What is it?
Porsche’s Panamera is a car that is available with a really big number of variations. You’ve got the regular Panamera, the 4, the 4S, GTS and Turbo S E-Hybrid – to name but a few – with all of them catering for different needs and requirements.
The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid sits largely in the middle of the lot of them, acting as the entry point to the hybrid models and aiming to deliver a good blend of efficiency and performance. But is it the pick of the bunch? We’ve been finding out.
The 4 E-Hybrid might be a gateway into the electrified Panamera line-up, but this is anything but an entry-level model. We’ve got it in Sport Turismo guise, too, bringing a sleeker and – in our eyes – more attractive exterior design which blends estate and saloon car.
In Platinum Edition specification – which you’ll also find available on Cayenne models – the Panamera gains a range of exterior trim pieces finished in, you guessed it, a shade of platinum.
What’s under the bonnet?
The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid blends petrol and electric power, with the 2.9-litre V6 engine sitting up front combined with a single electric motor and 17.9kWh battery. Together, they produce 456bhp and 700Nm of torque, with drive sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
That battery is relatively large for a hybrid, too, so you should get up to 34 miles of electric-only drive at speeds of up to 87mph. You can fully charge the battery in under three hours at a home wallbox, too. The hybrid setup is a real bonus in terms of efficiency, too, with Porsche claiming up to 134.5mpg and CO2 emissions of between 51 and 60g/km depending on wheel size. You’ll only get up to 26.6mpg in the standard petrol-powered Panamera 4, as well as emissions of between 247 and 260g/km.
What’s it like to drive?
Despite that focus on efficiency, this is still a Porsche that’ll manage the 0-60mph sprint in 4.2 seconds and hack on to a top speed of 174mph. But despite this, you find yourself driving the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid in a calmer, less ‘need for speed’ fashion. That you can use electric power at speeds of 87mph means you can even use it as an ‘EV’ on all the UK’s roads and around town this silky-smooth electric power feels spot on.
The steering is excellent, too, as is the brake feel which both have a precise, engineered feel to them. There’s no mistaking the Panamera’s size, mind you; this is a big car and takes a little determination to thread through lanes and cities. We found ourselves in a multi-storey car park with the Panamera at one point, and a relaxing experience it was not.
How does it look?
The Panamera’s design has aged nicely over time, with this second-generation car taking a far more flowing approach to looks than its rather bulbous predecessor. The introduction of the Sport Turismo has only enhanced the appeal, with this car’s raked roofline and tapered boot line giving it a really eye-catching look.
Does the Platinum Edition bring much more than the regular car? Not massively. While it’s nice to have those platinum-coloured elements, the standard car’s look is already pretty much spot-on – and it’ll save you £5,600 in the process, too.
What’s it like inside?
The Panamera’s cocoon-like cabin is finished to an extremely high standard, with the same solid feeling that we’ve come to expect from all Porsche models felt through the entire interior of the car. Material quality is excellent, from the leather-trimmed steering wheel to metal finishers on the dash.
The rear seats are reasonably spacious, though headroom takes a slight knock as a result of that raked roofline. Boot space also takes a hit in this hybrid version, with the 1,287 seats-down load area some 97 litres down on the non-hybrid Panamera Sport Turismo.
What’s the spec like?
You get loads of equipment as standard in the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid. Bear in mind that our test car – with options such as the £2,670 saddle-brown leather package and the adaptive cruise control for £1,455 – rolled in at £102,379, but the level of included kit goes some way to justifying this high price. You get excellent LED Matrix headlights which shine a huge amount of light onto the road ahead, along with a heated multifunction steering wheel and two-zone climate control.
The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid also includes parking pre-climatisation, which allows you to heat or cool the interior with the ignition switched off. It’s a great feature for cold mornings when you want to heat the cabin up without stepping outside.
Whereas the range-topping Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid that we’ve tested previously flies a little too close to the fully-electric Taycan in terms of performance and efficiency, this lower-powered model feels like a far more appealing prospect. With a decent electric range and rock-bottom CO2 emissions, it’s a car that feels like a more rounded proposition.
Expensive it may be but the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid more than justifies its cost with a well-made interior and, above all else, a really accomplished driving experience.