made a mark in its time
Panamera has made a mark in its time
This car polarises opinion like nothing else I’ve used on a regular basis – with the exception that there is one common sentiment that emerges from one group of people. Anyone exposed to a long, potentially fatiguing journey in the Panamera always stepped away afterwards and gushed with praise, including the driver. That kind of says it all.


FACT SHEET
Car:
Porsche Panamera Diesel
Run by: Chris Harris
On fleet since: August 2012
Mileage: 23,718
List price new: £66,558 (base price £62,134 plus £777 for metallic paint, £1,457 for 19" Panamera Design alloy wheels, £243 for automatic dimming mirror package, £919 for Bose surround sound system, £227 for Universal Audio Interface USB/iPod connector, £526 for aluminium interior package and £275(!) for 'seatbelts in silver')
Last month at a glance: Panamera haters rejoice - it's gone! But that doesn't mean Chris is any less impressed with what it achieved.

Previous reports:
Panamera gets winter boots
Marmite anyone?
Bye bye diesel Jag, hello diesel … Porsche?

 

Author: Chris Harris
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