Porsche Panamera Buying Guide: Powertrain

The good news for Panamera buyers is the 4.8-litre V8 engine is far more reliable than it was when it started out in the Cayenne. The bore scoring that plagued the SUV is extremely rare in the Panamera, so you'd be very unlucky to have this happen. The turbocharged version of this motor is also long-lived, so don't expect any trouble. However, there was a recall for some Turbos that could potentially catch fire due to a faulty batch of turbochargers. If the car doesn't run perfectly smoothly or seems to lack power, this could be the cause. Check with a Porsche dealer to make sure the recall has been carried out on any car you're thinking of buying.

Hybrid also offered if petrol or diesel don't suit
Hybrid also offered if petrol or diesel don't suit
Other recalls for the 970 generation of Panamera are for fuel leaks either because of an improperly attached fuel pressure sensor or a seeping injector rail. Any hint of petrol vapour should have you checking with Porsche the remedial work was carried out.

The other engines in the range are just as tough and long-lasting, so which one is best is down to your needs for performance versus economy. A 100-litre fuel tank gives decent range in petrols despite thirst. At a steady 70mph, the V8s can return 32mpg, so longer trips are possible without stopping too often to fill up.

Oil changes are needed every 10,000 miles, while a service comes at 20,000 miles and is around £650 at an independent specialist. However, most specialists reckon an annual service is a better bet as preventative maintenance if you don't rack up enough miles in the year.

For anyone who wants a louder exhaust note, owners recommend the Milltek system for a subtle improvement without impacting on refinement when cruising. A DMS remap is common among Turbo models and takes power up to around 640hp...

Check for recall work; should be reliable otherwise
Check for recall work; should be reliable otherwise
The PDK gearbox is robust but can feel a little slow-witted when changing gear in auto mode. To use the manual setting, the standard set-up used push-pull buttons on the steering wheel itself which are not the most intuitive or enjoyable to use. A Sport steering wheel upgrade brought paddle shifters that are much better.

One area where the Panamera is very similar to its 911 brother is the need to check and clear the front radiators of any leaves or much that accumulates there. If left, it can corrode the radiators and pipework, leading to expensive failure and replacement.

All three gearbox types offered in the Panamera are strong and trouble-free. Most cars have the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission and the only thing to look for here are oil leaks underneath the middle of the car. If there's any sign of this, the gearbox sump probably needs a new cover, which is around £350.

Now, a word about options, of which there are many for the Panamera. The Turbo was offered with a Powerkit upgrade that boosted power from 500 to 540hp, taking the 0-62mph time down to 3.9 seconds and top speed up to 190mph. This was a £11,118 option when new and several owners have told us they don't really notice the difference in performance.

PHer's view:
"I was convinced the Turbo was the only Panamera to have until I tried a friend's GTS. It's a much better balanced car and more suited to UK roads, even if it's not quite as rapid as the Turbo. In reality, you don't notice the speed difference on the road."
Tony Marchmont

Buying Guide contents:
Rolling chassis
At a glance

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