All Stars

2018 All-Stars Contender: 2017 Porsche Panamera 4S

Always impressive performance, now complete with better looks

When your $100,950 car has $25,755 in options, you can bet you’re in a Porsche. When that Porsche is a 2017 Panamera 4S, you don’t care about the cost. You’re just glad you could afford it.

Well-known for its comfort and style, the Panamera nonetheless never fails to amaze us each time we slide behind the wheel. How a vehicle this large and luxurious has such lively steering, such exquisitely communicated balance, and the undeniable soul of the 911s it is bred from remains astonishing.

In Panamera 4S guise, it gets a 440-horsepower, 405-lb-ft 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine powering all four wheels. When optioned like our $126,705 example, it also gives you carbon-ceramic brakes, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, 21-inch SportDesign wheels, the Sport Chrono package, adaptive air suspension, a sport exhaust system, and some visual bits and bobs. As contributor Chris Nelson explained, “The Panamera continues to be an exemplary sport sedan. Handling and chassis balance are damn near peerless, and power delivery is smooth and ample, though it’s not overwhelming in this S model. The all-wheel drive works with you, not against you, and improves the driving experience even in the dry.”

Front and center for the driver experience of the new Panamera, however, is the updated cabin. Pro racer Andy Pilgrim liked it, saying, “The redesigned interior looks good, and everything is easy to use.” On the other hand, there’s a point to contributor Basem Wasef’s criticism: “There’s some great stuff here, particularly the lithe road manners, but the overreliance on touchscreens to the point of menu scrolling to adjust the HVAC vent position is downright silly. At least Porsche kept the tachometer analog. We want our super sedan back, Hal.”

Did Porsche’s Hal get a 2018 All-Stars trophy? Find out on Saturday, March 10, when we announce the winners at the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance—and right here on automobilemag.com.

2018 Porsche Panamera 4S Specifications

PRICE $100,950/$126,705 (base/as tested)
ENGINE 2.9L DOHC 24-valve twin-turbo V-6/440 hp @ 5,650-6,600 rpm, 405 lb-ft @ 1,750-5,500 rpm
TRANSMISSION 8-speed dual-clutch automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD sedan
EPA MILEAGE 21/28 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H 198.8 x 76.3 x 56.0 in
WHEELBASE 116.1 in
WEIGHT 4,123 lb
0-60 MPH 4.2 sec (est)
TOP SPEED 179 mph

Buying Guide
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EPA MPG:

21 City / 28 Hwy

Horse Power:

330 @ 5400

Torque:

331 @ 1340