Used test: BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe vs Porsche Panamera
A used BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé is both stylish and great value these days, but is it worth paying the extra for a Porsche Panamera instead?...
Even with its idiosyncratic looks, and even as a used buy, the Porsche Panamera is still an object of desire for money. It isn’t hard to see why. The way it moves and steers down a back road is an utter delight; truly, it does offer the sort of driving experience we’ve come to expect from a Porsche, in a four-seat car big enough for the whole family. It is beautiful inside, too, and that huge hatchback boot adds an element of practicality few luxury cars can match.
However, here, the Panamera is outclassed. That noisy engine means it’s never as serene as a luxury car like this should be, and when all you want to do is bimble around town or park up, it feels big and unwieldy. It’s also enormously costly to buy – and pricey to run, too – and its delightful driving experience alone isn’t enough to justify that higher price.
Which means the win in this test must go to the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé. You could argue that it doesn’t quite have the panache of the Porsche; certainly, its interior isn’t quite as special, it’s a little more cramped, and its firm low-speed ride does it no favours.
Nevertheless, the BMW is simply in another league in terms of straight-line performance. And yet, bizarrely, it’s cheaper to run than the Porsche, too, on every count – not to mention how much cheaper it is to buy. Throw in the silence and solitude in which it allows you to cover long distances, and the fact it comes close to matching the exhilaration the Porsche provides on a back road, and you have a truly fabulous all-round package.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here
1st – BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé
For Outrageous performance; exceptional refinement; cheap to buy
Against Firm low-speed ride; space at a premium
Verdict A staggeringly quick, wonderfully refined cruiser
Rated 5 out of 5
2nd – Porsche Panamera
For Spacious, beautifully trimmed interior; excellent comfort
Against Engine noise; feels heavy at low speeds; expensive to buy and run
Verdict Impressive, but outshone by a sensational rival
Rated 4 out of 5
Specifications: BMW 6 Series 640d Gran Coupé SE
Engine size 3.0-litre diesel
List price when new £63,900
Price today £21,000
Torque 464lb ft
Top speed 155mph
Fuel economy 50.4mpg (Official average)
CO2 emissions 148g/km
Specifications: Porsche Panamera Diesel
Engine size 3.0-litre diesel
List price when new £62,134
Price today £33,000
Torque 406lb ft
Top speed 150mph
Fuel economy 43.5mpg (Official average)
CO2 emissions 172g/km
Price today is based on a 2012 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing
Best luxury cars 2021
A luxury car obviously needs sumptuous materials, ride comfort worthy of a magic carpet, and a super-smooth engine. However, models targeting company car drivers must also offer low emissions
Lexus ES long-term test review
The striking ES hybrid is designed to grab Lexus a bigger slice of the luxury saloon market. But does it have what it takes to turn top execs away from the usual German models? We're living with one to find out