The driver’s seating position is fabulous. The pedals and steering wheel line up well and the low-slung seat gives the Panamera an authentic sports car feel. Once you’ve set the electrically adjustable steering wheel and seat to your liking, it’s a wonderfully comfortable place to be. That said, we’ve tried only the optional sports seats. The only downsides are that lumbar adjustment is an option and visibility out of the rear isn’t great, due to the sloping roofline and large rear pillars.
Porsche has moved many of the Panamera’s controls to a touch-sensitive panel on the central console. This looks good at first glance but proves problematic to use while driving: the lack of physical buttons means that you have to look down often to see which function you’re prodding.
Also, having to use the infotainment system to alter the airflow out of the central air vents, both front and rear, is unnecessarily distracting. However, the system itself is more impressive. The 12.3in touchscreen is mounted high enough up on the dashboard that you can see it easily and most of the icons are large enough to find at a glance. Only when you get deeper into the menus do you find smaller icons that are trickier to find while on the move. The screen is also high resolution – unlike the murky screen in the Aston Martin Rapide S – and never lags, the system in the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupé is prone to doing.
To help deliver even more information to the driver, a pair of configurable 7.0in digital screens flank the traditional analogue rev counter that sits directly in front of you. They’re effective, showing sat-nav and driving information, for example, but the outer edges of the display get lost behind the thick-rimmed steering wheel.
Quality is very impressive. Everything feels beautifully put together and, depending on how much you want to spend, it’s possible to get virtually every surface covered in leather, Alcantara or a veneer of some sort.